I am a licensed systemic psychotherapist. In 2008 I gained my Ph.D in Psychology. My work includes clinical practice, research and teaching. I have been working with Pavia University since 2003. Actually I am the lecturer of the course of Adolescent Psychology at the Department of Brain and Behavioural Sciences.
My interests run through the psychology of development and clinical psychology. For several years I have been working as a psychotherapist in the field of substance abuse disorders, both with prevention and clinical treatment projects.
My focus is on stimulating the development of resilient resources in individuals and families; in particular, in the last years, I have been working with great passion with my husband to develop a treatment for addiction by means of games and new technologies.
Treating Addiction through Brain Computer Interface
This work explores the ability of subjects with addiction problems to activate coping strategies and resources after training with the use of BCI.
The literature highlighted that the Training for the Improvement of Coping Strategies (CST) and Treatment with Cue Exposure (CET) represent two approaches recognized as effective in the treatment of addiction, based on these assumptions we developed a research design.
Two groups of subjects divided into two groups; the subjects in the experimental group attended five weeks of training consisting of the exposure, through the use of software specifically created and connected to a BCI helmet, to 30 images that recall the substance. The images were chosen by each subject himself, together with the experimenter, in order to identify those images that had a greater salience for the person. The task was to manipulate the images moving them on a computer screen, using the BCI system.
The first results show how, thanks to the training, the experimental subjects developed a good self-efficacy and decreased the use of avoidance strategies, unlike the control subjects.
These results demonstrate how new technologies can make a significant contribution to health interventions.
The training proposed could be implemented on other devices becoming more “user friendly”; it could become a smartphone app, and be used by the subject even outside the care service and independently during the day.