Source: John Wall, CC
You're going to speak on Zoom or Skype in a professional context: for example, with a client, colleague(s), or in a media interview. Here's how to make the most of it.
Dress right. Dress as to be credible, but don't overdress. Even public officials are dressing down amid corona if only to make themselves seem more like one of "The Community." It sounds obvious, but comb your hair—If you look disheveled, some people might presume your thinking and life are also disheveled.
Back right.Choose a clean, ideally professional-looking background. Remove clutter from the frame.
Frame right. Zoom your webcam or position your chair so it's a head-and-shoulders shot.
Light right. Be sure there are no shadows on you—If needed, close or open window coverings and/or turn up or down artificial light.
Create two or three talking points. If it's a talk rather than, for example, a therapy session, you'll be lucky if people remember just one point, especially these days, when everyone, with or without a microphone, is eager to share their thinking.
For each talking point, think of an anecdote, statistic, or memorable statement, perhaps a surprising one or an apt metaphor. For example, if I were giving a talk on how to give a talk, and I was making the point about the need to be moderate, I might say, "You don't want to be like Howard Dean, who when he won the Iowa caucus let out a sustained whoop, which the media ridiculed, and his campaign went down from there."
You've been given the gift of people's time, so don't say the obvious: for example, urging social distancing or handwashing. Talk about what's new and important. Excise everything else, including about your background. Too many talks and mere utterances are prefaced by a self-aggrandizing autobiographical sentence or six. Yes, doing that adds credibility, but it also makes you seem self-absorbed and willing to take up people's time with your not-so-hidden bragging.
Present both facts and feelings. If you give just facts, you won't establish the connection needed to make people change their attitude or behavior. But if you talk just feelings, you risk sounding like an out-of-control lightweight.
Don't script.Do not script your talk or answers to possible questions. At best, your answers will come off stilted. Worse, it's too likely that amid the stress, you'll get thrown off, especially if s/he doesn't ask that precise question. Just keep your list of talking points in front of you and ad-lib. It's better to have lots of umms, ahs, and hesitations than a scripted delivery.
Make eye contact. Look straight into the attendees' or interviewer's eyes, so much so that you notice their color. If you're just talking into a webcam, focus your eyes right above the lens and pretend that spot is your friend.
Be moderate in tone. If you seem too concerned or intense, you just worry people. On the other hand, if you come off too light-hearted, you seem insensitive. Keep your volume, pitch, and body language moderate. We claim to celebrate diversity, but, in reality, we're quite judgmental about people who deviate from the moderate.
Sober times require a sober demeanor.This is a corollary of the previous tip. Today, I was watching someone on TV, and it seemed clear that she had received standard media coaching: that audiences like smilers. But not in the time of corona—Being more than moderately pleasant makes you seem like a phony or that you're ecstatic to finally get on TV. Similarly, beware of telling jokes. Joke-telling is hard. Your attempt at humor risks falling flat, and the bar for what's funny is higher amid the coronavirus. Yes, a passing bon mot is OK, but beware of doing more than that.
Keep each utterance between 15 and 45 seconds.A media interview is a conversation, not a lecture. Also, leaving many spaces for the interviewer will make him or her like you more and want to keep talking with you or have you back. Even if you're giving a talk in, say, a counseling session or staff meeting, it's usually wise to talk for just a minute or two and then pause for or ask for a question or comment. Give people a few seconds to think before you assume that no one wants to say anything. People need time to think and to formulate what they want to say or ask.
Whether at a meeting, a therapy session, or in public, speaking can be fraught, especially on video, and even more so amid the coronavirus crisis. The advice here should help.
I read this aloud on YouTube.
Idealism and Cynicism: Psychology Today by Extreme Animals Reviewed by Maxwell Paparella
Image still from Extreme Animals, Psychology Today, Courtesy of Random Man.
In the first minute of Extreme Animals’s latest music video collection, Psychology Today (), the dim light of Plato’s Cave gives way to a finished basement and the glow of a cathode ray tube. A gaggle of children pass the waning hours of a slumber party at the altar of a home entertainment system, their eyes glazing over. The image of an iPhone appears on the screen, and on it is displayed the YouTube mobile player with autoplay engaged and view counts suspiciously low.
Through this tripled frame, viewers are propelled into a world of reactive antipodes. In Psychology Today, empathy and identification find a place next to schadenfreude. Plaintive wails mix with clarion calls, chirping electronics with heavy metal guitars. The abject and the inspirational are everywhere entwined. Found footage combines with stock images and animated gifs as well as artist-made drawings and Flash animations. Slow-motion video is subjected to stroboscopic cuts, building to purgative crescendos.
