Digital App

 

Introducing the Digital App

If you are comfortable with using data technology then the app has much to offer.  It is very portable and suitable for younger peolpe, well versed in relating to images on a screen.

Originally developed for data tablets, the latest version also functions with PCs and laptops.  The app is a bright and colourful, simply designed and easy to use communication instrument. It is extremely flexible and can support dialogue about any kind of relationship issue.

When used on data tablets it is excellent for one-to-one conversations but working with groups and families a data tablet can, like a PC, be connected with a larger screen or projector so that everyone in the room can follow what is going on.  The progam requires only 2G ram to run

The People in my Life app can be downloaded and tested free for a trial period of 30 days.  If you decide to subscribe to it there is a modest annual subscription fee.

Elements of the App

Figures

Backgrounds

Symbols and labels

Thoughts and feelings screen

The Figures

There are a lot of figures to choose from in People in my Life, over 300.  This may seem excessive, but the variety is intended to represent a cross section of an urban population and the figures vary in age, gender, hair, colour, style and dress. There are also some cultural adaptations which will supplemented in later updates.

The figures are arranged in groups in the app: women, men, adolecsents, girls, boys, babies and some pets.  When a figure is chosen it can be given the name of the person it represents, but this is not necessary.  Names can be added or changed at any time.  All the figures can be selected multiple times and they can also be changed into grey-scale and back again to colour.

In version 2 of the app, all the figures can be flipped to show their front or back, and they can be turned horizontal or upside down.

The Backgrounds

There are several backgrounds for figure placements in the app. One altenative is blank, while six others have patterns to support different kinds of conversational focus. The patterend backgrounds are the Hexagons, the Social Network, the Coloured Circles, the 5 rows, the Scale and the Stage.

The Hexagon backgound has a single hexagon centre where the figure of the person setting out their relationship overview can be placed. It was designed to give a structure that would be easier for younger children to relate to. Each hexagon is rekoned to give place to one figure.  The outer ring of hexagons are hsaded lighter giving an indicator of distance to the centre. 

Using the Hexagon background.

The Network background is an adaptation of Bronfenbrenner's social network chart and can be used in a similar way.  Two major difference are that People in my Life figures bring colour and life to the 'chart' and that they can easily be moved to represent new and alternative perspectives.  Labels can be applied to the six segments of the background to define various social contexts.

Using the Network background

The Coloured Circles are similar to the network, but with 8 segments.  The segments can be labled to represent themes that figures can be placed to represent.  For example, each can represent a different emotion and figures can be placed to show how someone experienced a particular situation or relationship.  Segments can also represent alternatives in decision making and figures placed to indicate preferences.. 

Using the Coloured Circles

The 5 rows are intended to support setting out genograms or family maps with figures.  Each row can represent a generation of a family.

The Scale can be used for placing fugures to show the degree a person evaluates a particular theme or situation, and how they perceive other people's evaluations.

Using the Scale

The Stage is designed to support playing out the way a person has experienced a situation, who was present, what was said and done.  It can also be used to show a 'repaired' version of the situation after it has been talked about.

Using the Stage

See also the Thoughts and feelings screen

The Symbols and Labels

The symbols area cantains a variety of special figures and symbols that can be used in combination with the people figures.

The symbols area cantains a variety of special figures and symbols that can be used in combination with the figures.

The fantasy friends

These were developed to introduce a solution-focussed approach to working with children.  The figures represent different aspects of changes that when brought to the screen can function similarly to a miracle question.  The clown can be seen as bringer of happiness, the fairy can use magic, the fortune teller looks into the future and the robot protects with strength and power.  They can open for these kinds of questions: 

"Imagine that this clown has the ability to cheer peoplle up if they are down in the dumps.  I he came here, who do you think he would want to try and help?  What do you think he might do to make them happier?"

"Imagine that the fairy can change change things, as if by magic.  What do you the think she would want to do?".

"The fortune teller can look into the future.  What do you think she might see?  If she saw a bright future, what would it be like?  What would a difficult future be like? How do you think things turned out like that?"

"The Robot is very strong and likes to protect people and stop people doing bad things.  Who could he help and who would he stop?"

The trouble trolls
There a five of these trolls in different colours that can be used to represent externalised problems.  When they have one has been chosen it can be used in accordance with the Narrative approach developed by Michael White and David Epston; exploring the problem landscape, inquiring into alternatives to the dominant nattative, building alliances and developing strategies to regain control.

