Technology-enhanced human interaction in psychotherapy

J Couns Psychol. 2017 Jul;64(4):385-393. doi: 10.1037/cou0000213. Epub 2017 Mar 20.


Psychotherapy is on the verge of a technology-inspired revolution. The concurrent maturation of communication, signal processing, and machine learning technologies begs an earnest look at how these technologies may be used to improve the quality of psychotherapy. Here, we discuss 3 research domains where technology is likely to have a significant impact: (1) mechanism and process, (2) training and feedback, and (3) technology-mediated treatment modalities. For each domain, we describe current and forthcoming examples of how new technologies may change established applications. Moreover, for each domain we present research questions that touch on theoretical, systemic, and implementation issues. Ultimately, psychotherapy is a decidedly human endeavor, and thus the application of modern technology to therapy must capitalize on-and enhance-our human capacities as counselors, students, and supervisors. (PsycINFO Database Record

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Humans
  • Machine Learning
  • Psychotherapy / education
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Technology*