Health Psychology – University of Copenhagen

PCARE > Research > Health Psychology

Health Psychology

Center for humanistic health psychology

Coordinator: Jesper Dammeyer

Page jump to the main headlines:

Aims & Visions

The subject area includes health and illness behaviour within the areas of treatment and prevention, primarily in relation to somatic conditions. In international context, Health psychology often involves large empirical and evidence-based research that is guided by behavioural models within the field of natural science and medical science.

But in many medical contexts there is a growing need (and a call) for theories, concepts and methods developed within a humanistic context (i.e. anthropology, psychology, history, linguistics, and philosophy).

The purpose of Health psychology is to supply medical science with an understanding of e.g. disease and treatment, derived from the humanities.

Much research in health psychology, is based on the split between natural science and humanistic disciplines. To do away with this gulf is mandatory in order to open up the possibilities for new ways of thinking. Science-Technology-Society studies (STS) add fresh resources to the field.

ContributionsTil toppen

Theory

Our theoretical works has been concretized by examining cases taken from our own empirical research, e.g. a textbook is published used in higher education in health professions.
Elsass, P., Lauritsen, P.: Humanistisk sundhedsforskning. Teori, metode, praksis. Hans Reitzels Forlag. København, 2006. Publications: A: 4, 12, 14, 18, 19.

Praxis

Studies of medical praxis involving cross sectional collaboration with psychology, e.g. genetic counseling, fatigue symptoms in rehabilitating clients, and the computer in clinical practice. E.g. a book about the psychosocial aspect of daily life with cancer is a result of collaboration between psychology and medicine.
Elsass, P., Johansen, C.: At leve med kræft. Dansk psykologisk Forlag. 2011.
Publications: A:1, 3, 10, 15, 16, 20, 22, 23, 25 – 34

International engagement

Our cross sectional work contains an international engagement in a globalized world in which poverty is the greatest cause of disease. The first textbook of cultural psychology is based at empirical research and articles of our work in Tibet and Latinamerica. The main subjects are torture survivors and their coping, maternal care and autonomy of ethnic groups.
Elsass, P.: Håndbog i kulturpsykologi. Gyldendal. København, 2003.
Elsass, P.: Treating victims of torture and violence. Theoretical, cross-cultural and clinical perspectives. New York University Press. 2.edition (2001).
Elsass, P.: Strategies of survival. New York University Press (???).
Publications: A: 5, 6, 9, 13, 21.

Clinical work

Despite the humanistic working model do have top priority in our work, involvement in evidence based treatment studies is also considered important. A handbook present an overview of assessments methods of psychopathology and empirical CRT studies concretize how to assess groups as e.g. criminals and cancerpatients and to evaluate interventions as e.g. mindfulness.
Elsass, P., Ivanouw, J., Mortensen, E.L., Poulsen, S., Rosenbaum, B. (red.): Assessmentmetoder. Håndbog for psykologer og psykiatere. Dansk Psykologisk Forlag. København, 2006.
Publications: A: 22 – 34, B: 9, C: 21

Religion and spirituality

There is a growing interest to include spirituality into the discipline of psychology. E.g. a new concept of ’spiritual attachment’ has emerged and treatment as ACT and mindfulness do justify part of their praxis in Buddhism and spirituality. One of our publications is an introduction to Buddhist Psychology, with a specific focus of how we in the West do construct our own Buddhisme without concrete references to the thousands of Buddhist text in the East.
Elsass, P.: Buddhas Veje. En introduktion til buddhistisk psykologi. Gyldendal, 2011.
Publications: A: 8, 25, 27. B: 7, 9

CollaboratorsTil toppen

Intern: Peter Elsass, Jesper Dammeyer, Gretty Mirdal

Ph.d. candidates: Christian Gaden Jensen, Christine Marie Lehane, Hanna Birkbark Hovaldt, Mette Nyrup, Pernille Hartvig Sørensen, Kirsten Callesen.

Extern: Uffe Juul Jensen (Aarhus University), Christoffer Johansen (Copenhagen University), Peter Lauritsen (Aarhus University), Helge Rønnestad (Oslo University), Per Sjøgren (Rigshospitalet), Mikkel Wold (Teologisk Pædagogisk Center), Niels Viggo Hansen (Aarhus University), Andreas Roepstorf (Aarhus University), Karma Lhundup (Tibetan Counsel, North India), David Orlinsky (University of Chicago).

