How Can Geography and Mobile Phones Contribute to Psychotherapy?

Abstract

Interdisciplinary relationships between Geography and Psychotherapy are an opportunity for innovation. Indeed, scientific works found on bibliographic databases and concerning this theme are scarce. Geographical sub-fields, such as the Geography of Emotions or Psychoanalytical Geography have started to emerge, theorizing about and interpreting feelings, emotions, moods, sufferings, of the chronically ill or diversified social groups and sites. But a less theoretical and more practical approach, in the sense of proposing, predicting and intervening, is lacking; as well as research into the possibilities offered by communication technologies and mobile phones. In the present work, we present the results of a review of the most relevant scientific works published internationally; we reflect on the contributions of Geography and mobile phones to psychosocial therapies and define the orientation and questions that should be posed in future research, from the point of view of geography and regarding psychotherapy. We conclude that the production of georeferenced data via mobile phones concerning the daily lives of people opens great possibilities for cognitive behavioural therapy and mental health. They allow for the development of personalized mood maps that locate the places where a person experiences greater or lesser stress on a daily basis; they allow for a cartography of emotions, a cognitive cartography of the places we access physically or through the Internet, of our feelings and psychosocial experiences. They open the door to the possibility of offering personalized psychotherapy treatments focusing on the ecological-environmental analysis of the places frequented by the person on a daily basis.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. 1.

    Aguilera, A., Digital technology and mental health intervention: Opportunities and challenges. Arbor: Ciencia, Pensamiento y. Cultura. 191(771):a210, 2015. doi:10.3989/arbor.2015.771n1012.

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Alguacil, J., Camacho, J., and Hernández, A., La vulnerabilidad urbana en España. Identificación y evolución de los barrios vulnerables. Empiria. Revista de Metodología de las Ciencias Sociales. 27:73–94, 2014.

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Asselbergs, J., Ruwaard, J., Ejdys, M., Schrader, N., Sijbrandij, M., and Riper, H., Mobile phone-based unobtrusive ecological momentary assessment of day-to-day mood: An explorative study. Journal of Medical Internet Research JMIR. 18(3):e72, 2016.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Bennett, K., Challenging emotions. Area. 41(3):244–251, 2009.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Bondi, L., Making conections and thinking through emotions: Between geography and psychotherapy. Transations of the Institute of British Geographers. 30(4):433–448, 2005.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Boschen, M.J., Mobile telephones and psychotherapy: II a review of empirical research. Trial. 23:699–705, 2009.

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Burns, M.N., Begale, M., Duffecy, J., Gergle, D., Karr, C.J., Giangrande, E., and Mohr, D.C., Harnessing context sensing to develop a mobile intervention for depression. Journal of Medical Internet Research JMIR. 13(3):e55, 2011.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Capel, H. (1999). Rosales Varo, Carmen. Estudio geográfico de una población de esquizofrénicos y de sus necesidades en un área de Granada. Tesis doctoral dirigida por los Drs. Aaron Cohen Amselem y Francisco Torres González presentada en la Universidad de Granada. Granada, 1998. 569 p. En Biblio 3W. Revista Bibliográfica de Geografía y Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de Barcelona, n° 144, 11 de marzo de 1999. ISSN: 1138-9796. http://www.ub.edu/geocrit/b3w-144.htm

  9. 9.

    CNMC (Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y de la Competencia) (2015). Informe económico de las telecomunicaciones y del sector audiovisual 2015. CNMC, Madrid. Disponible en: http://www.cnmc.es/Portals/0/Ficheros/notasdeprensa/2015/TELECOS_AUDIOVISUAL/Informe%20Telecos%20y%20Audiovisual%202015.pdf

  10. 10.

    Curti, G.H., et al., For not limiting emotional and affectual geographies: A collective critique of Steve Pile’s emotions and affects in recent human geography. Transations of the Institute of British Geographers. 36:590–594, 2011.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Davidson, J., and Milligan, C., Embody emotion, sensing space: Introducing emotional geographies. Social and Cultural Geography. 5(4):523–532, 2004.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Davidson, J., Smith, M., and Bondi, L., Emotional geographies. Ashgate, Aldershot, 2012.

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Dunton, G.F., Dzubur, E., and Intille, S., Feasibility and performance test of a real-time sensor-informed context-sensitive ecological momentary assessment to capture physical activity. Journal of Medical Internet Research JMIR. 18(6):e106, 2016.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    García, Y., Ferrás, C., Rocha, A., and Aguilera, A., Mobile phones and psychosocial therapies with vulnerable people: A first state of the art. Journal of Medical Systems. 40:157, 2016.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Hernández, B., El Trabajo Social en la intervención psicosocial con personas con trastorno mental severo: una reflexión sobre el papel de las familias. Documentos de Trabajo Social. 52:314–325, 2013.

    Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Hernández, A., et al., Atlas de barrios vulnerables de España: doce ciudades 1991/2001/2006. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Instituto Juan de Herrera. Madrid, 2015.

    Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    ITU (2015). Indicators database. Disponible Mobile-Cellular Telephone Subscription. En World Telecomm. indicators 12/2015, 100039398.

  18. 18.

    Kingsbury, P. T. 2009. Psychoanalysis. In: Kitchin R, Thrift N (eds) International encyclopedia of human geography, Volume 1, pp. 480–486. Oxford: Elsevier.

  19. 19.

    Kingsbury, P., and Pile, S., Psychoanalytic geographies. Ashgate, Farnham, 2014.

    Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Mackian, S. (2004). Mapping reflexive communities: visualizing the geographies of emotion. Social and Cultural Geography 5.4: 615–631 (published online 2007).

  21. 21.

    Mohr, D., et al., Effects of telephone-administered vs face to face cognitive behavioral therapy on adherence to therapy and depression outcomes primary care patients. JAMA. 307(21):2278–2285, 2012.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Mohr, D., et al., Uptake and usage of Intellicare: A publicly available suite of mental health and well-being apps. Internet Interventions. 4:152–118, 2016.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Moriarty, D.G., et al., Geography patterns of frequent mental distress: US adults 1993-2001 and 2003-2006. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 36(6):497–505, 2009.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Morris, M., Mobile therapy: Case study evaluations of a cell phone application for emotional self-awareness. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 12(2):e10, 2010. doi:10.2196/jmir.137.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Pile, S., Emotions and effect in recent human geography. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 35:5–20, 2010.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Saeb, S., Zhang, M., Karr, C.J., Schueller, S.M., Corden, M.E., Kording, K.P., and Mohr, D.C., Mobile phone sensor correlates of depressive symptom severity in daily-life behavior: An exploratory study. Journal of Medical Internet Research JMIR. 17(7):e175, 2015.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Telefónica, F., 16° Informe Sociedad de la Información en España. Fundación Telefónica, Madrid. Disponible en, 2015 http://www.fundaciontelefonica.com/arte_cultura/publicaciones-listado/pagina-item-publicaciones/itempubli/483/.

    Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Thien, D., After or beyond feeling? A consideration of affect and emotion in geography. Area. 37(4):450–454, 2005.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Carlos Ferrás.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Additional information

This article is part of the Topical Collection on Mobile & Wireless Health

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Ferrás, C., García, Y., Aguilera, A. et al. How Can Geography and Mobile Phones Contribute to Psychotherapy?. J Med Syst 41, 92 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10916-017-0742-3

Download citation

Keywords

  • Geography
  • Psychotherapy
  • Mobile phones
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Psychoanalysis