May 15, 2023
With Christina Beck, Director of Content for Supportiv
What do you do when you’re tossing and turning in the middle of the night, panicking about a situation or suddenly overcome with anxiety? Your first thought might be to reach for the phone to call a family member or friend… only it’s three o’clock in the morning and you don’t want to wake them or cause them to worry. But as you sit there alone, feeling more anxious and desperate and counting the hours till dawn, you’re finding it harder and harder to calm yourself. Instead, what if we could contact an anonymous stranger who actually understands our concerns because they’ve experienced the very same thing? Sometimes just talking openly and honestly about our feelings is exactly what we need to feel better. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could anonymously talk about our fears and challenges and not concern ourselves with how our words might be misinterpreted by the other person? We could vent openly without fear of judgment and perhaps even learn how the other person handled their own situation. If worries about relationships, family dramas, or struggles at work are keeping you up at night, then maybe talking about the situation with someone who experienced those same challenges might help. Even if their situation isn’t identical to what you‘re experiencing, it could help to speak with a like-minded person who shares your concerns. That’s the idea behind Supportiv. Supportiv is a digital peer-to-peer network that matches you with a specially trained moderator who will connect you with the right support network team members. If you want to learn more about what Supportiv is and how it works, you’ll want to listen to my interview with Christina Beck, Director of Content for Supportiv.
What You’ll Hear on This Episode:
What is Supportiv?
How did the idea for Supportiv come about?
Do you see each other on the chat, or is it completely anonymous?
What privacy does Supportiv guarantee the user?
Is it really 24/7?
What are the steps that you can take to reach and talk with someone?
What is the wait time before you are connected with someone on the service?
What is precision peer support?
How does Supportiv differ from traditional forms of mental care or group therapy?
Is Supportiv covered by insurance?
What is the typical cost of a session?
How does someone become a moderator, and what kind of training do they receive?
What are some of the common situations in which Supportiv could provide help for their users?
When we’re in the midst of a crisis or a challenging situation and don’t know which way to turn, our emotions get in the way when we’re overwhelmed by feelings of anger, insecurity, sadness, or grief. Listening only to the voice inside our head, we might not see the situation clearly. But if we talk with someone who experienced a similar situation, we may find comfort and validation just knowing we’re not alone. By talking things over, we might sometimes figure out an answer, soothe our hurt feelings, or lose at least some of our anger. It might help to have a neutral third party listen and empathize. It’s certainly preferable to keeping things bottled up inside which only allows the situation or feelings to fester and grow. Perhaps the best thing about the Supportiv network is that it’s not just a one-way street. For the individual on the other end of the phone, it provides an opportunity for them to look back and relate how they’ve come out on the other side. Sharing their story of recovery and growth can be very rewarding. Remember that every day is a gift and the gift we get from supporting and being there for others is not only helpful for them, it can bring us a sense of purpose and personal clarity. I’m Florine Mark and that’s “Today’s Takeaway.”
“That part of the mission is to allow people to seek help on their own terms, when and how they need it. That means you don’t have to use just the right vocabulary. You don’t have to disclose or receive a diagnosis or download an app. You don’t have to schedule around your unpredictable life.” — Christina [3:07]
“Being anonymous makes it easier to just be vulnerable and seek help in the first place.” — Christina [4:05]
“We look at chat as sort of the great equalizer. Anybody, a Ph.D. or a high school dropout can still connect over a similar issue.” — Christina [4:40]
“Precision peer support is really the patented cutting-edge technology that allows Supportiv to match you with the best peers for whatever topic you want to discuss. It’s basically almost magic just based on your answer to that one question: what’s your struggle?” — Christina [8:53]
“Online peer support at Supportiv isn't a replacement for therapy. But it can be a much more flexible and comfortable option when you really need immediate support.” — Christina [11:31]
“In these roles are people who have been through difficult experiences and who really feel how powerful it is not just to feel listened to but to feel heard.” — Christina [15:03]
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