Paul giving a session

PaulsRobot3   1st: FAQ2 — Software versus Wetware

My dream is that you use free Rub & Yawn stress-release procedures today and in the future to improve your life — Paul

Talking to friends, not trained counsellors

Not everyone with a problem gets to talk to a trained counsellor about it. Usually one will first talk to family and friends, even though there are some things that one might hold back in a social situation that one would be willing to tell a professional counsellor. So there is an additional column here for friends and family, as well as PaulsRobot and a professional (human) counsellor.

PaulsRobot versus Humans — Software versus Wetware

TopicPaulsRobotProfessional CounsellorFriends and Family
Human warmth and companionshipObviously the "human element" is missing, and more self-discipline is needed from the client to get and stay in session and just keep at it. Someone with relationship difficulties might benefit far more from the warmth, respect and openness of a live counsellor, impossible hereVaries, but human counsellors usually score well on empathyVaries, but usually one would only confide in sympathetic persons
EffectivenessIt seems to work well in a variety of situations, provided the client follows the instructions. This is completely contrary to expectation. It was even contrary to Paul's expectation when he was first experimenting with what became PaulsRobotVaries, depending on the quality of both the counsellor and the style of counselling they useVaries, but people untrained in a field tend to be less effective than professionals
CostFree of chargeVaries. Minimum wage is approx. £5 or $7 per hour, with some counsellors charging much moreFree of charge
Availability24/7. PaulsRobot is available whenever you want to schedule a sessionOnline real-time counselling available worldwide, but usually with prior appointment. In-person counselling depends on local situation — more difficult in rural areas. Finding a local practitioner who is qualified to deliver whatever speciality you want is sometimes difficultDepends on what you want to say and how you say it
Professional affiliationsNone, of course. This is a pioneer fieldVaries. Many counsellors with normal counselling qualifications are members of the BACP (UK) or ACA (US)None
Insurance coverageNoneProfessional counsellors who are members of the BACP or ACA carry liability insurance. Whether or not a client's own insurance company will pay for the counselling varies by company and policyNone
Adherence to ethical codes of practiceInvariable from client to client and session to session. As decent and ethical as a bot can be. Although no Robot counsellor can be a model of glowing acceptance toward the client, neither will there ever be the slightest hint of criticism or judgment of the client, whatever the client's demeanour or self-esteemUsually dependableVaries. An untrained counsellor might well be a very decent person, but be completely unaware of the right thing to do in a counselling situation
Adherence to standard procedures, depending on what is considered standard at the timeMost PaulsRobot procedures are fresh 21st century developments. Other procedures that are designed to be Robot versions of "regular" ones (like Rogerian Therapy) are necessarily adjusted somewhat to fit into the Robot paradigm, although their character is intended to be essentially unchangedVaries. It depends on the practitioner, as to how strictly he adheres to what is usual. And it depends on how much room there is for individual variation built into the modality concernedNo
Familiarity and experience with procedures unique to PaulsRobot (Core, HeavyDuty, Morph, Dipoles etc.)100%Except in very rare cases, no contact at allNo
Session controlShaky. There is nothing to stop the client walking out of the roomHands-on control possible when there in person. If it is a remote session, much harder but still more positive than an automated system (can try to persuade, count on social factors etc)Shaky. Someone untrained in counselling procedures might be very willing to help, but often would not know how to deal with a tricky situation
Interpretation of your responses100%. You are in complete control of which response option to pickDepends on how well the counsellor understands what you say and think and feel in sessionDepends on how well the person understands what you say and think and feel
ReliabilityHighly consistent, not subject to illness, mood swings, or other work and family distractionsVaries from counsellor to counsellorVaries, but reliability as a friend does not necessarily translate over to reliability as a counsellor
Interjection of distractions into sessionMinor to non-existent, as Robot is not a living beingVaries with skill level (and cost) of counsellor, but more likely as counsellor is a living human beingVaries, but someone untrained as a counsellor is far more likely to "get in the way" than a professional counsellor
Biofeedback devices used in conjunction with specific procedures and questions, not used in isolationNone. But PaulsRobot procedures are designed to not need biofeedback and its absence is not a lackThe value of a biofeedback device depends on the skill level of the practitioner. An effective biofeedback device wielded by a real expert, who doesn't miss indications or misinterpret them, and who doesn't allow the client to have things falsely validated or suggested by biofeedback indications (or lack of them), can add significant value in a sessionNot applicable
Social acceptability, although this depends on what sort of company you keepDepends if you tell anyone! Very few people would accept that Robot counselling is even possible, let alone beneficialIf you are reading this, then your friends and associates are probably familiar with human practitioners of this typeOne would usually only "open up" to someone likely to be sympathetic
ConfidentialityNo personal details at all are transmitted during Robot sessions, so no secrets can be revealed. This means that however embarrassing or even unlawful the client's topic is, no hint of it can possibly leak out except via the client herselfUsually good, in line with professional codes of ethics. Note that it is mandatory for a professional counsellor to report some situations that the client reveals in session (threats of violence, child abuse, strong suicidal tendencies etc.) to appropriate authoritiesRisky
How well will your specific wants be addressed?You choose exactly what you want to address and when to do it. There are five entire modules (Core, HeavyDuty, Morph, BasicR3X and Psycho) that can be used to address and discharge virtually any topicDepends on how skilled the practitioner is, and how effective the procedure(s) in use are at addressing your specific concernsUnlikely to happen with someone not counsellor-trained.