Upfront

PsycEssentialsNeed a quick answer to a question about an assessment measure? Want to know more about a state’s reporting laws? The answers are now at your fingertips with APA’s newest app, PsycEssentials.

Compatible with iPhone, iPad and Android devices, PsycEssentials provides psychologists and other mental health practitioners with easy access to information about key assessment tools — including risk assessments — state-by-state legal requirements for reporting issues such as child or elder abuse, psychotropic drugs and much more. The mobile app contains user-friendly outlines and tables. Best of all, it links directly to a wealth of carefully vetted websites on instruments, screening measures, state and federal regulatory agencies, and more.

APA released PsycEssentials as a spiral-bound “pocket” book, an e-book and the mobile app. Its creator, clinical psychologist Janet Sonne, PhD, was inspired by similar resources available to her physician husband. “He has medical apps that allow him to look up important information in an instant,” she says. “It occurred to me that psychology didn’t have anything like that.”

PsycEssentials’s topics are organized in the order a clinician might expect to encounter them when working with a client, starting with the initial clinical assessment interview and standardized screening measures, and ending with evidence-based interventions, psychopharmacotherapies and termination. Throughout, the app seeks to address mental health professionals’ common and specific questions, such as “What is my legal responsibility when dealing with a patient who presents a danger to others?” and “What clinical assessment measure can I use with a child who may have ADHD?”

The key to making PsycEssentials useful to clinicians is to keep it up-to-date, says Mary Lynn Skutley, of APA Books. APA will regularly update the app and e-book, particularly for information subject to change such as Web links and state reporting laws. There’s also a button on the app that links to an email address aimed at collecting feedback and suggestions from users.

The book costs $34.95 for APA members and $39.95 for non-members. The mobile app costs $39.99 through Apple and Android stores. Check iTunes and the Android Market for details.

—B. Azar