The e-CBT.ro web-platform


The e-CBT.ro psychotherapy web platform represents a valuable infrastructure where innovative mental health services can be easily tested and provided to clients. The platform consists of two distinct but interconnected modules designed for online assessments and online psychotherapy. By using the e-CBT platform we transcended many of the obstacles that currently hinder access to mental health services. Among the most common obstacles faced by regular clients who seek mental health are: finding a skilled psychotherapist, the difficulty of scheduling face-to-face therapy sessions, time and travel expenses, early access to treatment, high financial costs of therapy. Such obstacles can be easily overcome by using an online platform such as e-CBT. Moreover, from an intervention perspective, the e-CBT platform provides: easy access to a special population (i.e. people who experience a specific psychological problem), possibility to offer a standardized treatment (with rare or no therapist drifts), an easy and fast way to update therapeutic content, and allows therapist to reallocate time for patients with severe/complex disorders. 

The e-CBT platform can be used for research, to provide various scientifically validated interventions. Taking advantage of the platform infrastructure, we can develop and/or adapt new intervention protocols which can be easily tested and delivered. Finally, the platform can be used for various international research collaboration where the Internet and/or smartphone applications are required.

Acknowledgment: The e-CBT.ro web-platform was developed with the financial support of the Romanian Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding (UEFISCDI) Partnerships in Priority Domains Program (PN-II-PT-PCCA-2013), project number: 331/2014.

The e-CBT.ro platform was designed to facilitate the specific activities carried out in the context of psychotherapy, being highly innovative. For example, the assessment module helps us not only to screen participants before accepting them into treatment, but also to monitor their progress throughout the intervention, to evaluate their gains immediately after the therapy, and to see whether they maintained them at follow-up (6 month or one year after the intervention). Therefore, the psychological assessment module is closely interrelated with the other parts of the platform facilitating the achievement of various therapeutic goals.

After reading the relevant materials included in each lesson, participants have the opportunity to carry out various homework assignments that require customized forms to be filled in. At the end of each lesson, tailored online forms can be created to facilitate the communication between participant and their online therapists. Additionally, the smartphone application allows easy access to the intervention content and homework assignments, increasing treatment flexibility.

To be accessible for regular users, the platform was designed to require average computer skills. We reasoned that incorporating cutting-edge technologies could actually hinder customary users to access and benefit from the treatment, having a detrimental effect on treatment accessibility. In this respect, innovation comes not necessarily in terms of proposing a radically new technology, but rather in terms of widening the use of technology for promoting mental health services.  

What conditions do we regularly address?


In order to apreciate whether the treatment programs regularly offered on the e-CBT.ro platform are of interest to you, we will briefly describe the emotional problems we usually adress. However, as the platform represents a versatile infrastructure, it is suitable for any intervention program adapted for the online environment.  

Most of the intervention programs recently implemented by our team were designed to adressed anxiety and/or depression simptoms. To assess the intensity such symptoms, we use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). In this manual, some symptoms cluster arrond each other forming a number of diagnostic categories. A brief excerpt from Barlow's transdiagnostic workbook succinctly describes the diagnostic categories we regularly addressed (Barlow, D.H., Ellard, K.K., Fairholme, C.P., Farchione, T.J., Boisseau, C.L. Allen, L.B. & Ehrenreich-May, J. (2011). The unified protocol for transdiagnostic treatment of emotional disorders: Client workbook. New York, NY: Oxford University Press). 

Panic Disorder

In panic disorder, people experience intense panic attacks, or a wave of fear that washes over them, which causes uncomfortable sensations including some combination of the following: a racing, pounding heart; shortness of breath or smothering sensations; hot or cold flashes; a feeling of choking; sweaty palms; nausea or stomach distress; dizziness, lightheadedness, or faintness; feelings of unreality or being detached from oneself; a fear of dying; a fear of going crazy; or a fear of doing something uncontrolled. These panic attacks seem to come from nowhere, and last around ten minutes or less at their peak. People who experience panic attacks often describe a sense of feeling trapped and needing to escape, even though they are not in any real danger or can’t figure out why. When a person starts to experience panic attacks, they become very worried about having another panic attack and may begin to change their lifestyle or avoid situations as a result.

