Tuesday, September 29, 2020

REFOCUS Psychosis Recovery Intervention Ready for Trials

A new pro-recovery manualized intervention – called the REFOCUS intervention – has been developed and will now be evaluated in a multisite randomized control trials. The strengths-based intervention, which focuses on promoting relationships, is outlined in the latest issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.

“New Research Links Contact with Nature to Community Cohesion and Reduced Crime”

The Pacific Standard highlights new research out of the University of Cardiff that found the more green space there is in a neighborhood, the less crime. “The more a person felt connected to nature, the more they felt connected to others in their neighborhoods.”

Is The Microbiome our Puppeteer?

“My message today is that your state of gut will affect your state of mind. To have a healthy brain, we may need a...

“Loneliness May Warp Our Genes, And Our Immune Systems”

NPR reports how loneliness can change our bodies and affect our physical and mental health. "There are things we can do to get out of a depressed or lonely state, but they're not easy," they report. "Part of the reason is because these negative psychological states develop some kind of molecular momentum."

Light Therapy Outperforms Prozac for Depression

In a new study, researchers found that bright light therapy was an effective treatment for nonseasonal major depressive disorder (MDD) while Prozac (Fluoxetine) alone...

“Doctors Say Exercise Can Relieve Depression Symptoms”

“Doctors say one of the best anti-depressants isn't even a drug, it's exercise,” CNN reports. “Experts say many cases of depression can be treated effectively with, for example, a pair of running shoes.”

The Revolution in Psychotherapy

Since the time of Freud, the field of psychotherapy has assumed that modalities and techniques were the instruments of change in psychotherapy. But the evidence is mounting that modalities and techniques have relatively little to do with effectiveness; evidence shows that it is the human elements of psychotherapy that are the most potent agents of healing

Massachusetts Launches New Strengths-Based Early Psychosis Program

ServiceNet, a mental health and human service agency in western Massachusetts, received a three year, two million dollar grant to launch a program designed to support young adults who have recently experienced their first episode of psychosis. The Prevention and Recovery Early Psychosis (PREP) program is funded by the Massachusetts department of mental health and is designed to treat psychosis as a symptom, not an illness, resulting from other illnesses, substance abuse, trauma, or extreme stress.

“Mindfulness at Risk of Being ‘Turned into a Free Market Commodity’”

The Guardian reports growing concerns from the Buddhist Society conference: “Jon Kabat-Zinn, who created the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine at the University of Massachusetts medical school, warned last week that some people feared a ‘sort of superficial ‘McMindfulness’ is taking over, which ignores the ethical foundations of the meditative practices and traditions from which mindfulness has emerged, and divorces it from its profoundly transformative potential.’”

Lack of Face-to-Face Contact Doubles Depression Risk for Older Adults

New research suggests that more frequent in-person contact lessens the risk of depression in older adults. The study, published in this month’s issue of the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, found that in Americans over fifty the more face-to-face contact they had with children, family and friends, the less likely they were to develop depressive symptoms.

Vail Place Focuses on Collective Work for Mental Health

Minn Post did a feature story last week on Vail Place, an alternative mental health treatment center run on a community “clubhouse” model where the nearly 900 members and staff work side by side to run the center’s activities. Vail Place was founded in Hopkins, Minnesota in the early eighties by mental health activists and family members as a community for psychosocial rehabilitation. “The work isn’t therapy,” a member explains. “It’s growth. It’s ‘I cans’ rather than ‘I can'ts.’ And that’s important for mental health and survival.”

Mad Economy: Let’s Change the World!

Everyone in the world is either touched by their own mental health issues or have had a family member affected. What if they directed their buying power to an organization that would use the profits to fund exciting mental health & recovery projects both in the developing world and in their own countries; projects that would be ethical, non-coercive, personal recovery-based, and were aimed at creating recovery communities? What if they could buy products, crafts, services, art, music, books from people who had experienced mental health issues, enabling them to set up their own businesses or buy from social co-operatives that enabled distressed people to work and earn a living wage?

International Psychologists To Host Public Webinar on Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

The Society for International Psychology, Division 52 of the American Psychological Association, will host a webinar entitled “The Humanistic, Vigorous and Universal Approach of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.”