Jacob Ciocci and David Wightman have been performing together as Extreme Animals since , and before that in a string of adolescent punk bands. Production on Psychology Today began in , with Wightman, as usual, mostly responsible for the music and Ciocci for the visuals. Despite this division of labor, the duo employs a joint decision-making process, subjecting everything to the logic of the jam. Brief flashes of performance documentation appear, a taste of their live show, which of course has not been possible for more than a year. These tracks were refined in the course of touring, hung up and taken down again, and eventually dubbed to limited-edition VHS and DVD in the order of the live set. (The videos should be available to stream online sometime this summer.)
Image still from Extreme Animals, Psychology Today, Courtesy of Random Man.
While previous Extreme Animals musical works have sampled the likes of Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry, the most recognizable tune on Psychology Today is Johann Pachelbel’s Canon. The rest of the soundtrack is still largely based around existing pop materials, no doubt, but remixed beyond recognition. While on-screen text remains a key element, vocals are mostly absent. As the source materials have become almost exclusively digital, artifacts of magnetic tape have been replaced by those of web video. Extreme Animals allows its attention to linger on cultural moments and technologies of the recent past. Likewise, it is attuned to the expressions that cohere around new media before the conventions are formalized.
A cast of familiar characters is summoned for Psychology Today: Peter Pan, Eeyore, Shrek, and the Joker are prominently featured, sometimes in amalgamated forms. Their visages and others appear on a set of finger-puppet-cum-pinballs, a reference to “The Family Finger Song,” an astonishingly popular and terrifyingly upbeat standard of YouTube Kids. In search of the contemporary vernacular web, Extreme Animals finds it in children. Ciocci and Wightman’s particular interest is suburban youth, which they themselves once were, isolated by geography and infrastructure, coming together in the margins for amateur stage productions, school projects, and bands that never leave the garage. Their appropriations represent a second life for single-use video, as well as new applications for the ubiquitous. The collection’s title track includes a clip of two boys in the bath, having painted each other entirely in marker and denying it to the end. That old viral favorite is joined by other entries from the open genre of the glorious mess.
Image still from Extreme Animals, Psychology Today, Courtesy of Random Man.
Throughout the Extreme Animals corpus, there is a revolving trade-off between idealism and cynicism, determination and surrender. In one track, motivational motion graphics promise “I WILL TURN IT ALL AROUND.” Meanwhile, a beheaded snake manages to bite its own writhing tail, creating a sort of interrupted ouroboros. This is us, these videos seem to say, responding on instinct to a desperate situation. In our world, the self is the object of others, addled by affect, conditioned by pep talks, pop hooks, and promotional messages. A desire to believe the hype turns in the gut with an awareness that what is sold is always less than what was promised. Still, the final note is one of liberation, however tenuous.
Extreme Animals: Psychology Today is available from Random Man.
Psychology Today originated as a magazine in According to Wikipedia, "the magazine focuses on behavior and covers a range of topics including psychology, neuroscience, relationships, sexuality, parenting, health (including from the perspectives of alternative medicine), work, and the psychological aspects of current affairs." It is still published every two months – it is circulated to over , people, and a subscription costs $ for 18 issues.
In addition to its magazine, Psychology Today has also established itself as a central Internet destination for mental health. On the Internet, Psychology Today is well known for its online therapist directory. The directory is a valuable resource used by thousands of individuals to find a therapist.
A common question SoftwarePundit receives from therapists is: Is a Psychology Today profile worth it?
To get an answer, a group of therapists were surveyed. The key takeaway was that 88% of respondents indicated that a Psychology Today profile is worth the investment.
Read below for a full synthesis of the results.
What is Psychology Today?
Psychology Today is a mental health magazine owned by Sussex Publishers that is published in the United States every two months. Psychology Today was founded in , and had a circulation of over 1 million copies throughout the s and s. It is still one of the top 10 magazines ranked by newsstand sales. Psychology Today's readership increased by over 30% in
In more recent years, Psychology Today has invested in creating a meaningful Internet presence. Its website includes one of the largest online directories of therapists and features blog articles from leading minds in mental health.
How Much Does It Cost To Be On Psychology Today?
Psychology Today has an online directory that is used by mental health providers to advertise their practices. Having your own listing in the directory costs a flat fee of $ per month. Here's an example of a Psychology Today listing:
If you're interested, you can create a profile on Psychology Today.
