Call: BCS HCI Workshop on “People, Computers, and Psychotherapy”

Call For Papers: BCS HCI Workshop on “People, Computers, and Psychotherapy”

Submission deadline: Friday 29th June, 2012

Submissions are invited for the workshop on, “People, Computers, and Psychotherapy,” which will be run in conjunction with BCS HCI 2012 ( in Birmingham, UK in September 2012.

There is an urgent and identified need for technology-led interventions for common mental health problems. The successful delivery of such technology has huge potential to impact the health and wellbeing of millions of people in the UK alone. However, the design of technology to facilitate and deliver psychotherapy is a complex multidisciplinary challenge, requiring expertise from fields such as HCI, software design, psychology, and clinical and primary care. There are significant and unique challenges involved in understanding how to bring these disciplines together to create a coherent, engaging and useful programme of therapy. This workshop is intended to bring together a diverse cross-disciplinary community of basic and applied researchers, to share existing knowledge, define new opportunities and set an agenda for future research in this field. We will explore issues that are of importance to interaction design, those important in clinical practice, and will identify the opportunities and challenges inherent in drawing these together.

All psychotherapy requires ubiquitous engagement on the part of the participant. This is true regardless of the type of therapeutic approach underlying therapy, from the highly structured approach of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, to more narrative, humanist, or mindfulness-influenced approaches. Therapy does not just happen during the one hour per week consultation with a therapist, but continues throughout the week through exercises and activities that the participant must undertake. Interestingly, many of the features of modern mobile and social technology appear ideal to support this ongoing process. Modern technology allows for the pervasive sensing of participant behaviour, from the monitoring of mood and other biological indicators, to the measuring and logging of observed social behaviours. It also allows for the real-time, automated analysis of this data and the delivery of feedback to the participant. There is a great deal of potential in this technology to support and deliver interventions for common psychological problems.

We invite 2-4 page submissions in BCS format ( Both completed and in-progress work is welcome. Accepted papers will be published in the British Computer Society’s e-WIC repository.

Contributions will be welcome on a range of relevant topics, including:

  • Defining the state of the art,
  • Understanding how modern technologies, such as social and sensor networks, and computer games, can extend the scope of traditional mental healthcare services,
  • The potential of social media to facilitate group-based therapy,
  • The level of therapist involvement necessary, or preferable, in the delivery of online mental healthcare,
  • The role of expert users, such as moderators, in online support for psychotherapy,
  • Theoretical frameworks that may provide effective guidance for design and evaluation in this area,
  • Understanding issues regarding participant recruitment for prototype applications in this field,
  • Ethical and regulatory requirements, including possible privacy concerns

Workshop Organisers:

Conor Linehan, University of Lincoln
Shaun Lawson, University of Lincoln
Sue Jamison-Powell, University of Leicester
Kevin Morgan, Loughborough University
David Coyle, University of Bristol
Kate Cavanagh, University of Sussex


Submission Deadline:  Friday 29th June, 2012
Decision:  Friday 13th July, 2012
Camera-Ready Versions:  6th August, 2012
To submit a paper, or for further information, please contact Conor Linehan (


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