Stress & Anxiety Companion

This is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) app designed to help users manage anxious feelings and identify their triggers. The app has three main features; ‘Tools’, ‘Thoughts’, and ‘Cards’. The ‘Tools’ section has a number of activities aimed to reduce stress and anxiety levels; there are two relaxation audio tracks, one 15-minute Mindfulness exercise and one 10-minute Progressive Muscle Relaxation exercise, a visually aided breathing exercise, and brain games to help interrupt anxious or negative thinking. The core feature of the app is the ‘Reframe a Thought’ section. Here, users are encouraged to reframe negative thoughts by identifying their trigger, detailing the negative thought, and creating a new thought. The user describes the anxious thought and trigger, rates their anxiety on a scale of one to ten, and chooses a category for the thought; ‘black and white thinking’, ‘catastrophizing’, ‘low frustration tolerance’, ‘self condemnation’. The next step is to construct a new thought which is more realistic, compassionate and constructive, and falls into one of the following categories; ‘flexible thinking’, ‘anti-catastrophizing’, ‘high frustration tolerance’, and ‘self-acceptance’. Thoughts are saved in the ‘Thoughts’ section and can be revisited at any time. The third section is the ‘Create a Card’ section, where users can pair a thought summary with a suitable photograph, which can be shared with friends or saved. In addition to the three interactive sections of the app, there is a ‘Learn’ section which provides information on topics like anxiety, sleep, diet, exercise. Users can also tap an ‘Explain This’ button throughout the app for an explanation of terms used. The app is free and available on iOS.

Available for: iOS 6.0 or later (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch).
Company Name: Companion Apps
Classification (Type of Treatment):  Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Targeted conditions:  PTSD and other anxiety disorders
Target demographics: Adults
Special provider necessary: No
Languages Available in: English
Where to get it: iTunes


Expert ratings and reviews

PsyberGuide rating: The research and support basis of the product

Research base 0/3
Research support 0/2
Specificity of proposed intervention 3/3
Number of consumer ratings 1/3
Product advisory support 1/1
Software support 0/2

Total 5/14

date of rating:  June 2017

Explanation of the rating factors


MARS rating

Quality scores range from 1 to 5, where 5 is the maximum score

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Research on the product

While there is no research support for this app, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has good evidence as a psychological intervention for a wide range of mental health problems (e.g. Hoffman et al., 2012). Computerized CBT programs are effective for anxiety and depressive disorders; in a meta-analysis of 22 randomized control trials, computerized CBT showed improved outcome over control groups for major depression, social phobia, panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder (Andrews et al., 2010). The mean effect size superiority was 0.88 (NNT 2.13), and the benefit was evident across all four disorders. Improvement from computerized CBT was maintained for a median of 26 weeks follow-up.

• Hofmann, S., Asnaani, A., Vonk, I., Sawyer, A., Fang, A. (2012). The efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy: a review of meta-analyses. Cognitive Therapy Research, 36, 427–40.
• Andrews, G., Cuijpers, P., Craske, M. G., McEvoy, P., & Titov, N. (2010). Computer therapy for the anxiety and depressive disorders is effective, acceptable and practical health care: a meta-analysis. PloS one, 5(10), e13196.



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