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Psychotherapy (and psychotherapist) outcomes are good but largely stagnant

I have been asked to write a chapter on the importance of obtaining regular feedback on client progress in a book on psychotherapist self-practice & self-reflection.  This initial section (see below) of a draft of the chapter comments on the current state of psychotherapy itself:

(Note the ideas in this blog are explored in more detail in the chapter "Client feedback: an essential input to therapist reflection" in the forthcoming Haarhoff, B. and Thwaites, R. (2016) "Reflection in CBT: Increasing your effectiveness as a therapist, supervisor and trainer." London: SAGE Publications Ltd.)

Birmingham BABCP conference: final morning - positive affect in depression, therapy adverse effects & overall review (5th post)

The last morning of this excellent BABCP conference dawned bright & sunny ... as it has all week.  I have particularly enjoyed this year's BABCP get-together.  I think this has been due to a combination of factors including presentations that have been personally of real interest, the weather, the University of Birmingham accommodation, good wifi access(!) and the general friendliness.  Not bad considering I hurt my back in the train on the way here and it has only gradually been easing over the four days of the workshops & conference.

Do psychotherapists, doctors and leaders develop "emotional chainmail"? Some ways of building both stability and empathy.

In the last couple of days I've written two posts on the possibility of developing "emotional chainmail" when faced with repeated experiences of suffering ... "Do psychotherapists, doctors and leaders develop "emotional chainmail"?  Description of a possible problem" and "Do psychotherapists, doctors and leaders develop "emotional chainmail"?

Do psychotherapists, doctors and leaders develop "emotional chainmail"? Two kinds of empathy.

I wrote yesterday about how, at the weekend, I was involved in an hour and a half's deep emotional conflict resolution with an old friend that was witnessed in a group by another eight people.  As pretty much always, in the feedback that emerged over the next twenty four hours, different people reported very different reactions to what they had seen.  I still (after forty years involvement in a wide cross section of psychotherapy groups) find it jaw-dropping the sheer variety of what different people feel & think when observing absolutely the same event.  However, it seemed that most of those who spoke were deeply moved and respectful of what we'd done and how well it had worked out ...

Do psychotherapists, doctors and leaders develop "emotional chainmail"? Description of a possible problem.

I've been in a peer "psychotherapy group" residential retreat again recently and I was involved in an interaction that has crystalised a series of thoughts about potential "emotional armouring" in therapists that I've been aware of more vaguely for some time. And in fact these "suspicions" involve not just psychotherapists, but also doctors and leaders more generally as well. Happily there are great advantages of this emotional stability & resilience, but I believe there can also be very genuine personal & interpersonal costs. So what am I talking about here?

New meta-analysis tells it like it is: television viewing damages our health

A new meta-analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association tells it like it is: television viewing damages our health.  The paper's title is "Television viewing and risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality" and its abstract reads:

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