Publications from year 2000 - 2015

A. Peer reviewed articles 

In English

1. Elsass, P., Arenliu, A.: Mental Health in Kosovo. WHO mental health report. 2000. 

2. Elsass, P.: Individual and collective traumatic memory. A qualitative analysis of PTSD-symptoms in two Latinamerican localities. CrossCultural Psychiatry. 2001. 38. 306 - 316. 

3. Elsass, P.: Learning in chaos. Psychosocial interventions against state organised violence. Psyke & Logos. 2001, 22, 352 - 366. 

4. Lauritsen, P., Elsass, P.: Computors in psychiatry. Notions of science and health as resources for conceptualising computor use in two psychiatric contexts. Outlines. 2001, 3, 25 - 35.

5. Lauritsen, P., Elsass,P.: User-persepctives on computors. Health professio­nals and clients conceptualisations of computors in psychiatric settings. Forum for Kritishe Psychologiae. 2002. 

6. Elsass, P., Mørup, R., Jensen, B., Thøgersen, M.H.: Living with unexplained somatic symptoms. A combined qualitative and quantitative study of life-stories from rehabilitation clients. International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation. 2006. Vol 61. No 3.

7. Elsass, P., Mørup, R., Jensen, B., Thøgersen, M.H.: The recognition of fatigue. Life stories concerning ’new age disorders’ in historical and contemporary perspective. International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation. 2007. Vol 62. No 5. 

8. Elsass, P. Spirituality; attachment to the immateriel world. Nordic Psychology. 2007.

9. Elsass, P., Phuntsok, K.: Tibetans’ coping mechanism following torture. An interview study of Tibetan torture survivors’ use of coping mechanisms and how these were supported by western counselling. Traumatology. 2008. 15. 3 – 10.

10. Elsass, P., Pedersen, P., Husum, K., Milman, N. :Psychological impact of different levels of information of genetic screening. A questionnaire study in populations with different genetic risks for hereditary hemochromatosis.  Annals of Hematology . 2008. 5, 397 – 405.

11. Larsen, I.,Jørgensen, I.L., Frederiksen, K., Boesen, E., Elsass, P., Johansen, C.: An Exploratory Study of Associations between Illness Perceptions and Adjustment and Changes after Psychosocial Rehabilitation in Survivors of Breast Cancer. Acta Oncologica. 2009. 

12. Elsass, P., Carlsson, J., Jespersen, K., Phuntsok, K.: Questioning Western assessment of trauma among Tibetan torture survivors. A quantitative assessment study and the comments of Buddhist Lamas. Torture. 2009. 19. 194 – 203. 

13. Elsass, P., Carlsson, J., Husum, K., Phuntsok, K.: Spirituality as coping in Tibetan torture survivors. Ugeskrift for læger. 2010 Jan 11;172(2): 137-40. 

14. Pedersen, L., Rasmussen, K., Elsass, P. & Hougaard H.: The importance of early antisocial behaviour among men with a schizophrenia spectrum disorder in a specialist forensic psychiatry hospital unit in Denmark. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, 2010. 

15. Sorensen B L, Massawe S, Nyakina J, Elsass P, Nielsen B B and Rasch V; Substandard emergency obstetric care: A confidential enquiry into maternal deaths at a regional hospital in Tanzania. Tropical Medicine and International Health 2010.

16. Sorensen B L, Rasch V, Massawe S, Nyakina J, Elsass P and Nielsen B B; Impact of Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics Training on management of prolonged labour and newborns: A prospective intervention study at Kagera Regional Hospital in Tanzania. International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2010.  

17. Pedersen, L. Kunz, C., Rasmussen, K. & Elsass, P.: Psychopathy as a risk factor for violent recidivism – investigating the Psychopathy Checklist Screening Version (PCL:SV) and the Comprehensive Assessment of Psychopathic Personality (CAPP) in a forensic psychiatric setting.International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 2011. 

18.  Pedersen, L., Rasmussen, K. & Elsass, P.: Risk assessment: The value of structured professional judgements. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 2011.

19. Sorensen B L, Rasch V, Massawe S, Nyakina J, Elsass P and Nielsen B B; Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO) and postpartum hemorrhage: A prospective intervention study in Tanzania. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologia Scandinavica 2011.  

