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Counselling via Computer?

Offering counselling and therapy via computer programmes is a trend. Let us be clear that, based on the considerations about psychodynamics introduced here, this cannot work. Computers can process information, but, as yet, they cannot perceive. Without perception of self-expression, i.e. perception about that which someone reveals and what he conceals, understanding is not possible; nor can one work on that, which is unconscious within the client or on that which he does not feel. Nor can computers allow for the deficit in acceptance, because here there is no personal address (responsiveness). We highly recommend the feature film “Her”, in which a man falls in love with an operating system and has a complete breakdown, when he is forced to realise that the attention of the computer is not directed solely at him. What is represented here directs the attention towards the fact that the less encounters and perception channels are available (telephone coaching, video conferences), the more demanding and error prone the understanding of people becomes.

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