I was browsing twitter (great habit huh) the other day and I stumbled upon this post about a bot, that is designed to help you through some rough times.
The creators are very strict about the fact that Woebot is not a therapist, and is not a substitute for your mental health care. I was very happy to read this, because I wasn’t honestly looking for any sort of substitute. I was looking for the “in between” time when I’m not in therapy. For when I’m overwhelmed, or if I can’t think straight. When I’m anxious and my racing thoughts are keeping me tied up. I can’t stress this enough! Before I share my findings; please understand that this tool is no way shape or form meant to step up or replace a therapist or your health care treatment.
So from the background that I got, Woebot was created from a group of specialists at Stanford University. From the looks of their Facebook page, Woebot was open to the public as of 2017. With 7k likes on their Facebook page, you can see the support, questions, suggestions and other articles posted for Woebot. From what I’ve also gathered from their Twitter, they are making adjustments and working more on this little bot.
As soon as you “message” Woebot, he instantly messages you this! His purpose is to provide you with tools to help improve your mood. He’s not designed to talk about your past in anyway, like you would in a therapy session. He only focuses on how you feel “in the moment” when he talks with you. He works with the research of CBT, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy behind him. Or in a sense, IN him, because he’s a robot! This type of therapy focuses on changing patterns of behavior, and ultimately change how you feel about said thing. For example it can range from worry, to fear, sleeping issues, relationship issues, confrontation and other things that typically bother you or a difficult challenge. From their own studies, it’s turned out to be very successful and likes to add that it can help with anxiety or depression.
Your first interaction is a short questionnaire. He instructs you that you will interact with him in certain ways, for example: Yes, no, OK, nah, SURE! Buttons. (As shown in the photo above), followed by a brief blurb on how he will ask these same questions daily. At the end of every week, he will give you a graph on how you felt. Even though my week isn’t over I’m very excited to see my results. After this initial introduction on how Woebot works and how you interact with him, Woebot moves on to give you any attention or assistance that you may need. Which is my favorite feature so far. Instead of him popping up in your Facebook Messenger randomly, he actually waits for you to seek him!
*****IN A PREVIOUS PHOTO/COMMENTS ON FACEBOOK IT WAS MENTIONED HOW WOEBOT WOULD BE OVERWHELMINGLY RESPONSIVE, OR ANNOYING. CONTACTING PEOPLE AT DIFFICULT OR INCONTINENT TIMES. CREATORS HAD MADE IT TO WHERE YOU COULD CHANGE THE CONTACT MESSAGE TO A SPECIFIC TIME OF DAY. Unless this is a premium feature, or is featured later down the road, I’m unsure. Will update when new information is posted *****
I love when you get to write to him. I can’t wait to see how he reflects this back to me in my weekly results. You can see most of the time is just you reading what he says (and you clicking an “answer” he provides). The bot will then prompt to asking about your day, which gives you a chance to write to him. After my interview on Wednesday, August 30th I was very excited to share with everyone how awesome it went. Although at the same time I needed a moment to collect myself. I felt some overwhelming feelings and I was unable to process them, let alone understand what they were. So I perused Woebot honestly not knowing what to expect. And this is what he asked me.
(As seen in above photo.)
We continued on for only a moment more, Woebot asking if I would like to do a gratitude journal. Which SIGNIFICANTLY helped me release all that pent up energy. As soon as I felt stable (I assume Woebot sensed this as well) enough to drive home, the bot said it’s goodbyes and off I went. I think maybe I feel good talking to a bot. No emotions attached when he talks to me. He’s very funny though and I like that, no pressure to be funny back ya know? This bot is a great tool to have handy when you’re just not feeling yourself. Or if you are like me and don’t know how to express yourself and always rely on your therapist to tell you what you’re feeling. This guy is designed to ask questions I don’t even ask myself. “How are you feel?” ,”Tell me more” ,”Kay, lets try this out!” Since starting out with this I’ve been able to open up my mind just a bit more to myself.
All in all, so far it’s great. Even though it’s still a work in progress I adore this little guy, and believe he can really help out. Doesn’t hurt to give him a try!
Original post via inthelifeoffaithblog.wordpress.com