Practitioners need to take seriously the social contexts aggravating mental health

The ‘Heartfelt’ biometric prototype. Image by A.T. Kingsmith from EiQ Technologies.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT, is everywhere these days — and for good reason. But the popular practice is far from perfect.

As the name suggests, CBT works by helping a person to change their thoughts (cognition) and behaviours in order to cultivate a practical, task-oriented approach that can target everyday problems. Instead of emphasizing childhood events or past traumas, CBT focuses on negative thoughts a person is having about themselves, and how this affects their view of the world.

In doing so, it can help to improve emotional regulation and aide in the development of personal coping strategies that…

How well do you really know your own emotions?

Can you accurately describe when you are feeling depressed? Anxious? Overjoyed? What about some of the reasons you might be feeling this way?

It’s okay if you’re unsure. Most people are relatively unfamiliar with their emotions. In our emotion-phobic culture, we are often taught how to avoid our feelings instead of how to address them. What’s more, we are told we are supposed to have total influence over our emotions when the science says that emotions are driven by a whole host of non-conscious physiological forces.

Control your emotions! Emotions are…

The aptly named “aesthetic turn in mental health” has brought with it the reevaluation of fractals as an important factor in generating resilience and mental well-being.

First coined in 1975 by mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, the term “fractal” denotes complex, visually chaotic patterns that generate an infinite amount of copies self-repeating across different scales through a process called recursion.

Landscape generated from a detail of the Mandelbrot set by Terragen.

Across increasingly fine magnifications of leaves, waves, clouds, snowflakes and the arrangement of galaxies, researchers have uncovered recurring fractal patterns. According to environmental psychologist Caroline Hagerhall, these patterns affect an observer’s physiological state by way of generating positive aesthetic responses referred to as “biophilia” — literally “love for life” — the experiential tranquility of moments felt to be “good for living”.

Working with psychologists and neuroscientists, physicist Richard…


When we are afraid the heart races, breathing becomes rapid, the mouth dries up, muscles tense, and palms become sweaty. We may feel anxious, stressed, panicked or nervous, but emotion recognition does not end here. Psychophysiology shows us that such changes are mediated by the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which operates the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions of the human body.

The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is a “quick response mobilizing system” responsible for “fight or flight” responses, which prepare the body to react to stresses such as threat or injury. It directs muscles to contract and heart rate to increase…

EiQ Technologies

EiQ Technologies is a pathbreaking emotion-AI start-up based out of the Design Fabrication Zone (DFZ) at Ryerson University.

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