As a mental health professional, part of your practice may be helping people who have serious mental illness.
Though the core activities at IONS focus on research, education and running a transformative learning center, we are well aware that the heart of this organization resides within our members and supporters. Our staff is touched daily by our interactions with people who resonate with our efforts to create a shift in consciousness that will impact this world in a positive way.
We may not think of drumming, chanting, dancing, meditation, and ceremony as types of technology, but they are actually the most ancient of technologies geared toward altering states of mind. While they’ve been available to us for thousands of years, a new set of high-tech tools is rising in the form of electronic devices and software applications that are being used to explore, guide, and even enhance human potential.
Although the majority of Americans in some form of God, only a quarter of graduate training programs in psychology offer even one course in religion or spirituality (Schafer et al. 2011). While a vast majority of mental health practitioners believe that these topics should be addressed in the therapeutic context (Vieten et al. 2015), few are properly equipped to do so, particularly when faced with clients whose religious or spiritual values differ from theirs.
Interventions that have roots in spiritual traditions are being increasingly employed for treatment of depression and anxiety, as well as for enhancing psychological well-being. Mindfulness-based therapies have demonstrated effectiveness for improving anxiety and mood symptoms (Hofmann, Sawyer, Witt, & Oh, 2010; Toneatto & Nguyen, 2007). Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT; Linehan, 1993) and adaptations of it have shown promise and efficacy for treating borderline disorder, substance abuse, eating disorders, and depression (Robins & Chapman, 2004).
In this interview, Web Services Coordinator Kerstin Sjoquist talks with Julia Mossbridge, the Director of IONS' new Innovation Lab, on how technology can enhance both scientific research as well as support the transformation of individuals across the globe.
Kerstin Sjoquist: Thank you for joining me today! Can you tell us a little bit about what the Innovation Lab is?