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Qualitative investigations into a virtual CBT therapist : relational features, client experiences and implications for counselling psychology practice.

Marrinan, Francis (2018) Qualitative investigations into a virtual CBT therapist : relational features, client experiences and implications for counselling psychology practice. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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Abstract

This e-thesis is an excerpt from a larger portfolio of work that was submitted for the Practitioner Doctorate in Psychotherapeutic and Counselling Psychology course at the University of Surrey. This research dossier consists of three separate reports that follow one coherent line of inquiry. The dossier begins with a literature review that explores a diverse range of computer technologies that try to emulate aspects of the therapeutic relationship. The focus then narrows to one computerised cognitive behavioural therapy program, Sleepio, which is delivered by a fully automated character called The Prof. A gap in the literature is identified regarding the nature of this ‘virtual therapist’ and the manner with which he interacts with users. The first empirical study addresses this by conducting a qualitative analysis of The Prof’s algorithm to see whether elements of the therapeutic relationship are present in his design. The results highlight multiple ways that this virtual therapist is designed to emulate relational processes. The second empirical study builds upon the first by exploring participants’ experiences of The Prof. The analysis demonstrates that users can have relational experiences towards The Prof, despite awareness of the underlying technological automation. Opportunities and issues regarding the application of virtual therapists are discussed. Recommendations are made for further research, as well as a call for increased awareness of these technologies among mental health professionals.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Marrinan, Francis
Date : 28 March 2018
Funders : N/A
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID
http://www.loc.gov/loc.terms/relators/THSManafi, Elenae.manafi@surrey.ac.uk
Depositing User : Frank Marrinan
Date Deposited : 06 Apr 2018 08:29
Last Modified : 06 Apr 2018 08:29
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/846032

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