Why Create a Psychology Today Profile?
Psychology Today promoted two primary reasons that mental health providers should join:
- Get new clients
- Build credibility
We'll explore if the investment is worth it below, but generally, SoftwarePundit does agree that a subscription with Psychology Today will help your practice establish its brand and acquire new clients. In addition, the provider subscription includes a subscription to the magazine and access to an exclusive forum of therapists.
Psychology Today also advertises its directory as an alternative to building your own website. Having a detailed profile on the Psychology Today directory will undoubtedly help build your online presence – however, we strongly believe that you should not rely on this profile as your primary practice website.
Fortunately, creating a well-designed mental health practice website is becoming more and more simple and cheap. SoftwarePundit recommends using a tool like SquareSpace or Wix to create a high quality website for a reasonable price.
Is a Psychology Today Profile Worth It?
A group of therapists (n=20) were asked if Psychology Today is worth it. Here are the results:
- 88% of therapists said that Psychology today is worth the investment. The other 12% said "it depends." None of the respondents said that Psychology today was not worthwhile.
- 50% of respondents who chose to provide details shared that they get more than 50% of their referrals from Psychology Today.
- 15% of respondents who provided information said performance varies month to month.
- One respondent who responded "it depends" shared that it's important to think about the location of your practice. Her practice is in a particularly saturated area and she did not get new business through Psychology Today.
- One respondent indicated that it's important to test different approaches to writing your profile.
- Other recommendations include being clear about your services and whether or not you accept insurance, as well as giving Psychology Today a few months to begin building traction.
How Do I Write A Good Psychology Today Profile?
The most certain way to create a high-performing Psychology Today profile is to experiment with and optimize your listing over time. With that said, there are some best practices that you should keep in mind when getting started:
- Be sure to complete as much information as possible. Prospective patients will use the search filters to narrow down results – so you want to be sure that your location, insurance, issues, and other information is complete.
- Give the patient as many ways to contact you as possible. Different people have different preferred modes of communication. For example, some profiles on Psychology Today do not include email addresses, so they might miss out on new appointments with clients who prefer to communicate over email.
- Have a professional, clear photo. There aren't many ways to differentiate yourself in the Psych Today profile. The image is one way you can bring your page to life and allow prospective clients to get a sense of your personality. Make sure the photo captures you, and comes across as professional.
- One respondent indicated that it's ideal to make your resume sound more like a story, and less like a resume. That will help you build the connection with the client.
What Does It Mean To Be Verified by Psychology Today?
You might notice that many of the profiles on Psychology Today have a badge that indicates that the therapist listing has been verified by Psychology Today. This badge indicates that Psychology Today has independently verified all of the following:
- The name and contact details of the professional
- That the professional's license, if applicable, is valid within the state in which he or she practices
- That the professional is not subject to any license strictures preventing practice
Psychology Today Alternatives?
While Psychology Today is the most popular online directory for mental health providers, there are alternatives. We recommend exploring these options to see which combination of online directories works best for you:
Bruce Hogan is Co-founder & CEO of SoftwarePundit. He leads the team's research and publishes content about software products and trends. Bruce has experience investing at multi-billion dollar private equity firms, leading teams at venture-backed technology companies, and launching new businesses. You can connect with Bruce on LinkedIn.
Bruce is an expert in several software categories including:
- Dental software
- Mental health software
- SEO software
- Social media software
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Why SimplePractice is better than Sessions by Psychology Today
Give clients the freedom of choice
New and existing clients can request appointments through the Client Portal—including virtual appointments.
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Everything in one place
SimplePractice streamlines everything you need to run your business—practice management software, reliable telehealth platform, and even your own integrated website builder.
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Start a video call anytime, anywhere
Click a link to start—no logins, no passwords, no hassle. Send free automatic reminders, so clients never miss an appointment.
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Secure data, anonymous calls, and information stored with bank-level encryption—now that’s a telehealth platform you can rely on.
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Innovate the remote experience
Share images, goal-tracking worksheets, and more with screen-sharing capabilities to enhance your clients’ experience.
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Here are some commonly asked questions, or read all FAQs.
Is SimplePractice ICD compliant?
Yes. We are fully compliant with the requirements put forth by the Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services (CMS) in the ICD mandate.
How does billing for telehealth work?
When billing insurance, we recommend that you always check with the individual insurance payer to determine whether telehealth services are covered and, if they are, which codes or modifier should be used for different types of services.
