Seeing a therapist or psychologist through a web or mobile technology
Less than a decade ago, it would’ve have felt weird to indulge your most intimate feelings over the internet to a stranger you’ve never met in real life. But technology has integrated itself into almost every aspect of our lives now. We have voice activated machines that cater to many of our needs, we have supercomputers in our pockets, and we’re now used to having meetings regularly over video and calls.
There’s a new culture of communication arising with tech, one that is instantaneous and omnipresent. We can talk to who we want when we want, wherever we are. We’ve grown to become comfortable with connecting with other humans virtually. And as a result, people are increasingly turning to online platforms to support their mental health. We have unimaginable access to mental health professionals through web and mobile technologies.
Even with an abundance of options, deciding what help is right for you can be difficult. We all have different needs and preferences.
Here are a few questions that might help:
Do you need a psychologist or a therapist? Understanding the difference between the two is an important step is choosing the right partner.
Would you rather be in-person or do it remotely? There are lots of platforms to do this online, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep it old school and get that physical human connection.
What style of therapy do you prefer? Different mental health providers trained under different schools of thoughts will bring their own flavor. Are you more for Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy or interested in a Freudian approach? It’s also fine to experiment as well. After all, this is a personal journey of exploration. Why not let your curiosity guide you?
What is the experience of the therapist or psychologist with people from your social demographic? We already know social determinants of health far outweigh clinical determinants, so you want to work with someone who has experience with people with similar environments and social situations as you. This will reduce the friction of the onboarding process as they’ll have a better frame to understand where you’re coming from.
What type of personalities do you get along best with? Tests like the Myers-Briggs and your personal life experience should help to give you a good sense of people who you get along best with. There’s no reason you should spend any energy during your sessions to learn to get along with your therapist. It makes more sense to do the research and legwork up front and talk to many different flavors of people to find the best fit.
Great technology on its own is not able to provide full care services to us. But startups run by compassionate teams in places like Silicon Valley are working hard every day to make personalized platforms that cater to individual preferences and life situations. There are some very smart people working day and night to make our lives a little bit better. Maybe someday artificial intelligence will get so good that we can speak to it in place of a human. For now, we still have to choose the right human partners to help guide us on our journeys.
Whether you’re more comfortable wearing the latest VR gadgets and being immersed in a fully digital experience, doing sessions remotely through an app, or just seeing a therapist in person, there are a growing number of websites, apps, and tools that help guide you to the right direction.
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