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AI Therapist

Hi, guys, I’m interested in making an AI therapist for my project course next year at U of T. I’ve been researching the feasibility of this project and would like your help. Do you think this would make a good, challenging project that lasts 8 months? What is some general advice you can give me about tailoring a chatbot to be a therapist? How could you make this chatbot therapist as believable as possible? Is there any sort of “data” I can feed it to make it a better therapist? Thank you all for your help.


  [ # 1 ]

I have answered a number of questions on Quora related to this, which may interest you:

- How could natural language processing be used in therapy

- Have NLP/sentiment analysis ever been used on therapist notes

- I want to make a chat bot which will try to reply as a counselor. How should I go about it

I also have a section on my website dedicated to Robopsychology; pay particular attention to the linked pages at the bottom (such as Eliza Weizenbaum):

- Meta Guide Robopsychology

James Sutherland of has done some interesting work resurrecting the converse of ELIZA, the paranoid schizophrenic chatterbot PARRY:

- Resurrecting PARRY and ELIZA


  [ # 2 ]

Thank you so much! That helps a lot! Have a nice day.


  [ # 3 ]

I have been interested in using a bot for helping with the post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) problem that is particularly critical in the military community. A RAND study of this issue found that there are not enough training psychiatrist and psychologist to even screen the large number of potential PTSD cases. The study also reported that almost 50 percent of military and ex-military personnel experiencing symptoms even attempt to get professional help. A bot dedicated to this issue may, or may not, become advanced enough to actually assist in treating PTSD. However, I am confident that it could become a major factor is helping screen candidate personnel in a way that would provide the degree of privacy needed to attract reluctant participants. I put together a very simple demo bot at (1). It originally included a talking head, but I haven’t renew the contract to keep that in place. I also have a white paper that explains this concept is much greater detail if you are interested in trying to move forward with this idea for your course. We could potentially advance the demo to a degree that might generate interest for funding support from the Veteran’s Administration.

John Flynn


  [ # 4 ]

Sorry, I mistyped my own website:


  [ # 5 ]

There is a older chatbot program that has been around for a while that already created a therapist/counselor chatbot elizabot is hosted at if you want some ideas on how to do it. Well i guess someone already mentioned eliza i did not see the post when i first added this.


  [ # 6 ]

Alex, I am also interested in building a therapist chatbot. 

I have been looking into using chatscript, but I am also looking into deep learning techniques.

what is your background / expertise?

regarding data, i can’t find a good source… here is an academic source that might be useful, but chat seems to me to be a little different than in person counseling.

check out this USC/darpa project.


  [ # 7 ]

Deep learning is just a another name for Artificial Neural Networks.  There are lots of sources to learn about them here are couple i found off hand: and . Most chatbots use natural language processing which has been more recently been combined with Deep Neural Networks. There are lots of free courses out there and MIT has several you can take for free. They won’t give you credit for it if you do it for free but you can still learn.


  [ # 8 ]

Alex Badila : when entering into a forum to ask for help its often off puttting for people to help students as they do not ever return with shared code ? they often join just to ask a question than are never heard from again!

I would mention also Sheryl also that the computer psycologist known as eliza, does demonstarte the basic paradigm, yet actually makes diagnosis and actually offers no therpy .

In building a true therpist there is a need for a list of potential questions which can produce a truth table, which inturn can make some form of diagnosis.

i have also followed a few of the courses from various universities online, often not so good but very informative. i often use them as inspiration, yet it should be noted that these courses actually never truly discuss or creat a chatbot type product. and are still focusing on past ideas.

The modern student is exposed to so much new technology the lessons and ideals of universites seem to be way behind in chatbot/AI creation.

they need to upgrade or even employ new and younger innovative lecturers.

Andrew thomas: thank you for the link as it is very important to have good source material to work with. the problem of a centralized source of data is always hard to find. esspecially with medical information. the infrormation that is made public or shared in databases are often stored with “3rd party” database software which is not common or in a useful format.



  [ # 9 ]

Alex Badila : it’s been a while since the post created.
Is there any development for this project?

I’ve created a simple AI therapist in Indonesian language using facebook messenger
The bot is simple, not really using any NLP Technology. but using simple “flow” chatbot platform.
There’s a ton of it right now, like, or “on sequel”

The bot is using very simple buttons (or quick selection) and it will trigger a further response and choices
for input, I create a user group input, where the member consist of hypnotherapists, psychologists, NLP practitioners, and writers.

For scripts or conversation ideas, I drew inspiration from youtube video that put some CBT (Cognitive Behavioural therapy) example and also communicate with my psychologist friends.

you can find it in facebook messenger here >
In bahasa Indonesia language (sorry, no English version yet)

Now, there are some bot in English doing similar things

You can check woebot, which has tons of articles covering about it

or wysa >
Which not very popular, but a better chatbot compare to woebot.

I’ve also heard about kareem by x2ai that try to help syrian refugees to cope with their problem

Hope this help




  [ # 10 ]

I suspect that for beginners, building a brand new chatbot may be quite a bit more challenging than it first seems.  So, how do we help beginners get over the shock of discovering that building a chatbot, even one that is considered dumb, is not such an easy task?


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