Clinical Psychology and Psychological Treatment

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Network approaches to psychopathology

Mina Stefanović, Keisuke Takano, Charlotte E. Wittekind, Thomas Ehring

Third-party funding

Traditionally, disorders have been defined categorically by the presence of a combination of symptom criteria. The disadvantages of this approach have increasingly been highlighted, including the problem of local independence, insufficient proof for an assumed cause for all symptoms, and problems related to summation of the different symptoms. Additionally, categorical disorder-focused assessment does not allow individualizing psychological treatment. Recently, network analysis has been proposed as an alternative approach to conceptualizing disorders (Borsboom & Cramer, 2013). Network analysis is a group of statistical techniques by which the dynamic relationship of the phenomenon of interest can be analyzed (Borsboom, Cramer, 2013). It has been proposed as a supplementary strategy to address some of the challenges described above.

Our group is currently conducting different studies aiming to investigate network approach for PTSD, anxiety, worry, and repetitive negative thinking. The main aim of our research is to explore network analysis as a tool for individualization of psychological treatment.