It’s very important to check directly with the insurance payer because coverage for telehealth services is constantly changing.
What equipment do I need?
To provide telehealth sessions, you will need the following:
- A computer (laptop or desktop) or smartphone. Newer devices (purchased in the last two years) will be better equipped to provide telehealth sessions.
- An integrated or external microphone.
- An integrated or external web camera.
- An internet connection that is at least 10 Mbps. For optimal results, a reliable, high-speed internet connection with a bandwidth of at least 10 Mbps will minimize connection issues and provide the best quality.
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Video psychology today
Q&A was part of Next Level Practice, the most supportive community for therapists starting a private practice. In this video, Joe answers the question on how to optimize your Psychology Today profile.
Can you share some ideas about improving Psychology Today profiles? Several of us are in the process of reshaping or editing.
Just today I was looking at somebodys Psychology Today profile and their link to their website went directly to a Scheduling page. You want first your website to go to either your Home page or have it go to your About page. You can even make a page thats just for people that have been on Psychology Today. To jump right to a scheduling link will result in you losing most people, because they will be required to enter their name and phone number just to poke around. So, Id start with that.
You also definitely want a quality headshot. With most iPhones now, or most phones in general, you can take a beautiful shot with that kind of Bokeh feature thats where its kind of blurry in the background. Look in your area at the Psychology Today profiles and see what stands out to you and what doesnt.
Furthermore, they only show the first two, sometimes three, sentences of your description, and you really want to capture your ideal client in those two or three sentences. If any of you have I do individual, couples, and families therapy, by the time youre done with me, I might kick you out. Because, that just so bland. You may do that, but at least frame yourself in a way that stands out.
Then, once people drill into you into your full profile, you want that first paragraph to really be all about the client. You want it to be about their first major questions, i.e.: what theyre dealing with and their struggles. And then, another sentence about the outcomes. Dont start saying stuff about your education right away, they really want to know whats in it for them.
Then, I would actually limit your specialties. You can click so many of those, but I would really just limit it to maybe five or six specialties that you can really drill into. Also, make sure that if youre out of network if you dont take insurance that youve clicked that.
You also have the ability to have videos in there and to link to a lot of other things. So, even things like an Amazon author page or, if youre writing blog posts, you can have that feed spit into there. Thats going to help with your SEO in a number of different areas too. I also have a whole podcast thats all about your Psychology Today Profile, be sure to check that out too!
Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC
Joe Sanok is an ambitious results expert. He is a private practice business consultant and counselor that helps small businesses and counselors in private practice to increase revenue and have more fun! He helps owners with website design, vision, growth, and using their time to create income through being a private practice consultant. Joe was frustrated with his lack of business and marketing skills when he left graduate school. He loved helping people through counseling, but felt that often people couldn’t find him. Over the past few years he has grown his skills, income, and ability to lead others, while still maintaining an active private practice in Traverse City, MI. To link to Joe’s Google+ .
Tagsonline marketingprivate practicepsychology todayreferralssocial media
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Psychology Today Sessions: A Provisional Review
Psychology Today, the therapist profile giant which dominates search results, has recently released a teletherapy videoconferencing app. The app is called Psychology Today Sessions. While it passes the sniff test for HIPAA-friendliness, we have a couple concerns.
At the time of writing, its very difficult to find any information about Psychology Today Sessions. Most therapists know about it only because they received an email directly from PT.
We did find one enterprising practice consultant who posted a YouTube video about it here. Readers may find that video very useful to get an idea of what the app is all about.
Psychology Today Sessions and HIPAA: The Sniff Test
The basic sniff test for any online therapy service is this: will the apps company execute a HIPAA-compliant Business Associate Agreement with its customers? (Thats us.)
Psychology Today Sessions passes that sniff test. Thats the good news. But theres a slightly interesting twist.
Liath Dalton, our Deputy Director, got her hands on a copy of the Business Associate Agreement which Psychology Today uses with Sessions customers. Dalton has reviewed dozens of BAA contracts in her time at Person Centered Tech. She reports that the Sessions BAA which she got for review is very similar to the sample BAA document provided on the Health and Human Services website. See that sample document here.
While its not bad to use the governments sample document, it is very odd. According to Dalton, companies are typically very particular about the contents of BAA documents. Thus, they rarely look anything like the sample document provided on the government website. To us, this makes PTs product feel rushed.
For software which is intended to be an online therapy platform, that gives us pause.
