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Kidney donation: the operation & first few postoperative days

I've already written a series of blog posts leading up to my recent kidney surgery - starting with "Kidney donation: why it's well worth considering" to the most recent "Kidney donation: preoperative preparation ... aspects of self-compassion".  Writing this now, I'm happily & successfully over the waterfall of the operation and into the phase of managing the bumping & scraping against a variety of post-operative boulders.

Kidney donation: more on postoperative management

I have written a series of blog posts about my recent experience of donating a kidney ... the last was "Kidney donation: the operation & first few postoperative days".  My hope is that these posts will be useful for other would-be kidney donors & their families ... and some of the posts (for example this one) may also be of help for people facing surgery more generally.  As Kortram & colleagues highlighted in their 2014 paper on "The need for a standardized informed consent procedure in live donor nephrectomy: a systematic review" - "Procedures vary greatly between centers, and transplant professionals vary in the information they disclose.

The potential value of rescripting images in chronic pain & other distressed states like depression & anxiety: introduction

A high percentage of chronic pain sufferers seem to be affected by recurrent imagery that is linked to and aggravates their pain.  Often the imagery's occurrence only emerges with careful questioning.  "Rescripting" these images is associated with impressive short term improvements in pain and distress.  What's exciting is the potential for longer term benefits from this kind of rescripting approach ... not only for chronic pain sufferers but also for people suffering from other persistent distressing states like depression and anxiety.

Leeds BABCP conference: compassion focused therapy & CBT, John Vlaeyen & treating chronic pain problems (8th post)

In June I wrote a series of five posts reporting on a pre-conference workshop (about treating chronic fatigue) and the first day of the British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) main annual conference, held this year in Leeds.  Then last month I wrote a further couple of posts.  Now here is the eighth and final report in the sequence:

The last day of the BABCP main annual conference in Leeds was the usual mix of presentations & conversations.  I had breakfast with a couple of delightful researchers earnestly discussing the technicalities of a proposed new questionnaire about genital dissatisfaction.  Mm ... not a very appetising topic over the tea & toast. 

Recent research: six studies on management, health messages, behavioural activation, ACT, expressive writing, and wellbeing

Here are mixed bag of psychotherapy-relevant studies.  Foy & colleagues' meta-analysis highlights the value to patients/clients of having good communication between their primary care physician and their mental health professional.  The second paper I mention - free full text - by Mollen et al is a bit of a wake-up call for me.  The authors write " ... we will discuss why people conform to social norms and then extend this knowledge to the field of health communication and behaviour change. We will elaborate on the advantages and disadvantages of using social norm messages, and then offer alternatives for the use of social norms in health communication messages ... Clearly, there is a substantial evidence suggesting that, when unhealthy behaviour is highly prevalent, descriptive norms should not be conveyed in health promotion campaigns.

Autogenic training, session 6

For the man who wears shoes, the whole world is covered with leather.

- Traditional

Here are the handouts, recordings, and reflection/record sheets for the sixth Autogenic training session.  There are four overlapping themes to this 'lesson'.  Obviously a key issue is the next Autogenic Training step - the focus on the abdominal area.  I usually initially get trainees to put a hand or both hands on their abdomen when they are learning this exercise.  The hand(s) are positioned a little below the belly button, unless the trainee has specific abdominal symptoms - when positioning the hand(s) over the troublesome area may be more appropriate.  The hand(s) don't have to be in direct contact with the skin.  A sense of gentle, warm contact through clothing is fine.  This typically helps one focus on the abdominal area and the hand contact also merges easily with the feeling of belly relaxation and warmth that one begins to allow. 

Recent research: six studies on the long-term effects of abuse & deprivation

Here are half a dozen studies on the long-term effects of various forms of abuse & deprivation.  Paras et al systematically reviewed the association between a history of sexual abuse and a lifetime diagnosis of a somatic disorder.  They found significant links with functional gastrointestinal disorders, nonspecific chronic pain, psychogenic seizures, and chronic pelvic pain.  When analysis was restricted to studies where sexual abuse was defined as rape, they also found an association with fibromyalgia.  Abstracts and links, for this research paper and the further papers described, can be found lower down this page.   

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