AI Therapists: All You Need to Know About This Type of Therapy
If you have not heard of AI therapists, they are one of the latest trends in alternative therapy. So, what is actually AI therapy? As you probably already know, AI stands for artificial intelligence, and in the context of therapy, it aims to provide support for mental health online. In general, you would type an issue you’re struggling with, and the AI would then provide you with different ways to look at the situation.
Knowing that there are many obstacles to such a type of therapy, we wanted to take a deeper look and give you a fair overview of what you can expect if you reach out to an AI therapist.
What Is AI Therapy?
Artificial intelligence therapy, or AI therapy is a type of therapy where you share your fears, struggles, problems, or anything else that bothers you through a virtual experience. That said, it is important to say that AI therapy is not the same as online therapy or texting therapy. If you opt for AI therapy, you will not talk to a real person. Instead, a machine will read all of your messages. Think of the automated chat messages you get when you ask for more information about the product instead of calling customer support and talking to a real person.
Obviously, there are certain benefits to undergoing AI therapy. However, they cannot replace conversations with actual therapists. We know that writing in our journals about how we feel and think helps us alleviate some of that tension or anxiety that is building inside us, and that’s exactly what you can do with AI therapy. You can write your heart out and feel safe knowing that nobody will read it or use it inappropriately. What is important to keep in mind is that AI doesn’t guide you to growth. It can only provide limited advice on the situation you’re talking about. That’s the main downside of a form of therapy that might become popular across the US.
AI therapy completely dismisses a person’s facial and emotional expressions, background, past experience, and anything else a therapist would notice during a session. On the other hand, if you feel okay with having space to write down what is bothering you, AI therapy might be good for you.
AI Therapy vs. Talking to a Real Therapist
Do you remember the first time you visited a therapist? Do you remember the discomfort you felt when you thought about sharing some of your intimate thoughts? Well, that is the reason why many people will choose AI therapy over talking to a real therapist. As humans, we tend to avoid experiences that make us feel uncomfortable, and going to your first therapy session is not as easy as getting out of bed.
However, AI will never be able to give you the explanations and tools you need to overcome certain situations, especially when it comes to trauma. Another important thing to remember is that the human factor is crucial in therapy. Sometimes, knowing your therapist is a real person helps you open up because you know they have made mistakes, cried, lost someone, and gone through their own set of experiences.
Also, therapists are educated and trained in the type of therapy they provide, and AI is not. For instance, going to a counselor for marital issues will help you understand what is lacking in your marriage and how to rebuild it. On the other hand, AI is just a machine that can provide you with a pasta carbonara recipe and advice on your marriage. AI therapy lacks complexity, context, or depth.
What to Use AI Therapy For
If you simply love trying out new trends and you want to understand the fuss about AI therapy, by all means, go for it! If you know that it cannot replace a real therapist or truly guide you in your life, there is no harm in it. There are many ways you can use it to help you feel better. We’ve gathered a list of these ways:
- You got home stressed from work yet wanted to be fully present for your family, so you used AI therapy to vent and have more capacity for your loved ones.
- You feel stuck because of a comment from a friend, relative, or coworker, and you use AI therapy to get ideas on how to go about this situation.
- You have an irrational fear (e.g., of certain animals, heights, germs, etc.), and you ask AI to help you think of ways to survive a vacation that will expose you to your fear.
- You like a person and use AI therapy to encourage yourself to ask them out and plan great first date options.
With all of this said, these options work only in the short term and only if they are applied in a particular situation. For instance, if you’re afraid of heights and your job requires you to face that fear daily, one limited piece of advice will probably not be enough to start feeling in control of your fear. If you have a recurring issue in your life, you will want to talk to a real therapist.
Other Therapy Types to Consider
Nowadays, there are different types of therapy you can consider trying. Besides the conventional one, which involves going to your therapist’s office and talking to them, there are other forms of therapy you can try. You can also choose different therapy types based on the techniques and areas they treat (i.e., cognitive-behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, animal-assisted therapy, etc.).
If we’re talking about ways to attend therapy, there are offline and online options. Online ways to attend therapy include texts, emails, phone calls, and video services. Text therapy lets you text your therapist and receive prompt answers via mobile phone. Phone therapy enables you to get mental health support via phone conversations. You can also email your therapist and spend some time really writing how you feel or describing a certain situation, which can be quite handy for those who love to express themselves by writing. And finally, there is video therapy, which is the closest thing to in-person therapy. When you have a video therapy session, you will talk to your chosen therapist from the comfort of your home. Most online therapy options will be more affordable than in-person sessions, yet it’s best to consult the prices before starting therapy.
Finally, whichever option you choose, make sure you do your research. Be aware of the advantages and disadvantages. If you’re passionate about trying out AI therapy, make the most of it! However, don’t forget that it will not replace a real therapist, and use it just as a short-term tool, not something that will guide you through life.
About Life Coaching and Therapy
Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a therapy and coaching practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible. Multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systematically-trained and licensed therapists!
Get to know our founder and owner, Amanda Pasciucco, (a.k.a. The Sex Healer) PhD, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist (CST) that has developed innovative therapy programs and therapy videos that get results.
Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help all clients who visit us for a variety of personal, relationship, intimacy and sex problems.
LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs.
Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do.