There are several other types of symbols that can function as markers in all kinds of ways.  Here are some: 

Weathers
The weather symbols can be added to show different moods.
Stars
The stars can indicate people who particulaly important or helpful.
Arrows
The arrows can indicate movements in relationships.
Circles
The circle can be placed under or beside figures og groups to indicate belonging or identity.
Houses
The houses can represent different homes or instiutions such as schools, shops, offices or clinics that are innvolved in peoples lives.
C
ars
Can represent means of transport

The Thoughts and Feelings Screen

When any figure is selected the thoughts and feeling screen invites reflection over how that person understands themselves in a particular situation or how they are understood by others.

This screen is about mentalizing - helping someone to better understand their own reactions or the state of someone else in a cetain context. 

An image of the person appears and beside them several bubbles.  One represents what the person was thinking about, one is for what is remebered that they said, one is foe what thet were feeling, emotionally and one for what their bodily sensations were at the time. Key word can be typed into the bubbles. There is also an area under the figure for writing keywords about the situation and what happened.

App Walkthrough version 1

This walkthrough tells how to access all the functions of the first version of the People in my Life app

Introduction

This walkthrough will guide you through the practical aspects of using the first version of the People in my Life app where the girl in icon is wearing green. The PDF version can be downloaded here.

Starting Up

Tap the Book icon to go to the walkthrough in the app.

Initial Session

Start by writing in a family name and tap the OK icon  Use a different name for each family.

Follow-up Sessions

Tap the magnifying glass icon to go to the archive screen.

Here you will find previously saved files. Tap name to select a saved family file.

Use the search window if there are many files. A family file is deleted completely by tapping X. When a new family file has been opened, a new screen appears. Write the name of the first person who will be using the app in the window and tap OK.

You are ready to select a background and begin selecting and placing figures

Backgrounds

Choose the background you want to start with by double tapping it

When you want to change the background, tap the Change icon on the top bar.

The selection screen appears again and you double tap the icon for background you prefer. Backgrounds can be changed at any time during a session.

Figures

Selecting figures

Tap the Figure icon on the top bar to add figures. A screen with a selection of different figures will appear. If one of these is suitable, double tap to select it.

For a larger selection of figures, tap an icon on the top bar for men women, youths, children, babies. There is also an icon for pets.

When a figure has been chosen it appears in a new screen. Write in a name for the figure and tap OK. Figures can be changed to grey scale by tapping the Grey icon on the lower right corner.

When you have selected and named a figure you will return to the main screen. The chosen figure will appear under the bar at the top left of the screen. Touch and move the figure to place the figure on the background. The name of a selected figure is shown at the bottom left of the screen. Tap the Figure icon on the top bar to add more figures. Figures. labels and objects can be touched and moved at any time.

Displaying Names

Tap the name Label icon to display or to hide all the names of the figures

Fantasy Figures

Tap the Robot icon to add fantasy figures


A selection screen shows Fantasy Friends. These can be used for solution-focused conversations with children. Tap to select. The Troll icon on the top bar leads to the Trouble Trolls.

These are in different colours and sizes and can be used to represent externalized problems Tap to select.

Symbols and Labels

Tap the Star icon on the top bar to add symbols.


There is a selection of symbols that can be added to the background. Tap the Sun icon for a selection of symbols based on the weather.

Writtten Labels

Tap the abc icon to add a written label to the background.

Touch and move the label to place it on the screen.

Editing

Changing and removing figures and objects. To change or remove a figure, label or object, tap to select and then double tap or tap the Edit icon on the top bar.

A pop up window will appear with 3 functions

Tap the Pencil icon to change the name. Tap the Grey figure icon to change between grey scale and colour. Tap the X to remove the figure or object. Confirm or cancel the change

Lining up Figures

Tap the name Line-up icon to display line up all the icons at the top of the screen ready to be re-arranged

Copy and Keep

The positions of the figures on the background are continually being saved. To keep a particular position for future reference, a copy of the screen can be made.  You can then continue using the app with the person or family. This is particularly useful when changing between one family member and another. Tap the Keep icon on the top bar

Tap to highlight the screen want to keep.

Tap the Copy icon to make copy.

Give the copy a name then tap to continue. The original version will be kept and changes will be made to the new version.

In this window the Edit icon can be used to rename.

and the X to delete. Swapping between family members. When using the app with several family members, the figure placements on the screen can be cleared while still keeping all the figures on the background.

