The iPad plus Note Taker HD for Counseling

Posted by on Jan 25, 2011 in Featured Content, Technology

The transparency of the content and immediacy with which carbonless counseling session notes can be shared with the client have strong appeal. This approach to note taking is more recently explained in Judith Beck’s (1995) book on cognitive therapy. I was first introduced to this idea by Dawn McBride from the University of Lethbridge, AB, Canada and was so taken by what she shared that I came back to Japan, designed a set based on her model, and ordered them online from a supplier in the US for less than $100 dollars.

The supplier and I had some communication issues regarding shipping and handling charges and the order was delayed. This was just long enough for me to delve deep into Beck’s work with this format. As I read her book the tech side of me started to sort out an electronic version using the iPad. I canceled the paper order to give this new approach a try. Not only have I have saved the better part of a $100 dollars, but I have greatly streamlined my counseling session documentation process as a result.

The program is called Note Taker HD (YouTube About it) and unlike other note taking programs this one allows the user to annotate pdf templates, mail them as email attachments to both the client and (dated and timestamped) into a secure but searchable data storage system like Evernote. The image to the right (click for larger view) is an example of the edit view using Dawn’s template modified slightly for my site. There is also a check-list of topics to discuss during the next session at the bottom of the form that are not visible in the image here. I will undoubtedly modify it further with experience to make it my own but for now I am happy with how it works.

To make it neater and more professional, I bought an inexpensive stylus for the iPad. While it certainly wouldn’t make sense to buy an iPad for this purpose, if you already have one, for less than $10 you can buy this app and manage the “carbonless form” with the same immediacy and transparency along with automatic filing for the counselor. – AC

Adam Clark is a school counselor at Yokohama International School in Yokohama, Japan. Find out more at

Beck, J. S. (1995). Cognitive Therapy: Basics and Beyond. New York: The Guilford Press.