Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most popular and effective therapeutic models for treating depression, anxiety, and improving overall mental health. CBT makes good on the belief that affect, behavior, and cognition directly influence (and therefore, exacerbate) each other by empowering the individual to targeting self-defeating cognitive distortions. Because cognitive distortions are based on fears and not facts, they can be effectively abated by gathering evidence for and against them. The individual then reassesses their beliefs based on these facts.
While easily executed with the help of a therapist and some distance from the triggering event, it’s much more difficult to practice CBT in the moment, by oneself, while emotionally agitated. Inspired by an ex-boyfriend's daily battle with his emotions that defeated any attempt at critical thinking, I drew up a prototype for an app that guides users through the CBT process.
Because cognitive distortions are habitual, rigid thinking patterns, and because insecurities are rather consistent throughout a life, the app would saves users' thought records to refer back to when their distortions/insecurities recur, or to append to as new positive evidence is uncovered. Reviewing such contradictory evidence is uplifting, and essentially serves as themed gratitude journals that remind users of reality and prevent them from falling back into the same harmful thinking patterns.
Interact with the prototype here.