VOS: Meet Our Science Team: Interview With Psychologist Vojtěch Kukla

Meet Our Science Team: Interview With Psychologist Vojtěch Kukla


May 2021

Meet Our Science Team: Interview With Psychologist Vojtěch Kukla

Let me introduce you to one of VOS’ psychology consultants - Vojtěch Kukla! In this interview, we talked about his career path and motivation to become a psychologist. Vojtěch also explained his role in the VOS team and gave a great mental health tip for everyone.

Vojtěch, could you please tell us, who you are?

I am Vojtěch Kukla, I work as a psychologist that specialises in a few different disciplines. I am currently studying for my PhD, and I try to combine my university duties with my job. I’m quite an active person and I say ‘yes’ to projects which I find interesting.

Alright! Tell me, what exactly do you do as a psychologist?

Most of the time I work as a relationship counsellor, but also in the area of substitute family care - I’m very interested in personal development, and I am also part of the VOS team.

How did you get to psychology?

Originally I was more into math and physics - I was very logically and rationally minded, but I always thought that relationships are the most important thing around us and I wanted to understand them. That’s why I chose psychology and then relationship counseling.

What do you find most fulfilling about your job?

The most fulfilling moments are those in which I can see that my work makes sense. I can be there when people make progress, I can see them solve some conflicts and get closer to what they want. However, it’s often not so easy to witness the results in psychology - a shoemaker will cobble and clearly see the final product he has made - but in the area of counseling, it’s harder because clients come and go.

Sometimes they don’t book another session, and you don’t know if it’s because they solved the problem or if it got worse. So, what really fulfills me the most are the moments when I can see counseling is really useful for people.

That’s great! Now I’d like to ask you a few questions about VOS. Why did you join the VOS team?

As I outlined earlier I have a tendency to say ‘yes‘ to all beautiful ideas. So even though I already had quite a lot on my plate and didn’t want to take more jobs, I couldn’t resist after hearing about what VOS does. I’m in the VOS team as a psychologist, but it is also nice to come back to my mathematical and physical essence which has been a bit neglected and unused. I think VOS has great potential - I like the idea, and I can be at the beginning and see the project grow.

Perfect! So, what’s your role in the VOS team?

I’m one of the psychology consultants. Our task is to think about what users of this app find effective, what do they need, and what could the app give them. We also make sure that the application fulfills its psychological purpose.

We want for the users to really benefit from the VOS app and its features. For example, instead of writing random questions, we try to come up with thoughtful, self-reflective questions which could be useful for the users. We also want the app to be user-friendly and entertaining, so we sometimes add fun and relaxing elements as well.

So one of your tasks is creating self-reflection questions. Could you tell me more about it?

In short, we try to choose the important areas of human life and find topics that are good for the users to think about and also some things they would want to look back at. We don’t ask very uncomfortable questions, as we know it could be really unsettling, therefore many of the questions are ‘easy’ to answer.

If we would ask very deep questions every day, it would be way too tough for the users. However, we try to include all the important things in our users’ life. We discuss the questions in our team and we keep on rewriting, removing, and adding new questions.

Which feature of the VOS App do you find the most useful?

I think the best about this app is the combination of the features. You could find different apps with breathing exercises or you could browse the internet and find the crisis helplines. But here you have everything in one place. You can go from a self-reflective diary (which is, in my opinion, very well designed in the VOS app) right to breathing exercises or affirmations. I just really like the complexity of the app. Also, I find the combination of mood check and self-reflection questions really thoughtful.

Alright, thank you! And last but not least, do you have some mental health tips or advice for our readers?

My advice would be ‘Think about your mental health, and don’t overlook it’. Just because you can’t see the wounds like when you break your leg it doesn’t mean you should ignore it. So keep that in mind, find enough time for yourself, do what makes you happy, and don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it. Sometimes we’re afraid to talk about our mistakes or about what’s bothering us because we have a tendency to think we are the only ones making mistakes. That could lead to unnecessary isolation.

So don’t be scared to talk to your friend or to a psychologist. It’s not a shame to solve our problem. When we break a leg it won’t just heal itself when we smile at it, we need to see a doctor. Talking to a psychologist does not make you a fool. With exaggeration, I dare say it’s foolish not to talk to a psychologist because you would decline the help you may need.‘

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