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Keeping up with research: does it make any difference to our practice?

I'm running a one day workshop in Belfast this weekend entitled "Keeping up with research: does it make any difference to our practice?".  Here's a downloadable copy of the 50 or so slide initial Powerpoint presentation.  I'll also be giving the trainee cognitive therapists a series of exercises to try. Here are a set of these workshop slides.  They overlap considerably with the rather iconoclastic first presentation, but also provide a jumping off point for four major areas we focussed on ... 1.) how expertise is developed (Anders Ericsson's work).  2.) the importance of rapid feedback on how well things are going (balancing evidence-based practice with practice-based evidence).

Kathy Shear workshop on complicated grief: identification (2nd post)

I wrote a blog post yesterday morning setting the scene for a two day workshop I was about to go to with Professor Kathy Shear on her treatment approach for complicated grief.  Well, how did the day go?  It was very interesting, inspiring, and also a little too much "simply sitting listening" for my tastes. It's hard to know what the best design for this kind of two day seminar should be. I strongly suspect though that just sitting taking in, even such excellent information with the opportunity for regular questions, isn't the most effective way of transferring knowledge.  Hard to do it, but more active audience participation would probably serve the workshop's goals even better.  Despite this, the material being shared was great ... really fascinating and important.

Kathy Shear workshop on complicated grief: before (1st post)

I was struck by a couple of papers on grief that I read last year.  One was Kathy Shear & colleagues' "Treatment of complicated grief in elderly persons: a randomized clinical trial" and the other was Bryant et al's "Treating prolonged grief disorder: a randomized clinical trial."   I was impressed because Shear's paper showed clear benefits of one treatment over a valid active comparison treatment.  Trials showing better outcomes of treatments that have been compared with "treatment as usual" (TAU) or "waiting list control" are two a penny.  However an intervention that produces an obviously better outcome than a valid alternative intervention makes me sit up and take notice.

Resource activation: using clients' own strengths in psychotherapy and counseling - affirmation (2nd post)

I wrote a post a few days ago entitled "Resource activation: using clients' own strengths in psychotherapy and counseling - background (1st post)" giving some of the research basis for suggesting this territory is very relevant for therapists who are pushing to help their clients more effectively.  In order to follow up these ideas further I bought the short 'how to do it' 70 or so page book by Fluckiger, Wusten, Zinbarg & Wampold.

Resource activation: using clients' own strengths in psychotherapy and counseling - background (1st post)

A bit over two years ago I wrote a sequence of three blog posts starting with "New research suggests CBT depression treatment is more effective if we focus on strengths rather than weaknesses".  This was triggered by the fascinating paper by Cheavens & colleagues "The compensation and capitalization models: A test of two approaches to individualizing the treatment of depression" - with its abstract reporting "Despite long-standing calls for the individualization of treatments for depression, modest progress has been made in this effort.

How to WOOP

WOOP is an acronym for Wish-Outcome-Obstacle-Plan.  This sequence is based on the very impressive body of research on how to boost motivation, goal setting & goal achievement assembled over many years by professors Gabrielle Oettingen & Peter Gollwitzer.

Recent research: articles from early 2015 journals

I read a lot of research.  When I find an article of particular interest I download it to my bibliographic database - Endnote - which currently contains over 21,800 abstracts.  I also regularly tweet about emerging research, so following me on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ (click on the relevant icon at the top of this web page) will keep you up to speed with what I'm finding interesting.  Additionally you can view this highlighted research by visiting Scoop.it (click on the "it!" icon at the top of this page).  At Scoop.it, I stream publications into five overlapping topic areas: Cognitive & General Psychotherapy, Depression, Compassion & Mindfulness, Healthy Living & Healthy Aging, and Positive Psychology.

If you see a therapist, how many sessions are you likely to need?

Is this one question or many?  If you see a therapist, how many treatment sessions are you likely to need?  Sometimes that's a little like asking "If I go on a journey, how long should I travel for?"  Happily though, we do now have enough research evidence to be able to respond fairly helpfully to this "how many treatment sessions?" question.  To give useful answers though, it’s probably sensible to break the very general “how many sessions?” query into a number of more targeted sub-questions.