This description has been originally published by Barlow, D.H., Ellard, K.K., Fairholme, C.P., Farchione, T.J., Boisseau, C.L. Allen, L.B. & Ehrenreich-May, J. (2011). The unified protocol for transdiagnostic treatment of emotional disorders: Client Workbook. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

People with obsessive-compulsive disorder experience frequent and recurring unwanted, irrational, or nonsensical thoughts, images, or impulses that don’t make sense. For example, someone might find himself having horrific or aggressive images pop into his mind that he finds very disturbing, or someone may be plagued by doubt about whether she turned something off or filled out a form correctly even though she has already checked several times. These intrusive thoughts cause the person a great deal of anxiety and distress, and the person tries to suppress them or neutralize them in some way in order to get rid of them. The person may also feel driven to repeat some behavior or repeat some phrase or word over and over in order to feel less uncomfortable. For example, someone with intrusive thoughts about getting germs from everything he touches may find himself driven to wash his hands repeatedly. Or someone who keeps having unwanted or nonsensical blasphemous thoughts may find herself saying a prayer over and over in her head. Or someone who feels intense anxiety when things are out of place may feel driven to put things back in order.

Many people have fleeting thoughts that don’t make sense to them that seem to come out of nowhere or may have idiosyncratic behaviors or habits like keeping things in a certain order or doing things a certain way. For someone to be diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, however, these intrusive thoughts and/or compulsive behaviors must take up a great deal of time in the person’s day, happening for at least an hour or more, and must be very interfering and/or distressing for the person.

This description has been originally published by Barlow, D.H., Ellard, K.K., Fairholme, C.P., Farchione, T.J., Boisseau, C.L. Allen, L.B. & Ehrenreich-May, J. (2011). The unified protocol for transdiagnostic treatment of emotional disorders: Client Workbook. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

People with generalized anxiety disorder experience excessive worry and concern over a number of different areas of their life. They may worry about minor matters, such as getting errands done or getting places on time; issues related to work or school, such as finishing a project or meeting expectations; their family and friends’ health and well-being; their own health and well-being; their finances; how they are getting along with others; or even community or world issues. Someone with a generalized anxiety disorder doesn’t just worry about one of these things; they worry about several of these different things. Most importantly, they find it very, very difficult to “turn off” these worries, even when they are trying to do other things. These worries come with physical sensations as well. They may feel restless, wound up, irritable, and/or distracted. They may experience muscle tension and have trouble sleeping. Just as with obsessive-compulsive disorder, it is not uncommon for people to worry about things in their life, and quite often worrying about something can act as a powerful motivator to get something done, making worry quite helpful. To receive a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder, a person must be worrying about a number of these different things more days than not for at least six months, find these worries difficult to control, and experience at least three of the symptoms that go along with worry (e.g. restlessness, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping). In addition, these worries must be getting in the way of the person’s life and/or be very distressing to them.

This description has been originally published by Barlow, D.H., Ellard, K.K., Fairholme, C.P., Farchione, T.J., Boisseau, C.L. Allen, L.B. & Ehrenreich-May, J. (2011). The unified protocol for transdiagnostic treatment of emotional disorders: Client Workbook. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Social Anxiety Disorder

People with social anxiety disorder or social phobia experience intense fear of social or performance situations in which they are around unfamiliar people, are being evaluated or possibly scrutinized by others, or may do something that will embarrass or humiliate themselves, such as going to a party, or giving a presentation at work. When they are in one of these situations they experience intense, overwhelming anxiety, and may even have a panic attack. The person knows the fear is likely unreasonable or at least excessive, but can’t control it. As a result, the person either starts to avoid social and/or performance situations, or finds himself enduring them with a great deal of distress. As with other disorders, it is not uncommon for people to get nervous or anxious when meeting new people or speaking or performing in front of a group of people. However, to receive a diagnosis of social anxiety disorder or social phobia, this fear has to be so intense and the avoidance so great that it interferes in the person’s social life, work, and/or ability to go about her daily routine.

