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The Centre for Urban Mental Health is organizing a series of online lectures to highlight expertise and current thinking on complexity science and urban mental health. For the coming online lecture, we are delighted to welcome Professor Andrea Wittenborn to talk about her work on understanding the complex feedback mechanisms that underlie depression through a causal loop diagram.

Event details of Understanding the complex feedback mechanisms that underlie depression through a causal loop diagram
Date 22 September 2021
Time 16:00 -17:00

Andrea Wittenborn is a Professor of Human Development and Family Studies and the Director of the Couple and Family Therapy doctoral program. She also holds an appointment in the Division of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine. Dr. Wittenborn obtained her Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2007, served on the faculty at Virginia Tech for seven years, and joined Michigan State University in 2014.

Andrea’s research interests include testing outcomes of depression interventions, personalized treatment, and interpersonal mechanisms of depression. Her clinical research aims to decrease depressive symptoms while enhancing close relationships. An influential line of research has been her work on deriving a causal loop diagram to understand the complex interactions of major depressive disorder.

Andrea applied novel qualitative system dynamics methods to the mechanisms of depression. The resulting model defines 13 key reinforcing feedback loops as main drivers of depression and provides a first step to understanding the complex dynamics of depression.

At the Centre for Urban Mental Health, we aim to unravel new pathways to improve urban mental health that takes into account the complexities and dynamics of mental health problems and mental health disorders in an urban environment.