Recently in Related Mental Health Category
It’s a few months old, but this article on Mindfulness and its application to therapy approaches in the New York Times is worth a read. It’s a good balanced description written for the lay person but not ‘dumbed down’ or one-sided like so much mass media science writing.
Fun article from Ben Goldacre’s excellent blog about the power of the placebo effect.
I had a great, if very busy, time at the BABCP conference in Edinburgh. It was fantastically well attended (I think around 1000 people) and there was a real buzz. As well as the excellent (ahem) eating disorder and impulse control stream, there were a number of events about new developments in Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies and some excellent keynotes. I was very impressed by Chris Williams’ (who developed the excellent Living Life to the Full website) stand at the Exhibition. Chris and colleagues have been working on some very nicely designed and simple but effective Low Intensity Support Materials in the form of booklets covering some of the core issues in CBT. These include ‘I can’t be bothered doing anything’, ‘I’m not good enough’ and ‘The things you do that mess you up’. For more about the booklets, see the Five Areas website
I’ve just come across this excellent blog by a trainee psychiatrist based in London. Wide ranging topics, from John Prescott’s struggle with bulimia, to a summary of general paralysis of the insane (the tertiary form of untreated syphillis, in which mental functions are severely affected).
And then of course there’s the song by the Avalanches of the same name.
SIARI is a UK-based website offering support and information to people who self harm. It's written by Jan Sutton, who has also written a book on self harm entitled 'Healing the Hurt Within: Understand Self-Injury and Self-Harm, and Heal the Emotional Wounds'
The site itself contains a wealth of resources on self-injury and related issues, as well as suggestions for off-line resources including books and self-help organisations.
The Department of Health has today published its much-publicised White Paper on improving the nation's health, entitled 'Choosing Health'. The proposals cover obesity and mental health as well as smoking and sexual health. There's a good summary of the proposals on the BBC news site.
I've yet to read all the proposals but will write in more detail when I've done so.
The second (and final) draft of the NICE guidelines for post traumatic stress disorder are available for commenting on the NICE website. If you want to give feedback, you have to do so via one of the Stakeholder organisations which are listed here. Feedback deadline is 29th November.
As colleagues and I have discussed in a recent review paper, eating disorders often overlap with obsessive compulsive difficulties. OCD Action is a UK-based organisation offering help and support for people with OCD and related disorders. They also run an annual conference for people with anxiety disorders, this year on 13th-14th November in Manchester.
I was pleased to hear about a newly published book dealing with self harm in combination with eating disorders. As I've mentioned in previous posts (28th July 04 and 30th March 04, self harm is a major and possibly growing problem amongst young people in the UK and elsewhere and often occurs alongside eating problems. 'Self Harm and Eating Disorders' edited by John L. Levitt, Randy A. Sansone and Leigh Cohn will hopefully help clinicians to deal with this comorbidity more effectively.
The following is from the promotional blurb on the book:
A recent article in the Observer draws attention to plans for registration of therapists with the Health Professions Council who will oversee training and professional practice. Joining the register will be voluntary but potential clients will be able to check whether a practitioner is registered before they agree to see them. Currently there are 19 different bodies representing different strands of therapy and counselling in the UK. Anyone can call themselves a 'therapist' or 'psychotherapist' even if they have no professional training.
Although the details are still to be ironed out, most professional bodies to which therapists belong are broadly in favour of regulation. Philip Hodson, fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy responded positively to the news: 'For the first time, members and clients will be protected. Members will have qualifications that can be verified. Their behaviour and conduct can be professionally challenged.'
More information on this is available from the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) website.