Woman on phone

Is your phone your new therapist?

“AI therapists may eventually become your mental health care professional” – NYPOST

I read the above article recently about how artificial intelligence (AI) may become the next big frontier in helping people deal with their mental health issues.

At some point in the future, you may be unpacking your issues with a bot who is programmed to respond to your symptoms. This bot can also access data that your phone has collected about your mental health through your voice and emotional expressions in your photos.

It might sound crazy, but on some level it makes sense.

  • Bots don’t need sleep so access to help at 2 a.m. isn’t an issue.
  • If you’re worried about others knowing you’re getting therapy, a bot can be a more private experience.
  • And programming means the bot will be able to pull in more information on the spot for your specific issue (instead of your therapist remembering that helpful nugget after the session is already over).

In our constantly-moving world, bots may provide some therapeutic relief in those moments when you just need some quick input. I’m not convinced of the long-term success, but I guess we won’t know anything about long-term success with any of these technologies for a while.

My own personal experience has been that many people, including those of the younger generations, really prefer the human, face-to-face support of a therapist. I’m not so sure AI takes over for that. But I don’t think any of us thought we’d one day carry a phone everywhere either. So there’s that.

I’m curious to see where this technology actually lands in real life.

What do you think? Would you be inclined to work with a virtual therapist instead of a human therapist?

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