Is the Dodo finally dead?

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There’s been a lot of chatter here in the woodlands about the role of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in psychosis – what do service users think of it? Can it be used in place of antipsychotics for some people? Outside of the woodlands, CBT for psychosis has also been generating a lot of attention: Does [read the full story...]

Does group CBT treatment reduce social anxiety disorder? Possibly, perhaps, maybe not!

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Social Anxiety Disorder used to be called Social Phobia and is generally regarded as the most prevalent form of common anxiety disorder. Estimates of lifetime prevalence vary but according to a US study, 12% of adults in the US will have social anxiety disorder at some point in their lives (Kessler et al, 2005). According [read the full story...]

CBT and motivational interviewing are effective treatments for comorbid alcohol use disorders and depression, says new meta-analysis

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Alcohol use disorder is frequently comorbid with major depressive disorder, and the disease burden associated with this dual diagnosis is considerably greater than that attributed to each disorder in isolation. This creates a problem for clinicians who are trying to treat depressed problem drinkers, because many services are set up to deal with only one [read the full story...]

Psychological treatment may be useful in reducing depression and anxiety in people with dementia, says new Cochrane review

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Depression and anxiety are both common conditions in patients with dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), with some studies finding around 30% of patients show at least some depressive symptoms (Enache et al, 2011). Similarly, a study on vascular dementia found around 70% of participants had two or more symptoms of anxiety (Ballard et al, 2000). [read the full story...]

Service user perspectives on individual CBT for psychosis

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I have been procrastinating about writing this blog for a while. This is, in part, caused by hesitancy about involving myself in the CBT for psychosis (CBTp) debate. Regular readers of the Mental Elf will be aware that in recent months Jauhar and colleagues presented results of a meta-analysis that called into question the effectiveness [read the full story...]

Interventions for drug using offenders: What works in reducing drug use and criminal activity?

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It is estimated that between 10% (Gunn 1991) and 39% (Brooke 1996) of prisoners in the UK are dependent on illicit drugs; and that 14.5% of male and 31% of female prisoners have serious mental health problems (Steadman 2009). Drug use can be associated with many health, social and criminological consequences; and when mental health [read the full story...]

Psychosis and schizophrenia in adults: updated NICE guidance for 2014

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While the organisation’s name may change frequently, currently National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), its role remains constant – to provide clear published guidance on the role of treatment options within the NHS. The publication of new NICE guidance represents a significant event as clinical recommendations shape the nature of provided care nationally [read the full story...]

Pilot study suggests that CBT may be a viable alternative to antipsychotics for people with schizophrenia, or does it?

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People with schizophrenia stop taking their antipsychotics for a wide range of reasons (e.g. debilitating side effects or a belief that they will not help them), but when they do health professionals often find it extremely difficult to care for these patients, because the alternative treatment options available to them are very limited. Of course, [read the full story...]

Be Mindful of the Gap: What we know about ‘third wave’ cognitive behavioural therapies compared to other psychological therapies

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Breathe. Hold in your mind your view of what constitutes the most effective psychological therapy for acute depression. Try not to identify with your favourite therapy but simply observe it and let it be. Wish it well. And breathe again. This was not the approach of the Cochrane Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Group when it [read the full story...]

“Everyone’s a winner, all must have prizes!” but which psychotherapy for depression wins, if any?

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Previous meta-analyses in the field of depressive disorders have yielded mixed conclusions about which the most efficacious treatment is.  Within the process of any therapy, there are universal features such as; the therapeutic relationship, rationale for treatment, a patient and therapist belief in treatment, a confidential and respectful space for the patient and so on.  [read the full story...]