Psychology Todays Directory and HIPAA
According to support personnel at Psychology Today, the HIPAA BAA only applies to the Sessions app, itself. It does not apply to the therapist profile. (Interestingly, the BAA document doesnt specify this. Thats another point for pause, says Dalton.)
This may not seem important at first glance, but it is.
The Psychology Today profile service includes a communication feature. Specifically, members of the public can send messages to therapists through their PT profile page. These potential client messages are ferried along by PTs servers and turned into conventional, nonsecure emails which are then sent to the therapists email address.
In our long-standing opinion, this feature is clearly a HIPAA-related problem for therapists. Fortunately, one can deactivate this problematic feature. Our friends at Hushmail have a post in which they describe a secure alternative that we often recommend, as well.
Psychology Today, and some others, may argue that this contact feature is not covered by HIPAA because it is meant for initial contact only. The argument that initial contact messages are outside of what HIPAA covers is a weak one. We strongly urge all colleagues to carefully consider if they wish to depend on its validity.
Psychology Today Sessions and Trust
Ultimately, we all have to decide if we trust Psychology Today to carry our teletherapy sessions.
Their HIPAA-problematic therapy profiles have always made us feel shaky on this point. Between that and the small effort put into their BAA document, we feel unwilling to trust the service until we know more details about it.
So our conclusion is: wait and see. Dont use Psychology Today Sessions until we have better evidence of trustability. In the meantime, there are a ton of good alternatives for your sessions.
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If youre a therapist in private practice, youre probably listed on Psychology Today. For better or worse, its the pound gorilla of therapist directories: It gets a ton of traffic, which means its pages show up high in search results, which generate even more traffic.
Despite owning the market, the Psychology Today directory is not necessarily well-liked. Its user experience looks and feels dated. While advanced searches are possible, the main search page only allows searches by name and location. Therapists and clients alike sometimes grumble that the information therapists can share on their profiles is limited.
For a new generation of online therapist directories, the failure of Psychology Today to improve its product represents a tremendous opportunity.With newer interfaces and sophisticated matching systems, these new directories aim to improve the experience of finding a therapist. Here are a few of them.
Its worth noting here that were not endorsing any of these, just noting that a whole new wave of directories is out there. In addition to the unique traits weve identified below, they all report that they are committed to adding new features and adapting to what their audience asks for. That might seem basic, but PT doesnt tend to update very often. And they dont actively seek out much user feedback from ongoing users. So for many therapists, that by itself is a meaningful difference.
Alison Fussell, one of the founders of Advekit, spoke about its development in this episode of the Modern Therapists Survival Guide podcast. She noted that what many consumers encounter on Psychology Today is a staggering, even paralyzing abundance of choice: Simple searches in large cities may turn up hundreds of results. So Advekit is designed to make the process much easier, by using a matching algorithm rather than simply a one-sided search process. In other words, not only do clients search for their ideal therapists, but therapists tell the site about their ideal clients, including providing information about the therapists style of working, and the site aims to make the best matches possible. Consumers looking for therapists are shown only three therapist profiles, rather than the hundreds that may show up as search results in PT.
Strength: Matchmaking algorithm with unique filters
Cost: $30/month or $/year
After a successful Bay Area launch, the TherapyDen directory is now nationwide. It allows users to filter their searches using even small-scale insurance providers, which is critical for many clients and not available in most other directories. Their search results map is a cool way for clients in cities to see where their prospective therapists actually are, at street level. (Here in Los Angeles, I might be in someones same zip code, and realistically still 20 minutes away or more.) TherapyDen also has a strong social justice philosophy, even allowing users to direct 10 percent of their subscription fees to any one of a handful of social justice charities. And of the directories listed here, TherapyDen is perhaps most direct in challenging PTs dominance, using this video to highlight key differences.
Strength: Sophisticated search, social justice philosophy
Cost: Free for now
While its search function is fairly basic, Therapy Route has a couple of qualities that make it distinct from other directories. It has an international focus (slogan: Find a therapist anywhere), and it aims to provide therapists with a publishing platform such that they can share knowledge and inform clients about their practices in much greater depth than other directories. Yes, you could cynically argue that publishing platform might equal content farm designed to get search traffic at no cost. But its also true that its a differentiating feature for therapists with great ideas but little technical ability, who want to publish but dont necessarily want to run their own blog or find other outlets.
Strength: International focus, publishing platform
Cost: Free for now
In the interest of full disclosure, Ive been listed in the PT directory in the past but am not currently. None of the sites listed here have paid to be listed.