Keeping Selected Figures

If you want to continue to use the selected figures, begin by carrying out Copy and keep, (above) writing in the new persons name
When you return to the main screen tap the Line-up icon


All the figures will be lined up across the top of the background


Figures can now be placed from the new persons perspective
New figures can be added and unwanted figures can be deleted

Clearing Selected Figures

To begin with a clear background without selected figures, enter the Keep screen, tap the Add icon


Write in a name for the new person
Tap to continue and choose new figures

The next family member can now select and place figures as they see fit

The Mentalizing Screen

This function aims to assist family members to talk about how they have understood each other in problematic situations. Our web site contains ideas about this way of working. To enter the Mentalizing screen tap to select one of the figures, then tap the Talk-bubble icon

The figure appears on the left. To the right are 4 bubbles. The top bubble is about thoughts. The next bubble is about speech. The third bubble is about feelings. The lowest bubble is about bodily sensations. The area at the bottom is for writing key words about the situation and actions.

Key words can be written in all the bubbles. Touch the back arrow to return to the main screen. NB. The key words on the mentalizing screen are not saved. and cannot be kept for later use.

Ending a Session

To end a session simply tap the People in my Life icon on the left of the top bar. The last screen is automatically saved. All other screens in Copy and keep are also saved and available. The mentalizing screen is not saved.

In secure mode, you will be asked whether you will keep or delete data from the session.

A family file can be re-opened by writing in the name for the family in the first window
or by tapping the archive icon selecting the name from the archive screen.

Deleting a Family Session File

In the Archive screen, family files can be deleted by tapping X.

Once the delete is confirmed the data cannot be retrieved again.

App Walkthrough v2

This walkthrough tells how to access all the functions of version 2 of the People in my Life app, where the girl in the icon is wearing red. Is due for release in November 2019.

Introduction

This walkthrough will guide you through the practical aspects of using version 2 of the People in my Life app.  The girl in the icon is wearing red.

Starting Up

Tap the Book icon to go to the walkthrough in the app.

Initial Session

Start by writing in a family name and tap the OK icon  Use a different name for each family.

Follow-up Sessions

Tap the magnifying glass icon to go to the archive screen.

Here you will find previously saved files. Tap name to select a saved family file.

Use the search window if there are many files. A family file is deleted completely by tapping X. When a new family file has been opened, a new screen appears. Write the name of the first person who will be using the app in the window and tap OK.

You are ready to select a background and begin selecting and placing figures.

Backgrounds

Choose the background you want to start with by double tapping it.

When you want to change the background, tap the Change icon on the top bar.

The selection screen appears again and you double tap the icon for background you prefer. Backgrounds can be changed at any time during a session.

Figures

Selecting figures.

Tap the Figure icon on the top bar to add figures. A screen with a selection of different figures will appear. If one of these is suitable, double tap to select it.

For a larger selection of figures, tap an icon on the top bar for men women, youths, children, babies. There is also an icon for pets.


When a figure has been chosen it appears in a new screen. Write in a name for the figure and tap OK. Figures can be changed to grey scale by tapping the Grey icon on the lower right corner.

When you have selected and named a figure you will return to the main screen. The chosen figure will appear under the bar at the top left of the screen. Touch and move the figure to place the figure on the background. The name of a selected figure is shown at the bottom left of the screen. Tap the Figure icon on the top bar to add more figures. Figures. labels and objects can be touched and moved at any time.

Displaying Names

Tap the name Label icon to display or to hide all the names of the figures.

Fantasy Figures

Tap the Robot icon to add fantasy figures.

A selection screen shows Fantasy Friends. These can be used for solution-focused conversations with children. Tap to select. The Troll icon on the top bar leads to the Trouble Trolls.

These are in different colours and sizes and can be used to represent externalized problems Tap to select.

Symbols and Labels

Tap the Star icon on the top bar to add symbols.


There is a selection of symbols that can be added to the background. Tap the Sun icon for a selection of symbols based on the weather.

Writtten Labels

Tap the abc icon to add a written label to the background.

Touch and move the label to place it on the screen.

Editing

Changing and removing figures and objects. To change or remove a figure, label or object, tap to select and then double tap or tap the Edit icon on the top bar.

A pop up window will appear with 3 functions

Tap the Pencil icon to change the name. Tap the Grey figure icon to change between grey scale and colour. Tap the X to remove the figure or object. Confirm or cancel the change.

