pacifica app review

Therapy without the cost


Samantha Gaddis

Junior Emma Macneill logs her mood for the day in the Pacifica app.

Out of all of the students ages 13 to 18 suffering from depression or anxiety, only three in 10 adolescents seek treatment.

There are many factors that play a role in a person’s inability to access treatment. Money, availability, parents– the list goes on. However, none of these obstacles matter if you just look down at the smart phone in your hand and see the wonderful possibilities technology has to offer. Not only is your smart phone full of games, but it is stocked with a plethora of useful apps for mental health, one of those being Pacifica.

Pacifica is a free app that is available on Android and IOS, and can even be accessed online. It is a professional app that aids in managing anxiety in a way that is molded to meet the needs of every individual.

The app helps users to create specific daily goals to help minimize issues with your disorder and increase productivity, which is especially helpful for depression. The app allows you to pick from a list of goals, or you can create your own. For example, if you have social anxiety, you can pick a goal under the ‘work and school’ tab. This tab has many options for you to do that involve facing and overcoming fears. This tab gives a variety of options, like encouraging students to speak up in class, or start a conversation with a classmate. After completing a goal, users can advance levels in that category.

It also allows you to log your health, which is very helpful with depression. There are a list of things you can choose from, such as hygiene, medication, exercise, sleep, etc. Furthermore, because depression is a prolonged mood of sadness, the app asks you what your mood is every day, allowing you to write notes or tag feelings and emotions along with it. In the upper left corner, there is a ‘your progress’ button. If you click on it, it will show you a line graph of your mood over a given period of time, so that you can track your progress with the app.

The most interesting feature on the app is called ‘thoughts’. This activity mimics techniques used in actual therapy, and is 100 percent free. Here’s how the activity ‘Thinking Traps’ works: you begin by describing negative thoughts that went through your mind at a specific moment. One example the app gives is: “even though I studied, I’m going to fail this test.”. Then, you highlight the negative parts of that statement. Following this, you categorize those thoughts based on their type. So, for the above thought, you would categorize it as negative filtering (seeing all negative and no positive), and fortune telling (predicting future events as if they were certain). Now that you’ve further analyzed your thoughts, the app asks you to change those negative statements into more positive ones.

This is an incredible feature because it helps the user to change their thinking patterns to be more positive over time. The only thing I wish were different in the program is the presence in-app purchases, since the purchases for full features are a bit expensive as a month-to-month payment. However, unlike other apps, they do offer quite a large amount of content free, making it less of an issue.

I have found that this app has caused drastic improvement in my life with depression, anxiety and OCD. Pacifica uses real-life therapy strategies to help you learn to cope with or even overcome your disorder. I highly recommend this app to anyone struggling with any disorder, or even just negative thinking. This app will help you transform your thoughts, and before you know it, you’ll be logging your mood as ‘good,’ day after day.

The Pathfinder gives the Pacifica App an 8/10.