University of Almería, Spain
Virtual Reality Applications and New Technologies in psychological disorders in childhood and adolescence

Inmaculada Gómez is a Professor at the University of Almería (Spain), with favourable accreditation to obtain the highest academic rank that can be reached by a University professor (“Catedrática”). Her 3 six-year of research period has been recognized. Her research work is focused on the analysis of risk and protection factors of psychological problems in infancy and adolescence, with an emphasis on emotional intelligence and on parental styles of upbringing; and on intervention with families using third generation therapies. She has got more than 90 publications, she has participated in more than 130 congresses, and 10 research projects; she has directed 4 doctorate thesis. Dr. Gómez-Becerra is the editor for national and international journals and a member of different scientific committees. She is the leader of the research team named: “Progress in research and epidemiology in infancy, adolescence and families”. She has participated and / or coordinated different training activities with professionals from different fields (education, psychology, medicine), and she has carried out numerous schools trainings for parents. She has got the qualification of General Health Psychologist.
The new information and communication technologies (ICTs) and emerging technologies derived from the integration between ICT and bioengineering allow simulating reality through software. Using various hardware devices this allows the necessary communication between the user and the computer, or robot, to generate the feeling of immersion in the virtual world, or for technology support in activities of daily living. The use of new technologies (NT) has been applied to the treatment of different psychopathologies, such as phobias, post-traumatic stress, eating disorders, pain, attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity, etc. And several strategies (software, games, tests of neuropsychological evaluation, robots, etc.) have been applied in the field of neuro-rehabilitation for different cognitive and learning difficulties and psycho-educational problems. The benefits of the implementation of the NT and the Virtual Reality include: the ability to simulate situations from real life at different times without having to be exposed to real scenarios continuously, an improvement in the psychometric properties of the instruments evaluation, greater control of stimuli or presented scenarios (either for therapeutic applications, educational or neurorehabilitation interventions), the ability to generate similar reactions to those produced in real life in a safe environment, repeating tasks without the therapist get exhausted, and provide more motivating therapeutic scenarios and require voluntary activity patient's own. Based on these contributions, this symposium provides an overview of different programs and virtual reality applications in clinical and health psychology on children and adolescents. To do this, the symposium consists of four presentations of different research groups in a wide range of issues, indicating the latest scientific contributions in this area, and discussing the benefits of implementing these strategies.