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DBT Diary Cards: There’s An App For That

Changing problem behaviors requires that you understand and investigate what is happening when the behavior occurs.  When you discuss problems in therapy, it’s critical to know if you are sad when you have the urge to self-injure or feeling threatened when you take a drink.  Information about how you think and feel when you are most vulnerable is essential to the therapy process.

Most often behaviors such as self-destructiveness, aggression, substance use problems and other impulse behaviors happen at times of high stress and intense emotions.  And stress and emotion both have a significant impact on memory.  They interfere our ability to accurately remember events and skew what we do remember.

Diary cards, in DBT, are central to investigating and understanding problems that are being targeted in individual therapy.  They are completed during the course of the week–as emotions, events and problematic behaviors occur—with the intent of improving memory. If targeted behaviors have occurred, they are discussed in therapy.  If patterns emerge, they are investigated in therapy.

17 Comments to
DBT Diary Cards: There’s An App For That

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  1. Please consider expanding the app for those of us who have a Droid! I’ll be checking my EVO Marketplace for this app often.

    Great idea.

  2. Thanks for the feedback! I’ve had several requests for an Android version and I’m exploring the best way to do that. Developing apps for Android is pretty tough for a few reasons but if there’s enough demand, it’s definitely on my radar.

    You can also use the app on the iPod touch and iPad as long as they are updated to the latest iOS version. All iPads are compatible and any iPod touch from 2009 on are, too. You miss out on the telephony features (calling someone as a crisis survival strategy) but everything else works well.

    • My girlfriend has BPD and would like this app for Android as well. So I’m making it. I don’t mind collaborating with you on it as I planed on turning the code over to you anyway. I’m using Appcelerator Titanium 2 with Javascript to develop this in. which supports multiple platforms with one code base. Only a few tweeks to the gui need be done but the core code is the same. In other words both iPhone and Android would be able to be updated from the same code base and they just added support for Blackberry as well. Hit me up on my email and anyone liking this like me on fb as well 🙂

      • This is wonderful news! Do you have an idea as to when the android app would be available?
        Wishing you and your GF best of luck!

  3. Also checking marketplace for this app. This wld be an awesome tool to have. Right now using printout cards (no ipod/ipad). I’m hoping android issues are resolved so we droids can use this app too!

  4. Tell your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch toting friends to buy it so I can pay someone to port it over!

  5. I would love to use this app but I use an Android phone/tablet. Is it possible to create this app for the Android market as well?


  6. I truly hope you do develop the app for android. You’d be doing great service to all dbt devotees on droids. I hope go hear that its on its way – I’m already waiting in line to buy!!

  7. Another android user here, who would really love this app. Not only is your app not available for the android, but ~*none*~ is. Even if you’re only able to develop and release the diary module as a standalone, to minimize your developer expenditures, I would be very grateful and purchase it, with the hopes that the standalone generates enough interest and cash for a fully-fleshed out version. Please!

  8. do you think that the app will overcome the stigma issues associated with filling in the cards?

  9. I’m just checking in to see if there have been any developments in direction of dbt card for android…still hoping we get it!

  10. would love to see an android app would make all the difference in the world for consistent tracking.

  11. Just wondering about this Android version? Any news? TIA Cc

  12. Also, what’s everyone using on the ‘droid in the meantime? Cheers, c

  13. Thank you so much for this article and for considering the Android app. I have an Android phone as it is a Boost Mobile pay-as-you-go phone and I get unlimited everything for $45/ month. I certainly cannot afford a limited data plan or anything more expensive than what I am paying when I am living on SSDI as my only source of income. I have really wanted an app for my phone since I took the DBT class and graduated in July of 2012. I believe it would help me be more consistent in filling out my diary card and staying fresh with I have learned. DBT quite literally saved my life! I have been able to do things I never thought were possible, like take care of my Mom when she had cancer twice, and plan her funeral. I even made it through the holidays which is HUGE! THANKS!!! I have hopes and dreams now, which I had been too afraid to have for I don’t know how many years before! I just can’t thank you enough!!

  14. I just wish MORE people knew about DBT! I am finding so many people are hurting and mistrust others so badly because they keep getting hurt. They don’t realize they are in patterns of behavior and thinking that can benefit from this, and many clinicians don’t seem to know what it is either. I guess it depends on where you live and who you see, and how they were trained. I wisb there was a way to REALLY GET THE WORD OUT!! I had it suggested to me to go to this class at the age of 37, and at 38 I am STILL learning, even after the class is over, and I am learning to improve my life as I find new ways to apply what I have learned. If I could shout from a megaphone about how much better my life has improved and how blessed I truly feel now, compared to when I started in July of 2011, I would. I could not foresee that it would be this life-changing, not even as I graduated in July of 2012 and still had my doubts.

    People come up to me and they NOTICE the difference. I haven’t lost all the weight I have wanted to, but that was not my focus with all that has gone on, so THAT is not what they notice. It is the light from within, and the way I conduct myself, hold my head up, look people in the eyes with CONFIDENCE I never had before, and my new-found ability to take charge of a situation that needs doing, seemingly with ease. I do get some butterflies but I don’t get sick and have to stay home with nerves like before. I don’t crumble anymore. I am a stronger person than even I knew I was capable of, and I have been tested repeatedly! I have found I am human and can ask others for assistance, can say “no”, and don’t need to feel guilted into anything, and I don’t need to be perfect, and the past can stay there, and the future is what I make it. I have learned to stay in the moment and be FULLY PRESENT AND AWARE. I HAVE LEARNED TO FEEL FREE!!!

  15. Another android user! In a DBT program and LOTS of people, including the leader, want this for android!!! Please update if there is ANYTHING coming down the pike. I may use another app but WILL NOT use any Apple product. Thanks in advance. I am looking at alternatives now… DEFINETLY the Dbt911 to supplement any journal or diary I use. (may use the online app for now)

  16. I would love an Android version


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