Tech & Innovation

Your Next Therapist Could be a Nifty Gadget: Treating Mental Health Problems with Technology

    The Illness That Is Sweeping the Nation

    Mental health counseling is something that many people still have doubt about. They wonder if it really works and expects to see instant results after meeting with a mental health professional. The concept of how therapy works is hard to grasp. Many people associate therapy with the client laying on a coach spilling their troubles.

    With the recent rise of mental health associated deaths, it seems like the words “mental health” and “crisis” are one in the same. Believe it or not, 1 in 4 people will suffer from a mental health-related issue in the next year. The question here is, “will they receive help or just shrug it off and think nothing of it?”

    Around the world, there is a lack of the certified clinicians to treat the number of people that suffer from mental health problems. It isn’t the treatment that’s the problem. In fact, the treatment is high-quality and verified by dozens of clinical trials.

    No Therapist Needed

    Recent strides in technology are experimenting with a treatment that could be accessed on your phone. This would essentially take the therapist out of therapy. The idea of therapist free therapy has a lot of contradictions around it. Many professionals think that the therapist-patient relationship is what allows therapy to work.

    Professionals view the technological efforts as a cheap way for governments to make more money by meeting the mental health care minimum. While a positive therapy experience is a key to seeing results from the patient that doesn’t mean that a therapist is always required.

    It’s important to remember that psychological treatment is different for everyone. Some people might need a therapist to get better but others might not. Especially when you take in to account that most people who have a problem don’t want to seek help.

    It only makes sense to keep on developing different methods of therapy so everyone can get help for their unique situations. One could easily enjoy a positive relationship with an artificial therapist that is programmed to build trust with their patient.

    The Proof

    To test the virtual therapist, 100 people with a fear of heights were randomly given virtual reality treatment or no treatment. After 4 virtual reality sessions, the people who received treatment had their fear reduced by an average of two-thirds.

    These results are actually a lot better than what meeting with human therapists can do. We’ll always need therapists because some people prefer to be treated by a person. Knowing that there are other options out there is comforting.