The field of psychology is full of fascinating insights into human behaviour. Insights that could transform the way we meet with challenges, lead organisations, and experience the world around us…
if only we could put them into practice.

I’m Dr Sarb Johal.

I’m a clinical psychologist, consultant, speaker, and media commentator with an insatiable curiosity about this human experience.

Over my 30-year career in psychology, I’ve been privileged to work alongside many brilliant minds producing phenomenal psychological research into the way our brains work.

The problem is that very little of this incredible work filters down in a useful way to the people it could really help. Ordinary people trying to sustain relationships, bring up kids, hold down a job, lead a team or an organisation, make a contribution and generally do life well. In other words, all of us.

Until now.

Through my videos, podcasts, consulting and speaking, I uncover and interpret the latest psychological research from experts around the globe, transforming complex concepts into useful insights that help individuals, leaders and organisations navigate this ever-changing world.

My useful psychology tips and tools will help you live well with uncertainty, find your strengths and improve the quality of your everyday life.

Through useful communications I help leaders in both governmental and private organisations communicate more effectively, build organisational resilience and guide your people through challenging times. In a crisis, I draw on psychological principles to help you send the right message, develop a sense of shared purpose and create space for connection and healing, so you can move forward together towards your common goal.

My useful technology tips and recommendations help you explore the exciting possibilities of digital and video technology.I want to spark your curiosity about this fascinating world and help you create and capture meaningful experiences in a unique way.

So what makes my knowledge and advice so useful?

For three decades, I’ve worked in research, in government and in clinical practice, helping people and organisations find their way through challenging times with greater equanimity, resilience and connection.

As an expert in psychosocial response and disaster mental health, I’ve advised the UK and New Zealand governments and the World Health Organisation through some of the major crises of the last decade, including the H1N1 pandemic, the Canterbury earthquakes, the Kaikoura earthquakes, the Christchurch mosque shootings and the Covid-19 pandemic.

I’m an experienced workshop leader, keynote speaker and the MC of TEDxWellington. My engaging storytelling approach has been honed over decades of writing and producing content for media outlets around the world. Alongside my own podcasts and YouTube channels, I am a frequent guest and podcast co-host for Radio New Zealand National. My work has appeared in The Guardian, BBC World News, Al-Jazeera, The Project on TV3 and The Spinoff, as well as countless online and print publications.

I adore travel and channelling my abundant energy into challenging physical pursuits. I’ve run eight marathons and two ultra-marathons, all since turning 40, not to mention all the time I spend running around after our three amazing daughters.

I serve with the knowledge I am privileged to have

Service to others is a fundamental pillar of Sikh philosophy and so I offer this work to you.

Join me and discover how simple psychological tools and principles can transform your life, your organisation and your everyday experiences for the better.

Official Bio

Dr Sarb Johal (AKA the Useful Psychologist) is a clinical psychologist, consultant and commentator who brings a psychological lens to the light, the dark and the intriguing aspects of the human experience. His videos, blogs and podcasts turn complex psychological theory into simple tools for solving everyday problems, helping people and organisations navigate tough times with greater wellbeing and equilibrium.

An expert on psychosocial recovery and disaster communication, Sarb has advised the UK and New Zealand governments and the World Health Organisation through major national and international crises. He is the MC of TEDxWellington and a regular guest on RNZ National and other national and international media outlets.

Sarb has a PhD from the School of Psychology at the University of Cardiff and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from University College London.

To learn more about my background and experience, visit my LinkedIn profile.

Work with Me


Happy clients

“I have drawn on Sarb’s expertise in psychosocial recovery in managing the response to some of the major emergencies of the last decade…

Sarb has an ability to turn complex issues into simple, easy to manage concepts and his workshops are very well received.I would recommend him to anyone dealing with complex management issues.”

Steve Brazier

Former National Co-ordinator, Emergency Planning, Ministry of Health, Former Director, Security and Risk Group, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

“As MC, Sarb played a critical role in the success of our multi-layered conference and awards events. He quickly became part of our team, building very good relationships with presenters, performers, technical support and stakeholders. He is intelligent, knowledgeable, absorbs information quickly, and a great person with whom to discuss ideas, concepts and philosophies.

On the day, we benefited from a very good performance. Sarb was flexible and good at handling the pressures involved with live presentations. He built a good rapport with the audience and created a smooth flow between on-screen video, prize giveaways, live talent and speakers of varying experience.”

John Dow

Director at Agenda Limited and Wellington Gold Awards

“We commissioned Sarb to speak to our Civil Defence team and stakeholders to help staff adjust to normal work pace again, after giving everything we had to our Covid-19 response. We were burned out and we needed an engaging speaker to help us find the motivation to get back into the workspace.

Sarb was approachable and easy to listen to, sharing lots of real life examples. The sessions prompted us to share our own stories and experiences with each other, finding new opportunities for connection and greater awareness of the importance of our own health and wellbeing.”

Claire Nyberg

Civil Defence Emergency Management Officer – Welfare (Northland Regional Council)