Dr. Mar Rus-Calafell


Faculty of Psychology
Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Bochumer Fenster 3/ 12

Tel:  +49 234 / 32 24603
Fax: +49 234 / 32 14435





Main research interests:

  • Innovative cognitive targeted approaches to treat psychosis (e.g. AVATAR therapy, smartphone or virtual reality supported approaches).
  • Understanding psychotic experiences in young and adult, clinical and non-clinical population, including the study of social, phenomenological and psychological factors.
  • Exploring barriers from clinicians and patients to access psychological treatment for psychosis.

    Curriculum Vitae

    Professional Experience

  • 2019– Present
  • Postdoctoral Researcher at Department of Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology, Mental Health Research and Treatment Centre, Ruhr-Universität Bochum.
    Lecturer at the Faculty of Psychology, Ruhr University Bochum
  • 2017- 2019
  • Senior Clinical Psychologist & Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Psychia­try, University of Oxford/Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. Group: Oxford-Cognitive Approaches to Psychosis. SlowMo Randomised Controlled Trial.
  • 2017– Present
  • Visiting Research Fellow/Lecturer, Health Service and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London
  • 2013–2017
  • Clinical Research Coordinator, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, at the Maudsley Hospital. King’s College London (United Kingdom), AVATAR Randomised Controlled Trial.
    Postdoctoral Researcher at the Virtual Reality Lab, Clinical Research Facility, King’s College London
    Honorary Clinical Psychologist, South London and Maudsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
    Lecturer MSc Psychiatry Research and BSc Psychology Programme, King’s College London
  • 2010–2013
  • Doctoral Researcher and Assistant Professor at the Personality, Assessment and Psycho­logical Treatments Department, University of Barcelona (Spain)
  • 2008–2013
  • Clinical Psychologist at the Adult Mental Health Services Mental Health Services,  General Hospital of Igualada (Spain)
  • 2006–2007
  • Trainee Psychologist, Hospital Joan March, Community Mental Health Department (GESMA), Majorca (Spain)



    Academic and Clinical Qualifications

  • 2016
  • Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Health and Care Professions Council (United Kingdom)
  • 2014
  • PhD Clinical Psychology, University of Barcelona, Summa Cum Laude and Best Thesis Award, Faculty of Psychology.
  • 2013
  • Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Ministry of Health (Spain)
  • 2010
  • Accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychologist, European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (EABCT).
  • 2010
  • Master Science Degree Clinical and Health Psychology, Professional Postgraduate, Univer­sity of Barcelona, First Class Honours
  • 2007
  • Licentiate Degree in Psychology, Clinical Psychology Specialization Itinerary (Diploma Equivalent). University of the Balearic Islands


    Academic Awards

  • 2018
  • Josep Toro Award, best paper of the year, Catalan Society of Research and Behavior Therapy (SCRITC)
  • 2017
  • Best Videogame for Health Award, joint project with Dr Lucia Valmaggia and Virtualware, Premios Congreso Nacional de eSalud, Asociación de Investigadores en eSalud (AIES)
  • 2016
  • Independent Researcher Award, King’s College London, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), United Kingdom
  • 2014
  • PhD Extraordinary Award, Annual Best PhD Thesis, Faculty of Psychology, University of Barcelona
  • 2013
  • League of European Research Universities (LERU), Development of Leadership Skills from Employment in Enterprise, Government and Academia, Sorbonne University, Paris (Awarded Doctoral Scholarship)
  • 2011
  • Research Stay Grant (BE-2011) of the Agency for Management of University and Research Grants (AGAUR), Catalonia, (Awarded Doctoral Scholarship at the University of Oxford)
  • 2010
  • Programme for Young Researchers Training of the Agency for Management of University and Research Grants (AGAUR), Catalonia



    Scientific articles (peer reviewed process):

    Rus-Calafell, M. Schneider, S. (in press) Are we there yet? a literature review of recent digital technology advances for the treatment of early psychosis. mHealth.

    Riches, S., Elghany, S., Garety, P., Rus-Calafell, M., Valmaggia, L. (2019) Factors affecting sense of presence in a virtual reality social environment: A qualitative study. Cyber­psychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 22, 288-292.

    Riches, S., Garety, P., Rus-Calafell, M., Stalh, D., Evans, C., Sarras, N., Yeboah, K., Valmaggia, L. (2019) Using Virtual Reality to Assess Associations Between Paranoid Ideation and Components of Social Performance: A Pilot Validation Study.
    Cyber­psychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 22, 51-59.

    Craig, T., Rus-Calafell, M., Ward, T., Leff, J., Huckvale, M., Howard, E., Emsley, R., Garety, P. (2018) AVATAR therapy for auditory verbal hallucinations in people with psychosis: A single-blind, randomised controlled trial. Lancet Psychiatry, 5, 31-40.

    Hall, J., Rus-Calafell, M., Omari-Asor, L., Ward, T., Emsley, R., Garety, P., Craig, T. (2018) Assessing the subjective experience of participating in a clinical trial (AVATAR). Psychiatry Research, 263, 82-87.

