After the course students have knowledge about
- The possibilities and scientific evidence base of technology (i.e. online platforms, text based counselling, VR, biofeedback, sleep technology, serious games) in mental healthcare.
- The importance, now and in the future, of technology for (the sustainability) of mental healthcare.
- The predominant challenges for implementing technology in mental healthcare, specifically:
- Drivers and barriers for therapists and clients to use technology in mental health care;
- Ethical issues and the importance of compassion in mental healthcare
After the course students are able to
- based on insights from recent academic literature, to execute an heuristic evaluation on a new technology in mental healthcare from both the client and therapist perspective and summarize their findings and provide advice [in a PPT presentation.
- In the context of online counselling, to provide a professional response, and are able to reflect on these responses based on different kind of online messages with different clients and using different media, thereby taking into account academic and professional background knowledge and skills as offered during this course and feedback from teachers and peers.
- show (by way of a short, clear, well-constructed, video) that they:
- can provide a personal, understandable and argumented definition of compassionate technology;
- have an understanding of the current state of art related to a chosen (new) technology;
- can make clear how new technologies could play a role in mental healthcare;
- understand and be sensitive to ethical issues in implementing technology in mental healthcare;
- can present a nuanced and realistic perspective making clear what opportunities and limitations are technology in mental healthcare.
Compassionate Technology teaches knowledge and skills about the possibilities to reduce suffering and increase wellbeing in mental healthcare through technology. Therapy through technology is often framed as cold and uncaring and contrasted with the warmth and connection from a human therapist. This course will enable students to be knowledgeable about the state of the art of technology use in mental healthcare and train skills so that they understand how technology and the human therapist together can create compassionate mental healthcare. Just as a therapist needs to be well trained, technology needs to be well designed and evaluated in order to make a relevant and positive contribution to mental healthcare.
In this course students learn about the theory, development and evaluation of compassionate technology. In addition, they will practice with relevant technologies and discuss ethical challenges for mental healthcare in a series of hands-on workshops. They will also learn to express their own evidence based position and vision for technology in mental healthcare. Finally, they will practice their online counselling skills in a practical assignment covering a variety of media (email, chat, online fora).