20. Sorensen B L, Rasch V, Nielsen B B and Elsass P;User and provider perspectives on emergency obstetric care in a Tanzanian rural setting: A qualitative analysis of the three delays model in a field study. African Journal of Reproductive Health. June 2011.  

21. Pedersen, L., Rasmussen, K. & Elsass, P. HCR-20 risk assessments as a guide for treating and managing violence risk in a forensic psychiatric setting. Psychology, Crime and Law, 2011. 

22. Würtzen, H., Rottmann, N., Hagedoorn, M., Boesen, E., Elsass, P., Flyger, H., Johansen, C.: No man is an island: A systematic review of controlled trials of psychosocial interventions targeting spouses or couples. Journal of clinical oncolog (in press).  

23. Würtzen, H., Dalton, S.O., Elsass, P., Sumbundu, A.D., Steding-Jensen, M., Karlsen, R.V., Andersen, K.K., Flyger, H.L., Pedersen, A.E., Johansen, C.:

Mindfulness significantly influences self-reported levels of anxiety and depression: Results from a randomized controlled trial among 336 Danish women treated for Breast Cancer (stage I-III). New England Journal of Medicine. (in press). 

24. Würtzen, H., Dalton, S.O., Elsass, P., Sumbundu, A.D., Steding-Jensen, M., Karlsen, R.V., Andersen, K.K., Flyger, H.L., Pedersen, A.E., Johansen, C.:

Who participates in MBSR after BC? Clinical, demographic and self-report personality and wellbeing data from the enrollment into a randomized controlled trial of MBSR among Danish women diagnosed with breast cancer stage I-III. Psychooncology (in press). 

25. Danelund, J.R., Bihal, T., Flyger, Henrik; Kay, S.M., Khan, S., Jensen, C.G, Jensen, Elsass, P. (2014). What works for whom in mindfulness. An quantitative and qualitative comparison of 60 compliant breast cancer patients evaluation of mindfulness-intervention with 40 drop outs. A linguistic study of self-presentations. Journal of Religion and Science, 61, 74 – 88. 

26. Jensen CG, Elsass P, Neustrup L, Bihal T, Flyger H, Kay SM, Khan S, Jensen SS, Pedersen A, Würtzen H.: What to listen for in the consultation. Breast cancer patients' own focus on talking about acceptance-based psychological coping predicts decreased psychological distress and depression. Journal of Patienteducation and counseling 2014 Nov; 97(2):165-72.  

27. Elsass, P., Rønnestad, MH., Gaden Jensen, C., Lhundup, K., Phuntsok, T., Orlinsky, D. Warmth and Challenge as Common Factors among Eastern and Western Counselors: Buddhist Lamas’ Responses to Western Questionnaires. (Submitted).  

28. Danelund, J.R., Bihal, T., Flyger, Henrik; Kay, S.M., Khan, S., Jensen, C.G, Jensen, Elsass, P. (2014). What works for whom in mindfulness. An quantitative and qualitative comparison of 60 compliant breast cancer patients evaluation of mindfulness-intervention with 40 drop outs. A linguistic study of self-presentations. Journal of Religion and Science, 61, 74 – 88

29. Henderson, S.H., Elsass, P. (2015) Predictors of trauma and distres five years after the Indian Ocean tusnami in Sri Lanka. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. In press

30. Henderson, S, Elsass, P. Beliner, P, (2015) Mental and social health in disasters. Relating the Sphere standards to post-tsunami psycholosocial interventions I Asia. Disasters. (in press)

31. Sveaas, N., Agger, I., Elsass, P., Hamber, B.: (2014) Surviving Gross Human RightsViolations: Exploring Survivors Experience of Justice and Reparation.  In Cooper and Ratele (eds): PSYCHOLOGY SERVING HUMANITY Vol. II

32. Nyrup, M., Elsass, P.(2015) : Psychological symptomsm in persons ageing with polio, Spinal cord injuries and cerebral palsy; health or pathology. ??? (Submitted)

33. Nyrup, M., Elsass, P. (2015): Pain, depression and trauma symptoms in persons ageing with physical disabilities; prevalencies and impact. (submitted)

34. Nyrup, M., Elsass, P. (2015): The impact of early hospitalization on later psychological well-being in people ageing with physical disability. (Submitted ???)

35. Elsass, P. (2014): La presenza assoluta. Uno spazio terapeutico per il teatro e per la psicologia. Teatro e Storia, 35. 437 – 455.

