Intimate Issues: Postdigital Intimacies and Mental Health Care

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Wednesday 13 March 2024

01:00 PM - 02:30 PM


Institute for Creative Cultures, Room G17

Event details

The digitisation of mental healthcare is a major transnational trend and emergent business. In this talk, my point of departure is that online mental health support provides a form of care whose implementation is highly dependent on generating intimacy, which involves experiences of proximity, security, trust and confidentiality. In particular, my talk opens up novel perspectives on the reconfiguration of intimacy in digitalised societies, including related risks and failures. I specifically focus on the intersections of mental and digital vulnerabilities. By analysing two empirical cases where these two forms of vulnerabilities entangle – i) the pivot to digitised psychotherapies during the COVID-19 pandemic and ii) data breaches in psychotherapy, followed by the publication of sensitive data on the darknet – I provide novel perspectives to postdigital intimacies.


Dr Marjo Kolehmainen works as an Academy Research Fellow at the University of Turku, Finland. She is the PI of Networked Care: Intimate Matters in Online Mental Health Support, a project funded by the Research Council of Finland (2023–2027). Kolehmainen’s research interests include intimacy, affect and more-than-human care. She has published articles in journals such as Gender & Society, Science, Technology, and Human Values, Body & Society, and The Sociological Review. Moreover, she is a co-editor of Affective Intimacies (Manchester University Press, 2022) and Affective Inequalities in Intimate Relationships (Routledge, 2018).