Advisory Board

Professor Robert Johansson

Robert Johansson, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology at Stockholm University, Researcher in the Division of Psychology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute, and CEO of the Eailab AB startup, where he is developing digital humans for psychotherapy training.

Robert is also Supervisor for the Postdoc project Intelligence through Reasoning at Digital Futures Faculty and Co-PI of the project Artificial Actors: Directable digital humans based on psychological models of relational reasoning.

Robert is one of the earliest adopters of the Furhat platform for building virtual patients to train therapists. Psychotherapy is a notoriously hard discipline to practice due to a lack of “standardized patients”, and Robert believes that his new startup and Furhat are great solutions to this problem. Read Revolutionizing Psychotherapy Training and A psychotherapy training environment with virtual patients implemented using the Furhat robot platform.

The main area of his research is in the field of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). His research is based on the premise that general-purpose intelligence can be seen as an instance of a kind of abstract response pattern called Arbitrarily Applicable Relational Responding (AARR). Arbitrarily applicable relational responding is a form of relational responding, where relations applied between the stimuli are not supported by the physical properties of said stimuli, as with relational responding, but for example, based on social convention. Read Arbitrarily applicable relational responding as non-axiomatic logical reasoning and Relational frame theory.

Read Scientific progress in AGI from the perspective of contemporary behavioral psychology.

Robert also does research in clinical psychology, where he has a broad range of interests, among others in depression, anxiety disorders — treatment, assessment, and mechanisms of change during treatment. His additional interests are also internet-based and computerized psychological treatments, short-term psychodynamic therapies, and/or emotion-focused treatments.

His particular interest is in emotion-focused psychotherapy models. In his earlier work, he and his colleagues developed a model of affect-focused psychotherapy that enabled it to be delivered as guided self-help through the Internet. Read Author Case Studies.

The effectiveness of the model has been proven in several clinical trials. Currently, he is working in the field of artificial intelligence, where he studies clinically relevant psychological processes in machines. He is passionate about abstract models of the human mind, Lisp programming, psychodynamic psychotherapy, and meditation in the Samatha-Vipassana tradition.

Robert earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Linköping University in 2013 with clinical research related to guided self-help treatments for depression and anxiety disorders. He earned his Master’s Degree of Science in Clinical Psychology in 2010 and Master’s Degree of Science in Computer Science in 2006, both from Linköping University.

After his second Master’s in 2010, Robert worked as Clinical Psychologist and Project Coordinator at Landstinget i Östergötlan until 2022.

Watch Can social robots help train psychotherapists?

Read Psychometric Properties of the Emotional Processing Scale in Individuals with Psychiatric Symptoms and the Development of a Brief 15-Item Version and Healthcare cost reduction and psychiatric symptom improvement in posttraumatic stress disorder patients treated with intensive short-term dynamic psychotherapy.

Read How can social robots help us understand human suffering.

Visit his LinkedIn profile, PeerJ page, Linköping page, and his Work page. Follow him on Google Scholar, ORCiD, Wevoler, and his Loop profile.