B. In Danish

1. Elsass, P.:  Træthedens historie. Et eksempel på et forskningsemne for den humanistiske sundhedspsykologi. Psyke & Logos. 2000, 95 - 112.

2. Elsass, P.,  Mathiasen, E-M., Dittmann, H., Poulsen, I.D., Jerlang, C., Pedersen, S.B.: Den kontekstfølsomme psykoterapi. Et kvalitativt studie af kombinationen af psykoanalytisk orienteret og kognitiv behandling af selvmordstruede unge. Nordisk Psykologi. 2000.

3. Elsass, P.: Ubevidst intelligens. Om kombinationen mellem kognition og følelse . Psyke & Logos. 2000. 

4. Elsass, P.: Konstruktion af terror.  En analyse af narrativer om vold i Colombi­a. Nordisk Psykologi, 2002. 

5. Elsass, P.: Når selvoplevelsen erstattes af krop og ånd. Om tibetanske flygtninges ukuelighed. Psyke & Logos. 2002. 1. 144 - 166. 

6. Elsass, P.: Hvem ved mest om tibetansk buddhisme. Psyke & Logos. 2002. 23. 607 - 611. 

7. Elsass, P.: Spirituel attachment. Eksempler på immatriel tilknytning og non-attachment. Psyke & Logos. 2003.24.2. 

 8. Lauritsen, P., Elsass, P., Mathiasen, S.H.: Globalisering, skala-konstruktion og svingende eksistens. En undersøgelse af internet brug i Ayacucho, Peru. Psyke & Logos. 2004. 1. 338 - 353. 

9. Elsass, P., Carlsson, J., Jespersen, K., Phuntsok, K.: Tibetansk buddhisme som coping-mekanisme. Interviews med tibetanske torturoverlevere om deres måde at overkomme traumer på
.  Psyke & Logos. 2007. 1. 

10. Elsass, P., Lauritsen, P.: Sundhedspsykologi & humaniora. Bidrag til en ny praksis og videnskabelighed for sundhedsprofessionelle. Psyke & Logos. 2008. 1. 

C. Books

1. Elsass, P., Lunn, S. (red.): Psykologi i forvandling. Institut for Psykologi. Københavns Universitet, 2000. 

2. Elsass, P.: Treating victims of torture and violence. Theoretical, cross-cultural and clinical perspectives. New York University Press. 2.edition (2001). (Korean Edition, 2013). 

3. Elsass, P. (red.): Forebyggelse af selvmordsforsøg hos unge. Et eksempel på den forskningsbaserede klinikvirksomhed. Universitetsklinikken & Center for humanistisk Sundhedsforskning. Dansk psykologisk Forlag. 2001. 

4. Elsass, P.: Håndbog i kulturpsykologi. Gyldendal. København, 2003. 

5. Hasche, E.F., Elsass, P., Nielsen, T. (red): Klinisk sundhedspsykologi. Munksgaard, København 2004. 

6. Elsass, P., Ivanouw, J., Mortensen, E.L., Poulsen, S., Rosenbaum, B. (red.): Assessmentmetoder. Håndbog for psykologer og psykiatere. Dansk Psykologisk Forlag. København, 2006. 

7. Elsass, P., Lauritsen, P.: Humanistisk sundhedsforskning. Teori, metode, praksis. Hans Reitzels Forlag. København, 2006. 

8 Elsass, P.: Buddhas veje. Introduktion til buddhistisk psykologi. Dansk Psykologisk Forlag 2011. 

9. Elsass, P., Johansen, C.; At leve med kræft. Dansk psykologisk Forlag. 2012. 

10. Elsass, P.: Kunsten at være alene. En introduktion til Ensomhedens psykologi. Gyldendal 2015. 

D. Book chapters

1. Elsass, P.: Hjælpeindustri - eller forsoning. I: Clausen, C.,  Lærum, H.: Velfærdsstaten i krise. Tiderne Skifter. 2000. 

2. Elsass, P. et al.: Effektiv psykoterapi. En undersøgelse af angstpatienters oplevelse af henholdsvis kognitiv og psykoanalytisk psykoterapi. I: Elsass, P., Lunn, S.: Psykologi i forvandling. Universitetsklinikken.Institut for Klinisk Psykologi. Københavns Universitet. 2000. 

