Barbara Ingram, Ph.D.
Chief Treatment Strategy Officer
Strategic Psychotherapeutics, LLC
Elizabeth G. Magnavita, LICSW
Strategic Psychotherapeutics , LLC
Kenneth Critchfield, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer
Rebeka D. Stephens
StratPsych Technique Mining Work Group-Our research team is scouring the literature to mine the techniques that are used in psychotherapy and populating a compendium called psychotherapedia for clincial and research use.
SBIR grant application-We have submitted an SBIR grant PA-18-566 to the NIMH for Complex Technologies and Therapeutics Development for Mental Health Research and Practice. The title of our application is "Optimizing Mental Health Treatment Using an Online Platform for Knowledge Acquisition" for researching and developing StratPsych our online learning platform.
Therapist State Monitor-Our team is developing a rapid self-monitoring scale for psychotherapists to attune to their state and offer suggestions for addressing three different states of readiness for engaging with their patients.
Psychotherapist Compe10cy Scale-Our team is developing a brief scale that is used by psychotherapists to track the activities they are engaged in that develop expertise.
Working on submission to the Technology, Mind and Society 2021 conference sponsored by the American Psychological Association. Our team if accepted will present the development and testing of our online learning platform.
Our team meets weekly to coordinate and carry out our projects.
We were pleased to have Dr. Howard Liddle join our weekly psychicubator lab meeting. Howard is one of the pioneers of Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT), an evidence-based approach widely adopted for some of the most challenging populations. Howard is the consummate scientist-practitioner whose contributions to the field have significantly advanced the practice of family therapy and psychotherapeutics. Those who have had the pleasure to see his therapeutic work are struck by his ability to form alliances and effect change with the most dysfunctional systems and treatment resistant clients. He is a trainer and supervisor of therapists in MDFT.
Howard is offering his expertise to help us refine our taxonomy of psychotherapeutic techniques and help us clarify our thinking about the differences among techniques, strategies, methods, and principles .
Howard has written a number of books that present his approach to psychotherapy.
Our psychincubator lab team has been working on defining techniques for our compendium psychotherapedia. We are planning to start releasing some of the techniques we find most compelling. We are producing videos of specific techniques, which provide a concise definition, and a demonstration of the technique between a therapist and client.
Our technology team works closely with our content and lab teams to continually improve our user experience.
Magnavita, J. J., & Ingram, B. L. (in process). Treating personality disorders. In, Leong, F. T., Zimmerman, J., Callahan, J., Eubanks, C, &Constantino, M. (Eds.). Handbook of Psychotherapy. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Development of a Digital Learning Platform for Psychotherapists:
Combining Science, Expertise, and Technology
This symposium describes the development and use of an online learning platform that encompasses the main components of psychotherapeutics, including essential knowledge domains, principles, skills acquisition, and measurement of competence. The platform is curated by experts and is designed to serve the needs of learners at all levels, from graduate school to pre-licensure interns, as well as experienced psychotherapist who seek to expand their knowledge and skills. It also can serve the needs of course instructors, clinical supervisors, and post-graduate trainers. The first paper presents the architecture of the platform, describing a three-level modular learning system linked to two interactive databases: Approaches presents models of psychotherapy and psychotherapedia® provides a compendium of techniques, made accessible by incorporating therapist-client dialogs. A brief tutorial illustrates how the user can interact with the knowledge domains. The second paper describes the process whereby experts in content areas collaborate to create, review, and edit the information in knowledge domains. The final paper explains the process of “technique mining” and the development of classification tools for a comprehensive list of techniques. This database includes therapist-client dialogue demonstrating each technique. We conclude with a brief description of future directions, including an SBIR grant that is under review with the National Institute of Health (NIH). There will be time for questions and comments.
There are several types of digital platforms and devices that can optimize treatment and are easily added to our clinical toolbox. Many of these devices can be used as clinician extenders by expanding therapeutic reach and augmenting treatment outside the office. While some of these technologies have been available for decades, they are now easier to use and are also cost effective. The trend in health care is increasingly digitally based and data driven, being fed by advances in digital platforms and innovative devices. Video technology and internet capacity have reached the point where they are reliable and advanced enough to make tele-mental health quite accessible to utilize. While there are still many people who have only tenuous links with the digital world, even those in rural and underserved populations may have access to care not previously available using new tools. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health clinicians by necessity have begun using telehealth platforms to continue to provide much needed services. The use of teletherapy affords clinicians opportunities to effectively broaden their scope of practice and deliver high quality treatment while doing so. The provision of telehealth has both pros and cons that need to be considered when using this technology. Smartphone applications (Apps) that can track mood, anxiety, and sleep (and provide feedback to clinicians) are rapidly developing and are widely available. Devices that can directly address brain and emotional states such as Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback (HRV), Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES), and Neurofeedback (NFB) can be incorporated into one’s practice at a reasonable cost. Many of these devices can be used by patients between sessions to retrain their “brain states” by monitoring physiological arousal and increasing vagal tone to maximize treatment effect. This seminar provides you with an overview and introduction to technology-based aids to mental health practice.
Personality disorders are a common co-occurring condition in about half of the patients seeking outpatient mental health treatment. While most clinicians regularly see patients with a personality dysfunction, it is not always identified and may complicate treatment. Left untreated, personality disorders place a great burden on health care systems, families and communities. When you are equipped with a basic knowledge of personality disorders and their treatment, you can incorporate strategies to increase effectiveness in reducing therapeutic ruptures and achieve better outcomes. Personality dysfunction complicates and reduces efficacy of first line treatment approaches to clinical syndromes such as anxiety, depression, and addiction, as well as increasing the challenge of working with couples and families. When patients with personality dysfunction are unidentified and untreated, therapist frustration may ensue and lead to unintended therapeutic ruptures and treatment dropouts. Early identification and appropriate treatment reduce susceptibility to addictions and other comorbid disorders. Clinicians who understand and identify personality disorders and possess a cohesive conceptual framework can effectively treat personality dysfunction, optimize treatment and Improve outcomes. This seminar provides you with the foundation necessary for identification, conceptualization, effective management, and treatment of personality dysfunction.
This is a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant application to support the development of StratPsych ®, an innovative, online learning platform, designed to aid in the acquisition and development of psychotherapeutic knowledge, skills, and expertise to enhance mental health treatment outcomes. Most psychotherapy is provided by mid-level practitioners who generally do not have the extensive training of Doctoral level practitioners. Top psychotherapists attain better and more rapid results than psychotherapists rated lower in effectiveness, who often do not help and may do harm. Our platform was designed to distill and deliver the most essential elements of psychotherapeutics, to engage the learner, and eventually be able to improve treatment outcomes. We have produced a basic version of StratPsych ® our online resource and are currently beta testing it for system integrity. Specifically, our initial aims of this Phase I proposal are to (1) beta test our content with our group of expert psychotherapists to determine quality and relevancy; (2) refine our proprietary beta version with input from our experts for our BASIC, INTERMEDIATE, and ADVANCED modules; (3) assess user engagement by tracking usage; and (4) conduct a pilot feasibility study with a randomized control trial (n=30). We plan to implement this by offering access to StratPsych ®to 15 licensed practitioners who will receive a subscription to StratPsych ®and compare the results on post-tests of the ten Basic modules compared to the results of those who were not offered a subscription.