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- Module 6. Mental Health. Disorder and Story.
- Supervision of Master theses
- Supervision of Bachelor theses
What Works When for Whom
Mental illnesses, like depression and anxiety, are among the leading causes of the global burden of disease. E-mental health (EMH) interventions, i.e., web-based psychotherapy treatments, are increasingly used to improve access to psychotherapy for a wider audience. Whereas different EMH interventions tend to be equally effective, the responsiveness to a specific treatment shows large individual differences. Therefore, the personalization of treatments is seen as the major road for improvement. Because most EMH interventions use language for communication between counselors and clients, assessing language use provides an important avenue for opening the black box of what happens within therapy. Moreover, EMH makes data of the linguistic interactions between client and counselor available on an unprecedented large scale. The objective of this interdisciplinary proposal is to use e-science methods and tools, in particular natural language processing, visualization and multivariate analysis methods, to analyze patterns in therapy-related textual features in e-mail correspondence between counselor and client. By connecting patterns of known change indicators to therapy outcome, the question What Works When for Whom? can be answered, which will greatly improve the effectiveness of EMH. The core of the project concerns the development of integrated, modular software for the Dutch language, using data from six EMH-interventions with a total of 10.000 e-mails. These data are sufficiently large and varied to allow for computer-based modelling, and testing of use cases with varying complexity. At the end of the project, the step toward English language software will be made to increase the impact of the project.
Funding Agency: NWO/eScience
Principle Investigator: Anneke Sools
PhD-candidate: Wouter Smink
Postdoc Researcher: Erik Tjong Kim Sang
Project duration: 2016-2020
Narratives of bodily difference research project
The research project Narratives of bodily difference, funded by the Academy of Finland, aims at illuminating the challenges entailed by bodily difference from the perspective of those, who are different. Its starting point is a model of narrative circulation, according to which a person constructs in their mind an "inner narrative" of their life, taking into account the confines of their life situation and deploying model stories available in the cultural stock of stories. Moreover, a person attempts to enact thier inner narratives as "lived narrative" and shares parts of their stories with other people. Bodily difference hampers the narrative circulation in several ways. The constraints inherent in a certain form of difference in a certain social situations restrict the visions of what kind of life is possible, and the cultural stock of stories offers a limited array of story models for those with bodily differences. In addition, the experiences of being different are often difficult to narrate, and the "normal" audience is often reluctant to listen.
The project tries to identify the points in which the narrative circulation is hindered or constrained. At the first phase, it uses the life story data collected by Kynnys ry (Being disabled in Finland 2014), as well as philosophical texts on suffering and difference. Later on new data will be collected by interviews, focus group discussions and by narrative futuring workshops.
Funding Agency: Akademy of Finland
Principle Investigator: Vilma Hänninen
Postdoctoral researchers: Elisa Aaltola, Merja Tarvainen, and Hanna Pohjoja.