3. Elsass, P.: Samfundspsykologi. I Blinkenberg, S., Vendsborg, P.B., Lindhardt, A., Reisby, N. (eds.): Distriktpsykiatri. En lærebog. Hans Reitzels Forlag. 2001. 

4. Elsass, P.: Alternativ behandling. En introduktion af feltet og dets aktører. Teknologirådets rapport vedr. Alternativ Behandling. 2002. 

5. Elsass, P.: Distriktpsykologi. I Bjerg, J. (red.): Gads psykologileksikon. Gads Forlag. København, 2003. 

6. Elsass, P.: Optimal kommunikation; et af sundhedsvæsenets forførelsesnumre. Etisk råd. 2003. 

7. Elsass, P.: Spiritualitet i psykologisk behandling. Frigørelse eller  forførelse. I Johanssen, C., Hvidt, N. (red.): Religion og sundhed.  Gyldendal. 2003. 

8. Andersen, L.O., Elsass, P.: Placebo. I Hache, E., Elsass, P., Nielsen, T. (eds.): Klinisk sundhedspsykologi. Munksgaard. København, 2004. 

9. Fohlmann, A. H., Elsass, P.: Kriseterapi af Hiv-smittede patienter. I Hache, E., Elsass, P., Nielsen, T. (eds.): Klinisk sundhedspsykologi. Munksgaard. København, 2004. 

10. Elsass, P.: Patient-terapeutforholdet. I Hache, E., Elsass, P., Nielsen, T. (eds.): Klinisk sundhedspsykologi. Munksgaard. København, 2004. 

11. Elsass, P.: Kompliance og patient tilfredshed. I Hache, E., Elsass, P., Nielsen, T. (eds.): Klinisk sundhedspsykologi. Munksgaard. København, 2004. 

12. Elsass, P., Hammerich, E.: Konfliktarbejde i internationale kriser. I Berliner, P., Wiking, M.G. (eds.). Community Psykologi. Hans Reitzels Forlag. København, 2004. 

13. Elsass, P.: Sundhedspsykologi i et tværfagligt humanistisk perspektiv. I Hache, E., Elsass, P., Nielsen, T. (eds.): Klinisk sundhedspsykologi. Munksgaard. København, 2004. 

14. Elsass, P.: Assessment; en introduction. I Elsass, P., Ivanouw, J., Mortensen, E.L., Poulsen, S., Rosenbaum, B. (red.): Assessmentmetoder. Håndbog for psykologer og psykiatere. Dansk Psykologisk Forlag. København, 2006. 

15. Elsass, P.: Det kulturfølsomme assessment. I Elsass, P., Ivanouw, J., Mortensen, E.L., Poulsen, S., Rosenbaum, B. (red.): Assessmentmetoder. Håndbog for psykologer og psykiatere. Dansk Psykologisk Forlag. København, 2006. 

16. Elsass, P & Lauritsen, P. (2008). Klinisk psykologi og positiv psykologi, I: Myszak, A & Nørby, S. (Eds.). Positiv Psykologi – en introduktion til videnskaben om velvære og optimale processer. Hans Reitzel Forlag. 

17. Elsass, P.: ”The healing space”, En sammenstilling af teater og psykoterapi. I Lunn, S. (ed.): Fra kromosomer til metaforer - klinisk psykologi i spændingsfeltet mellem humaniora og naturvidenskab. Dansk psykologisk Forlag. København, 2009. 

18. Elsass, P.: Etnicitet och psykologi. I Allwood, C.M., Johnsson, P. (eds.): Psykoterapi och interkulturell rådgivning till flyktingar. Lieber. 2009, Stockholm. 

19. Elsass, P.: ”The healing space”, En sammenstilling af teater og psykoterapi. I Lunn, S. (ed.): Fra kromosomer til metaforer - klinisk psykologi i spændingsfeltet mellem humaniora og naturvidenskab. Dansk psykologisk Forlag. København, 2009. 

20. Lauritsen, P., Elsass, P.: Forstyr ikke mine standarder. Om kvalitativ metode i sundhedsforskningen. I Thorgaard, K., Nissen, M., Jensen, U.J. (red.): Viden, virkning og virke; forslag til forståelser i sundhedspraksis. Roskilde Uniiversitetsforlag, 2010. 

