Story Dice

Story Dice: iOS iPhone/iPod/iPad ($1.99); Android (including Kindle Fire) ($1.99); Nook ($1.99)

In addition to things that make good reference or education tools for you and your clients, I’m also interested in the use of what some might consider “softer” apps in therapy. Story Dice is one of those apps – something that you might see in a family game night, or as something that you can play with your kids in the car. It certainly doesn’t smell of the “science” of therapy. But this app, and others like it, can be very helpful if used properly.  I think that this will turn out to be especially true of children – give most children the choice between a board game and the same task on an iPad, and I would wager that a majority would choose the iPad. (I think that this may have some positive impact on homework for adults, too, but that’s a different topic for a different day).

My students, my colleagues, and I are constantly searching for tools or games that I can use to help introduce children and adolescents to the realm of therapy. One of my favorites involved passing a ball around a group of children while the person holding the ball answers progressively harder questions, starting from “My favorite food is…” and moving on towards “I notice …. when I get angry,” or “I worry about…” I see an app like Story Dice being useful in a similar manner – starting with a basic storytelling exercise, or thinking of a song that has the picture in it, and moving up to something like a story about school, or about home, or anything else that might have been identified as a problem area.

Home screen

The app is pretty much what it sounds like – a set of virtual “dice” that have different pictures on them. One benefit of app over a set of “real” story dice that you might get is the library – over 100 pictures, according to the developer. All options are accessed via the small “i” at the top right of the screen. You can use between one and ten dice per roll; you could pick based on the amount of story that you might expect to get out of a child of a particular age. If you use this, I would attend to the “helpful tips” section. It has some good ideas for structuring an exercise using this tool. I’m partial to the “my perfect day” exercise that they describe, although not necessarily for the development of critical thinking skills. Hearing a story of a child’s “perfect day” could be enlightening. This and other apps would also be good for encouraging play between parent and child.

Some sample dice

This is a relatively simple app that doesn’t have any surprises. The only thing that I would like to see is the ability to choose a subset of pictures to use with a particular client. But that’s speaking as a clinician, not necessarily the target demographic for the app (although educators might like that as well)

There are no specific issues regarding data security for this app – it keeps no data.

Content – 4/5 – Would be better for my particular use if pictures were selectable from a library.

UI – 5/5 – Not much UI to speak of, but a very clean looking app.

Note – Review is of iPad version of this app.

** Disclaimer: While some of these apps may be helpful to you, NOTHING that I review is a replacement for therapy services from a qualified, licensed psychotherapist. If you are reading this because you or someone you care for needs it for mental health reasons, get them live help ASAP. Also, if you haven’t yet, read A Few Words on Security, which contains tips on keeping your and your client’s smartphone data safe from unwanted eyes.


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