Powerful Technological Advancements in the Field of Psychology

Technological Advancements in the Field of Psychology

Table of Contents

Introduction

Today, technology has become an integral part of our daily lives.

Every day a new technology is emerging in the market and is being embraced by industries belonging to various sectors, due to which they are constantly evolving.

Psychology is one such field that has thoroughly changed since the penetration of technology.

In this blog, get an in-depth understanding of various technological advancements in the field of Psychology

Key Takeaways

  • One of the significant impacts technology has on psychology is that it has changed the way of treatment.
  • Teletherapy refers to the mental health counselling that can happen over texts, phone calls or even video conferencing platforms. 
  • Though Digital medium has provided ease of access to Mental Health Services, the negative side of the use of the digital medium to seek help regarding mental health issues is “Influencer therapist.” 

A sea of change: From traditional to digital advancements in the field of Psychology

No doubt that technology has been a game-changer that has revolutionized various fields with its offering. 

It has not only changed the way we communicate with each other but also changed the way we perceive the world. 

Not long ago, almost all the psychological tests used to take place in person but, now computerized tests have become the new norm. 

Like every coin has two sides to it, the impact of technology on Psychology has its own sets of advantages and disadvantages. We will be discussing it in detail in the next section.

How has technology revolutionized the field of Psychology?

1. Treatment

One of the significant impacts technology has on psychology is that it has changed the way of treatment.

Technologies such as Video Conferencing, Mobile applications and Websites have changed the traditional way of counselling. 

You just need to have an internet connection and a digital device, and you are all set to seek an appointment or treatment from your psychologist, anywhere and at any time.

2. Teletherapy

Teletherapy refers to the mental health counselling that can happen over texts, phone calls or even video conferencing platforms. 

But, video conferencing platforms are more or less similar to the traditional way of treating. The only difference is that it happens over a digital medium.

Whereas, when text messaging or telephonic calls are used as a medium of communication for therapy. The problem is a lot of non-verbal communication is left outside the loop, making it a disadvantage.

But, on the other hand, teletherapy has various benefits such as – Lower Cost, more privacy, increased satisfaction and no commute. 

3. Virtual Reality Therapy (VRT)

Virtual Reality (VR) has been a boon to the Psychology field. VR is being extensively used to diagnose and treat medical conditions ranging from anxiety disorders to chronic pain. 

With the help of VRT, medical professionals can mimic anxiety-producing environments. They help the clients treat their fear of that anxiety triggering substance without really having them go through such a situation in reality.

It is also known as exposure therapy. This helps the therapist to provide better outcomes because they have the power to control the intensity of the client’s experience. 

4. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Role of AI in Psychology

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has taken the center stage in the digital era and is responsible for producing emerging technologies.

Even though we are not utilizing AI to its fullest potential in the field of Psychology, it does have the capacity to become the next big thing!

Many Research centres have and are working towards this aspect.

So far, there has been a tremendous development wherein AI has been put in use to create Virtual therapists who can also recognize and respond to non-verbal cues. One such virtual therapist which has been designed by The University of Southern California’s ICT Department is – Ellie.

To help the healthcare system in diagnosing patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia – PARO, a robotic therapeutic seal has been created.

PARO has been designed with 5 sensors and its working is centralized around the concept of “Reinforcement Learning”.

 Even though Artificial Intelligence cannot replace a human therapist, it sure does have the potential to make the entire process more streamlined, effective, and efficient. 

Mental Health and COVID-19

Mental Health and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our everyday lives in a big way. 

With the complete change in our lifestyle, fake news floating around, mass layoffs, daily increase in the death rate, social distancing and isolation has further negatively impacted our mental health.

 According to a survey conducted by the World Health Organizations about 70% of the countries worldwide have adopted the facilities of teletherapy and telemedicine to overcome disruptions caused by in-person mental health services.

 According to Nayamat Bawa, in India alone, there was a 65% increase in teletherapy sessions between May and June 2020.

COVID-19 has boosted the use of digital devices and technological advancement to seek help for any mental- health-related issues.

 Mobile applications and websites which were specifically created to cater to these issues not only were utilized as a medium of communication with the therapist but also educated citizens about mental health awareness, self-help and online support. 

If you are wondering whether mental health services provided through digital media will produce the same output as an in-person diagnosis? Then the answer is YES! 

According to a meta-analytical study conducted by Ashley Batastini, PhD, an Assistant Professor in the Department of CEPR at the University of Memphis, the clinical assessments, diagnosis and interventions provided through in-person and digital mediums produced similar results. 

The Negatives of Digital Medium

negatives of social media

Though Digital medium has provided ease of access to Mental Health Services, the negative side of the use of the digital medium to seek help regarding mental health issues is “Influencer Therapist.”. 

Wondering who are Influencer Therapists? They are basically influencers of social media platforms who are now giving unsolicited advice to people seeking help without the consultation of a licensed Psychologist. 

Therefore, it poses one of the biggest challenges as the people seeking help are being exposed to uncontrolled interaction and expression of emotions. 

Wrapping Up

Technological advancement has completely revolutionized the field of Psychology. 

It has helped enhance the treatment methods and provided ease of access to all. Ultimately helped spread the awareness of Mental Health.

 In unfortunate circumstances like the current COVID-19 pandemic, Teletherapy has been a boon to many. As they are able to reach out to Psychologists and other professionals from the comfort of their homes.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Teletherapy?

    Teletherapy refers to the mental health counselling that can happen over texts, phone calls or even video conferencing platforms. 

  2. what is Psychology in simple terms?

    Psychology is one of the most complex yet beautiful fields of science. It deals with the study of mind and behaviour. 

  3. Who is an Influencer Therapist?

    Influencer Therapist are basically influencers of social media platforms who are now giving unsolicited advice to people seeking help without the consultation of a licensed Psychologist

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