Positive Clinical Psychology & Technology

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Promote and protect the mental health and well-being of people in today’s modern world, using state-of-the-art treatments and technologies.

Historically, the field of clinical psychology is concerned with the assessment and treatment of psychological disorders and behavioural problems. But mental health and well-being go far beyond symptom reduction. After all, being free of symptoms does not necessarily say much about a person’s well-being, nor does having symptoms directly imply negative well-being. So what does it take to improve positive mental health? Especially in today’s modern world, with social media impact and rising rates of stress, anxiety, and depression? You will discover this and more in the specialisation in Positive Clinical Psychology & Technology.

People sometimes oppose technology to being human. But this specialisation shows how technology can contribute to human well-being. It teaches you how to incorporate technologies in everyday clinical practice in a meaningful, responsible and compassionate way. This expertise will put you at the forefront of current transitions in mental healthcare.

Anneke Sools, Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology, Health and Technology

What to expect?

This specialisation covers the traditional field of clinical psychology and adds the angle of positive psychology, as well as technology. You will develop the skills needed to understand and treat psychological disorders (e.g. setting clinical diagnoses, writing treatment plans, conversation techniques etc.) and complement these with insights into emotional, psychological, and social well-being, in order to improve people’s mental health and thereby lowering the risk of psychological disorders. In other words: how can you focus on people’s strengths, besides dysfunctions, to help them lead healthy, happy lives? You will combine in-depth, academic skills with hands-on experience, during a (clinical) internship, for example!

Examples of courses you will follow during this specialisation:
  • During the course Positive Clinical Psychology, you will deepen your understanding of positive psychological theories that explain psychopathology and well-being and apply these theories in clinical settings.
  • Therapy through technology is often framed as cold and uncaring, contrasted with the warmth and connection from a human therapist. But is that really true? In the course Compassionate Technology you will explore how both technology and the human therapist can create compassionate mental healthcare together.
  • In order to understand other people and what inspires them, it is important to know yourself, too. In the course Personal Reflection & Development, you will enhance your vision, self-knowledge and professional identity in order to start open dialogues with others.

This specialisation places mental healthcare in the technological context of today’s digitally advanced society. For example, how can Virtual Reality be used in addiction treatment, helping clients cope with situations that evoke addictive behaviour? And how can digital life storybooks support people with dementia? But also: how are psychological disorders represented in (digital) media and how does this affect stigmas? And can artificial intelligence help analysing conversations between clients and psychologists, predicting the likeliness of clients dropping out? You will explore the role that (new) technologies can play in the diagnosis, treatment, and research of mental health and well-being, as well as its role in our current society and how it impacts our mental health.

Please note: As of the academic year 2022-2023, you need to go through a selection procedure in order to be admitted into the specialisation in Positive Clinical Psychology & Technology.

What will you learn?

As a graduate of this Master's and this specialisation, you have acquired specific, scientific knowledge, skills and values, which you can put to good use in your future job.

  • Knowledge

    After completing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • have insights into the role of human-centred and persuasive design in making technology compassionate;
    • have in-depth knowledge of positive-psychological and psychopathology-oriented theories;
    • know the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy and related treatments and techniques from a positive psychology framework;
    • know technologically-enhanced and human-centred research methodologies and approaches.
  • Skills

    After successfully finishing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • can reflect critically on the opportunities and limitations of new technologies for mental healthcare to decrease suffering and/or increase wellbeing;
    • have online and offline counselling skills, covering positive-psychological and psychopathology-oriented treatment and diagnostic skills;
    • are trained in self-reflection, compassion and mindfulness.
  • Values

    After completing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • are open to technologically mediated healthcare;
    • feel the urge to contribute to flourishing in daily life;
    • are a (self-)compassionate and reflective professional.

Other master's and specialisations

Is this specialisation not exactly what you are looking for? Maybe one of the other specialisations suits you better. Or find out more about other master’s:

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