New App Offers Anonymous Peer Counseling - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

New App Offers Anonymous Peer Counseling

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47 ABC - We've heard the quote "Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." A new smart-phone is proving just that, offering strangers the chance to lend an ear to one another when times are tough.

The app "Kindly" was launched last month. Without much marketing or promoting, the free app has already attracted well over a thousand users. By simply typing in a topic they'd like to discuss or talk to someone about, users are connected with others and can engage in one-on-one conversations.

Jordan Walker, CEO and co-founder of Kindly, tells 47 ABC the app is not meant to be treated as therapy. Instead, it's a form of peer-to-peer support.

He says, "My goal is to help people feel less isolated. Realize that you're going a hard time, there are people around the world also going through, probably a very similar thing as you and would love to lend you their ear."

Positive intentions aside, there are still lingering concerns that creators behind the app are working out.

Walker told us, "Our biggest potential problem is cyber-bullying as well as actually, enabling, because we have a ton of teenaged users."

The ability to talk freely without face-to-face interaction is one of the reasons why professional psychologists feel users, both teenagers and adults, contribute to the growing popularity of smart-phone apps like Kindly.

Dr. Kathryn Seifert, owner of Eastern Shore Psychological Services, explains "I think people are willing...if nobody knows who they are...to share really sensitive topics with other people, because this is a person that I won't have to face when I go to the grocery store, theatre, whatever."

Walker says there may adjustments made the app in the future, such as the addition of an advisory board of professional psychologists.

 

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