Live OCD Free Mobile Therapy App Now Available
BOSTON | A new mobile health application is putting treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder in the hands of the patient, helping OCD sufferers find relief from this debilitating and consuming mental disorder.
Live OCD Free is an interactive mobile application designed to guide users through the most effective treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder and lower anxiety levels. Developed by an OCD specialist, Live OCD Free is transforming how proven, effective treatment for OCD can be used in today’s digital age.
Using Exposure and Response Prevention therapy (ERP), the most effective treatment for OCD, the Live OCD Free app enables OCD patients to create individualized treatment plans that map out challenges and exercises, known as “exposures,” for OCD sufferers to practice in conjunction with their therapists or as a self-help tool. During the exercises, app users face their fears and resist compulsions to, for example, excessively wash their hands, until their anxiety subsides.
With the same functionality, the children’s version of the app is played like a game, encouraging children to fight the “Worry Wizard.” Using music, graphics, and inspiring quotes from other kids struggling with OCD, the children’s version of Live OCD Free is fun and engaging.
Beta-test users report lowered anxiety in as little as three weeks. Further research is ongoing. The app costs $79.99 and is available in the iTunes store.
Dr. Kristen Mulcahy, a Massachusetts psychologist who specializes in OCD treatment, created the application through her company, Pocket Therapist, LLC, as a new way to help patients minimize and overcome OCD behaviors.
“OCD is a very challenging disorder. To get better, you have to work at it every day,” Dr. Mulcahy said. “Live OCD Free gives patients confidence, support, motivation and resources in an easy to use program so they can work through their obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors.”
An estimated 4 million Americans suffer from OCD, including one million children. OCD involves having both obsessions and compulsions. More than 70 percent of sufferers find relief through ERP therapy.
“I have all of the self help books for OCD, but the app is different,” said Stacey Horton, an OCD sufferer and one of the early users of the app. “It’s tactile and it brings words into action. It motivates me to practice in between visits with my therapist.”
Each downloaded app includes access to the child and adult versions as well as video tutorials and a comprehensive user guide. Included in the app are tools to help the user as he practices, such as relaxation/meditation exercises and pre-recorded or customizable motivational messages. As challenges are mastered, users are prompted to move on to the next exercise. Users can set reminders to practice their challenges. They also set their own compulsion-resisting goals and rewards for making progress. The app tracks user progress and reports can be sent directly to therapists.
About Pocket Therapist LLC: Live OCD Free is a mobile application created by Pocket Therapist LLC. Pocket Therapist apps are developed in collaboration with leading professionals, undergo rigorous pilot testing, and are extensively researched to support their efficacy. Founder and app creator Dr. Kristen Mulcahy is an OCD expert who treats children and adults as director of the Cognitive Behavioral Institute in Falmouth, Mass. www.liveocdfree.com.