Effect of Matching Therapists to Patients vs Assignment as Usual on Adult Psychotherapy Outcomes:
A Randomized Clinical Trial
This is a fascinating study. A large number of therapists from several counseling centers had been evaluated on their clinical strengths based on their previous effectiveness with clients with different disorders, and their strengths were identified. Then in this study some therapists were matched with clients with specific problems based on the therapist’s strengths, and others were just assigned to therapists as usual. The clients who were sent to therapists whose strengths matched their presenting problems improved significantly more than those who were assigned to therapists as usual.
I think all of us know we do better with some types of clients than others. I believe those of you who work in counseling centers with multiple therapists could probably apply this in your centers and your clients might benefit as a result. Article Link: Click here.
No Wonder Atheists Resist the Big Bang
Steven Meyer, in his new book and video, argues that “If matter, time, space, and energy have not always existed — if they erupted into existence at a point in the past, not infinitely long ago — then whatever brought them into existence can’t have been matter, time, space, or energy. It can only have been something that transcended those, which is commonly what people have called God.” And this is the reason atheists are so unwilling to admit that the universe started as a “big bang.” I think the evidence is continuing to mount on the side that believes there is a God.
The ‘Lab Leak’ Debate Matters – But Not for the Reasons You Think
If you only read one article from this week, I encourage you to read this one—I think the author makes a very good point. Article Link: Click here.
A New DSM-5 Diagnosis and Treatment?
Although no one has asked me, I’d like to propose a new diagnosis that some of you might run into. My suggested name is “Post-pandemic re-entry anxiety.” I’d describe it as the anxiety some people feel, after having been unemployed or having worked remotely for several months, that they feel when contemplating the return to a job that formerly they fulfilled very adequately. This could become a psychological problem, because the longer people avoid what they are afraid of, the more their anxiety is likely to grow. I would recommend just gentle supportive therapy, and even having a “safe person” go back with them the first time, because I think most people will find that once they have re-entered their former situation, they will quickly find that they can perform adequately again.
How COVID-19 Affects the Brain
A significant percentage of those who have survived a COVID infection complain of mental symptoms afterward. Here is an article discussing this. For those who are interested, it gives a suggestion for how COVID enters the brain tissue. Article Link: Click here.
A pandemic that endures for COVID long-haulers
Some people who experience COVID sometimes have a recurrence of symptoms 4 to 8 weeks after the initial infection subsided. In some cases this happens to people who had only mild symptoms during their initial infection. This is a Q and A with a Harvard doctor who has been involved in treating these specific clients for the last several months. It’s worthwhile information, especially since such patients may seek counseling for support during this time. Article Link: Click here.
COVID-19 can affect the brain. New clues hint at how
Last week I included an article suggesting a theory about how the COVID virus crosses the blood brain barrier. This article goes into more depth on several issues. COVID is well known for its ability to cause loss of smell, anxiety and depression. One-third of people who have COVID report one or more psychological or neurological issues in the six months following infection. At least 14 different psychological and neurological disorders are associated with COVID, although it may be years before scientists understand the mechanisms that cause or allow this. Article Link: Click here.
A Second Opnion on Woebot
Last week I included an article about Woebot, a smartphone powered app using artificial intelligence and some cognitive-behavioral strategies to help people in mental health crises when professional care is unavailable. This article writer is skeptical that such an approach will provide meaningful therapy. Article link: Click here.
Managing Bipolar, Business, & Motherhood
If you were a mother and wife, managed two non-profits, and had Bipolar 1 (which included some psychotic episodes), could you do it all? Karen Switz does it all, and in this article shares the strategies she has developed to help her. Article Link: Click here.
Celebrities Who Embrace Their Bipolar Disorder
If you have clients with bipolar disorder who are discouraged about their lot in life, this article might be an encouragement to them. It includes stories about seven celebrities who have bipolar disorder and have been open about it. Article Link: Click here.
Transforming Mental Health Care Delivery Through Implementation Science and Behavioral Economics
Often therapeutic strategies do not work as effectively in real life as they did in the research study. This article attempts to understand why and to use two strategies (implementation science and behavioral economics) to help the real-world methods to work as effectively as they did in the research study. These were new terms for me, but I think the article has some useful applications for therapists as they try to help clients. Article Link: Click here.