    Garety, P., Ward, T., Freeman, D., Fowler, D., Emsley, R., Dunn, G…, Rus-Calafell, M., Hardy, A. (2017) SlowMo, a digital therapy targeting reasoning in paranoia, versus treat­ment as usual in the treatment of people who fear harm from others: Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 18, 510.

    Rus-Calafell, M., Garety, P., Sason, E., Craig, T., Valmaggia, L. (2017) Virtual reality in the assessment and treatment of psychosis: a systematic review of its utility, accept­ability and effectiveness. Psychological Medicine, 48, 1-30.

    Caqueo-Urízar, A., Rus-Calafell, M., Craig, T., Irarrazaval, M., Urzua, A., Boyer, L., Williams, D. (2017) Schizophrenia: impact on family dynamics. Current Psychiatry Reports, 19, S1-S8.

    Caqueo-Urízar, A., Urzua, A., Rus-Calafell, M. (2017) Side effects of antipsychotic medication and quality of life in Latin-American patients with schizophrenia. Terapia Psicologica, 32, 111-114.

    Valmaggia, L., Latif, L., Kemptom, M., Rus-Calafell, M. (2016) Virtual reality in the psychological treatment for mental health problems: a systematic review of recent evidence. Psychiatry Research, 28, 189-195.

    Valmaggia, L., Day, F., Rus-Calafell, M. (2016). Using virtual reality to investigate psychological processes and mechanisms associated with the onset and maintenance of psychosis: a systematic review. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 51, 921-936.

    Rus-Calafell, M., Garety, P., Ward, T., Williams, G., Huckvale, M., Leff, J., Craig, T. (2016) Confronting auditory hallucinations using virtual reality: the AVATAR therapy. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 211, 192-196.

    Craig T., Rus-Calafell, M., Ward, T., Fornells-Ambrojo, M., McCrone, P., Emsley, R., Garety, P. (2015) The effects of an Audio Visual Assisted Therapy Aid for Refractory auditory hallucinations (AVATAR therapy): Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 16, 1-9.

    Rus-Calafell, M., Lemos-Giraldez, S. (2015) Schizophrenia and other Psychotic Dis­orders: main changes in the new DSM-5. Cuadernos de Medicina Psicosomatica y Psiquiatria de Enlace, 111, 89-93.

    Caqueo-Urízar, A., Rus-Calafell, M., Urzúa, A., Escudero, J., Gutiérrez-Maldonado, J. (2015). The role of family therapy in the management of schizophrenia: challenges and solutions. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 11, 145-151.

    Pla-Sanjuanelo, J., Ferrer-Garcia, M., Gutierrez-Maldonado, J., Riva, G., Andreu-Gracia, A., Dakanalis, A….Rus-Calafell, M., Sanchez-Planell, L. (2014) Identifying specific cues and contexts related to bingeing behaviour for the development of effective virtual environments. Appetite, 87, 81-89.

    Ferrer-García, M., Gutiérrez-Maldonado, J, Pla-Sanjuanelo, J., Riva, G., Andreu-García, A., Dakanalis, A…Rus-Calafell, M., Sanchez-Planell, L. (2014) Development of a VR Application for Binge Eating Treatment: Identification of Contexts and Cues Related to Bingeing Behavior in Spanish Italian Patients, Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 199, 71-75.

    Rus-Calafell, M., Gutiérrez-Maldonado, J., Ribas-Sabaté, J. Lemos, S. (2014) Social skills training for people with schizophrenia: What do we train? Behavioral Psychology, 22, 461-477.

    Rus-Calafell, M., Gutiérrez-Maldonado, J., Ribas-Sabaté, J. (2014) A virtual reality-integrated program for improving social skills in patients with schizophrenia: A pilot study. Journal of behaviour Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 45, 81-89.

    Gutiérrez-Maldonado, J., Rus-Calafell, M., González-Conde, J. (2014) Creation of a new set of dynamic virtual reality faces for the assessment and training of facial emotion recognition ability. Virtual Reality, 18, 61-71.

    Rus-Calafell, M., Gutiérrez-Maldonado, J., Ortega-Bravo, M., Ribas-Sabaté, J., Caqueo-Urízar, A. (2013). A brief cognitive-behavioural social skills training for stabilised outpatients with schizophrenia: a preliminary study. Schizophrenia Research, 143, 327-36.

    Rus-Calafell, M., Gutiérrez-Maldonado, J., Botella, C., Baños, R.M. (2013). Virtual reality exposure and imaginal exposure in the treatment of fear of flying: a pilot study. Behavior Modification, 37, 568-590.

    Pericot-Valverde, I., García-Rodríguez, O., Rus-Calafell, M., Fernández-Artamendi, S.,   Ferrer-García, M., Gutiérrez-Maldonado, J. (2013) Peak provoked craving after smoking cessation. Studies in health Technology and Informatics, 191, 163-167.