21. Elsass, P.: Angst og depression. I Johansen, C. (red.): Kræftens senfølger. Hans Reitzels Forlag. 2012. 

22. Elsass, P.: Maksimal tilstedeværelse i teatret. I Christoffersen, E. (red.): Odin teatret; et dansk verdensteater. Aarhus Universitets Forlag. Aarhus, 2012. 

23. Elsass, P.: Maksimal tilstedeværelse i teatret. I Christoffersen, E. (red.): Odin teatret; et dansk verdensteater.. Aarhus Universitets Forlag. Aarhus, 2012. 

24. Elsass, P. (2014): Una amistad de por vida.in: Teatro Taller de Colombia: 40 anos de Teatro Callejo. Bogota Colombia. 

25. Alberdi, F., Elsass, P.: Interkulturel Psykoterapi; Teoretiske og kliniske perspektiver. I Moderne Psykoterapi. Hans Reitzels Forlag. 2015.  

E. Other publications

1. Elsass, P.: Sundhed. Den danske Encyclopædi. 2000. 

2. Jørgensen, E.F., Elsass, P.: Kvalitetssikring af supervision. En empirisk undersøgelse. Dansk Psykolog Nyt. 2000, 3, 8 - 16. 

3. Elsass, P.: Humanistisk sundhedsforskning. Alternativ Behandling. Statens sundhedsvidenskabelige Forskningsråd. 2002. 

4. Elsass, P.: Alternativ behandling. Et spil om magt og videnskabelighed. Social Politik. 2003. 1.  20 - 24. 

5. Elsass, P.: Psykoterapi med torturoverlevere. Nytter det? RCTs 20 års jubilæumssymposium. Rehabiliterings Centeret for Torturofre. København, 2003. 

6. Elsass, P.: Kulturpsykologi.I Bjerg, J. (red.): Gads psykologileksikon. Gads Forlag. København, 2003. 

7. Elsass, P.: Kulturpsykologiske forskningsfelter.I Bjerg, J. (red.): Gads psykologileksikon. Gads Forlag. København, 2003. 

8. Elsass, P.: Humanistisk sundhedsforskning.I Bjerg, J. (red.): Gads psykologi­leksikon. Gads Forlag. København, 2003. 

9. Elsass, P., Køppe, S.: Den modificerede internalisme.Opposition og forsvar af Simo Køppes afhandling: Neurosens opståen og udvikling i 1800-tallet. Psyke & Logos. 2005. 26. 1.  

10. Elsass, P.: Positiv psykologi. I Bjerg, J. (red.): Gads psykologileksikon. Gads Forlag. København, 2007. 

11. Elsass. P.: 28 Editorals. Nordic Psychology. 2000 - 2007. 

12. Elsass, P.: Buddhas veje. Dansk psykolog Nyt. 2011. 14. 

F. Films 

1. Elsass, P.: Buddhas Veje. Interviews med tibetanske buddhister. 55 min. DR2 Dokumania, Dansk psykologisk Forlag. 2011. 

2. Elsass, P.: Living apart. The Arhuaco-indians self-presentations in their fight for ethnic survival. DR2 Dokumania,  Dansk psykologisk Forlag. 2012. 

G. Conferences

28/1 – 05. ‘The present moment’. Significant moments in theater, sport and psychotherapy.

31/1 – 06. ’The present moment’. Significant moments in music and psychotherapy

11/3 – 06. Pastoral care and psychotherapy.

7/11 -  08. Mindfulness, treatment or seduction

11/5 – 10. Research in meditation

9/8 – 11. Buddhistisc Psychology

9/11 – 12. Mindfulness in the East

13/10 – 13. Death and Caring in a crossfield between science and art.

23/3 – 15. Spirituality and Contemporary Science.

Research in progressTil toppen

Self-presentation

Background: Unstructured self-presentations is an seldom used assessment method.To ask people to present themselves gives empirical data with a respectful and loyal attitude to their uniqueness. The research in health psychology has a long tradition of working with these kind of unstructured narratives e.g. within film and stillphotos and have published in international anthropological jounals.

Elsass, P.: Self-reflection or self-presentation. A study of the advocacy effect. Visual Anthropology. 1991, 4, 167-173.

Hastrup, K., Elsass, P.: Anthropological advocacy. A contradiction in terms? Current Anthropology. 1990, 3, 301-311.

