Humans make emo­tional con­nec­tions with objects all the time. From their ear­liest years, most tod­dlers cling to a favorite inan­i­mate object, such as a rattle or a fuzzy blanket. When we grow older, we become attached to other things. Some 55% of us would give up caf­feine and 70% would give up alcohol before giving up their smart phones, according to a recent survey.

The point is, that we can develop a human– like con­nec­tion with objects – including VHAs. Dr. Tim­othy Bick­more, a pro­fessor at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity calls this type of con­nec­tion a “ther­a­peutic alliance.” He likens it to the rela­tion­ship patients once had with a neigh­bor­hood doctor or pharmacist.

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