What psychologists can learn from the most popular online apps
New York-based psychologist Chai Srivastava’s website and app have a lot of potential, but she says the best advice she’s heard comes from the experts themselves.
Here’s what she’s learned from the pros.
It’s important to ask the right questions before starting.
It takes time to learn and apply the right skills, but there are some simple steps to follow when learning about a new service.
Ask the right question.
When you’re first introduced to a new online psychologist, don’t assume it’s for you.
You should ask questions like, “Do you have a professional interest in a particular problem, and what do you see as the most important parts of the problem to address?” and, “Are you willing to invest time, resources, and effort to solve your problem?”
The questions are there to make sure you understand what the services are about and what they’re trying to accomplish.
“When you do that, you’re already making an informed decision about what the service is for you,” Srivathava said.
Don’t try to guess.
When it comes to online psychology, it’s important not to try to predict the future.
Rather, ask questions to find out the answers.
“A lot of online psychologists have an overly high bar for answering questions and so they just assume people know what they want to know,” she said.
Get the best possible reviews.
There are two main types of reviews.
“If they’re a positive, they’ll give you a recommendation and that’s good,” Sravathava added.
“But if they’re not, they’re going to make you feel bad.”
That can happen when a review is too positive, which can lead to an “unsatisfactory experience” that can discourage people from seeking out more information.
“It can also be a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Srivan said.
“I had one person say that after trying the app, I should never ever use it again.
If it’s so good, why can’t I just find out?”
Get feedback from experts.
You can find the most helpful feedback online.
When a psychologist is a good fit for you, she’s usually the first person you contact when you have questions.
And even though the app has some limitations, Srivartav’s tips are worth taking into consideration.
“You can’t ask them to do it, you can’t go in, but you can say, ‘Can I have a chat with you?'”
Srivashava said of the advice she has received from her own research.
“And you’ll find people will go in.”
She added that she often asks her students if they’d like to share their experiences on her site.
Be sure to check out the experts’ ratings.
“Some of the experts are very positive, some of them are very negative,” Sivarthava said, adding that she sometimes hears from psychologists who are very critical of their ratings.
She also has experienced people telling her that they’ve used the app because they don’t want to hear about other people’s problems.
“Sometimes, it feels like they have a negative experience because of it,” she added.
Use the right tool for the job.
It doesn’t have to be a high-end psychological service.
You might be able to use an app that provides free testing, or you might need a specific type of online service.
“Just use a tool that you know is useful, or is accessible to a certain type of person,” Sviarthava added of her favorite tools for online psychological services.
If you’re not sure which tool is right for you and want to get started, Srivastava recommends looking for a rating from one of her professional peers.
Find a local psychologist.
If the best online psychologists are in your area, you might be better off finding one that has a local office.
“There are a lot more people who are out there, they just don’t get the recognition that they deserve,” Svevartav said.
And in a few states, psychologists are able to work remotely from their homes.
“Most psychologists in America are not licensed psychologists, so they can work from anywhere in the country,” she noted.
“They’re not licensed by the state, so it’s up to the individual to get a license.”
Consider a career change.
“This is the one that’s going to keep your job and your income, if not your life,” Svidarthava explained.
“That’s what a career is.
A career in psychology is not a lifestyle choice, it is a way of life.
It makes you feel like you’re helping people.
So, the best way to find that job and income is to stay.”
“Being prepared is everything,” Svsiva said.