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 Image Licensed by Ingram Images.

 Image Licensed by Ingram Images.

REVELATIONS - March 2017 - Kansas City

“Mobile Recovery” Coming to a Phone Near You  

by Shirley Fessel


Young professionals are one of the most underserved populations when it comes to self-care. Their lives are hectic: juggling many responsibilities and scheduling support for challenges may not fit in. On the other hand, time spent on mobile phones has risen 35% in the past year alone, to 3 hours and 40 minutes per day.


Therapists combining personal sessions with technology has opened up new ways to meet these needs across the nation.  Locally, professionals in Lenexa and Liberty have joined in developing web and mobile applications that actually work with a whirlwind lifestyle, meeting young professionals on the run.


These new tools are research and evidence- based. Results-oriented strengths and solution methods are programmed into a self-managed behavior change application jointly with experienced pscyhotherapists, social workers, or psychiatrists.


Mobile applications like MyCompass in Australia work on three levels: recovery from anxiety, depression, and abuse; creating healthy habits and preventing lifestyle disorders. Locally “Mobile Recovery” features structured templates, automatic reminders and data recording. It goes beyond current programs like RunTracker or Health for iPhone because the user is in contact with their professional. It should be released later this year.


The user has an individualized application to plan readiness for change, motivation, self-monitoring, reminders, rewards, and a support network. The first meeting sets up the parameters of the application. Then the user alternates checking their progress, processing their experiences, and touching base on emerging concerns with their therapist in person.


For example, yoga classes, 12 step program meetings, nutrition visits, and counseling appointments can be integrated in one convenient place - on our wrists. Immediate and visible tracking helps the user see a complete picture taking shape of an effective plan for wellbeing.


Users receive reminders and can log mindfulness practices, mood ratings, recovery meetings, and other life support activities in their plan. Logs for substance use, support group attendance, gratitude, recreation, creative and outdoor activities can be graphed. The user and therapist design a self-managed behavioral health plan together or the application can be used as a stand-alone.


This approach saves money and time. It also addresses insurance objectives for more prevention. MyCompass in Australia and Mobile Therapy from AATBS (Association for the Advanced Training  in Behavior Sciences) are already operating.


StartTalking in Lenexa has developed the web based practice.  Leon Probasco, Board Certified Diplomate in Psychiatric Social Work in Liberty, is currently developing the Mobile Recovery application for Kansas City. Our complex and highly stressful society now includes a convenient tool for emotional and mental health concerns.


Our phones may not always be our friends, but we depend on them more today than ever. What if they could connect you, like a friend, and help you plan and manage support in multiple areas as you deal with stress, relationships, addiction, depression or just ….life on the go?

Evolving Magazine

Kansas City

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Check out the 2017 Wellness Directory

Shirley Fessel is a freelance writer for the counseling and education 
 professions. Her workbook on religious abuse recovery will be released 
 this year. Visit her blog at



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