Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Telling you about joyable.com, an online evidenced base social anxiety reduction program based on cognitive behavioral therapy CBT. You can try it for free for 7 days and then it costs $25/week. Participants are provided with a coach and online exercises.
I thought it could be used as an adjunct to therapy or EAP services.
Or as a stand alone product.
But now I can't do that.
Instead, I am upset and concerned.
I became upset and concerned when I decided to look up the credentials of the joyable "clinical" staff. Here are a few examples:
BA in Public Policy Studies and Economics
BA in English and Communications
MS in Integrated Marketing Communications
BA in Anthropology
BA in Race and Ethnicity Studies
BA in East Asian Studies and certificates in Linguistics and Translation
Staff bios consist of cutesy descriptions like "Outside of work, she loves re-watching Christopher Nolan films, eating Swedish meatballs at Ikea, and planning her next overseas trip."
You get the picture - 99% of joyable's "coaching" staff have no graduate clinical degrees or licenses. Only their 3 "Scientific advisors" have serious clinical cred.
And that wouldn't bother me, if they described themselves as a coaching program.
Instead they describe themselves as providing "evidence-based, affordable mental health services."
So I will not be recommending joyable.com to anybody.
But I have written before about dubious online mental health programs. Remember Talkspace? They promised that for $25 a week, a client can text an assigned therapist whenever they want. Unlimited. And If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.
But this is what REALLY worries me.
These companies are obviously and entirely marketed to Millenials.
Who are demanding easy access, quick fixes and affordable solutions to their mental health woes.
And the real mental health professionals, clinics, and EAPs are not responding.
I love my fellow mental health professionals but many are Luddites and technopeasants.
In fairness to them, they are subject to anitquated licensing laws that prevent the delivery of counseling services across state lines unless the clinician is licensed in both areas.
Nature abhors a vacuum.
And into this gaping, giant vacuum, these very para/para/professional services are proliferating and will continue to proliferate.
You have been warned.