‘Think ladder’, is an app launched on New Zealand Mental Health Day, devised and developed by husband and wife team Katie and Mark Gatt. It aims to help users discover and replace the unhelpful thoughts fuelled by stress, anxiety, conflict and depression, through cognitive behaviour therapy. The wooden ladder used in their social media photos are a symbol of hope: "Hope that no matter how deep a pit you may be in, rung by rung you can climb to greater heights, you can experience a greater self-awareness and develop a healthier wellbeing,” said Mark.
What inspired you to start Think Ladder?
As a counsellor Katie was aware of the many amazing insights and effective therapies that were available, but also frustrated that few people were benefiting from this knowledge.
In our early twenties, we attended a training course that introduced us to the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and I started dreaming up ways I could one day help to make this kind of material mainstream. I got involved in youth work and did my counselling degree, but in the end it was Mark who came up with the idea of how we could do this. At the time he was a youth worker, also frustrated with the lack of accessible self-development tools, and one day he came home and said, “Do you think we could somehow automate parts of CBT?”
What is the driving force behind the app and what do you want to achieve with it?
The demand for mental health services is increasing and despite the therapeutic wisdom out there, sometimes the demand cannot be met owing to barriers of cost, transport, time, accessibility and stigma. We want to make getting help as accessible as possible.
We believe that no matter the pit we find ourselves in with the right support and understanding we can climb to greater heights of wholeness and wellbeing. The app provides tools that enable people to grow in self-awareness and step out of autopilot and take control of their lives. When people’s subconscious belief systems are no longer at odds with their goals and values they can get on with living the lives they want.
Is Think Ladder relatable for everyone?
It’s a tool for everyone not just people with a diagnosed ‘mental illness’ that need to be developing their mental strength. We all have to navigate our way through the emotional challenges of relationships, work, family, finances and life-purpose, and all of these demands require a range of skills. This means that we can always be learning from each other and up-skilling and growing in self-awareness.
Think Ladder app available for both Android and Apple, $5.