The Online Therapist
No one knows what hypnotherapy future developments will be. But technology may be coming to a home very near you. Will we all soon have an online therapist?
Amazon, Google, Apple and other companies are offering voice activated connections to the Internet. These devices are on all the time. They listen out for commands. Once they get a command they can turn on the TV, close the curtains, start the dishwasher running, place a Skype call to your mom.
The technology depends upon artificial intelligence to work out, not just the words you said, but the meaning behind them. This might mean that you will never be able to talk to yourself aloud again.
How long will it be before you find yourself standing in the middle of the room saying aloud "what was that I came in here for?", and Alexa gives you a meaningful answer?
What are the odds that one day soon you will be sitting on yourself asking aloud "why can't I find someone to love?", and the automated therapist begins to answer you?
The online therapist – threat or opportunity?
Some people will see this as the most helpful advance in mental health for centuries. Some people will see it as the final arrival of Big Brother. And some people will see it as a splendid opportunity for their business.
These personal assistant devices are already in homes. They work fairly reliably. They connect to the deep Internet. You can ask for news, weather, TV schedules, reviews, tickets, whatever you want. You can also ask for help with your feelings. Because these devices connect you directly to the Internet they can connect you to pre-recorded hypnotherapy resources. These can be sound or video. They can also be questionnaires, flowcharts, checklists – almost anything.
It seems to me that there is a great market for good quality hypnotherapy libraries. These would be accessed online via the listening device. The listening device would actually use its artificial intelligence to choose what the appropriate therapy resource would be. The online therapist would be available 24 hours a day, in total confidence, at very low cost.
Perhaps in the distant future you can replace a flesh and blood therapist with the online artificial intelligence therapist. But in the meantime pre-recorded flexible material is perhaps something you should be thinking about.
He is highly regarded in the hypnotherapy community. He is Vice President of the New Zealand Association of Professional Hypnotherapists (NZAPH).
He is regularly consulted for advice by other hypnotherapists around the world. He is known for the quality of his published scripts. He presents at international conferences and has published on hypnosis and advanced hypnotherapy.
He lives in Wellington New Zealand with his wife Trish and a cat called Parsnip.
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