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THE AUTOMATION OF PSYCHOTHERAPY
SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF
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A study of the implications of automation for psychotherapy is presented. The growth in the use of computers, their power and capacity, as well as some of their applications in the behavioral sciences, are indicated. A study of the various techniques of computer programming which would affect the man-machine relationship in an automated type of psychotherapy is presented. These programming techniques include fixed sequence programs, alternative sequence programs, and varied sequence computer programs. Some of the relationships between computer programming techniques and different theoretical positions in psychology are indicated. For example, the Skinner approach seems to stress a fixed sequence approach to programming while a client-centered therapy approach would seem to necessitate a varied sequence approach with the computer being programmed to be responsive to the needs of the client. Some of the effects of using information retrieval equipments on automated psychotherapy are indicated. A brief review of the research on student-oriented teaching machines along with the implications of this research for psychotherapy machines are presented. How a computer could be actually applied to psychotherapy is discussed along with the psychological theory upon which this application is based. Some of the problems, values, and social consequences involved in the automation of psychotherapy are presented. Author
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