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European Positive Psychology conference: 3rd day - prioritizing positivity, befriending, compassion genetics, & transcendence

I wrote yesterday about the "European Positive Psychology conference: better 2nd day - culture, use of strengths, loving-kindness, education & passion".  This third day was also full to bursting with intriguing presentations.  Barbara Fredrickson gave the 9.00am keynote on "Why prioritize positivity?". Barbara is a bit of a star of the positive psychology world, so having her on first looked a good way of encouraging conference attendees to arrive on time.  Sayyed Fatemi spoke on "Positive psychology and psychology of possibility".

Recent research: five papers on childhood trauma, parenting & health in adulthood

Here are five papers on childhood, the effects childhood experience can have on adulthood, and the effects adults may then have on their own children.  The first paper by Brody et al. is the encouraging one.  It demonstrates how caring parenting can combat genetic vulnerability - "involved-supportive" mothering greatly reduced the link between vulnerable genes and subsequent youth substance abuse.  The Van Meurs et al study shows the reverse - how problem behaviours in one generation of children increases the likelihood that, when these children become parents themselves, their own children will develop similar problem behaviours.

Handouts & questionnaires for depression information

Here are a few handouts that I've put together over the years to provide background information about depression.  The development & maintenance diagram is probably the handout here that I use most - both to explain issues about depression and also for many other psychological disorders as well. 

Development & maintenance of distressed states - I use this Powerpoint diagram a lot when discussing with people why they are in a distressed state.  The diagram applies to depression but it also applies to nearly all other distressed psychological states as well.  It can be helpful in highlighting the importance of maintaining, precipitating and vulnerability factors.  I also point out that therapeutic gains can be made working with all three of these general sets of factors - for example, emotional processing work for past experience (both precipitating and vulnerability factors) and more standard cognitive-behavioural approaches for maintaining factors. 

Recent research: a mixed bag of six papers on anxiety

Here are half a dozen papers with anxiety relevance.  The first couple are about the interaction between genetic vulnerability (or resilience) and childhood experience.  The Stevens et al paper is an update on the large body of research looking at psychological genetic vulnerability/resilience in macaque monkeys and how this interacts with parenting quality to lead, or not lead, to emotional and neurophysiological disturbances in adulthood.  The Battaglia paper particularises this gene/environment investigation by looking at the connections between early human childhood separation anxiety, loss of a parent, and panic disorder in adulthood.  

Depression information

“ Be kind whenever possible.  It is always possible. ” - Dalai Lama

Here are a few handouts that I've put together over the years to provide background information about depression.  The development/maintenance diagram is probably the handout here that I use most - both to explain issues about depression and also for many other psychological disorders as well. 

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