Answer just 17 questions and Joyable can develop a tailored online program to help you overcome your social anxiety.
Joyable was launched in 2014 by Steve Marks and Pete Shalek. The San Francisco-based company works by providing users with specific activities to help reduce their social anxiety.
The site uses a Social Phobia Inventory (SPIN) assessment that was developed at Duke University. SPIN calculates a SPIN score that gauges the intensity of your social anxiety.
SPIN measures five fears: social inadequacy, being the center of attention, being criticized, showing visible signs of anxiety, and authority figures.
A score between 21 to 40 indicates clinical social anxiety, while a score of 41 to 50 indicates a severe condition and a score upwards of 51 indicates a very severe social anxiety condition. A score below 20 is considered low and Joyable may not be helpful in those cases.
I scored a 21 when I took the short quiz, with my strength being interacting with “authority figures” (not surprising since I’ve worked as a reporter for seven years). SPIN did suggest that I could work on my physiological symptoms of anxiety, such as the rapid heart rate I get when I have to give a presentation.
“Joyable’s technology makes it easy to start Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, especially for those who don’t have access to local help or because this type of anxiety is a barrier to seeing a therapist in person,” Marks said.
Research shows that the online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works just as well as in-person treatment.
The online program includes an introductory call with a Joyable coach who helps keep the client on track throughout the program. Then the client is given three types of CBT activities: educational (learning about the cause of anxiety), thought-based (learning to push out negative thoughts) and behavioral (exercises to help in the real world).
“We’re helping people overcome social anxiety — allowing them to do the things that are important in their lives that they couldn’t do before, like interviewing for jobs, going on dates, attending social events, or interacting successfully with their families,” Marks said.
Marks said that 90 percent of Joyable’s clients claim their anxiety declines. On average, their anxiety falls by 30 percent.
“Clients tell us that a 30 percent decline is life-changing. It empowers them to do the things that they care about most,” Marks said.
About 85 percent of people with social anxiety do not seek treatment.
“The biggest thing that has made us so popular is actually really simple: social anxiety is incredibly painful and it’s very hard to get help that works,” he said. “We’re trying to make it easy to get help that works for social anxiety, and there are many people who are excited about that.”
Marks said that millions suffer from social anxiety, and his hope is that Joyable can help give those people their lives back.
“We’re also growing like crazy, allowing us to reach and help many more people,” he said. “We’ve doubled every month since our launch, and we’re helping thousands of people overcome their social anxiety.
“But we’re just getting started. Fifteen million Americans have social anxiety, and many millions more suffer from it globally. And that’s just social anxiety – eventually we aspire to cure the world’s anxiety and depression,” he added.
Take the quiz at Joyable.com. Joyable costs $99 per month or $239 for three months.
Joyable is also hiring.