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Your Best Life | How this new app helps you become your own therapist

Mental health became a top priority during the pandemic, but getting help can be expensive and time consuming. Now, a new app is changing the way we do therapy.

TEMPLE, Texas — Bloom is touted as the #1 self-therapy app and the world's first digital therapist. The interactive video app uses cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, to help you become your own therapist.

"So we're empowering everyone to do therapy with themselves, by giving them the tools and strategy from cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT, to help them improve their mental health," said CEO and Co-Founder Leon Mueller.

Mueller launched the app in 2019 after experiencing his own battles with mental health. 

"It comes really from a personal sort of mission and sort of story, too, to basically help more people develop that positive mindset and live a healthier and happier life," he said.

After moving to New York City, Mueller couldn't find an affordable therapist. Instead, he found CBT online, then linked up with clinical psychologist Seth Gillihan and soon Bloom was born. Gillihan designed the content and said his goal as a therapist was for someone to no longer need him.

So what is CBT? Gillihan said it's the best-tested therapy for a range of conditions like anxiety and depression. It includes three main parts. 

"So the first is the cognitive part, that's just thinking more effectively. So our thoughts are working for us, not against us," Gillihan explained. "Second is the behavioral part that's aligning our actions with really well proven behavioral principles so that the things that we do are moving us toward our goals."

Gillihan said the third part is mindfulness which helps you become more open and present.

The app has dozens of video choices and journal prompts so users can easily personalize their own experience. Guides lead users through the 10 to 20-minute videos. Users can even journal right inside the app.

According to Mueller it's this "humanizing digital therapy experience" that makes Bloom so magical. 

"So many of our users report, it's been like immediately calming it's been like, life changing for them; it's been so helpful," Mueller said.

A year subscription is $60 dollars - with a free week trial - or those interested can pay month-to-month for $14.99. That’s much cheaper than the cost of a single in-person traditional therapy session. 

However, Mueller said Bloom isn’t designed to replace therapy and it’s more powerful for those with mild to moderate mental health problems. He said if you're experiencing a severe issue, please see a mental health professional.

"Part of what we know about CBT is that it's not only effective while a person is doing it, but when a person stops it continues to be effective,” Gillihan said. “We're really about giving people tools and skills they can take with them and continue to use wherever they need them as they come up in life.”

Bloom is available on IOS right now in the app store. It will be available for Android toward the end of the year.