Can computers be therapists?

Can “e-therapies” be beneficial to those experiencing psychological issues, particularly young people? Dr Mathijs Lucassen looks at the evidence.

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Image by janeb13 on pixabay.com under Creative Commons
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Image by PublicDomainPictures on pixabay.com under Creative Commons

Computerised therapy may not be something everyone will want to utilise, but for some people it may be more acceptable and accessible than traditional face-to-face therapy.

A number of computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (cCBT for short) progams have been shown to be effective in clinical trials and are available, for instance Beating the Blues here in the United Kingdom, and the ‘serious game’ SPARX for young people with depression in New Zealand.

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