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Birmingham BABCP conference: first day - decentering, compassion, insomnia, social anxiety, sp/sr & barbecue (3rd post)

This is a quick overview of the first full day of the annual BABCP summer conference in Birmingham.  I intend to return to some of the key learning points in later posts.  I've already written about the pre-conference workshop I went to on "Emotion regulation" in a couple of earlier posts. Apparently the conference itself offers 37 symposia, 5 panel discussions, 3 clinical roundtables, multiple poster sessions, 13 skills classes, numerous special interest group & branch meetings, and 18 keynote addresses - all over the course of two and a half days here on the University of Birmingham campus. The freely downloadable 101 page abstracts book gives a great sense of what's on offer.

Self-help for insomnia: encouraging results and some available resources

I've written three blog posts about sleep in the last three months - "'Sleep well and live better: overcoming insomnia using CBT'- a workshop with Colin Espie", "The links between sleep disturbance and depression" and "Is short duration sleep a problem or is it just disturbed sleep that leads to increased mortality risk?  A personal exploration".  It is clear that many people struggle with sleep difficulties and that this is associated with a network of other problems.  A recent paper that highlig

Is short duration sleep a problem or is it just disturbed sleep that leads to increased mortality risk? A personal exploration.

It is clear that there is a U-shaped association between sleep duration and mortality, with both short and long sleep linked with increased death rates.  This finding is underlined by two major recent research overviews - Gallicchio & Kalesan "Sleep duration and mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis" and Cappuccio et al's "Sleep duration and all-cause mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies".  There is so much interesting that one could write about this, but this particular blog post is triggered by a personal query that I have.  I try hard - and am mostly successful - to have a very healthy lifestyle.  I eat well, exercise well, keep a sensible weight, don't smoke, don't d

"Sleep well and live better: overcoming insomnia using CBT" - the links between sleep disturbance and depression (2nd post)

I wrote a first post last month about a workshop I went to given by Professor Colin Espie - "Sleep well and live better: overcoming insomnia using CBT".  I mentioned that he went through the sequence: What is insomnia?  Why is it a big deal?  Why is cognitive behaviour therapy relevant?  Is it clinically effective?  How can it be delivered in real world practice?  In today's post I would like to look more at Why is it a big deal?  And I would like particularly to focus on links between insomnia and depression. 

"Sleep well and live better: overcoming insomnia using CBT"- a workshop with Colin Espie (first post)

Yesterday I went to a one-day workshop with Professor Colin Espie on sleep disorders and CBT organized by the Scottish Branch of the BABCP.  Bike to the station, then a train from Edinburgh to Dundee.  Lovely, early morning light up the Fife coast.  Then a taxi to the conference venue where they were serving egg rolls, bacon rolls, and plenty of coffee for the gradually arriving delegates.

Life skills for stress, health & wellbeing, fifth session

Yesterday evening was the fifth session of this 12 evening training course.  I wrote about the fourth session last week.  As usual, this evening, the material we were due to cover was described in a dozen Powerpoint slides which the participants received as a handout.  See slides 1-6, Powerpoint or slides 1-6, PDF and slides 7-12, Powerpoint or slides 7-12, PDF.

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.

Recent research: lifestyle - five papers on sleep, exercise & stress management

Here are five papers on lifestyle and the benefits of making healthy choices.  The first by Cohen et al on sleep habits and susceptibility to the common cold, showed increased risk of developing a cold after infection for those with shorter sleep duration.  Interestingly the increased risk was even greater for those with poor sleep efficiency.  Sleep efficiency is calculated by dividing the time spent asleep by the time spent in bed trying to sleep.  The Good Knowledge section of this website contains useful information on assessing and treating sleep difficulties.

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