In ICN member introductions
Jul 08, 2021
Hi! My name is Patrick Onghena, and I am currently working at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, KU Leuven, Belgium. 1. What N-of-1 and single-case projects are you working on right now? I'm involved in several applied and methodological single-case projects. The applied projects include a personalized intensive exposure-based intervention targeting persistent anxiety and (imminent) school absenteeism in youth and a project on behavioral parent training for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The major methodological projects are software development for comprehensive single case data analysis and the development of mixed methods single case research. 2. What excites you most about the field of N-of-1 trials and single-case designs? I was trained as a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist and it always struck me how much can be learned about "human nature" (and its diversity) by intensively talking, listening, and working with an individual person. Psychotherapy is in a way a discovery of personal patterns, recurrences, and individual laws of behaviors, thoughts, words, and feelings, before trying to incite changes. So when I started with my PhD research about the effectiveness of psychotherapy more than 30 years ago, I really wanted to keep that focus on the individual. SCEDs seemed the ideal method to evaluate effectiveness and keep that focus, and I still think it is. After 30 years, it still excites me to explain to my colleagues the painfully obvious that a between-subjects effect is fundamentally different from a within-subject effect. It is fundamentally different for the science of psychology and it is fundamentally different for the person (and his family and friends) who is experiencing the effect. 3. Why did you join the ICN? I think there is a need for more community building around N-of-1 and SCEDs. N-of-1 and SCED researchers are still a very small minority. And minorities need support. Even if one is a single-case researcher, it shouldn't imply that one is a lonely researcher.