Building Relationships With AI Therapy Chatbots


What You Should Know:

– Can we build relationships with AI therapy bots as well as we can with other human beings? This research says yes.

– A recent peer-reviewed study Frontiers of Wysa, an advanced conversational AI for mental health, shows people develop an emotional bond with its chatbot in much the same way people bond with a human therapist. This ‘therapeutic alliance’ is crucial in helping people meet the goals of treatment, the study found.

Peer-reviewed study reveals ‘therapeutic alliance’ with AI chatbot Wysa

The therapeutic alliance is widely considered one of the most robust mechanisms of change in psychotherapy interventions and is defined as a collaboration between the patient and therapist on the tasks and goals of treatment, along with an emotional bond. The study of 1,205 people evaluated users of mental health app Wysa who were experiencing measured symptoms of anxiety or depression. The results show that within five days of using Wysa, the therapeutic alliance was comparable or better than scores found in traditional in-person cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), in-person group therapy and internet-based tools for CBT.

Wysa is a mobile chatbot that uses emotionally intelligent conversational AI to promote wellbeing, positive self-expression and mental resilience. Wysa guides users through evidence-based therapy exercises to self-manage symptoms associated with mild to moderate generalized anxiety and depression. The findings indicate the use-case for providing Wysa’s digital therapeutics as an alternative treatment modality to help address the global mental health crisis and severe shortage of qualified therapists.

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