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Skeptiko Haven Rules

Welcome to Skeptiko Haven.

The simple rules here:
  1. We don’t discuss general materialist explanations for ‘psi’ and related phenomena. Anyone wanting to suggest materialism as the explanation for paranormal or spiritual phenomena is directed to the Skeptiko Forum.
  2. In particular, anyone suggesting or implying that it is ridiculous, inherently stupid, etc., to talk about non-materialist experiences and paradigms, especially in what the moderator considers to be a rude, abrupt or threatening fashion, will be instantly suspended. First suspension: 3 weeks; second: 3 months; third: indefinite. (Unfortunately, experience of the older forum makes this rule seem advisable.)
  3. It is ok to mention materialist explanations for specific cases. Example: “I think this medium might be a cold reader” is fine, but “I think all psi is fake” is not. (Detailed materialist ‘debunking’ is still better placed in the Skeptiko Forum.)

Both forums will continue side-by-side, and everyone is encouraged to move between them as desired.

Finally, an additional guideline:
This forum is a place where the proponent side of debates discussion is respected, and where more listening and (frankly) politeness is possible than on the other forum. Of course, it’s not easy to ban sarcasm! But it is suggested that contributors listen to one another calmly, and speak to each other with respect.
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Reaching out

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  • #16
    Hey Dr.P - if I may offer some constructive criticism:

    1) it is not immediately clear what the primary purpose of your website is? to promote your counselling practice or to sell your course? At first blush, it appears to be promoting your grief counselling practice. The tag line is: Dr. Parisetti: grief counselling. The first tab is Counselling. But when you click on the various tabs, the only product or service that you appear to offer is this course.

    2) the word "course" makes it confusing initially as to who the course is geared towards. What I first expected when clicking on the course was that it would be geared towards professionals. If people are coming to a site about grief, they will not necessarily even bother clicking on the course on that presumption. You want the purpose of the course to be clear before the person clicks on it, which leads to:

    3) it is not clear what the purpose of the course is: the theme of the site is about counselling. The course is about parapsychology. From clicking the various links I've gathered that your idea is that knowing about parapsychology itself will help with grief: if that's the case you might want to make that more clear.

    4) You have not established why people should trust you. You're an anonymous person on the internet. You are vague with regard to your credentials, and where you have worked or taught (ie: where your medical degree is from, which universities you worked, are you currently licenced to practice and in which jurisdiction, did you complete your psychotherapy training and get a degree? Are you licenced as a therapist in any jurisdiction and thus subject to an ethics boards, carry malpractice insurance, etc? Your only contact information is an email account (as opposed to an actual office where you do your counselling work for example) which leads to:

    5) while the site appears to be geared towards counselling, there's actually not much about actual counselling? Is the course supposed to be it, or do you do sessions? Are you trying to drum up counselling work? Is the practice local or do you do sessions over the internet .

    6) you have not demonstrated why people should spend $30-$60 when they could buy a much cheaper book or find out the information on any number of webites.

    Please note: I am not alleging you are in any way dishonest - I don't know anything about you - but that you should expect people who find your site to be suspicious if the above things aren't there and be very hesitant to simply fork over any money.

    My guess is that honestly, you're not going to find much of a market for your course. There are cheaper ways to get the information and the hurdle to overcome to get people to pay for information they may perceive to be available for free elsewhere is pretty high. I think you're going to have a hard time raising demand for the product. if someone likes your course rather than recommend a friend pay for it they are much more likely to simply let them watch their copy or on their computer - so word of mouth is less likely to help you.

    If it were me (and I'm no business guru so take this with a grain of salt) I'd make the site much more geared towards your counselling services. The purpose of the course should be to promote your practice. Make the videos free (host it on your site and a youtube chanell) and don't call it a course.

    Offer counselling services in person but also online (say over skype), and offer a free 30 minute introductory counselling session. Be clear about your qualifications and what people can expect to achieve with your services. Are your services covered by major insurance company benefits plans? If not, try and get them to approve you. Etc.

    Anyhow, just my $0.02


    • #17
      Dear Arouet,

      Thanks for your constructive critism. I appreciate your taking the time to reflect and write on this. I am afraid, however, that it is largely misdirected.

      First of all, I was not seeking advice on how to organise my professional life. That, mercifully, is pretty much in order.

      I was seeking ideas on how to reach - for the specific purpose of my adult education course - a global audience of bereaved an dying people which seems to remain out of reach (as explained in my previous outburst of frustration).

      Secondly, it is true that people can find the information I provide in other and cheaper ways. Beginning with my own book, which they find on my very website, which is offered for free in five different languages and has been downloaded in excess of 20,000 times since 2008.

      It is also true that the students of the Masters Degree I teach at and which I coordinate can find pretty much the same information by "looking around". Still, they pay close to 10,000 Euros and invest a year and a half of their time to come to hear me and the rest of the faculty. 14 years of experience tell me that they do not do so only because they need the academic title.

      Comparing the bibliotherapy I offer through my course (and its associated methodlogy) to reading a book, let alone to "looking around for information" is, with all respect, laughable.

      As for the price, it is offered for USD 49.95 - the equivalent of a pizza dinner for two, or two of the "much cheaper" books where you can find the same information.

      Finally, perhaps you have missed my biography page, where most of the questions you raise about my qualifications are addressed: Dr. Parisetti | drParisetti

      I apologise for pedantically going over many issues, but I wanted to make clarity.

      The issue is clearly not how I come across, or how the resource is presented. I had anticipated one sale of the course for every 100 visitors to my site. I've had one in 90 - better than expected. The idea is understood, the concept is clear. A colleague MD from the UK wrote to me "it's very clear what you have to offer, where you are coming from".

      The issue is that I have ten times less visitors than I had anticipated, and the reason is that internet marketing is horribly expensive and traditional marketing either uninterested or expensive.

      Thank you again and all the best.