You know how sometimes you can get a burst of energy, a dose of inspiration, and a renewed sense of hope and happiness from a good chat with someone when you're feeling kinda low?
It can truly change the course of your day, your week... maybe even your life.
Imagine having those mini pearls of wisdom and motivational speak on tap. On your phone. At any time.
This just released app - called 'Get Happy' - aims to lift you, advise you, reassure you, guide you. It does just that.
I interviewed the person behind this clever app, Dr Lisa Patterson-Kane on how 'Get Happy' evolved. Here she is:
My interview with Dr Patterson-Kane is below. But first, a little more about 'Get Happy'.
The newly launched app provides simple strategies to help increase happiness and wellbeing. It uses techniques based on the principles of 'Acceptance and Commitment Therapy', and provides personalised strategies relating to four major areas: happiness, relationships, personal growth, leisure and work education.
The app was developed by clinical psychologist, Dr Lisa Patterson-Kane. In her many years of experience, Dr Patterson-Kane noticed that most of her patients wanted one thing: to simply be happier. With technology now a major part of our everyday lives and a growing trend to seek outside help for psychological problems, the app represents a new wave of psychological help, also known as 'e-psychology'.
The app’s daily notification function (I swear, my daily dose gets delivered to my iPhone at the exact time I need it each day) acts as a ‘tap on the shoulder’, to remind users of simple and effective ways to achieve happiness and increase wellbeing.
Based on a simple self-rating system completed by the user during set up, the personalised strategies are then relevant to how they are feeling, and help them on their daily journey.
Dr Patterson-Kane acknowledges that while the app is no substitute for psychological therapy, it can act as a self-help tool - which is particularly useful for in remote areas, for example. Or, the app can be a wonderful companion to existing therapy, and for those who simply want to increase the amount of happiness in their life - who doesn't?
The pursuit of happiness is not a new concept, of course; it's a natural desire. As the world continually gets faster and expectations of ourselves and those around us get more complex, our personal happiness is eroding, and we seek what we don't have. It's just what we do.
Here's more on the whole concept with Dr Patterson-Kane:
Why did you design this app?
I found that I was increasingly using technology in my practice as a clinical psychologist and recognised an opening to develop something very specific to a common need that many of my patients had. The desire to be happier and to get more out of life was something that I was seeing more and more, so I looked into using technology to deliver simple messages to help people achieve this goal.
Who is it designed for?
Get Happy is suitable for everyone and anyone that may want to increase their personal happiness and discover practical ways to decrease stress in their life. It is not just something for people who are experiencing mental illness, it is for everyone.
Tell me more about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
Acceptance and commitment therapy or ACT (typically pronounced as a word, not as separate initials) is a form of clinical behavior analysis (CBA) used in psychotherapy, it is a form of therapy that I use regularly in my own clinical practice and get some great results from. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) gets its name from one of its core messages: accept what is out of your personal control, and commit to action that improves and enriches your life. The aim of ACT is to maximise human potential for a rich, full and meaningful life.
I know that sometimes I just need a burst of energy or positive advice to get me through the day – do you agree that sometimes this can alter the course of someone’s day, for the better?
Definitely, having a little nudge in the right direction can make a huge difference to how your day ends up. This is why the app has the daily tip function, whereupon a personalised strategy (based upon the self ratings you have provided) will come through on your phone everyday as a notification (see some examples below). It is like having a clinical psychologist tap you on the shoulder at the same time every day with a little bit advice that will help you get more out of your day and become a happier and healthier person as a whole.
You’ve called the app ‘Get Happy.’ Do you think we can really ‘get’ happy?
Happiness is not an entitlement; it is something that you have to work to create. I truly believe that every person has the capacity to get happy, if they work at it. What creates happiness for one person will be different for the next, but everyone has to put effort in and apply practical strategies to achieve what they want. If a person has gone through a personal tragedy or a trauma then they may need some professional assistance, but generally we can get happy if we work at it.
‘Get Happy’ is now available on the AppStore for a tiny 99 cents.