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J Med Syst. 2017 Jun;41(6):92. doi: 10.1007/s10916-017-0742-3. Epub 2017 Apr 28.

How Can Geography and Mobile Phones Contribute to Psychotherapy?

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Department of Geography, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain.
School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA.
Center of Informatics and Systems, Universidade de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.


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.


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

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