Everything You Needed To Know About Social Work In One Google Search

….Well… maybe…

The Google search auto-fill is often interesting.  There are often humorous examples posted on social media like…

I am not an expert on search but just a few observations from this. Google’s algorithm this is how people are talking about Charles Darwin on the internet.  This post was inspired by coming across this tweet…

I immediately started to wonder what people are asking social work can do…

Some amusing things in there but also some interesting asks.  Role clarification for social work is complex. The public often doesn’t always understand what we do. Sometimes even within our own profession we disagree what it is that we do.  However answering questions like “can we diagnose autism?” and “can social workers be school counselors?” can help the public come to a greater understanding of what we do. I also found “Can social workers be friends with former clients?” Not sure if this meant online or in real life but either way an important question.

Even more interesting was the search “Can Therapists…”

You can see some legit ethical questions (along with some silly ones). According to Google algorithms, these are the burning questions the public wants to know.  I would encourage you to Google your profession and ask what it “can” do.  It was fascinating to see how people are talking about it and the conversation continued on twitter..

This would be an interesting class assignment at the graduate and undergraduate level. On could go deeper into the search results and write about that.  Also if you are a blogger with writers block this may be good fodder for a post (very meta because you are reading this post now).  It may be helpful for organizations to craft a marketing campaign. Do a search “Can <your organization>?>

I also encourage people to Google themselves to assess what people could be saying about them. This is a good practice to manage your online reputation.  It is interesting how Google can tell a small but important tale about you, your organization, and your profession.

Would also like to hear stories of what other people have learned from Google searches. Please feel free to comment below, tweet me at @stuckonsw or also email stuckonsw@gmail.com 

 

 

 

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What Therapists (Ok, Just this One) Are Saying About Mental Health Chatbots

Earlier this summer, articles about “WoeBot” took social media by storm. Or at least in the mental health and technology circles I hang with. And in case you missed it the WoeBot is a automated chatbot that checks on you daily and offers some “sessions” in cognitive behavioral therapy. It was again brought up on Facebook and I sort of dismissed it. My gut reaction is there is no way that robot could replace a therapist and if it did. It would be rather clunky.

A robot doing therapy would probably look something like this. It would give a try but fall a bit short…

 

I thought about writing a blog post based on this GIF alone but wanted to do more research. Life happened and I moved on to other things.  But a recent conversation on twitter renewed this topic for me and helped me refine my message…

 

Other joined and shared some other thought provoking resources…

 

The above articles and resources provided some more “use cases” for chat bots in both healthcare and mental health.  This helped tip the scale for me.  I am certainly more open the possibility of chatbots for mental health. Still maintaining my stance that technology can be an adjunct to treatment but not a full on replacement.

I think the WoeBot can be good adjunct to therapy.  There could be two very useful scenarios.  One would be those who are placed on a wait-list. To start some WoeBot sessions to get a sense of what CBT is like and if it is a good fit. The data that is generated can be useful for the first actual session.  Similar to previous posts I have argued that data generated by using technology can create a “sitting around the campfire” talking about it scene. You can go into the session and talk about what you and WoeBot did.

The other useful scenario is as a bridge between therapy sessions. That again the conversation with the WoeBot can reinforce the face to face relationship with the therapist. Also thinking about how a WoeBot can be part of somebody’s discharge plan. That after you are done with therapy then use the WoeBot to reinforce things. If one does not feel like the WoeBot is enough they can promptly return to therapy.

Image Credit: WoeBot.IO

 

I continue to be enthused about mental health apps. However I remain cautious of these being stand alone treatments.  Yes there are not enough therapists and psychiatrists. Yes we need to do something different. And no mental health professionals don’t have to run the other way from technology.  We should be embracing mental health apps as our assists.  In the case of WoeBot our virtual assistant.  It would be in the interest of therapists and maybe insurance companies to take a deeper dive into this technology to see how we can make therapy a more active than a passive experience.

 

I would love to know your thoughts on this topic. Please feel free to comment below, yell at me on twitter @StuckOnSW, or email me at StuckOnSW@yahoo.com