How do you feel about Artificial Intelligence (AI)? Are you an excited early adopter or a reticent laggard?

I first heard about ChatGPT six months ago. Since then, I have been intrigued by the power of AI and I love using ChatGPT. Some people have expressed fear that robots will steal our jobs or that we will become incredibly dependent on AI and stop using our creative brains.

The reality is that AI has been in our midst for decades. It was first coined in the 1950’s. We have all seen the opportunities offered by AI with navigational GPS, predictive text, Google search capabilities, chat bots on websites, industrial robots and much more.

But 2023 has seen generative AI burst on the scene. Now we have AI programs that can write poetry, design a course, write an ebook, assist with medical diagnoses, create artworks and images, develop 3-D images, write computer code, research and write reports and essays.

What makes generative AI so different?
Basically, the AI system can search a whole library across the globe with information available up until 2021 and within seconds provide answers to your questions, in terms of written word. In the visual medium, it can take your text prompt and translate it into an image.

Interestingly when ChatGPT launched, it had a million users in the first 5 days. By comparison, it took Netflix 5 years to achieve a million users. AI is here and it’s growing so we need to get our heads around how to use it and work with it.

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a one-day workshop designed for copy-writers and web designers to look at how AI can help and assist in this area of work with the wonderful Kate Toon. A few months ago, I attended a workshop looking at the ethical use of AI in therapy with Jodie Gale.

We know that schools and universities are hurriedly putting together policies on the use of AI by students in completing assignments.

So truth be known, I am not usually an early adopter but I have been interested to see where AI could be applied to my work.

Written word
What I have found is that AI is fantastic when I feel stuck.

For example, earlier in the year, Kellie sent me a graphic for a social media post with a quote. I loved the quote but I struggled to think of angle to write about it. So different when I find a quote and have an angle to share.  So I asked ChatGPT for some suggestions. Within seconds I had a number of different angles. A huge anxiety-free time saver.

However, I do worry that therapists may resort to ChatGPT for answers about how to work with a particular client or give it an ethical dilemma and ask for a solution. Thereby side stepping the incredible value of supervision.

However, here are some great ways to use ChatGPT to save you time.

  1. Brainstorm a list of blog topics for a particular niche client group. Eg Blog topics that appeal to new graduates of art therapy / counselling
  2. Suggest quotes / topics around a key time of year eg seasonal change,
  3. List benefits of a particular practice eg a gratitude practice, time in nature, meditation etc.
  4. Suggest possible business names
  5. List chapter headings in an ebook
  6. Suggest hashtags for Instagram posts
  7. Suggest engaging headlines for blog posts, call to action,
  8. Identify research that backs the the benefits of nature, art therapy, water based connection
  9. Write a poem in a particular style eg Mary Oliver or John O’Donahue
  10. Identify key pages for a new website and what to include.

Now I have asked ChatGPT versions of these questions and through practice got better at my questions. You see the best outcome happens when you can fashion a really clear and useful prompt.

Some things to suggest.

  1. Provide a context, such as I am writing a blog post for new graduate transpersonal therapists on how to set up a new website. Please provide key headings that I need to address?
  2. Identify the Purpose What outcome do you want to achieve? Build confidence, set direction, provide clear steps
  3. Personality / i.e Suggest tone of voice. Then you could ask it to flesh out the blog using a warm, encouraging and conversational tone (or an authoritarian, expert, professional tone)

These headings were outlined in Donna McGeorge’s book The ChatGPT revolution.

I also suggest you ask for a few different angles or a series of steps in order. the more youtry, the more options may be generated.

BUT be wary, ChatGPT

  1. Can make things up so always fact check.
  2. Can sound robotic, so you will always need to rewrite in your own voice or tone
  3. Can get repetitive,
  4. Is limited to information up to 2021 (at the moment)

Image creation
Recently, I have been experimenting with Midjourney, an AI program that creates images based on text input.

Again, better images are created the more specific, you are in the prompt. Some things I have tried and included in my prompt.

  1. Style of image – specify photorealistic, graphic, cartoon, hyperreal, magazine photo, portrait etc
  2. Setting – cityscape, country, village etc
  3. Age and characteristic of the people, older woman with grey curly hair
  4. Action– painting an image while seated at a desk.

The process involves adding, modifying and changing until you get an image you are happy with. Midjourney has the advantage of working in a “room” with other creators so you can see what they write to get the images that they get. It’s inspiring and helpful. You can see two images I created on MidJourney here.

This will certainly help when its hard to find stock images that suit what you want to convey. But be wary. It makes some strange choices such as a woman holding a bunch of flowers behind her back or hands having six fingers when moulding clay. But Midjourney will keep learning and images will improve.

older woman in therapy with a therapist

double exposure of a woman and a forest

Other tools I am keen to try

I am very excited about a number of tools that I have learned about that will be incredible to try.

  1. Munch This one has me gobsmacked. It will take your one hour presentation and break it up into highlights that are suitable for Instagram Reels, TikTok videos, or simply clips for use on your website.
  2. Neuron Writer can analyse your web copy and suggest changes that will improve your SEO (Search engine Optimisation)
  3. Smart Slides can organise your copy into a suggested Power Point Presentation
  4. Cast Magic will convert your audio content into a transcript.
  5. Visla will create a basic video from information you provide, drawing on existing videos on the web.

There are also project management apps, email answering apps, so much head exploding stuff!

I would to hear what you have tried and what you enjoy using and how it helps your practice.

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