Elsass, P.: Strategies for survival. Two films about indian tribes in South America. Statens Film Central. 1993.

In progress
* Living apart. The Arhuaco-indians self-presentations in their fight for ethnic survival.
The author has visit the Arhuaco-indians in Colombia 18 times since 1974 and have published both films, articles and books about them. After a standby of 18 years Peter Elsass returned back in 2012 and gave them a camera for producing their own film. (Funding: Danida and FKK).

* Jensen CG, Elsass P, Neustrup L, Bihal T, Flyger H, Kay SM, Khan S, Jensen SS, Pedersen A, Würtzen H.: What to listen for in the consultation. Breast cancer patients' own focus on talking about acceptance-based psychological coping predicts decreased psychological distress and depression. Journal of Patienteducation and counseling 2014 Nov; 97(2):165-72.
This study aimed to potentiate the use the opening of consultation processes . 97 patients with breast cancer were asked to present themselves and their illness before the first meeting with an upcoming treatment. Every sentence in the self-presentations were categorized thematically, and the percentage of words spent on the most prevalent categories were compared to responses of validated, quantitative self-report scales of distress (Funding: Vifab and KB).

Loneliness and solitude

Background: Clinical psychology has a main interest in relationships with other persons, attachment pattern and mentalization. Very little research is focusing on non-attachment in different kinds of spiritual retreat.
Elsass, P. (2008). Spiritual attachment. Examples of the healing potential of solitude. Nordic Psychology. 60. 1. 72 – 84.

In progress
* 14 Buddhist nuns from North India have, in collaboration with two Tibetan lamas, told their life stories about their years long retreat. Their personal presentations were systematically coded within a Buddhist view of “attachment”, “the self” and “enlightenment”. Our results were compared to life stories told by western Buddhists. The Carlsberg foundation have sponsored an interview study of Catholic hermits and of New Age followers living in retreat.
* Elsass, P.: Kunsten at leve alene. En introduction til ensomhedens psykologi. Gyldendal.
* Elsass, P., Frøsig, A., Lhundup, K., Nielsen, D.E. (2011): Spiritualitet som overlevelse hos tibetanske flygtninge. En analyse af livshistorier hos buddhistiske nonner i mangeårigt retreat. Psyke & Logos. 2011.

Drop outs

Background: Non-compliance and dropout are common problems in mental health promotion interventions but are rarely examined. Dropout rates typically ranges 15-30%, nevertheless, the knowledge on optimal strategies for assessment and implementation to lower dropout rates is limited.

In progress
The epedemic of mindfulness is questioned by studies of patients who do not comply with meditation as treatment in several settings.
* Danelund, J.R., Bihal, T., Flyger, Henrik; Kay, S.M., Khan, S., Jensen, C.G, Jensen, Elsass, P. (2014). What works for whom in mindfulness. An quantitative and qualitative comparison of 60 compliant breast cancer patients evaluation of mindfulness-intervention with 40 drop outs. A linguistic study of self-presentations. Journal of Religion and Science, 61, 74 – 88.
*The present project investigates qualitative and quantitative factors for dropout from a public stress reduction program in the municipality of Copenhagen, the so-called Open and Calm (OC) program. Interviews with 50 dropouts will aim to reveal perceived reasons for dropout through an unstructured 10-minute self-presentation followed by a 10-minute semi-structured interview concerning affective and instrumental dimensions of the therapeutic working alliance, and the interviewees’ illness perception, respectively. The instrumental dimension comprises the technical (e.g., biological, materialistic) core service; the affective dimension refers to the personal relationship between the therapist and the participant. By specifying the working alliance theoretically in these two dimensions, the pre-defined purpose is to analyze (quantitatively and qualitatively) these dimensions separately as well as a combined factor for dropout.

Helsefonden og Københavns kommune have sponsored the projects.

Buddhist Psychology

Background: The Tibetan refugees use a kind of spiritual mindfulness to cope with political terror in China. But for them spirituality is much more than being mindful. Video examples illustrates how Buddhist Lamas question our Western use of Buddhist meditative methods.
Elsass, P., Carlsson, J., Jespersen, K., Phuntsok, K.(2007): Tibetansk buddhisme som coping-mekanisme. Interviews med tibetanske torturoverlevere om deres måde at overkomme traumer på. Psyke & Logos. 1.
Elsass P, Phuntsok K. (2008): Tibetans’ coping mechanism following torture. An interview study of Tibetan torture survivors’ use of coping mechanisms and how these were supported by western counselling. Traumatology; 15: 3 – 10.
Elsass P, Carlsson J, Jespersen K, Phuntsok K. (2010): Questioning Western assessment of trauma among Tibetan torture survivors. A quantitative assessment study and the comments of Buddhist Lamas. Torture.
Elsass, P. (2011): Buddhas veje; en introduction til buddhistisk psykologi. Dansk psykologisk Forlag, København.

