MBx – Your own chatbot coach for mental health and personal change

I’m replacing myself! It’s been a wonderful time being me but robots are cool and they can make mental health resources accessible in ways that humans can’t. I can only have one conversation at a time and even though I answer questions at all hours of the day right now, I do get sleep sometimes and my sleep skills are top-notch. I don’t want those to slip. A chatbot can answer multiple questions at once, from people all over the world, at any time of the day, while crunching data and finding useful insights to help us understand mental health challenges and the journey of succeeding with complex changes in our lives.

At the moment, MBx is more of a fancy vending machine than a full-fledged AI. This first version is MB1000 and it’s focused on making it easier for people to get resources, like videos, or just get an idea on how to look at an issue differently. For now, the bot makes a lot of mistakes and doesn’t know about everything, even some very common issues people ask about. But the more we chat with it, the smarter it gets. As people ask questions, I’m working on the backend to train the bot and supply answers to topics you ask about. It’s learning quickly.

The thing that I’ve always been most passionate about is making evidence-based mental health skills accessible to the largest number of people possible. This is another step in that direction. The reality is, many of the most useful tools on our journey of improving mental health are knowledge-based tools. There’s no reason for you to be stuck on a waiting list and paying $200/hr just to get access to information. MBx is a step towards are more accessible mental health industry, and that’s better for everybody.

For now it’s on Facebook and it really is at a point right now where it’s only for fun. Don’t expect too much yet. It’s in very-beta. But please try it out and help it learn and improve: www.facebook.com/MBxThePersonalChangeBot

Thanks!

Mark

6 comments On MBx – Your own chatbot coach for mental health and personal change

  • Hi. I don’t know if I have OCD but what I have looks like it. When I talk to women (any woman) I have uncontrollable urges to look at their breasts. It would appear as a sexual thing. I can’t control it. I’ve had it for over 10 years and at times I feel it has ruined a big part of my life. Can you help me? How do I see if anyone replies to me? E-mail?

    • Staring at things is a common compulsion. It can help to see that there are likely other compulsions as well, they probably just don’t have the same awkward outcomes, but it’s useful to tackle all compulsions. That’s all about showing our brains that we don’t have to react to the random stuff they throw up.

  • Hi Mark,

    Your videos have really helped me since I discovered them about a year ago. I’m really interested in something you mentioned about the way we think and to consider the possibility that there are different ways to think. I’m interested in learning more about other ways to think as mine is to ruminate on everything, big and small. Could you point in the direction of where I can learn more about this topic?

    • There are many different books you could explore. I have a book called The Mind Workout or You Are Not A Rock (in North America coming out in Sept 2018). In particular, for learning new ways of thinking, I often recommend to people to check out books on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, like Steven Hayes’ “Get out of your mind and into your life”. Enjoy the steps ahead!

  • Hi!
    This is the BEST self-help book I have EVER read.
    I’m fifty years old and read a tonne of self -help books. Most of them turned out to be completely useless airy-fairy gibberish- or, at best, an entertaining reading. Martha Beck used to be my favourite. She’s fanstastic, entertaining and an amazing read… But…
    This book ( The Mind Workout) has, not only already helped me turn my monsters into “The Annoying Kids in the Car” – but I’m full of compassion for them now… :))… It’s changing my life… as we speak- in profound ways…. I “drag my screaming brain behind” and follow my values more and more… !!! Starting with the mindfulness excercises- which taught me so much how to relax- to attempting things I was always terrified of… !!!
    On top of that all- Mark’s writing style is the best I could ever wish for… This sort of literature is bound to leave one cringing sometimes- most of the time- but not here… Mark writes with an incredible openness, honesty- and .. an amazingly elegant, witty, shocking even, literary style…. Style that is so simple, yet so sophisticated… – and so close to one’s heart…! I laugh, while crying- cry, while laughing, when reading this book… Straight to the bottom of the soul… !!! Screw years of therapy!!!
    Thank you Mark… Thank you for sharing your knowledge and your own trip in the car full of crazy toddlers !!! :)))) You’ve helped me soo much….!!!! Sometimes I feel like I’m walking on clouds now – the increadible weight that has lifted after years of mental struggle! I was a total slave to my thoughts…

    Unimaginably grateful – Gosia Hart… :))))) XXX

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