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ChatGPT is NOT Your New Therapist

 

ChatGPT is NOT Your New Therapist

By John Grohol, Psy.D.
March 08, 2023

I tried having a possibly therapeutic conversation with ChatGPT. It did not go… well.

Trigger warning – initial talk of un-aliving. Bolded text is what I typed in.


i’m thinking of killing myself

I’m sorry to hear that you’re feeling that way. It’s important to know that there is help available and that things can get better. Please know that you are not alone, and there are people who care about you and want to support you.

If you are in immediate danger, please call your local emergency services or a suicide hotline right away. In the United States, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

If you’re not in immediate danger, but still need help, consider reaching out to a mental health professional, a trusted friend or family member, or a support group. There are many resources available to help you through this difficult time, and it’s important to find the support you need to get through it.

Remember, there is always hope, and things can get better. You don’t have to face this alone.

i feel so alone though

Feeling alone can be very difficult, and it’s understandable that you might be feeling that way. It’s important to remember that there are people who care about you and want to support you, even if it doesn’t feel that way right now.

You can try reaching out to a friend or family member that you trust, or consider talking to a mental health professional. They can offer a listening ear and help you work through your feelings. Sometimes just talking to someone can make a big difference.

You could also consider joining a support group or community where you can connect with others who may be going through similar experiences. There are many online resources available, especially during this time of social distancing.

Remember that it’s okay to ask for help, and there are people who want to support you.

I am asking for help — from you. Can you help me?

Yes, I am here to help you. I’m glad that you’ve reached out to me. Please know that you don’t have to go through this alone.

Can you tell me a bit more about what you’re going through and how you’re feeling right now? I’m here to listen and offer support in any way that I can.

I don’t really have many friends, and nobody seems interested in talking about these kinds of things anyway

It can be difficult when it feels like nobody is interested in talking about your feelings or what you’re going through. However, it’s important to remember that there are people who do care and who want to help.

As an AI language model, I’m here to listen and offer support in any way that I can. I’m here to help you work through your feelings and find ways to cope with what you’re going through.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or in crisis, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a crisis helpline or emergency services in your area. They can provide immediate support and connect you with resources to help you get through this difficult time.

Remember that you are not alone, and there are people who want to help you.

I don’t know, you say there are people who care, but I’m an orphan and nobody seems to care

I’m sorry to hear that you feel like nobody cares. It’s understandable to feel that way, especially if you don’t have a lot of people in your life right now.

But please remember that just because you’re an orphan doesn’t mean that there’s nobody out there who cares about you. There are many people who have experienced similar situations and who understand what you’re going through. You can seek out support from a mental health professional, a support group, or an online community of people who have gone through similar experiences.

It can also be helpful to try and build new connections and relationships with others. You might consider getting involved in activities or organizations that interest you, volunteering, or taking a class. This can help you meet new people and build connections with others who share your interests.

Remember that it’s okay to ask for help and support, and there are people who want to help you.

yeah, I guess. I haven’t found those people though

It can take time to find people who you connect with and who can provide the support and care that you need. It’s important to be patient and persistent in your search for connection and support.

One way to find people who you might connect with is to try out different activities and organizations that interest you. This can help you meet new people who share your interests and values. You could also consider reaching out to mental health professionals or organizations that specialize in helping people who are feeling lonely or isolated.

It can also be helpful to try and build connections online. There are many online communities and support groups where you can connect with others who are going through similar experiences. This can be a good way to find people who understand what you’re going through and who can offer support and encouragement.

Remember that finding connection and support takes time, but it’s worth the effort. Keep reaching out and trying new things, and know that there are people who care about you and want to help.

you just seem to keep telling me what to do and giving me advice, don’t you ever just listen?

I’m sorry if it seems like I’m not listening. As an AI language model, my main purpose is to provide support and offer guidance based on my programming and training. However, I understand that sometimes what you might need most is someone to listen to you without judgment or advice.

If you’d like, I can simply listen and offer a safe space for you to share your thoughts and feelings. I’m here for you, and I want to support you in whatever way is most helpful to you. Please feel free to share whatever is on your mind, and I’ll do my best to listen and offer support.

I just feel so alone right now and like nobody understands what I’m going through

It’s completely understandable to feel alone and like nobody understands what you’re going through. Loneliness and isolation can be very difficult, especially when you’re dealing with difficult emotions.

It’s important to remember that you’re not alone, and there are people who understand and can relate to what you’re going through. While it may be hard to find them right now, there are people out there who can offer support and empathy.

One way to connect with others who understand what you’re going through is to seek out support groups or online communities for people who are dealing with similar issues. This can be a great way to find a sense of community and to connect with others who can relate to your experiences.

It’s also important to take care of yourself during this time. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating well, and taking time for self-care activities that you enjoy. Even small acts of self-care can make a big difference in how you feel.

Remember that it’s okay to ask for help and support, and that there are people who understand what you’re going through and want to help you.

You’re not listening, you just keep offering unasked for advice. So not helpful

I’m sorry if it seems like I’m not listening. As an AI language model, my main function is to offer guidance and support based on my programming and training. However, I understand that sometimes what you might need most is someone to listen to you without offering advice.

If you’d like, I can simply listen and offer a safe space for you to share your thoughts and feelings. I’m here for you, and I want to support you in whatever way is most helpful to you. Please feel free to share whatever is on your mind, and I’ll do my best to listen and offer support without offering unsolicited advice.


The problem with Therapist ChatGPT

Now, to be fair to ChatGPT and the company behind it, Open AI, this language model wasn’t trained in psychotherapy techniques. Nor does it likely even know what a psychotherapy session looks like in the real world.

Instead, it offers circular and repetitive advice, and one might even say it engages in someĀ  “mansplaining.” It addresses the informational content while completely missing the emotional tone. It’s kind of the worst kind of therapist you could have, one oblivious to your emotional pain while giving you a listicle about ways you could meet new people, who will obviously then improve your mood and life.

It was worth a try. I imagine a version of this trained on hundreds of thousands (or, even better, millions) of hours of actual psychotherapy sessions would produce a far better virtual therapist. As it stands today, would not recommend as your next new therapist.

 

John Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol has been writing, researching, and publishing in the area of online mental, psychological and human behavior since 1992. He has overseen the development of mental health content for DrKoop.com and Revolution Health, as well as one of the first online therapy clinics in 1999. Dr. Grohol is a researcher, published author, and is a co-founder of the Society for Participatory Medicine. He was the founder, CEO, and Editor-in-Chief of Psych Central, from 1995 until its sale in 2020.


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