    Rus-Calafell, M., Gutiérrez-Maldonado, J., Frerich, N. (2013) Schizotypy, Alexithymia and Affect as predictors of Facial Emotion Recognition Capability using static and dynamic images. Anuario de Psicologia/The UB Journal of Psychology, 43, 7-21.

    Rus-Calafell M., Guitérrez-Maldonado J., Ribas-Sabaté J. (2013) Neurocognition, Presence and Acceptance of a VR Programme for Psychotic Patients: a correlational study. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 191, 141-145.

    Gutiérrez-Maldonado J., Rus-Calafell M., Márquez-Rejón S., Ribas-Sabaté J. (2012) Association between facial emotion recognition, cognition and alexithymia in patients with schizophrenia: comparison of photographic and virtual reality presentations. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 181, 88-92.

    Rus-Calafell, M., Gutiérrez-Maldonado, J., Ribas-Sabaté, J. (2012) Improving social behaviour in schizophrenia patients using an integrated virtual reality programme: A case study. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 181, 283-286.

    Gutiérrez-Maldonado, J., Letosa-Porta, Á., Rus-Calafell, M., Peñaloza-Salazar, C. (2009) The assessment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children using continuous performance tasks in Virtual Environments. Anuario de Psicologia/The UB Journal of Psychology, 40, 211-223.

    Gutiérrez-Maldonado, J., Megallón-Neri, E., Rus-Calafell, M., Peñaloza-Salazar, C. (2009) Virtual reality exposure therapy for school phobia. Anuario de Psicología/The UB Journal of Psychology, 40, 223-236.


    Chapters in Monographs and Textbooks:

    Garety, P., Ward, T., Rus-Calafell, M.  Beyond Belief—New Approaches to the Treatment of Paranoia. In Badcock, J., Paulik-White, G. (Eds.) A Clinical Introduction to Psychosis. 2019, Academic Press, Elsevier

    Rus-Calafell, M., Ward, T., Garety, P., Craig, T. In Fonseca-Pedrero, E. (Eds.) Tratamientos psicologicos para la psicosis. 2019, Ediciones Piramide, 511- 526.

    Craig, T., Rus-Calafell, M. AVATAR Therapy: a new digital therapy for Auditory Hallucinations.
    In Tamminga, C.A., van Os, J., Reininghaus, U., Ivleva, E.I. (Eds.) Psychotic Disorders: Comprehensive Conceptualization and Treatments. 2019 Oxford University Press

    Craig, T., Ward, T., Rus-Calafell, M. AVATAR Therapy for Refractory Auditory Hallucinations. In Pradhan, B., Pinninti, N., Rathod, Sh. (Eds.) Brief Interventions for Psychosis. A Clinical Compendium. 2016, Springer Nature, 41-54.

    Rus-Calafell, M., Gutierrez-Maldonado, J. Virtual Reality and Schizophrenia. In Cipresso, P. & Serino, S. (Eds.) Virtual Reality: Technologies, Medical Applications and Challenges (Psychology Research Progress). 2014, Nova Science Publishers, 161-176.


    Participation in Research Projects

    2015–2019  A randomised controlled trial to evaluate the outcomes and mechanisms of a novel digital reason­ing intervention for persecutory delusions (SlowMo Project). Oxford University-Oxford Health Foundation Trust (NHS). Project leaders: Prof. Philippa Garety/Prof. Daniel Freeman/Prof. David Fowler. Funded by: National Institute of Health Research UK (EME-15/48/21).

    2013–2016  Reducing the frequency and severity of auditory hallucinations: A randomised clinical trial of a novel Audio-Visual Assisted Therapy Aid for Refractory auditory hallucinations (AVATAR therapy) compared to supportive counselling. King’s College London. Chief Investigators: Prof. Thomas Jamieson-Craig/Prof. Philippa Garety. Funded by: Wellcome Trust, UK (098272/z/12/z).

    2011–2014  Virtual Reality Exposure for the treatment of Nervous Bulimia. University of Barcelona.  Project Leaders: Cristina Botella/José Gutiérrez. Funded by: Ministry of Science and Innovation, Spain. (PSI2011-28801.

    2010-2013   Social skills training for schizophrenia patients using virtual reality. Project leader: Dr Mar Rus-Calafell.  Funded by: Programme for Young Researchers Training of the Agency for Management of University and Research Grants (AGAUR), (FI-DGR-2010).

    2007–2011 BIEN-E-STAR: New Technologies of Information and Communication: Integration and consoli­da­tion of its use in social sciences to improve health, quality of life and well-being. University of Barcelona. Project Leaders: Cristina Botella/José Gutiérrez. Funded by: Ministry of Science and Innovation, Spain (SEJ2006-14301/PSIC).

    2008–2010  Development and application of technologically advanced methods based on virtual reality, for attention-diversion, visualization and body image modification, as adjunct analgesic techniques against chronic pain. University of Barcelona. Project Leader: José Gutiérrez-Maldonado. Funded by: Fundació La Marató (044829).

    Zum Seitenanfang  TOP