The software will see you now: The promise and peril of digital therapy
Counselling and Psychotherapy Research
The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted discussion across a range of fields and disciplines as numerous professions embrace an online or virtual environment. This paper focuses upon the provision of therapy in a digital environment specifically through the development of Mental Health Apps (mHealth). The latter are seen as a remedy to the lack of qualified therapists providing mental health services to populations who lack access to adequate and affordable mental health care. Within this context, this paper draws attention to the central value of dignity. Dignity lies at the heart of the therapeutic encounter and the profession more broadly. I consider some of the challenges posed to dignity both philosophically and from the perspective of technologists. These challenges pose an acute dilemma for therapists who find themselves providing a ‘service’ that is increasingly driven by demands for greater efficiency and a digital environment that offers therapy on demand. I place the perceived ‘crisis of mental health’ in context and suggest that some form of regulation is required for digital therapy apps if trained therapists are to continue to offer a professional service while clients are protected from exploitative practices.
artificial intelligence, digital health, digital therapy, dignity, mobile health
Lawrence Quill. "The software will see you now: The promise and peril of digital therapy" Counselling and Psychotherapy Research (2021): 498-501. https://doi.org/10.1002/capr.12404