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Exeter conference day 1: resistant depression, thought suppression, self-help, & rumination from the horse's mouth

So we're past yesterday's workshops and into the first day of the conference proper.  Two and a half days now involving about 51 symposia, 5 panel debates, 8 open paper sessions, 2 poster sessions, and 17 keynote addresses.  I really like this Exeter campus with it's trees and little paths.  Easy to get lost, but lovely.  I also really like the many casual conversations - in coffee queues, at breakfast, with whoever's sitting beside you in a lecture.  Lots of interactions.  The conference attenders are almost universally friendly and easy to strike up chats with.  We all have the shared interest of psychotherapy, so it's very straightforward to hit the ground running when talking to complete strangers.  At the same time, I sometimes find these conferences quite lonely - great for social integration, not so great for social intima

Exeter pre-conference workshop: Ed Watkins on CBT treatment for anxious & depressive rumination

Exeter.  I really like the way that the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) conferences rotate around a whole series of UK university towns.  This is the 37th BABCP Annual Conference, and I guess I've been to a dozen or more of them over the years.  They tend to follow a similar pattern - beginning with a choice of optional one day workshops, followed by two and a half days or so of conference proper.  There are about 20 one day workshops to choose from this year, and I've plumped for Ed Watkins's "CBT to treat anxious and depressive rumination" (click on the workshop title for a fuller description).

Recent research: free June edition of "Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice" focuses on bipolar disorder

The June edition of the journal "Clinical psychology: science and practice"  focused on bipolar disorder.  This is very valuable and the fact that all the articles are freely viewable in full text makes the publication even more helpful.  As Youngstrom & Kendall write in their introductory article (see below) "Knowledge about bipolar disorder is rapidly advancing. One consequence is that current evidence about the diagnostic definitions, prevalence, phenomenology, associated features and underlying processes, risk factors and predictors, and assessment or treatment strategies for bipolar disorder is often markedly different than the conventional wisdom reflected even in recent textbooks and clinical training."  Karam & Fayyad (see below for all articles mentioned, with abstracts and links) discuss diagnosis and the boundaries of the bipolar spectrum.  Merikangas & Pato review recent research on bipolar epidemiology and write "During the past decade, there has been increasing recognition of the dramatic personal and societal impact of bipolar disorder I and II (DSM-IV).

Recent research: two papers on mindfulness, two on insomnia & two on antidepressants in pregnancy

Here are six recently published research papers.  Barnhofer and colleagues report on encouraging results using mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) for sufferers from chronic-recurrent depression while they are still depressed.  The three major studies published already have used MBCT for recurrent depression while the sufferers are reasonably well.  The next step will clearly be a fuller randomized controlled trial.  Heeren and colleagues report on the how MBCT acts to reduce overgeneral autobiographical memoriy in formerly depressed patients. 

Archer and colleagues describe the successful development and assessment of a group-based cognitive behavioural intervention for sleep problems.  Participants' satisfaction ratings with the training were very high and there were very encouraging reductions in their sleep problems and depressive symptoms.  Morin and coworkers also report on CBT for sleep problems, this time singly or combined with sleep medication.  They concluded that "In patients with persistent insomnia, the addition of medication to CBT produced added benefits during acute therapy, but long-term outcome was optimized when medication is discontinued during maintenance CBT."

Handouts & questionnaires for compassion & criticism (second post)

This the second of three posts on handouts & questionnaires for Compassion & criticism. It contains a series of loosely linked downloads about compassion, self-criticism, hostility, self-esteem and related subjects.  To see the earlier post on this subject click on Compassion & criticism (first post).

Compassionate/self-image goals scale and background - this is a scale from Crocker's fascinating work on compassionate and self-image goals.  See too the "Self and social motivation laboratory" website at http://rcgd.isr.umich.edu/crockerlab

Contingencies of self-worth scale - this is another questionnaire from the Crocker lab (see above).  Interesting way of probing what people's self-worth is based on ... and what the subsequent effects then are.

Recent research: six papers relevant to psychotherapy

Here are six studies relevant to improving psychotherapy outcomes.  Brewin et al report on using imagery-based interventions to help people with depressioin.  Lydiard et al highlight the importance of sleep-related disturbances as a treatment target in PTSD.  McCrady and colleagues show that working with couples rather than just individuals seems more effective when using behavioural therapy to help women with alcohol use disorders.  Geerts et al describe rather amazing research investigating "The role of parental bonding and nonverbal communication in the short-term treatment response was investigated in 104 depressed outpatients. At baseline patients completed the Parental Bonding Instrument. We registered the nonverbal involvement behaviour of patients and interviewers from video recordings of baseline clinical interviews and calculated the convergence between patient-interviewer behaviour over the interview ... As hypothesized, low maternal care and high paternal overprotection predicted a poor response to an 8-week treatment.  Maternal care was positively correlated with nonverbal convergence. Moreover, convergence moderated the relationship between maternal care and the response to treatment: Lack of convergence between patients and interviewers turned out to annul the positive effects of maternal care on the treatment response.

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