Lining up Figures

Tap the name Line-up icon to display line up all the icons at the top of the screen ready to be re-arranged

Copy and Keep

The positions of the figures on the background are continually being saved. To keep a particular position for future reference, a copy of the screen can be made. You can then continue using the app with the person or family. This is particularly useful when changing between one family member and another. Tap the Keep icon on the top bar.

Tap to highlight the screen want to keep

Tap the Copy icon to make copy

Give the copy a name then tap to continue. The original version will be kept and changes will be made to the new version.

In this window the Edit icon can be used to rename.

and the X to delete. Swapping between family members. When using the app with several family members, the figure placements on the screen can be cleared while still keeping all the figures on the background.

Keeping Selected Figures

If you want to continue to use the selected figures, begin by carrying out Copy and keep, (above) writing in the new persons name. When you return to the main screen tap the Line-up icon.

All the figures will be lined up across the top of the background.

Figures can now be placed from the new persons perspective. New figures can be added and unwanted figures can be deleted.

Clearing Selected Figures

To begin with a clear background without selected figures, enter the Keep screen, tap the Add icon.

Write in a name for the new person. Tap to continue and choose new figures.

The next family member can now select and place figures as they see fit.

The Mentalizing Screen

This function aims to assist family members to talk about how they have understood each other in problematic situations. Our web site contains ideas about this way of working. To enter the Mentalizing screen tap to select one of the figures,
then tap the Talk-bubble icon.


The figure appears on the left. To the right are 4 bubbles. The top bubble is about thoughts. The next bubble is about speech. The third bubble is about feelings. The lowest bubble is about bodily sensations. The area at the bottom is for writing key words about the situation and actions.

Key words can be written in all the bubbles. Touch the back arrow to return to the main screen. NB. The key words on the mentalizing screen are not saved and cannot be kept for later use.

Ending a Session

To end a session simply tap the People in my Life icon on the left of the top bar
The last screen is automatically saved. All other screens in Copy and keep are also saved and available. The mentalizing screen is not saved.

In secure mode, you will be asked whether you will keep or delete data from the session.

A family file can be re-opened by writing in the name for the family in the first window
or by tapping the archive icon selecting the name from the archive screen.

Deleting a Family Session File

In the Archive screen, family files can be deleted by tapping X.

Once the delete is confirmed the data cannot be retrieved again.

Data Security

The People in my Life app has very little written personal data, but the little there is is securely protected.  All data is encrypted and stored within the program, which is stand-alone and has no connection with the internet.

This app has been built to achieve a high level of data security. This is achieved in several ways. The data in the program is encrypted. The program is stand alone and not exchange information or data with any other programs, so all data remains encrypted within your device. The program does not connect to the internet. As this is primarily a visual app there are no texts about the people using it.

To ensure anonymity, the identifying name at the start of the session can be a code instead of a family name. At the end of a session, the program will ask whether to save or delete the current data. Saved data is encrypted and is stored as the identifying name choseen at the start.

Password mode
For enhanced data security the app has a password mode that is recommended for counsellors and therapists in health and social services, child protection, education and similar settings.
In password mode you first register a password which will be required each time the app is used.  When the app is idle for 15 minutes, the password is agaain required to continue use.
When ending a session, the data is automatically deleted unless you choose to store it for later use.  Deleted data cannot be restored.

When data has been deleted it cannot be retrived. If the password is forgotten the app must be re-installed and all previously saved data will be lost.

Ordering the Digital App

Available from October 2019

The digital app Download from Microsoft Store, Google Play Store and App Store.

There will be a 30 day trial period and then a yearly subscription fee.

Connecting to a second screen

If you will be using a data tablet and working with a family or group it is very convenient to connect to an external screen, TV or projector so that everyone can follow what is going on.

Connecting a data tablet
How you connect a tablet to an external screen depends on the type of data tablet you are using.  Where are two basic ways, by plugging in a cable or by screen-casting.

Plugging in

iPad
This requires connecting a VGA or HDMI cable to a proprietary adapter, available from any Apple outlet
Androids
Androids with  a micro-HDMI can easily be connected to HDMI via a micro-adapter
If the android has an MDH capability the micro-USB can be connected to a HDMI cable via and adapter.

Screen casting

iPad
The screen can easily be cast via Blutooth to a smart TV or an Apple TV box via Air-play
Androids

These usually require a WiFi connection and a screen casting app to connect to a Smart TV, a Chromecast, an Apple TV box.