This description has been originally published by Barlow, D.H., Ellard, K.K., Fairholme, C.P., Farchione, T.J., Boisseau, C.L. Allen, L.B. & Ehrenreich-May, J. (2011). The unified protocol for transdiagnostic treatment of emotional disorders: Client Workbook. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Major Depressive Disorder

People with major depressive disorder, or what we commonly refer to as depression, find themselves more days than not feeling very down, blue, or depressed. They may find themselves losing interest in things that used to interest them, like playing sports, reading books, or going out to dinner with friends. They may feel like they’ve lost their appetite, or they may find themselves overeating. They might have trouble sleeping, or feel like they can’t get enough sleep or can’t get out of bed. They may feel tired all the time, unmotivated to do much of anything. They may have difficulty concentrating, or find their minds going blank. They may feel restless and agitated, or they may feel very sluggish and slowed down. They may have a sense of worthlessness or feel guilty. Some people even have thoughts about hurting or even killing themselves. As with all of the disorders we have discussed, it is not uncommon for people to have days when they feel down or unmotivated, or even restless and agitated. To receive a diagnosis of major depression, the person needs to have been feeling this way more days than not for at least two weeks or more.

This description has been originally published by Barlow, D.H., Ellard, K.K., Fairholme, C.P., Farchione, T.J., Boisseau, C.L. Allen, L.B. & Ehrenreich-May, J. (2011). The unified protocol for transdiagnostic treatment of emotional disorders: Client Workbook. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Intervention programs


Over time we have implemented a number of prevention and intervention programs designed to decrease anxiety, depression, and maladaptive perfectionism, and to promote healthy emotional development.

To date, all our programs were delivered in Romania, but we plan to disseminate them in other languages as well. Specifically, we plan to present the Emotional Development Program in English and in Italian. 

 

Emotional Development Program A brief prevention program for healthy adults interested in emotional management (2016). ... read more details
Psychotherapy for Anxiety and Depression A transdiagnostic program for anxiety and affective disorders (2016). ... read more details
The ACT Online Program A transdiagnostic intervention based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for high/clinical anxiety (2017) ... read more details
The Almost Perfect Program

A specific CBT intervention for maladaptive perfectionism (2016).

... read more details

Our team has implemented two additional online intervention programs in collaboration with Prof. Gerhard Andersson, Ph.D. (Linkoping University & Karolinska Institute, Sweden) 

  The iSOFIE Program - A disorder specific CBT program for Social Anxiety Disorder (2012)

  The PsiTOD Program - A disorder specific CBT program for Major Depression Disorder (2014)

 

 

The e-CBT.ro team


Bogdan Tudor Tulbure

Bogdan Tudor Tulbure

Principal Investigator

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Bogdan Tudor Tulbure

Bogdan Tudor Tulbure

Principal Investigator

Bogdan Tudor Tulbure – Principal Investigator

Email:   bogdan.tulbure@e-cbt.ro

Bogdan Tudor Tulbure is currently assistant professor at the Department of Psychology, West University of Timisoara. He completed his Ph.D. in Psychology at Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca (2009), where he also completed a postdoctoral program (2010-2012). During his doctoral studies he received a Fulbright scholarship at the University of Virginia, USA (2007-2008), and during his postdoctoral studies he was a visiting researcher at Linkoping University, Sweden (February-March 2012). Bogdan’s research interests centers around evidence-based practices in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), and he investigates new ways to improve mental health using the Internet. Bogdan has coordinated a number of online interventions for affective and anxiety disorders, and recently in his interest centers around the transdiagnostic processes and programs for anxiety and depression.

Florin Alin Sava

Florin Alin Sava

Senior Researcher

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Florin Alin Sava

Florin Alin Sava

Senior Researcher

Florin Alin Sava - Senior Researcher

Email:   florin.sava@e-uvt.ro

Florin Sava is full professor at the Department of Psychology, West University of Timisoara. He completed his Ph.D. in Psychology at Babeş Bolyai University, Cluj Napoca, where he also completed a postdoctoral program at the Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy. Alin has coordinated a number of research projects in the field of implicit social cognitions. Currently he is the coordinator of the Social Cognition and Personality Assessment Lab. His research interests center on developing implicit and explicit assessment tools, affective conditioning programs and identifying mediator and moderator variables relevant in propositional and associative processes.

Silvia Măgurean

Silvia Măgurean

Postdoctoral Researcher

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Silvia Măgurean

Silvia Măgurean

Postdoctoral Researcher

Silvia Magurean - Postdoctoral Researcher

Email:   silvia.magurean@e-uvt.ro

Silvia Magurean is assistant professor at the Department of Psychology, West University in Timisoara. Her Ph.D. research targeted effective ways of changing smoking related implicit cognitions. During the last decade Silvia was involved in various research projects in the area of implicit social cognitions. She is especially interested in applying implicit social cognition theories and methods in the field of personality, organizational, and health psychology.

