As a relationship therapist, I work with couples on a whole range of difficulties between them. It’s often the case that problems they experienced can be traced back over several years, often (though not always) with roots around when they had children, and indeed, their own childhood experiences. 

But because the loss of the connection between couples is gradual, it can slide into a sort of ‘new normal’ until one or both partners has a realisation that change is needed. Many couples will seek a therapist to help them untangle and understand their difficulties and to help them explore the idea of change. 

However the world is changing too.  I’ve noticed a recent and quite rapid growth in artificial intelligence (AI) being used for generating illustrations and written material. Given couple therapy is a considerable investment on the part of the clients, I have been wondering about whether AI is likely to develop to the point that virtual therapists will start to emerge. 

My work is all about curiosity and understanding of my clients, helping them to see their difficulties in a different and clearer way. Perhaps one day AI will be able do this too, albeit simulated? As a quick test of how ready the technology is, I tried out one of the free tools – rytr. I asked it to ‘help’ an imaginary couple looking for a fresh start. Rytr asks for key words to get it started – I used connection, love, arguments, cold distancing, fresh start, curiosity, understanding, express feelings, find joy, stop blame.

In around 10 seconds, the software had come up with 105 words. Here’s what it managed:

Relationships can be difficult to maintain, especially when the same issues arise over and over again. It can be hard to stay connected and express love in the midst of arguments or cold distancing. However, it is possible for couples to renew their relationship with a fresh start. 

By tapping into curiosity, understanding, and expressing feelings in a positive way, couples can find joy in their relationship again. Rather than placing blame on one another, they should focus on finding ways to connect through shared experiences and activities. 

Through this process of renewal, couples can learn how to communicate better and appreciate each other more.

Difficulties in relationships can arise from a number of factors, such as lack of understanding, fear, and emotional distance. Couples should seek to understand each other and express their feelings in a positive manner rather than place blame on one another. 

Relationships can be difficult to maintain when there is not enough time for couples to spend together because of work or other commitments. When possible, couples should avoid placing expectations on one another by spending quality time together without distractions so they do not feel like they are under pressure.

You may have your own opinion on the quality of this material. My view is, it’s not bad, in that it appears ‘intelligent’ enough. However the stories and experiences couples bring to their therapy is uniquely theirs, and the answers are uniquely theirs too. While the Rytr piece is a perfectly sound introduction to couple challenges, it can only be generic, and what people need from a therapist has to be bespoke.