Ida Mälarstig

Ida Mälarstig

PhD student

Psychologist/Phd-student driven by the aim to increase knowledge and access to psychological treatment for adolescents with substance use disorder and criminal behaviour in compulsory care

About me

My research focuses on psychological treatment for adolescents with substance use disorder and criminal behaviour in compulsory institutional care. Furthermore, I have a strong interest in the mechanisms and provision of psychological treatment for other vulnerable groups. I am a board member of the Nätverket for Global psykisk hälsa, an organization that aims to disseminate knowledge, facilitate collaboration and improve Sweden's work in the field of mental health, locally and globally. 


Before I started my doctoral studies I worked in a psychiatric clinic for refugees and asylum-seekers, specializing in treating post-traumatic stress disorder and trauma-focused CBT, especially Prolonged Exposure and Narrative Exposure Therapy. In 2021 I wrote a report on interpreter-mediated psychological treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, in collaboration with Stockholm University and the Centre for Psychiatry Research at KI, funded by Region Stockholm. Earlier in my career, I worked with psychological treatment for depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders, using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, with a special interest in Relational Frame Theory.


I finished the Psychotherapist program with an additional exam as a Specialist in Clinical Psychology at Stockholm University in the spring of 2022.


My main supervisor is Sven Alfonsson. Tobias Lundgren and Hanna Sahlin at Karolinska Institute, Centre for Psychiatry Research, and Mårten Tyrberg at Uppsala University, are my co-supervisors.

Research description

Project Manager and PhD-student in a research project on evaluating and adjusting a behavioral treatment, the Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach, A-CRA, to compulsory institutional care for youth with criminal behavior and substance use disorder. The studies in my thesis are


1) A randomized pilot study to evaluate feasibility of the study protocol


2) A multi-center randomized controlled study to evaluate treatment effects of A-CRA in compulsory institutional care


3) Two interview studies to investigate the experiences of the counselors and youth conducting and undergoing A-CRA in compulsory institutional care


4) A register study to evaluate the long term effects of A-CRA


Psychotherapist and Specialist in Clinical Psychology, Stockholm University, 2018-2022.

Master of Science in Psychology, Stockholm University, 2008-2013.

Academic honours, awards and prizes

Tilldelad Majblommans forskningsmedel 2023