Psychological tests are a big part of the job description for psychologists.
But Netflix is hoping to take the concept and use it to help people with depression and anxiety.
Here’s what you need to know about the new series.
1: How it works Psychologists will sit down and answer a series of questions on a video screen while they rate their symptoms and reactions to various images.
The video screen has sensors that read the emotions of the subject.
When a doctor’s assistant is looking over the patient’s eyes, for example, they can see the tears and the pulse, while their colleague can’t.
The doctor then asks the patient if she feels the same way, if she is happy or sad, anxious or not, and so on.
“We try to find the root of that feeling,” says psychologist Mark Oates.
This is a big factor in people’s ability to deal with stressful situations.
“It gives them an opportunity to think about their emotions and why they are feeling it, and to come up with a good strategy for coping.”
The doctor will also listen to a patient’s voice to help the psychologist assess the emotions and response of the patient.
“You might have a very happy patient who is crying, and they may also have a patient who may be anxious,” says Oates, “and so we can use the voice that they’re describing in their mind to get a feel for that, so we know if it’s something they can cope with or something they are struggling with.”
For people who struggle with depression, anxiety, or PTSD, a psychologist can use this to gauge how well they are coping with their symptoms.
If a patient says they’re feeling better, then they are.
If they say they are more anxious or stressed, then that may mean they are suffering from a psychological condition.
“And if they’re actually depressed, that could mean that they have a history of depression or they have been on some sort of drug,” says Dr Laura Gaudiano, a clinical psychologist at the University of Melbourne.
If this is the case, they could be diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder, which can be a long-term problem.
The show also features the psychiatrist Dr Steven Riddell, a consultant psychiatrist and head of the Australian Centre for Psychopharmacology.
He says there is an increasing interest in using psychology tests in clinical settings.
“I’m not saying there aren’t problems with psychology in general, but the use of psychological tests in psychology is starting to catch on and is getting wider attention,” he says.
“When you do clinical research into this stuff, people are finding out that it is very effective in predicting who will be successful in treatment and who will not.”
Dr Riddel is hopeful the show will help more people.
“In terms of general psychological health, this shows that there’s still hope for those with anxiety and depression, but also people who have been through a lot of trauma, PTSD or trauma-related illnesses, so this may give them hope that they are able to get through this without any major side effects,” he said.
2: How the show is different to other shows about psychological tests This is not the first time a psychologist has tried to turn the mental health questions into an entertainment project.
Dr Oates says the new show is much more scientific in nature.
“They’re asking a lot more questions and asking a much broader group of people, which I think is a much more accurate approach,” he explains.
“There’s more people there, more people are talking to them.
There’s more context around the questions and answers, so there’s a lot less confusion.”
There are also some subtle differences in the way the shows is structured.
“The first episode is a really quick-paced, one-minute presentation, but you get to know a lot about them a little bit more, so the second episode is more of a full-length treatment,” he adds.
“So it’s a bit of a different approach, but it’s the same concept.
There are some things you will notice, but there are also a lot to get used to, so that’s definitely a positive thing.”
3: How long the show has been on Netflix It will run for nine episodes.
The first of these is available to stream on Netflix on November 29, which is the date of the ABC’s Mental Health Challenge series, which aired on September 12.
The second is available on December 2, which means you can catch the first episode of the show for free on Netflix.
It will be available for streaming for a further two weeks.
The third episode of this show, which will air on December 6, will be free.
You can check out the show on Netflix or iTunes here.
It is also available for purchase through Amazon, where the first edition cost $13.99.
4: What the shows creators have said about it Netflix has been careful not to criticise the show. “Psych