Presented at the Technology, Mind and Society

APA conference , Washington DC September 2019

 

Measuring progress as a tool for enhancing therapy and standing with the patient in his battle over consciousness


By: Dr. Arnon Rolnick; Dr. Yuval Oded, Dror Gronich

Abstract

Measurements and metrics in psychotherapy is a hot subject for many reasons.  The famous of which is the need to evaluate effectiveness of treatment and more commonly cost-effectiveness. Therapy processes that have success and well being criteria are more easily accepted as evidence-based and can more easily be lent for research.

We built an internet-based process-management system named “The Resonator” which follows the patients in their daily life allowing them to incubate the therapeutic content in their consciousness so it can further process and evolve between meetings. Resonators include images, audio and/or videos and supporting text – as well as tools for collecting important information on patients’ state.

“Resonate” means that patient and therapist sync and focus their understanding on what the issues are that they are working on, what the common language is for describing these issues and what may help the patients overcome their issue. It also means that therapeutic content stays affective between meeting, fighting for space in patient’s consciousness.

Another aspect of The Resonator system, is the bi-directional communication between therapist and patient with the purpose of allowing the patient to register real-time in-vivo life experiences. This kind of communication provides more meaningful therapeutic input for both patient and therapist for evaluating issues in treatment and measuring effectiveness for bother the therapist and manager of the clinic – per therapist and on a global basis for the clinic. In turn, the data gathered can be used for research. Patient Resonator-driven reporting provides measurable tools for the patient to define and measure the attributes of their problem, increase awareness to therapeutic content and evaluate more quickly which different therapeutic approaches are more effective.

Last but not least, measuring the therepric process is likely to change the process itself. More often than not, the need to decide what we measure will help us realise that we need to redefine what it is that we are treating.

In our paper, we will share the impact of measuring with computer-assisted online systems on the level of “sense of being in treatment” on the patient between meetings and how this increased levels of awareness and connectivity to therapy-vibes impacted the effectiveness of the work.

We will refer to the measuring systems as a “virtual sensor” to a. the level of commitment of the patient to the healing process and resulting from that changes in drop-out levels and to drop-out prevention in the clinic; b. the well being status of the patient. Other factors that we will refer to are: changes in subjective sense of meaning to the therapeutic process in both patient and therapist, focus and sense of direction, adherence to CBT-like assignment, clarity in the therapist mind of the patient’s real status, time-to-response in case of changes in the patient’s condition, and more. Our experience shows that all these aspects and are influenced by the measurement itself and by the selection of tools of measurement.

Brief Summary

The Resonator system was created in a clinical environment by the signed above, to solve a few clinical problems in the clinic. Our first value added application is enhancing the therapeutic process by resonating the content between therapy sessions using special smart reminders called “Resonators”, received by the

patients in their natural environment allowing them to more quickly digest new and

sometimes revolutionary mental paradigms. This system is in pre-beta mode for

about 2 years now, with a close group of therapists and have so far served about

200 patients with excellent results. We are expecting to start a clinical research in fall 2019 to be completed by fall 2020. The adherence to the reminders and related

therapy assignments is unprecedented 90 percent relatively to otherwise extremely

low rates, and thus, the impact on the general process is significant. The reminders

are used with adults, adolescents and children, and with a wide range of mental

diagnosis – from anxiety to OCD and many others. Moreso, it is used by therapists from all paradigms – from CBT to dynamic therapy. We would like to share various practices we used with The Resonator system to enhance our clinical work.

Dror Gronich M.A./B.Sc.- Senior Biofeedback and Neurofeedback practitioner and a psychophysiology expert, a member of the IAPB management and a high tech professional with experience ranging from development to senior positions in sales and marketing

,

Dr. Arnon Rolnick, PhD is a Clinical Psychologist and a pioneer in the field of Biofeedback. Past President of the IAPB and Board Member in the Israeli Association of Psychotherapy. Almost 20 years of working with elite military navy units and head of the Biofeedback and Human Performance Laboratory.

Dr. Yuval Oded, PhD is a clinical psychophysiologist and a neuropsychologist. Certified Cognitive Behavioral therapist, EMDR, PE, SE, Biofeedback expert. Creator of the MentalGymTM, Co creator of Alive comprehensive biofeedback system. Co- founder of ifeel Labs

Continuing Education objectives:

This presentation is designed to help you to:

  • Realise a new and very intuitive way to integrate technology into therapy

  • Get to know tools for measuring performance in psychological therapy

  • Learn how therapists can help patients keep their consciousness more attuned to the therapeutic process between sessions

  • Unveil a way to let the patient report from within their daily lives without therapists having to sacrifice their private time.