Revisiting AI

By John Grohol, Psy.D.
July 5th, 2024
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Just a year ago, I wrote about the burgeoning field of artificial intelligence (A.I.) and its potential to help in mental health treatment. The field continues to suffer from a shortage of therapists, especially those trained in specific types of treatments to help with specific disorders (specialists).

Artificial intelligence won’t be a cure-all and it’s not going to replace your job anytime soon.

What it can do, however, is help in increasing access to care by patients, reduce certain mind-numbing tasks (especially with regards to paperwork and filling out forms to get paid), and maybe even make your job a little bit more enjoyable.

If you are spending more time with patients and thinking about their needs, and less time with the business end of your practice, it’s likely your job satisfaction will increase. And maybe burnout in the field will decrease.

We have a great in-depth article exploring the pros and cons of how A.I. is already being leveraged in our field today and some of its likely uses in the future.

One of the things I believe A.I can help with is preparing someone who has never been in psychotherapy better prepare for the experience. Imagine a person has already interacted with a mental well-being companion powered by A.I. and who knows all about scientifically-validated psychotherapeutic techniques.

That person has been familiarized and primed to learn to express themselves, get better in touch with and identify their thoughts and feelings, and maybe even has experimented with some tried-and-true meditation or relaxation techniques.

Such a patient would be easier to work with from the get-go, making your job easier.

I don’t yet see a world where actual clinical services will be replaced by A.I. But I do see one where A.I. supplements traditional psychotherapy services, and opens the door to psychotherapy in ways that we have not yet begun to imagine.

Enjoy the issue!

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