In progress
Attitude to Western assesments among Tibetan Buddhists. 60 Buddhist lamas’ have responded to Western questionnaires about mindfulness (FFCQ) and therapeutic development and praxis (DPCCQ).
In this study 60 high ranking Buddhist priest of the Geshe status, who declared that counseling were an important part of their daily activities responded to Western questionnaires of both mindfulness (FFMQ) and therapeutic practice (DPCCQ). The aim was to investigate the applicability of these assessments methods in the East.
* Elsass, P., Rønnestad, MH., Gaden Jensen, C., Lhundup, K., Phuntsok, T., Orlinsky, D.: Warmth and Challenge as Common Factors among Eastern and Western Counselors: Buddhist Lamas’ Responses to Western Questionnaires. (Submitted).

Near death experiences

Background: Near death experiences, NDE, are patients’ experiences of being alive in situations where professionals have declared them death or dying. Most of NDEs are considered to be mystical and beyond common sense by the medical staff, but realistic and authentic by the patient.

In Progress
One of the authors has experienced episodes of NDE during a life threatening attack by the killer bacteria (Necrotica Fasciliitis). The NDEs were experienced as authentic and had a detailed presence which transcend traditional clinical psychology’s notions of altered states of consciousness and psychiatry’s concepts of psychosis and ‘intensive delir’.
Even though NDE has a prevalence of 30 – 40% among patients in intensive care units very little is published in scientific journals within e.g. medicine and neurophysiology. In contrast thousands examples are presented at the Internet in dedicated forums and they even have their own television channel.
The purpose is to illustrate how the formal standards of death are provoked of these subjective NDE. By giving specific examples of the one author’s experiences it is discussed how subjective standards establish their own context in order to preserve and survive the authentic subject.
* Elsass, P., Lauritsen, P.: Near death experiences. A case of how user standards find their own presence even if professionals deny them access to medical journals. (Submitted to Int. J. Subjectivity)

Traumer

The prevalence of traumatic states and life qualities for different kinds of movement disorders. A questionnaire study of more than 400 persons with movement hamdicaps with a focus on late-effects. Furthermore a theoretical and clinical analysis of the usefulness of the concept of trauma in disorders of polio, cerebral parese og paraplegi.
* Nyrup, M., Elsass, P.(2015) : Psychological symptomsm in persons ageing with polio, Spinal cord injuries and cerebral palsy; health or pathology. ??? (Submitted)
* Nyrup, M., Elsass, P. (2015): Pain, depression and trauma symptoms in persons ageing with physical disabilities; prevalencies and impact. (submitted)
* Nyrup, M., Elsass, P. (2015): The impact of early hospitalization on later psychological well-being in people ageing with physical disability. (Submitted ???)

Traumer efter naturkatastrofer og psychosocial interventions after natural disasters; an analysis of evidence and recommendations for practice. Bl.a. empirisk undersøgelse af et stort antal evalueringsrapporter af Tsunami-katastrofen og en kritik af de såkaldte Sphere-indikatorer.
* Henderson, S.H., Elsass, P. (2015) Predictors of trauma and distres five years after the Indian Ocean tusnami in Sri Lanka. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. In press
* Henderson, S, Elsass, P. Beliner, P, (2015) Mental and social health in disasters. Relating the Sphere standards to post-tsunami psycholosocial interventions I Asia. Disasters. (in press)
* Sveaas, N., Agger, I., Elsass, P., Hamber, B.: (2014) Surviving Gross Human RightsViolations: Exploring Survivors Experience of Justice and Reparation. In Cooper and Ratele (eds): PSYCHOLOGY SERVING HUMANITY Vol. II

Health Pschology; a metastudy

The field of Health psychology is becoming more and more fragmented and devided in subfields. This is also the terms for the Humanistic Health Reseach activities. Systematic literature studies are done of one of our ph.d. students.