Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Michael Karson

Second Advisor

Mark Aoyagi

Third Advisor

Helene Simons


Artificial intelligence, A.I., Psychology, Pscyhotherapy, Telehealth, Teletherapy


As technology has advanced over the years, it has been integrated into psychotherapy and changed the way that people receive mental health care (Schopp, Demiris, & Glueckauf, 2006). Many of these advances, such as telehealth practices, were seen as unsustainable until the public Internet offered broader access to technology-based care in the 1990s (Schopp, Demiris, & Glueckauf, 2006). These technology-based practices have since grown in popularity and with a recent increase in telehealth practices, text-based therapies, and applications to aid in mental health practices, modern therapy looks very different than it did even ten years ago (Fiske, Henningsen, & Buyx, 2019).

One fairly new area of development is Artificial Intelligence (AI), herein defined as “computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages” (The Law Library of Congress, 2019). As AI advances, it is being implemented into more fields such as food service, transportation, personal assistants, and even healthcare (Fiske, Henningsen, & Buyx, 2019). As AI is further integrated into mental health, I believe it will become a common tool for therapists and eventually even operate as a replacement to human therapists. I do not believe that AI will ever be able to perform as well as a human, but I do believe such systems will be utilized regardless of whether the field of psychotherapy accepts these robotic “clinicians” as viable mental health providers. In this paper I will review literature related to the efficacy and ethicality of these existing technologies while also discussing potential solutions to the issues that the intersection of psychotherapy and AI will create in the near future.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.

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