Group of Psychopathology and positive mental health: Mechanisms and interventions

Department of Personality, Assessment and Clinical Psychology
Faculty of Psychology

Our research group, chaired by prof. Vazquez, conducts an ambitious research program dedicated to: a) the study of processes leading to the onset and maintenance of psychological disorders, and b) the promotion of mental health. The group has been part of the Excellence Network of Mental Health Promotion, PROMOSAM (MINECO-2015-17), and is embedded in strong international research networks and collaborations with national stakeholders. The lab uses both experimental and prospective approaches to study the role of cognitive processes in emotional functioning and the identification of psychological mechanisms involved in resilience and psychological well-being. Inventap lab also aims to use derived knowledge on these mechanisms to the development of effective novel interventions (mindfulness, positive psychotherapy,…). Furthermore, since January 2019, our group is associated to the Chair on Mindfulness and Cognitive Sciences (Nirakara Institute/UCM), devoted to the research of psychological aspects of mindfulness. The group also includes senior members (Prof. Gonzalo Hervas and Prof. Carmen Valiente) as well as junior members (Prof. Alvaro Sanchez and Dr. Juan F. Navas ) who have been recently incorporated to the group by national and international competitive calls.

The UCM has a large number of resources and strategic allies, in a cluster that involves 10,000 researchers in the most varied areas of knowledge and contributes more than 10% of overall Spanish scientific production (ranked as the 9th worldwide). Our University has three large public university hospitals: Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Hospital Gregorio Marañón, and Hospital 12 de Octubre which serves as an active research platform. The School of Psychology also houses the University Psychology Clinic for which members of the team have some academic and research involvement (Carmen Valiente and Gonzalo Hervás). Our group is also associated to the laboratory of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the Center for Biomedical Technology of Madrid (Polytechnical University of Madrid and Complutense University) which facilitates the use of functional neuroimaging technologies as MEG.

Our group, with different subareas, focuses on several different issues: a) Cognitive mechanisms and biases (attention, memory, interpretation,…) in psychopathology: Basic research and remediation; b) Development of positive psychological treatments to promote well-being and optimal self-esteem in people with mental disorders (depression, paranoia, trauma…); c) New ways of conceptualizing and understanding psychopathology (network analyses, experimental psychopathology, personalized treatments, ESM…); and d) Emotion regulation and psychopathology: Mechanisms and intervention. Yet, we are deeply interested in developing high quality research on the mechanisms and processes associated to the practice of mindfulness, with a special attention to the promotion of well-being and reduction of psychological symptoms. Our goal, in the next four years, supported by National grants, is to do research on cognitive and psychobiological mechanisms of mindfulness and compassion programs using both cognitive and genetic markers but also on trauma and psychosis, and emotion regulation in psychological disorders. We preferibly look for candidates with a strong background in experimental psychopathology, neuroscience and, if possible, behavioral genetics. Also, candidates with a strong background in methodology (e.g., meta-analysis, network analysis, etc.) are welcome.