Siri will see you now. Is an on-line therapist the new way to deal with your mental health?

Siri will see you now. Is an on-line therapist the new way to deal with your mental health?

December 14, 20172 min read

Everything these days is on-line it seems.  From booking flights to tracking the speed of which your pizza is cooking at the corner shop - the internet marketplace is everywhere.

And now, even your trusted therapist is available on-line.  Not by Skype or FaceTime ... but the next time you need to talk, you could be speaking to an algorithm.

A new talk therapy chatbot developed by a team of psychologists and Artificial Intelligence experts from Stanford University have created Woebot.  An App that essentially uses mood tracking, daily talks, mood tracking, videos, and word games to help people manage mental health.  It's a cheap alternative to traditional care - in America you get daily sessions for the low price of about 40 dollars a month.

It seems like a scene out of a movie?  It would mean no waiting and near-instant attention to those who need therapy or daily counselling in an emergency.

But it also removes any aspect of human judgement and perspective - that comes with years of experience, education and empathy.

Will Woebot and similar automated technologies take over modern day therapy as we know it?  Is it safe?  Would you use it?

There is a lot to know and a lot of questions to be asked.  That's where an expert from Cambrian College can help.

Roni Sue Cross is a Student Support Advisor at Cambrian College. She a certified Mental Health First Aid trainer and works to de-stigmatize mental illness and advises students in need. Roni Sue is available to speak to media or anyone about mental health issues. Simply click on her icon to arrange an interview.


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