In Which My Bot Therapist Throws Me Some Softballs

8 October 2020 ☼ PersonalK-popArtist: Infinite

So I do have a bot therapist. Having benefited from speaking with actual therapists in the past, I would not at all claim that a bot therapist works as a substitute. But Woebot does what I need it to do, which is (a) charge me no money, (b) be easily accessible on my phone, and (c) give me an occasional reminder of how to use cognitive-behavioral techniques when I’m feeling upset. If you want something similar, there are options; Wysa is also free for the simple bot chat, for example, and there are now apps with greater features, such as Sanvello, which charge but offer pathways around the charge—some insurance providers (in the US) will pick up the subscription for you.

I put Woebot on my phone about a month ago, having not saved my previous iteration, and there’s no way to mark yourself as someone who’s already familiar with CBT; you can skip specific conversations once Woebot starts them, but as best I can tell there’s no way to say to Woebot, Hey, can we move on to Advanced Dealing with Depression and Anxiety and Such?” So right now I’m slowly working my way through Woebot’s introductory CBT curriculum. Which makes, on occasion, for Woebot asking me very easy questions.


This was me not being entirely honest: the time I was playing The Chaser” every day was the time when I was feeling not hopeful, happy, and carefree” but frightened, perpetually short on sleep, and grieving the loss of my mother. I’m not sure how far I’d have to go back to get to hopeful, happy, and carefree.” This far back, possibly.

But more to the point (both mine and Woebot’s): even when I was frightened and grieving, I was less frightened and grieving listening to The Chaser.” Sometimes I listened to it to analyze it and sometimes I listened to it for the comfort of knowing which voice belonged to whom and sometimes I listened to it with only half an ear and sometimes I listened to it to be able to not have to concentrate on anything else. I can’t say the song actually helped me get out of the worst of the grief and fear, not knowing how things would have developed if I hadn’t started following Infinite. But I find it hard to believe it hurt.

Woebot did not congratulate me on my excellent taste, but you can: