AI for Couples Therapy

Author: Divya Dhar

BACKGROUND: Thirty years of research in Marriage Therapy by renowned Psychologist Dr Gottman has shown us that we can predict to more than 90% accuracy if a relationship will fail within 5 minutes of listening to a couple talk about an ongoing issue in their relationship. This is done through detecting positive and negative communication patterns and establishing a ratio (aim is for greater than 7:1 of positive to negative interactions). Since AI is best utilized for pattern detection, this study hopes to find if real time AI intervention via mobile application can increase overall marriage or relationship satisfaction. METHOD: Enroll 150 couples (300 participants) over a three month period. 50 couples will be in the control group. 50 couples will go through standard marriage therapy. 50 couples will be in the test group. Test group will be asked download an app that listens to the couple talk at a random hour every day. At the end of the week the couple get a report of their positive to negative communication pattern ratio with suggestions on how to improve areas such as contempt or defensiveness. RESULTS: Early tests were done on 3 couples who said this was far better than standard therapy as it enabled them to use a data driven approach to improve their relationship. It was also far more affordable. CONCLUSION: To complete a large study and establish the role AI could play in building healthier happier marriages and families.

Co Author/Co-Investigator Names/Professional Title: Divya Dhar, MD, Susan O'Grady, PHD.