Ap Review: Amaru

As you probably already know, I test run all the aps that I review on this blog. I still love the feedback I get from others who try them out, though, because a lot of them are created for issues that I do not personally experience. For example, I’m glad people found my review of Curable helpful, even though I do not personally experience chronic pain.

The ap I have to share with you today is one I have been using because I have personally found it helpful. It is called Amaru, and it features a virtual flying cat pet who teaches you about self-care. What could possibly be more adorable than that?

Welcome to Amaru home screen

There is a paid version that unlocks more features, and to be honest, I am seriously considering revising my “I don’t pay for aps” policy and upgrading. So far, though, I have stuck with the free version so that I can keep my commitment to only recommending aps that my readers can use for free.

Information page

When you first create the game, you find your kitten friend scared and alone. You have to figure out how to befriend them, and the game gives you feedback. For example, I tried comforting mine with pets, and it said that they did not want to be touched right now.

Eventually, I figured out that we needed to do a breathing activity together. That allowed us to bond, and I could pet and feed them.

Anxious baby

With the free version, there are limited meditations that you can complete, including mindfulness, deep breathing, and visualization tasks. I assume the paid version unlocks more options. You can play a memory game where you remember a pattern of colors and sounds, or you can do a focus activity where you “whack” away bad critters but keep good critters.

I personally really enjoy the whack-a-mole type game and think of it as an analogy for identifying and letting go of negative thoughts that do not serve me.

Free options

The game rewards self-care by giving you gems, unlocking new items, and increasing your bond with your pet. You get rewards for things like practicing mindfulness and keeping a consistent sleep schedule. Essentially, the ap reinforces things that are healthy long-term but do not provide an immediate dopamine boost.

Amaru is adorable, fun, and a great way for people of all ages to learn more about self-care.

Published by Dr Marschall

Dr. Amy Marschall received her Psy.D. from the University of Hartford in September 2015. Her clinical interests are varied and include child and adolescent therapy, TF-CBT, rural psychology, telemental health, sexual and domestic violence, psychological assessment, and mental illness prevention. Dr. Marschall presently works in the Child and Adolescent Therapy Clinic at Sioux Falls Psychological Services in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she provides individual and family therapy and psychological assessment to children, adolescents, and college students. She also facilitates an art therapy group for adolescents and college students with anxiety and depression. Dr. Amy Marschall is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Telemental Health.

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