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F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

Using Applied Tension for Blood and Needle Phobias

November 20th, 2014
A common—but often overlooked and misunderstood—psychiatric disorder is the phobia of blood and needles. Although generally slight and psychosocially inconsequential, most people become a little uncomfortable when confronted with blood or a needle. However, for some, the reaction can be extreme and go well beyond ...


From Private Practice Toolbox:

Therapist Blog Challenge #17: Surviving the Holidays

challenge_17 Therapist blog challenge #17 focuses on how to help readers make it through the crazy emotional stress of the holiday season. Headline Come up with a catchy title for your blog post.  Here are a few examples: Crazy Christmas and Hectic Hanukkah! How to Make it Through the Holidays How to Survive Holiday Chaos and Have Fun with ...
From Reflections from a Children's Therapist:

The Science of Being Thankful to Increase Happiness

With Thanksgiving around the corner, many people will get through the holiday participating in their family traditions or creating new experiences. It is easy to get caught up in the stress and chaos of the holidays. Thanksgiving (and other holidays) may be enjoyable for you, as well. Despite how you spend your Thanksgiving, it ...
From Private Practice Kickstart:

We Want Casseroles

o o h h . . .A huge thank you to Colleen King for agreeing to share this beautiful piece on helping survivors of suicide. Let’s spread the word so survivors get more support! Instead of casseroles and hugs we are given silence and isolation. When we announce that our loved one has ...

Suicide: A Practical Look at Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapists use a variety of techniques in their work with suicidal patients. The choice of technique depends on various factors including the patient’s psychological capacity, the nature of the problem, and the psychological model that the therapist has determined to be most relevant to the patient’s problems. The cognitive-behavioral formulation is based on information derived from the first assessment. It should be a written explanation of the problem that sheds light on the crucial factors, both cognitive and behavioral, which are thought to play a ...

3 Tips for Working Effectively with Dreams

Jim brings the following dream into session: He’s Edgar Allan Poe. Two birds are circling above him high overhead. If he holds up his right hand, a dove will fly down and perch on it. If he holds up his left, a raven will. He’s drawn to the raven but fearful that he’ll be overwhelmed by its enormous black wings. He remembers, though, that he’s Poe, has written a poem about ravens, and knows something about them. It’s still risky, but he decides to hold up his ...

 

A Blood Test for Suicide?

Research Updates in Psychiatry Scientists May Have Found a Genetic Marker for Suicide. Prediction of suicidal behavior has long been considered more of an art than a science, although the use of clinical and demographic features can help improve risk assessment (see, for instance, TCPR, June 2012). An accurate biological test or “biomarker” for suicidality would be valuable, and a recent study takes us one step closer to that goal. In preliminary work, researchers retrospectively evaluated blood samples from ...

Strange New World: History, Hypnosis & Trance

The phenomenon we commonly term hypnosis actually refers back to the half-century old theories of animal magnetism and mesmerism. Scholars later adopted an altered-state view and described ancient healing rituals in Western and Eastern civilizations as forerunners of modern hypnosis. To understand hypnosis, it is essential to note its relationship with demonic possession and hysteria. Hypnosis began in ancient Egypt, where it was viewed as the result of the movement of the uterus to the affected part of the body. Hysteria, by virtue, was viewed as a disorder specific ...

Unilateral Couples Counseling: Possible… And Even Preferable

Unilateral Couples Counseling: Possible... And Even Preferable I frequently get clients who tell me that their partner will not come in for counseling. They want to know if unilateral couples counseling, or just one person working on the marriage, is possible.  Not only do I think this possible, but I think that unilateral couples counseling is preferable, especially with both partners involved.  What sort of philosophical riddle is this? you ask.  So let me explain what I mean. It takes two ...


Unilateral Couples Counseling: Possible… And Even Preferable

Unilateral Couples Counseling: Possible... And Even Preferable I frequently get clients who tell me that their partner will not come in for counseling. They want to know if unilateral couples counseling, or just one person working on the marriage, is possible.  Not only do I think this possible, but I think that unilateral couples counseling is preferable, especially with both partners involved.  What sort of philosophical riddle is this? you ask.  So let me explain what I mean. It takes two ...

Is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) the Answer to Suicide?

Is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) the Answer to Suicide?A Historical Perspective on Suicide The etymological roots of the word ‘suicide’ are derived from the Latin word suicidium; sui, ‘of oneself’ and cidium, ‘a killing.’ The term was first used by the abbots Prevost in 1734 and Desfontaines in 1737 (Sarro & de la Cruz, 1991) but it is likely that suicide has been a human phenomenon ever since man began to organize himself into tribes. Recent anthropological studies (Washburn, 2004), have ...

 

Self-Medication of Mood Symptoms with Alcohol is a Risk Factor for Alcohol Dependence

Research UpdatesPatients often report alcohol use as a way to “self-medicate” mood symptoms. A new study demonstrates that this self-medication may serve as a precursor to the development or persistence of alcohol dependence, as defined by the DSM-IV. Researchers evaluated the 43,093 adults who participated in the NESARC survey, a national survey of American adults consisting of face-to-face interviews at two time points, in 2001–2002 and in 2004–2005. Participants were asked about their drug and alcohol use and ...

What Does Integrative Mental Health Care Look Like?

Q & A With the Expert: Integrative Mental Health CareThis is an interview with Dr. James Lake regarding integrative medicine. TCPR: Dr. Lake, please tell us what integrative medicine is. Dr. Lake: In the broadest sense, integrative medicine encompasses methods and research findings from both mainstream biomedicine and the range of so-called complementary and alternative (CAM) specialties including, for example, acupuncture, naturopathic medicine, and homeopathy. Integrative medicine acknowledges the advantages and limitations of the dominant biomedical model while recognizing ...

Optimal Treatment for First Episode of Psychosis

Research Updates in PsychiatryIs Dose Reduction the Ideal Strategy after First Episode of Psychosis? What’s the optimal treatment for a first episode of psychosis? Few would argue against antipsychotic treatment, but what happens when the patient achieves remission? Is it best to continue medication indefinitely, or can the antipsychotic be reduced or discontinued altogether? One hundred and twenty eight patients who had a first episode of psychosis (FEP) in 2001–2002 were successfully treated with antipsychotics. Of these, half were ...

Anxiety Disorders in DSM-5 & Beyond

Anxiety Disorders in DSM-5 and BeyondTCPR: Dr. Pine, can you describe the background on the two new categories for anxiety disorders in DSM-5: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders and Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders? Dr. Pine: First, I will say that the overall changes from the standpoint of the day-to-day practice of a clinician are pretty mild and minor. The biggest change to anxiety disorders in DSM-5 is taking a collection of syndromes that were all grouped together in DSM-IV and splitting ...

Suicide: Beyond Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Suicide: Beyond Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT)The Link between Borderline Personality Disorder and Treatment of Suicidality In must be emphasized that dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), while making use of the cognitive-behavioral approach, is aimed at a population (Borderline Personality Disorder - BPD) whose suicidal behavior rarely has death as a target (Kiehn & Swales, 1997), so the results cannot be generalized to all cases of suicidal behavior. However, a number of studies aimed at applying cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for ...

Engaging Narcissists in Couples Counseling

Engaging Narcissists in Couples CounselingIn my practice, I frequently see couples where one partner lacks empathy, is self-centered and self-aggrandizing, and believes that he is never at fault in any situation (I’ll use “he” here, because although there are narcissists of both genders, it is mostly diagnosed in men.) This partner may meet criteria for narcissistic personality disorder, although it has never been formally diagnosed, since narcissists usually see no reason to seek individual therapy. Narcissists are extremely ...