Treatment of Patients With Anorexia Nervosa in the US—A Crisis in Care
A discussion of what the authors consider a crisis in the care of individuals with anorexia nervosa, along with some proposed solutions. Article Link: Click here.
Zoom could be letting your boss spy on you. All the privacy risks to watch out for
This is probably not an article to share with clients who already have some paranoid tendencies, but it probably contains some information that would be helpful if you use Zoom with any frequency. Article Link: Click here.
Americans Want Telehealth to Stay, National Poll Shows
There are definitely both advantages and disadvantages to medical visits and counseling sessions remotely, but it seems like many Americans would like to have the option of remote sessions, at least in some situations. Article Link: Click here.
A Neurologist Faces His Alzheimer's Disease
This is an interview with a neurologist who has Alzheimer’s, who’s also written a book about his experience (Tattoo on My Brain). Interesting interview if you have a couple minutes. Article Link: Click here.
The Importance of Adequate Sleep During Midlife
A week or two ago I included an article which explained how the brain removes unhealthy toxins from the brain while sleeping. Today I just became aware of a research study done over 30 years in Great Britain with 10,000 people that found that 30% less people who slept 7 or more hours during their 50s, 60s and 70s developed dementia than those who slept an average of six hours or less. This study controlled for physical and mental health problems, socio-economic status and other dementia risks. Article Link: Click here.
Decision On Controversial Alzheimer’s Drug
Up until now there has not been an effective drug that cures Alzheimer’s or slows its progression. This week the FDA is poised to make a decision on aducanumab. The drug has been shown to slow the buildup of amyloid plaques in the brain, but previous drugs have been shown to do this without being a benefit for those with Alzheimers. Apparently the research has been mixed on whether aducanumab slows the progression of Alzheimers or not (it doesn’t cure it). By the time this email gets to you, the FDA may have made a decision on whether or not to approve it. Article Link: Click here.
Followup article: FDA Approves Controversial Alzheimer's Drug Aducanumab (Aduhelm)
On Monday the FDA did approve Aducanumab using the accelerated approval pathway, which requires the drug manufacturer to do further research to document whether or not the drug does make a difference. Article Link: Click here.
Evaluation of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Medications, Externalizing Symptoms, and Suicidality in Children
Children in general are showing more suicidal ideation and attempts. Children with ADHD externalizing symptoms (e.g., hyperactivity, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder) are more likely than others to have suicidal ideation or actual suicide attempts. In a study of nearly 12,000 children, those who had high externalizing symptoms and took methylphenidate (commonly known here in the U.S. as Ritalin or Concerta) reported less suicidal ideation or attempts than those who did not take medication. Article Link: Click here.
Seasonal Affective Disorder Isn’t Just for Winter
There have been an increasing number of articles in the professional journals and the popular media on summerseasonal affective disorder. It appears to be a genuine disorder for a small number of people.
Probably a good thing to be aware of if you work with people who are depressed. Article Link: Click here.
Does your counselor share your faith?
This was written as a promotional for a counseling center that employs Christian mental health professionals from each of the different groups, but I think it’s well-written and makes some good points. Article Link: Click here.
South African woman claims she gave birth to record 10 babies at once: report
In case you think you have too much to do, you could remember this South African mother who just gave birth to ten children at once! She already had twins, and her husband is unemployed. It helps to put our challenges in perspective. Article Link: Click here.
'Whiteness' a 'parasitic-like condition' with no cure, medical journal article claims
A psychoanalyst, writing in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, which is supposed to be a peer-reviewed publication, wrote that White people possess an "entitled dominion" that enables the "host" to wield power "without limit, force without restriction, violence without mercy," and increases one's desire to "terrorize." Unfortunately no therapy, not even psychoanalysis can cure this dreadful condition. The author teaches at psychoanalytic institutes in both New York City and San Francisco. Article Link: Click here.
I hope you have a wonderful week or weekend, and if you are white, you have my sympathies,