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CCA Doctors Launch New iPhone App

by Cynthia Jenkins, PhD

We want to share some exciting news from our Chesterfield office.

We have, over the past several months, been developing an app for the iPhone® to help people understand themselves and their moods better. We found that we were using all sorts of makeshift ways to help clients track and learn how changes and events in their lives affect change in their emotional states. We have retrofitted phone calendars, used paper and pencil, and used spreadsheets to track information that helps people increase their self-understanding. Sitting around one evening at the end of the work day we thought … ”Let’s make an app for this!“ And, somewhat miraculously, we have. We hope that this will be useful for teenagers and young adults as they learn about themselves, adults as they try to figure out patterns that help them function better, and parents who are trying to understand their kids better or track the influence of medication on behavior or emotions.

It is designed to help shed light on the types of questions we encounter daily:

  • Does my new medication affect my level of depression, anxiety, energy, and/or concentration?
  • Does it make a difference when I take my medication or don’t take it?
  • Does my mood change in a predictable way each month or week?
  • Do positive events have an impact on my sense of contentment or confidence?
  • Does stress make me irritable?
  • Do these breathing techniques change my level of anxiety?
  • Does exercise affect my energy, happiness, or ability to focus?
  • Does launching an iPhone app increase my happiness? — Yes!

It’s called eMotions Tracker© and it launched on January 9, 2013 on the App Store.

You can download the app from the App Store here.

The app allows the user to select any number of the emotions provided (agitation, anger, anxiety, compulsivity, confidence, contentment, depression, distractibility, fear, happiness, motivation, obsessiveness, and productivity), and users can also customize their own emotions. Once selected, users will rate these emotions each day on a 1 – 10 scale with the ability to add significant events to that date (e.g. “got a promotion,” “changed medication dose,” “great talk with a friend”). Once all the data is entered, those numbers get plotted on the user’s personal graph. Over time, trends can be analyzed to increase self-awareness. Information can be shared week by week with therapists or prescribers if that seems helpful. Two levels of tips are provided for all the emotions listed and many other issues. Users select the topic that they would like tips for (anxiety, for example) and general tips are provided. If the user would like more information for any individual tip, they can tap that tip and more information is provided.