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Mental health and information technologies – opportunities and challenges

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Thank you and see you in Gothenburg at the symposium on October 24th! If you have any questions or concerns please contact thomas.hillman@gu.se

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Hotel 11

Maskingatan 11

417 64 Göteborg

Sweden

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Sales Have Ended

Registrations are closed
Thank you and see you in Gothenburg at the symposium on October 24th! If you have any questions or concerns please contact thomas.hillman@gu.se
Event description

Description

It is often argued, both among researchers and in popular media, that technology leads to more stress and thus constitutes a mental health risk in society. At the same time, we see how people increasingly turn to technology to handle stress and negative emotions in various ways. A large industry is emerging around the development of apps and hardware intended to support mental health wellness, where mindfulness and meditation apps are a prominent part. The rapid development of mobile technologies and mobile internet presents a range of challenges, but also important opportunities for individuals suffering from mental health issues as well as healthcare professionals working with treatment, and technology developers creating products. These same opportunities can offer significant support to researchers interested in understanding people’s behaviour in relation to mental health wellness. As the popularity of digitally mediated therapy and training increases, significant questions emerge. In this one-day symposium, we focus on the connection between mental health and information technologies, exploring connections between research and practice within this domain.

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Caroline Falconer

Dr Caroline Falconer is a Research Fellow with MindTech and the University of Nottingham specialising in technological interventions for mental healthcare, incorporating conceptualization, design, implementation and evaluation (http://www.mindtech.org.uk/). Her particular interests lie with avatar therapy, Gamification and gaming for mental health, and technological interactions with the Bodily Self within the context of mental health and well-being.

Prof. Per Calbring

Professor Per Carlbring is a licensed psychologist and psychotherapist as well as a board certified specialist in clinical psychology. He is the leader of the clinical psychology research group at Stockholm University. His main research focus is effectiveness and efficacy of Internet interventions for depression, social anxiety disorder and pathological gambling. Moreover, he is developing and investigating the effects of a real-time behavioural tracking system aimed at early detection of hazardous gambling and prevention of problematic or pathological gambling. A recent interest is side effects, or adverse events, in psychotherapy.

Programme

09.00-09.20 Introduction

Dr. Alexandra Weilenmann & Dr. Thomas Hillman, University of Gothenburg

09.20-09.40 Meditation with Pål Dobrin, Empaticus

09.40-10.40 Keynote

Embodying Mental Health: Virtual Reality Paradigms for Mental Health and Wellbeing

Dr. Caroline Falconer, Institute for Mental Health, University of Nottingham

  • The virtual reality (VR) field for mental health has been dominated over the last decade by exposure based treatments for phobias and PTSD. However, new advances in VR offer psychologists a unique opportunity to understand and address the notion of the “Self”. Through the phenomena of presence and avatar embodiment, VR users have a sense of being present in the virtual world and have self-identification with and agency over their avatars. Exploiting and manipulating these phenomena can provide us with insight into the construction of the Self and its multiple aspects, as well as providing a means of interacting with the self to bring about healthy change. I will outline current trends within the field of VR and I will present findings from my own work that go beyond exposure based paradigms to demonstrate the potential for VR to inculcate positive, affiliative emotions conducive to mental health in depression. Furthermore, I will discuss ongoing work that implements VR software alongside therapy within a healthcare setting for young people with depression and anxiety and for personality disorders. I will share insights into issues of implementation from these studies and discuss the future direction of the field.

10.40-11.00 Coffee break

11.00-12.00 Doctoral student projects

Presentations from Christopher Holmberg and Lu Cao

12.00-13.15 Lunch

13.15-14.15 Keynote

Internet-Delivered psychological treatments: State of the Art and Future Directions

Prof. Per Carlbring, Department of Psychology, Stockholm University

  • Internet-delivered cognitive behavior therapy (ICBT) has a relatively short history, with the first trials being conducted in the late 1990s. Since then well above 120 randomized controlled trials suggest that ICBT can be effective. Effect sizes for ICBT have been well within the range of face-to-face CBT with the exception of unguided programs (e.g., not even minimal therapist contact), which usually, but not always, result in smaller effects. So, the evidence is there but how is it done? In this keynote Carlbring will present recent research findings from efficacy and effectiveness studies, but also share experiences of how to become a true expert internet therapist. It is clear that therapist guidance generally is important for good outcome – but how much, how often and when should you do it? And most importantly, what should you write in your feedback? Based on the Swedish research from analyzing the written content of email messages, sent from both the client and the therapist, suggestions will be shared. In the keynote short clinical case examples will be provided together with screenshots and demonstration of treatment systems including the Swedish web platform as well as a gamified virtual reality exposure therapy intervention. Furthermore, a recently tested smartphone application will also be briefly presented. Finally, you will learn about the risk of negative effects of Internet-based cognitive behavior therapy and how to measure the occurrence of symptom deterioration, adverse and unwanted events, and their relationship with long term treatment outcome.

14.15-15.45 Panel discussion

How can we connect research and practice within this domain? What are the obstacles for dissemination and use of technological tools for mental health treatment and wellbeing?

Discussion led by Dr. Tomas Linderoth, University West

Panelists Dr. Marie Kivi, University of Gothenburg, Peter Ljungstand, Interactive Institute, Dr. Caroline Falconer, University of Nottingham, and Prof. Per Calbring, Stockholm University

15.45-16.15 Coffee break

16.15-17.00 Wrap up

Discussion of future possibilities

17.00-17.30 Meditation with Pål Dobrin, Empaticus

18.00 Dinner

Date and Time

Location

Hotel 11

Maskingatan 11

417 64 Göteborg

Sweden

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