How AI Technology Can Help You Recover From the Holidays

2 min read
Jan 10, 2019

The holiday season is a stressful time of year for many. While it can certainly bring joyful moments, it also involves a lot of shopping, planning, travelling, and other potentially draining activities.

Technology is helping people recover. For someone who needs a little assistance handling post-holiday stress, an AI therapist may be the answer. 

What is Artificial Intelligence Therapy?

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that a bot is no replacement for an actual therapist. Anyone struggling with a genuine mental health problem should absolutely seek help from a professional.

That said, there are plenty of people who simply need a little boost from time to time. This can be particularly common during and following the busy holiday season. A recent survey reveals that approximately 31% of people feel this season could be described as “frantic.”

That’s where AI therapy comes in. Woebot is one example of a product blending artificial intelligence and psychology to offer users convenient mental health services.

The team behind it also have the appropriate expertise in this field. Woebot’s creators include Stanford AI experts and psychologists. They based its essential functions on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – one of the more popular and effective approaches to therapy.   

How An AI Therapist Works

CBT involves identifying thoughts that contribute to feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, and similar unpleasant emotional states. Patients then learn to replace such thoughts with positive ones.

Artificial intelligence psychology services like Woebot mimic a CBT session by asking users questions about their feelings and providing encouragement. The AI therapist also includes mood tracking features to better understand a user’s emotional and mental health patterns. This makes it easier to effectively identify factors that may exacerbate stress.

Woebot isn’t the only app of its kind combining artificial intelligence and psychology. UCLA researchers have also created Tevi, an AI therapy tool that may help diagnose users mental health needs. It’s likely many others will continue exploring an approach that involves artificial intelligence therapy as this technology continues to improve. 

Using Artificial Intelligence to Improve Psychology During the Holidays

AI therapy tech is not yet at the stage where anyone can confidently recommend using it as a replacement for working with a human therapist. However, it does offer benefits to certain people.

An otherwise mentally-healthy person who simply needs a little help getting through the holidays can rely on artificial technology psychology tools like Woebot to reduce stress. An AI therapist is also useful for people who may not be able to justify spending money on expensive therapy sessions at this time. Additionally, they may supplement or augment therapy at times when a human therapist is not available for a patient. 

Innovations like Woebot and Tevi certainly demonstrate the power of artificial intelligence and psychology. Once considered a sci-fi tech, AI actually has many real-world applications now. Helping people overcome holiday stress with artificial intelligence therapy could be a major one.

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