Will therapists ever be replaced by robots? This article discusses this question by reviewing a series of studies from different perspectives. The use of e-mental health in therapy has increased over the past years, not only in addition to regular therapy but also as self-contained therapy. Several advantages and disadvantages of online therapy are known. Loss of non-verbal communication is named as one of the most important disadvantages of e-mental health therapy. Some researchers recognize this as the reason why therapy could be effective. However, others state that the online therapeutic relationship can still be rated as good. Furthermore, robots/chatbots are being used in trials for therapy use. Although these studies are still in their infancy, the results are promising.

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Hoe ziet de toekomst van de psycholoog in de geestelijke gezondheidszorg (ggz) eruit? Tessa Strijp zet uiteen hoe technologie het werk van de psycholoog beïnvloedt en wat dit kan betekenen voor de continuïteit van de psychologie als professie. Tevens tracht zij antwoord te geven op de vraag hoe ‘robot-proof’ de psycholoog is. ‘Er is voor de psycholoog geen reden tot zelfgenoegzaamheid.’

Technologische innovaties volgen elkaar in rap tempo op en hebben ook invloed op de banenmarkt. Afgelopen jaren zijn al veel banen geautomatiseerd. Hoe zit dat eigenlijk voor de psycholoog werkzaam binnen de ggz? Een snelle zoektocht op Google stelt ons gerust en beweert dat de psycholoog vrij weinig te vrezen heeft (JobPersonality, 2019). De kans dat de psycholoog vervangen wordt, wordt zelfs geschat op 0%. Maar hoe terecht is de aanname dat de psycholoog volledig ‘robot-proof ’ is? Er wordt tegenwoordig bij verschillende psychische stoornissen al flink geëxperimenteerd met de inzet van chatbots, een geautomatiseerde gesprekspartner. Over chatbot Tess wordt door NewHealth Collective (z.d.) het volgende gezegd: ‘Tess is 24 uur per dag, 7 dagen per week voor iedere cliënt beschikbaar via kanalen als sms, Facebook Messenger, webbrowsers en chat-apps, dus ook op plaatsen en tijdstippen waarop de professional van vlees en bloed er niet kan zijn. Tess is nooit moe, nooit afgeleid en altijd bereid om met je te praten. Ze


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