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Workshop on couple therapy: slides and handouts

A couple of days ago I ran a one day workshop on Couple Therapy for final year Counselling Psychology students at Glasgow's Caledonian University.  Although I've run many workshops over the years around relationship themes, this is the first time I've taught one specifically on Couple Therapy.  It's hard work building a full day workshop from the ground up.  I think the students were kind to me as I'd run a five day workshop for them on Group Work last November and so we knew each other a bit. 

Don Baucom on couple-based interventions for anxiety disorders

Just about to start the second day of this two day workshop led by Professor Don Baucom on "Couple-Based Interventions for Anxiety Disorders".  We're here at the Royal Foundation of St Katharine in London's East End.  St Katharine's aims to provide a "sense of an oasis in the city" and I think it succeeds really well.  I've been to workshops here before and I would thoroughly recommend it.  But how was yesterday's first day of this workshop?

Maximizing exposure therapy

Michelle Craske & colleagues from the Anxiety Disorders Research Center of UCLA have, for many years, been publishing careful, challenging research on underlying mechanisms & on ways of boosting the effectiveness of exposure therapies for different forms of anxiety.  Craske's list of publications & research presentations runs to 31 pages and begins with a study on musical performance anxiety published in 1984.  As the presentation titles on her list show, for some years the majority of her many lectures at prestigious conferences all over the world have revolved around the theme of how to take evolving scientific findings about fear learning and use them to optimize exposure treatments for anxiety disorders.

Recent research: CBT for a variety of conditions – back pain, PTSD, obsessions, bipolar disorder, schemas & social anxiety

Here are six recent papers on CBT treatment for a variety of disorders - for fuller details, abstracts and links, see further down this page.  Lamb et al explored the value of "Group cognitive behavioural treatment for low-back pain in primary care".  That their results were reported in the Lancet, highlights the importance of their findings.  The active treatment group received an additional assessment and then six 1.5 hour group therapy sessions (average group size, eight participants).  Therapy focused on "guided discovery, identifying and countering negative automatic thoughts, pacing, graded activity, relaxation, and other skills."   Outcomes demonstrated that "Over 1 year, the cognitive behavioural intervention had a sustained effect on troublesome subacute and chronic low-back pain at a low cost to the health-care provider."

Recent research: six papers on helping children & adolescents

Here are half a dozen papers on helping kids and adolescents.  The Fuligni et al paper found that adolescents experiencing frequent interpersonal stresses tended to have increased levels of C-reactive protein, " ... an inflammatory marker that is a key indicator of cardiovascular risk ... ".  Jackson et al showed that in preschool kids each extra hour of regular TV viewing is associated with an extra 1 kg of body fat.  This appeared to be due to increases in calorie intake rather than reduction in physical activity.  Decreased family accommodation is associated with improved outcome in paediatric OCD, Merlo et al found.  Naylor et al found that a six lesson teaching block on mental health benefitted young teenagers.  Proctor et al provide a free full text overview of teenage life satisfaction assessment measures, while Wilkinson and colleagues report on 28 week follow-up in a treatment trial for depressed adolescents.  The authors found "Depression at 28 weeks was predicted by the additive effects of severity, obsessive-compulsive disorder and suicidal ideation at entry together with presence of at least one disappointing life event over the follow-up period.

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