Avatar as Therapist?

avatartherapy
photo source: http://www.kurzweilai.net/images/secondlifetherapy.jpg

Studies have shown time and time again that the most important factor in making progress in therapy is not a fancy-schmancy therapeutic technique, but the relationship between therapist and patient. Futurity.org published an article yesterday that tells about an avatar that has been developed to help people with depression. To date, they have only done a small study on its efficacy.

A part of me is grateful, very grateful. Sounds like a wonderful coping skill. In fact, said avatar apparently gives feedback on ways to handle depression. I can appreciate the immediacy of this new tool.

The other part of me, however, cringes. I think part of society’s problem is the amount of time spent on electronics and away from real, human contact. In always being connected we sometimes forget how to have real relationships without the assistance of technology. And the fact that we are creating someone/something to resemble a person only confirms for me that we merely desire human relationships. This is why therapy is often so helpful; it allows us to connect in ways that we typically don’t in our day-to-day.

Like all new advances in technology, there are pros and cons. Read more about futurity.org’s publication here.

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