COADAPT is a European project aiming to improve the adaptation of workers by promoting their psycho-physical well-being. One of the objectives of this ambitious project is a conversational tool based on artificial intelligence (AI) supporting the work of psychologists; the conversational agent is developed as a tool helping professionals in analyzing the personal narratives brought into sessions by patients so to promote their mental health with greater precision and effectiveness.

In order to communicate this joint effort, carried out by Trento University and IDEGO srl, and make it more understandable to less technological readers, we decided to build a “novel narrative” on how these two worlds, psychology, and high tech, can be closely related and cooperate.

Not all mental health professionals are open to technological innovations, but new technologies – often seen as threatening or mysterious – can be of great help for the profession so to enhance interventions or open new markets.

Before reaching this conclusion, we decided to tell this innovative project starting from the origins, from a basic element in the work of the psychologist: the narration.

  • Which role does narration play in the creation of our memories?
  • What changes between what we tell ourselves and what we communicate to others?
  • Which role does “the other” play in the construction of the story of our life?

An important step in the dissemination path we have undertaken was to reassess these questions into the current context, in which technology is part of everyday life. We noticed how narration changes according to the medium we are using: verbal communication, written letters, messages, tweets and so forth.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many psychologists and psychotherapists are now exploiting online counseling. Besides being a communication tool, the web is an environment where the personal identity is fragmented into different narratives we build about ourselves, through the usage of social media.

We can say that we reached a new step of this narrative evolution: the introduction of the digital setting, a “natural” evolution of the traditional setting. We are therefore no longer simply referring to online counseling, but avatar therapy, up to reaching the conversational agents.

For the correct deployment of artificial intelligence, in addition to the technical skills of computer engineering, it is important to investigate the content of the narratives. Who can do it if not the psychologist who first probes patients for these narratives?

The communication campaign on the COADAPT project developed in the form of blog posts and social media posts had a twofold purpose:

  1. Open a new discussion platform between more technologically experienced professionals and those with more difficulties in getting in contact with novelties
  2. Offer ideas to psychologists on the possibilities to use their professional activities in improving new technologies.

The blog posts can be found on while the social media posts have been published on the Facebook and Linkedin COADAPT-Personal Agent pages.