Julian Burger

Title: Complexity and the Issue of Implementation in Clinical Practice: A Conceptual Shift.


Models of complexity have shown remarkable promise in supporting many challenges found in psychotherapy; for instance, identifying personalized treatment targets. It is bewildering that, while these models could be of great relevance in clinical practice, there remains a big gap between state-of-the-art methodologies and their implementation in psychotherapy.Often, it is assumed that implementation is a question of educating practitioners with little technical background on how to use and apply the models. In this presentation, I argue that a lack of accessibility/education is only one of the important barriers that reinforce the scientist-practitioner-gap. More importantly, there seems to be a conceptual disconnect between a lot of the models discussed in the literature and practical/theoretical considerations of psychotherapy. Targeting this disconnect means adapting the language of formal models to the language used in clinical practice. To this end, I propose a dynamical system model that is based on the Function Analysis; one of the most commonly used frameworks in clinical practice to formulate a patient-specific theory. Using the resulting dynamical system, I will demonstrate how clinical frameworks can be used to implement patient-specific simulation-studies, which allows for the testing of clinical interventions (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy) in silico.