Andrei Rusu

Andrei Rusu

Postdoctoral Researcher

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Andrei Rusu

Andrei Rusu

Postdoctoral Researcher

Andrei Rusu - Postdoctoral Researcher

Email:   andrei.rusu@e-uvt.ro

Andrei Rusu is assistant professor at the Department of Psychology, West University of Timisoara. He completed his Ph.D. in Psychology at the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Iași (2013), where he also completed a postdoctoral program (2014-2015). Both his doctoral and postdoctoral research focused on testing methods and theories of implicit social cognition in the field of organizational psychology and vocational behavior. Currently, Andrei’s main research interest focus on employing implicit social cognition in other areas such as occupational health psychology.

Nastasia Sălăgean

Nastasia Sălăgean

PhD Student

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Nastasia Sălăgean

Nastasia Sălăgean

PhD Student

Nastasia Sălăgean – PhD student

Email:   nastasia.salagean@e-uvt.ro

Nastasia Sălăgean is currently completing her PhD program in Psychology at the West University of Timisoara. In her research, Nastasia investigates the nature of implicit processes in depression. During her PhD, Nastasia was involved in several research projects like "Changing Implicit Cognitions: A Scientifically Validated Approach" and "A new internet-delivered transdiagnostic intervention for anxiety and mood disorders.”

Daniela Moza

Daniela Moza

PhD Student

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Daniela Moza

Daniela Moza

PhD Student

Daniela Moza – PhD Student

Email:   daniela.moza@e-uvt.ro

Daniela Moza is currently completing her PhD program in intercultural psychology at the Department of Psychology, West university of Timisoara. In her research, Daniela examines the socio-cultural factors that influence psychological well-being and happiness at the individual level. During her PhD program Daniela was involved in various other research projects.

Publications


Tulbure, B. T., Sava, F. A., Sălăgean, N. Rusu, A., & Farchione, T. (in preparation). An online transdiagnostic randomized control trial for affective and mood disorders.

Maricuțoiu, L., Măgurean, S. & Tulbure, B. T. (under review). Perfectionism in a transdiagnostic context: The relationships between perfectionism and psychopathology.

Tulbure, B. T., Andersson, G., Sălăgean, N., Pearce M., & Koenig, H. (2017). Religious versus Conventional Internet-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for DepressionJournal of Religion and Health, DOI: 10.1007/s10943-017-0503-0 (link to the article http://rdcu.be/xEn8)

Măgurean, S., Sălăgean, N. & Tulbure, B. T. (2016). Factor structure and Psychometric properties of two short versions of Frost Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale in Romania. Romanian Journal of Experimental Applied Psychology Vol. 7, Issue 1, 207-211. DOI: 10.15303/rjeap.2016.si1.a43

Hackl, E. & Tulbure, B. T. (2016). The Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology–the Self Report Romanian version, Romanian Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 18, No.1, 8-12.

Tulbure B. T., Szentagotai A., David O., Ștefan S., Månsson K. N. T., David D. & Andersson, G. (2015) Internet-Delivered Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder in Romania: A Randomized Controlled Trial. PLOS ONE 10(5): e0123997. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0123997

Tulbure, B. T. (2015). Appreciating the positive protects us from negative emotions: The relationship between gratitude, depression and religiosity. Procedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 187, 475 – 480. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.03.089

Tulbure, B. T., Månsson, K. N. T., Andersson, G. (2012). Internet treatment for social anxiety disorder in Romania: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial, Trials 13:202. doi: 10.1186/1745-6215-13-202.

Tulbure, B. T., Szentagotai, A., Dobrean, A., David D. (2012) Evidence based clinical assessment of child and adolescent social phobia: A critical review of rating scales, Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 43, 795-820. doi: 10.1007/s10578-012-0297-y.

Tulbure, B. T. (2011). The efficacy of internet-supported intervention for social anxiety disorder: A brief meta-analytic review. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 30, 552-557. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.10.108.

Contact


    • Psychology Department, West University of Timisoara, Romania
      Bd. V. Parvan No. 4, Room 223, 300223 Timisoara, Romania
    • Email: bogdan.tulbure@e-uvt.ro
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