In the ever-pressing push to automate any job that can be done by a machine, several tech start ups have appeared with their sights set on robot therapy.  Companies like X2AI and Wysa have been spending a lot of R&D dollars on perfecting chat-bots for mental and emotional therapy.

One of the most common phrases, and subsequently one of the easiest jokes to make about the profession, is "...and, how does that make you feel?"  The crazy thing is, it works!  That simple phrase, repeated a few times can make the patient really think about what's bothering them and how they feel about it.  That realization alone is enough to help a vast majority of folks.  The Wall Street Journal reports that the chat-bots designed to help folks with the most common mental health issues are based on this premise.  They don't diagnose, they help you help yourself.

I checked out WYSA for myself, and the little owl seemed to want to help:

Screenshot - wysa.io
Screenshot - wysa.io
Screenshot - wysa.io

From there, the owl wanted me to download the app - but you get the picture.  It asked questions, responded with a humorous meme and reassured me that it was there to help.  The app helps the owl keep track off how you are feeling from day-to-day in order to develop a pattern of the triggers that make you feel happy/sad/nervous/comfortable etc. based on your own responses to it's pre-programmed questions. Maybe the algorithms behind the chat-bots aren't good enough to diagnose major mental issues like schizophrenia, but they just might be getting to the point where they can help you get over not getting a promotion or missing home.

If you know someone that this might help, encourage them to try it.  It's a little weird, but even if they hate it - it might be a good way to get them talking about getting help if they need it.