Tuesday, April 13, 2021

“What Are Delusions – And How Best Can We Treat Them?”

For The Conversation, psychologist John Done, from the University of Hertfordshire, explains his approach to discussing delusions with his patients. Done recommends more qualitative...

Psych Patients Who Resist Stigma Do Better

A new study in press in the Journal of Schizophrenia Research finds that patients who actively resist the negative stigma associated with mental health...

Mindfulness Therapy Can Prevent Depression Relapse, Review Finds

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) may be more effective at reducing the risk of depressive relapse compared to current standard treatments with antidepressant drugs. A...

Group Mindfulness Shows Promise Reducing Depression Associated with Hearing Voices

A new study out of Kings College London found that twelve sessions of a group mindfulness-based therapy relieved distress associated with hearing voices while reducing depression over the long-term. The person-based cognitive therapy (PBCT) intervention had significant effects on depression, voice distress, voice controllability and overall recovery.

Finding Clarity Through Clutter

For the last three years, I have been working with people, labeled "hoarders," who have become overwhelmed by their possessions in their homes. This has been some of the most interesting, challenging and thought-provoking work I have ever done. It is also an area that, I think, highlights all of the issues that challenge us in helping people who feel overwhelmed, for whatever reason.

Love is Dialogical: The Open Dialogue UK International Conference and Training

In the past five years, there has been a dramatic explosion of interest in the Open Dialogue Therapy practiced in Tornio, Finland. It is a humanistic “treatment” that has produced five-year outcomes for psychotic patients that are, by far, the best in the developed world, and there are now groups in the United States, Europe and beyond that are seeking to “import” this care. However, the challenges for doing so are many and, last month, Open Dialogue UK - on the occasion of the first-ever fully recognized Open Dialogue training outside of Tornio - organized a conference in London to hold an open dialogue about Open Dialogue.

“Toward a Social Justice Therapy: Let’s Keep Talking”

Can psychotherapy help dismantle oppression? “Social justice focused, analytic therapy- the kind of therapy I strive to do- is one that can support the...

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.

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

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

Testifying in Vermont: Forced Drugs

Vermont Governor Shumlin recently suggested a change to state law that would accelerate the process under which a person could be forced to take antipsychotic drugs against her will. The House Human Services Committee reviewed this proposal and I was asked to testify. What follows are my comments.

Troubling Mental Health Nurse Education

Mental health nurse education in not sufficiently critical of institutional psychiatric practice. Its formal curricula in universities are often undermined by the informal curricula of practice environments. As an institution, mental health nursing pays insufficient attention to both these issues because it is an arguably un-reflexive and rule-following discipline.

Family Oriented, Home-Based Treatment Best for Youth with Symptoms of Psychosis

A pathbreaking new study out of Finland suggests that early intervention programs for youth experiencing psychotic-like symptoms may see the greatest improvement when treatment works within the home rather than in a hospital setting. The research, to be published in next month’s issue of Psychiatry Research, found greater improvement in functioning, depression, and hopelessness among teens in a new need-adapted Family and Community oriented Integrative Treatment Model (FCTM) program.

“How Meditation Changes the Brain and Body”

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...

Doing It Alone Together: Core Issues In Dutch Self-Managed Residential Programs

For the last six years we, a group of researchers, social work students, peer experts, and social professionals associated with the Amsterdam University for Applied Sciences, have been studying and facilitating the development of self-managed programs in homelessness and mental health care in the Netherlands. With our research we want to contribute to the development of new and existing programs through critical reflection. With this blog, I hope to share some of our findings, to give back to the respites from which we learned so much.

Therapy Recommended As First Line Treatment for Depression

Following an extensive systematic review of treatments for major depression, the American College of Physicians (ACP) issued a recommendation to clinicians suggesting cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as a first-line treatment for major depressive disorder along with second-generation antidepressants. The results of the review revealed that CBT and antidepressants have similar levels of effectiveness but that antidepressants present serious side-effects and higher relapse rates.

“The Surprising Reason Psychotherapy Works”

For Psychology Today, David Elkins writes that “psychotherapy's power to heal lies mainly in its human and relational aspects,” rather than any specific techniques...

“Life, Animated: A Remarkable Story of How a Family Reached Their Autistic Son Through...

A new documentary “Life, Animated,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, tells the story of a man with autism who learned to interact...

Psychologist Rethinks Psychotropic Medications, Calls for Renewed Dialogue

Psychologist and Professor Amber Gum has published the story of her personal journey of rethinking psychotropic medication in a special issue on "The Politics of Mental Health" in The Journal of Medicine and the Person. Influenced by Mad in America and the work of Robert Whitaker, Gum became aware of evidence that “suggests that psychotropic medications are less effective and more harmful than most believe” and now hopes to encourage other mental health professionals and researchers to engage in open-minded, critical self-assessment of standard practices.

“How We Label People with ‘Mental Illness’ Influences Tolerance”

Honor Whiteman reports on a study in The Journal of Counseling & Development, which found that people may be less tolerant of an individual...

Storytelling Therapy for Trauma and Bullying

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

“Veterans Let Slip the Masks of War: Can This Art Therapy Ease PTSD?”

“Service members suffering from PTSD often feel like they’re wearing a mask,” Samantha Allen writes in Invisible Wounds. Melissa Walker, an art therapist, asks them to make one. “The results are stirring. One mask, striped in red and black with hollow chrome-colored eyes, is wrapped in razor wire with a lock where its mouth should be.”

“Therapy Wars: The Revenge of Freud”

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...

Letters to the Editor: “The Treatment of Choice”

Readers respond to the New York Times article, “The Treatment of Choice,” about innovative programs for psychosis and schizophrenia that involve patients and their families in treatment decisions. “Narratives of success counter a drumbeat of faulty links of mental illness and violence, inaccuracies which serve only to further stigmatize and isolate individuals with psychiatric illness.”

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

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.

Why Some Children with Depressed Parents Show Resilience

Children of parents who suffer from depression have a severely heightened risk of mental health problems, but new research points to several factors that seem to strengthen young peoples’ resilience and predict good mental health.

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