B1 Intermediate UK 7198 Folder Collection
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Catherine: Welcome to 6 Minute English,
the programme where we explore an interesting
topic and bring you six items of useful vocabulary.
I'm Catherine.
Rob: And I'm Rob.
Catherine: I have a question for you, Rob:
how would you feel about having therapy
from a robot?
Rob: I'm not too sure about that -
you'll need to tell me more! But first things first,
the word therapy refers to a kind of treatment that helps
someone feel better - including
treatment for mental health issues.
Someone who delivers therapy is called a therapist.
Catherine: We'll find out more about this robot therapist
in just a moment, but first, Rob,
I've got a question for you about the scale
of mental health issues globally.
So roughly how many people do you think experience
mental health issues at some point during
their lifetime? Is it... a) One in ten people,
b) One in four or c) One in three
Rob: I'll go for one in four,
but I know whichever answer is right -
it's a big issue.
How might a robot therapist help?
Catherine: We're not talking about a robot
in the Star Wars sense - so there's no flashing
lights and mechanical arms, Rob! It's actually an app
in your smartphone that talks to you
- and it's called Woebot.
Rob: So - it has a sense of humour.
Woe means 'sadness'; so this is a 'woe' bot,
not a robot.
Catherine: And it was developed by psychologist
Dr Alison Darcy from Stanford University
in the US. Here she is talking to the BBC radio
programme All in the Mind.
Dr Alison Darcy: Well, after you start an
initial conversation with the Woebot,
and he'll take you through sort of what he can do
and what he can't do, he'll just essentially
check in with you every day and just give you
a sort of figurative tap on the shoulder
and say: "Hey Claudia, how are you doing?
What's going on in your day? How do you feel?"
So if you say, like "I'm really, really stressed out",
Woebot might offer to help
talk you through something.
Catherine: Woebot checks in with you every day
and asks how you are.
Rob: So here, to check in with someone
doesn't mean to register at a hotel with that person!
It's an informal way of saying you talk to someone
in order to report or find out information.
Catherine: And this usage is more common in the US.
So for example: "I can't meet you today,
Rob, but I'll check in with you tomorrow
to see how the project is getting on."
Rob: So, this robot checks in with you every day.
It tracks your mood and talks to you
about your emotions, using a technique
called cognitive behavioural therapy.
Catherine: Cognitive behavioural therapy
is a common therapeutic technique
that helps people deal with problems
by changing the way they think.
Rob: That all sounds great,
but does Woebot actually work?
Catherine: They've done trials which show that
it can be more effective than simply reading
information about mental health.
But they haven't compared Woebot to a real
therapist due to ethical concerns.
Rob: Yes, it could be unethical to deny
a real patient access to a human therapist
for the sake of a trial.
Ethical basically means morally right.
Catherine: And another concern is privacy.
People who use apps like this are not protected
by strong privacy laws.
Rob: Despite these fears, digital therapy
is booming - and Woebot is just one of an
an increasing number of electronic services.
One reason for this could be using an app carries less
stigma than maybe seeing a human therapist.
Catherine: And stigma refers to the negative
associations that people have about something,
especially when these associations are not fair.
Even though mental health is now being
talked about more openly than before,
some people do still see mental health issues
and therapy negatively.
Rob: Whatever you think of robot therapy,
Dr Darcy believes that in the modern world
people need to self-reflect more -
which means thinking deeply about yourself,
in order to understand the reasons behind your feelings.
Dr Alison Darcy: The world that we live in right now
is very noisy. Particularly digitally.
You know, since we've had these little computers
in our pockets with us everywhere we go,
there aren't that many opportunities for real silence
or self-reflection. You know, even a commute
on the tube might have been a moment to
just take a second to yourself, but now that void
can be filled always with super engaging content
by looking at your phone.
Catherine: Darcy believes that we don't have
much time for self-reflection
because there are so many distractions in life -
especially smartphones!
Rob: After discussing all this - would you actually try
a therapy app like this?
Catherine: Yes I would, actually -
I think it might be quite helpful.
Rob: And how about the question you asked me
at the beginning of the programme: how
many people experience mental health issues?
Catherine: The answer was: one in four,
according the World Health Organisation
and the World Federation for Mental Health.
But the WHO say that as many as two-thirds
of people never seek help from a health professional -
with stigma being one of the main reasons.
Rob: And just there we had stigma again,
let's now run through the other words we learned today.
Catherine: So we had woe meaning sadness.
I'm full of woe. Woe is me!
Rob: Maybe you need some therapy -
that's the process of receiving treatment for a particular
health issue, especially mental health illness.
Catherine: And we had - to check in with someone.
After we finish this programme, I need to check in with
the boss about my new project.
Rob: We also had self-reflection -
that's the process of thinking deeply about yourself.
Catherine: And finally we had ethical.
If you describe something as ethical,
you mean it's morally right.
Rob: So woe, stigma, therapy, check in with,
self-reflection and ethical.
That's it for this edition of 6 Minute English.
We'll leave you to self-reflect - and after you've done that
do visit our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
and YouTube pages, and of course our website!
Catherine: Bye for now.
Rob: Bye bye!
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Learn to talk about therapy in 6 minutes!

7198 Folder Collection
Alvin He published on May 5, 2018    Arnold Hsu translated    Evangeline reviewed
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