Psychologists To Livestream Summit on Global Interdisciplinary Health Care

The American Psychological Association is hosting a two and half day interdisciplinary summit on November 3rd through 5th entitled Global Approaches to Integrated Care: Translating Science And Best Practices Into Patient-Centered Health Care Delivery. The summit features presentations and discussions on social determinants of health, demographics, culture and health disparities, and patients’ perspectives, among others. It can be livestreamed here.

“Can Madness Save the World?”

Writing for CounterPunch, Paris Williams writes that when an individual is experiencing what has been termed “psychosis,” it is important to recognize that this may also be the manifestation of a breakdown in their larger social groups, the family, society, and even the species.

Emphasis on Nutrition Needed to Reform Mental Health Treatments

Even thought current mental health treatments are “suboptimal,” there is a lack of attention paid to the preventative effects of diet and nutrition. Recent studies suggests that nutritional changes can influence the risk for mental health issues and that nutritional supplements, called nutraceuticals, can be prescribed for existing conditions.

A Liberation Journey with Images

I am humbled to share with you my life’s journey, and more importantly to convey a recent experience that has transmuted everything, opening up a new frontier of being more fully alive. I am beginning to see the invisible; or should I say I am beginning to feel it, because it is an inner experience.

The First “Working To Recovery” Camp: June, 2015

About a year ago, my partner Ron Coleman said to me "let's have a recovery camp." I said "what’s one of those?" and he said "I'm not sure, but let's invent it." And so, from June 7th to 12th 2015, we created a community of recovery for a week. The next step is to create communities of recovery around the world — not just as temporary camps, but long-lasting oases within our communities.

Relaxation Techniques for Depression and Anxiety in the Elderly

-Time magazine looks at the effects of a number of relaxation techniques on depression and anxiety in elderly people.

Dissolving Madness, Ending the Nightmare, Beginning a Better Dream

Much of what we term “madness” is, in fact, the awakening of the "Self" to its own Wholeness/Divinity. We are born totally pure. Throughout our lives we are subject to projections, flung at us from a multitude of directions: from Mom and Dad, from schools, religious institutions, the media, and the medical model. We are all buried, to some degree, under projections, and interesting symptoms emerge: nightmares, stress and anxiety, fear, flashbacks, and so on. These are not "Madness," but symptoms of health; of a "Self" attempting to break free from lies.

Creatively Managing Voice-Hearing Through Spiritual Writing

I am a psychiatric survivor of over thirty-six years. Since my nervous breakdown in 1978, I have undergone multitudinous experiences ranging from the subtly humiliating to the horrifically debilitating at the hands of incompetent psychiatrists and psychopharmacologists who, in the name of medicine, did more harm than good.

“The 6 Blessings of Mental Illness”

-"I could not have written those six words 30 years ago, when panic episodes, anxiety disorders and Tourette's syndrome clouded my view," writes Jonathan Friesen.

I Am “Pro-Healing”

Yoga helped me explore and reconnect with the body I’d abandoned and abused for years. My pain and sadness had me living exclusively in my mind, my body nothing more than a battleground for my inner wars. Through yoga and meditation, I slowly began to love myself again, learning to treat myself with care and respect. I felt a greater sense of self-awareness, and a sense of connection to something greater. This was a drastic contrast to the days when I felt as if god had forgotten about me, or like I was a mistake not meant for this world.

Coercion in Care

To this day I do not know how I found my way back. I think it might’ve had something to do with willpower, as I was NOT going to lose myself. I was NOT going to end up like those people who were living indefinitely in the hospital—those “chronic schizophrenics”, as they say. I was going to find my way back, back to myself.

The Scarlet Label: Close Encounters with ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’

To help my non-recovery oriented colleagues understand the stigma/resentment associated with ‘borderline personality disorder,’ I simply mention this: “Let’s say I call you and say, ‘Hey, I’ve got a referral for you. She’s been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder . . .’” I need to go no further; without fail, my colleague will smile or laugh. We both know that such a referral is a no-no, so much so that it doesn’t even have to be mentioned; it is a given.

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