Thursday, May 19, 2022

Series on Anti-Psychiatry and Critical Theory for World Mental Health Day

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To coincide with World Mental Health Day on October 10th, 2015, Verso Books, the largest independent and radical publishing house released a series of blogs on mental health and critical and antipsychiatry. The posts include pieces on R.D. Laing, colonialism, women’s oppression, delusions and art, “The Happiness Industry,” and social and institutional oppression.

“Therapy Wars: The Revenge of Freud”

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Writing in The Guardian, Oliver Burkeman discusses the comeback of Freud’s psychoanalysis, along with humanistic therapy, interpersonal therapy, transpersonal therapy, and transactional analysis and...

“Open Dialogue: Finland’s Alternative Approach to Mental Illness”

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"Almost 30 years ago a group of clinicians in Finland decided to treat psychosis differently. Their approach, known as Open Dialogue, has impressive recovery...

Pilot Study Adapts Open Dialogue for US Health Care

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In an article for Psychiatric Services, psychiatrist Christopher Gordon and his colleagues report on the results of a one-year feasibility study attempting to implement...

Storytelling Therapy for Trauma and Bullying

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A study out of the University of Buffalo explores the use of Narrative Exposure Therapy to treat youth PTSD and substance abuse. “Trauma is...

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Reduces Self-Harm and Suicide Attempts

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A new meta-analysis finds that DBT reduces self-harm, suicide attempts, and reduces the frequency of psychiatric crisis service utilization.

New Traction for Art Therapy as a Treatment for Depression

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New study investigates the acceptability of a phenomenologically informed, manual-based art therapy for clients diagnosed with moderate to severe depression.

New Collaborative and Feedback-Informed Family Therapy Approach

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Attempts to bridge the gap between research and practice result in a family therapy approach which employs clients as co-researchers.

The Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) Study: Notes from the Trenches

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I was a psychiatrist who participated in the Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode Early Treatment Program (RAISE ETP). Although I welcomed the positive headlines that heralded the study's results, the reports left me with mixed feelings. What happened to render the notion that talking to people about their experiences and helping them find jobs or go back to school is something novel?

“How Meditation Changes the Brain and Body”

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In the New York Times Well Blog, Gretchen Reynolds covers a study published in Biological Psychiatry showing that mindfulness meditation, unlike a placebo, “can change...

Traditional South African Healers Use Connection in Suicide Prevention

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Study finds that traditional healers in South Africa, whose services are widely used by the country’s population, perform important suicide prevention work.

How Relational Therapy Enhances a Sense of Self and Relationships

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Relational therapy can be informed by the intersubjective dynamics observed in early childhood to facilitate the development of healthy relational patterns and a strong sense of self.

Using Breathing-Based Meditation to Treat Depression

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Study reveals data suggesting yogic breathing may be helpful in treating depression for patients who have not respond to antidepressants

The Alternative to Drugs: The Real Treatment for Human Suffering

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My opposition to psychiatric drugs is not just that they are harmful, dangerous, and destructive. That would be plenty motivation enough. And it is. But in addition, my profession, which I love and value, has been hijacked by the APA and Big Pharma. It is my goal to return psychiatry to its proper place - where good psychotherapy is understood to be the treatment for human suffering.

Researchers Question “Gold Standard” Status of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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Researchers argue for plurality and diversity among psychotherapy approaches and question the perceived superiority of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

“Programs Expand Schizophrenic Patients’ Role in Their Own Care”

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Benedict Carey at the New York Times covers the push for new programs that emphasize supportive services, therapy, school and work assistance, and family education, rather than simply drug treatment.

A Conversation about Having Conversations about Psychiatry

In spite of constantly increasing opportunities to tell different stories to the canonical story of bio-psychiatry, it can be risky for academics to voice a different perspective than the mainstream model of mental illness. In this conversation, a communication professor and a psychology professor discuss their challenges and personal experiences with going against the grain, such as what it means to be labeled “anti-psychiatry” by colleagues and responding to students upset to learn their medications may not be all they thought they were.

Mindfulness Therapy May Be More Effective Without Antidepressants

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While an estimated 74-percent of patients diagnosed with major depression receive a prescription for an antidepressant, new research reveals that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)...

Study Investigates Long-Term Effects of Social and Emotional Learning Programs

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Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) programs have gained popularity in U.S. schools in recent years. A new study examines the nature and longevity of their impact on students.

Social Recovery Therapy for First Episode Psychosis

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Social Recovery Therapy shows promising results for individuals who experience first-episode psychosis.

Why is the Field of Psychotherapy Still Fractured into Different Approaches?

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Psychotherapy is dominated by contradicting schools of thought, exhibits a gap between research and practice, and repackages old ideas rather than finding clinical consensus.

An Essay on Finnish Open Dialogue: A Five-Year Follow-Up

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It has been five years since I traveled to Western Lapland in Finland to film my documentary “Open Dialogue” on their Open Dialogue Project—the program, as I stated in the film, presently getting the best long-term statistical results in the world for the treatment of first-episode psychosis. My film came out four years ago, and since then I have been screening it around the world, giving lectures about Open Dialogue and my experience in Finland, participating in regular conferences and Q&A sessions about it, receiving daily emails, Facebook messages, blog and Youtube comments about it (as it’s now been free on Youtube for a year), and keeping in regular contact with some of the folks who work there. But I haven’t shared many of my updated opinions in writing, so I wish to do so now.

Improving the Efficacy of Mindfulness in Schools

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New research examines factors that make mindfulness interventions in school most effective for adolescent’s mental health outcomes.

Humanistic Counseling Effective in Schools, Study Finds

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Pilot study finds school-based humanistic counseling reduces emotional symptoms in students.

Psychotherapists Reflect on Lack of Improvement in Therapy

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Qualitative research examines the experiences of psychoanalytic therapists in their work with patients whose symptoms either failed to improve or worsened.

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