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Evidence for psychodynamic therapies

"there is now enough research available to support the claim that psychodynamic therapy is an evidence-based treatment with effect sizes similar to or superior to those reported for other psychotherapies." (p. 3)

Great article in the Sept 2010 edition of the Harvard Mental Health Letter. An excellent resource for patients considering psychoanalysis or psychoanalytic therapy.
-Clear descriptions of psychoanalytic treatments
-Review of research on effectiveness of psychoanalytic treatments


Just released: 75 Year Study On What Men Need To Live A Happy Life

Harvard has published an impressive 75 year longitudinal study:

In 1938 Harvard University began following 268 male undergraduate students and kicked off the longest-running longitudinal studies of human development in history. The study’s goal was to determine as best as possible what factors contribute most strongly to human flourishing. The astonishing range of psychological, anthropological, and physical traits — ranging from personality type to IQ to drinking habits to family relationships to “hanging length of his scrotum” — indicates just how exhaustive and quantifiable the research data has become. Recently, George Vaillant, who directed the study for more than three decades, published the study’s findings in the 2012 book Triumphs of Experience (Amazon)

Bigots masquerading as psychologists to hold London conference on gay “cure” therapy

“Christian Concern” have announced a hateful pseudo-conference, where reality-denying bigots can gather to assure themselves that their paranoid prejudices are more important than the rights and dignity of a minority who pose them no threat.

Important national conferences addressed by world-renowned practitioners in therapy for ‘ex-gay and post-gay’ people, are to be held in London and Belfast in June.
The aim of the conferences, organised by the Christian charity, Core Issues Trust, is to expose and overcome “unscientific prejudice” against therapeutic help for men and women who want to move away from homosexual practices and feelings.
The conference speakers will be American Psychological Association (APA) Member, clinical psychologist and President of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), Dr Christopher Rosik; the CEO of Restored Hope Network, Anne Paulk, herself a former lesbian; Associate Professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Professor Robert Gagnon; and Andrea Williams, CEO of the Christian Legal Centre which supports Core Issues Trust.

That this conference is being hosted in London is not only distasteful, it is an insult to the proud history of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis in London.

Visiting the website of Christian Concern is equal parts gut churning and shocking.

The Power of the Earliest Memories –

The Wall Street Journal’s Media Section documents a phenomenon that seems kind of obvious to a psychodynamic practitioner:

What you can remember from age 3 may help improve aspects of your life far into adulthood.

Children who have the ability to recall and make sense of memories from daily life—the first day of preschool, the time the cat died—can use them to better develop a sense of identity, form relationships and make sound choices in adolescence and adulthood, new research shows.

While the lives of many youngsters today are heavily documented in photos and video on social media and stored in families’ digital archives, studies suggest photos and videos have little impact. Parents play a bigger role in helping determine not just how many early memories children can recall, but how children interpret and learn from the events of their earliest experiences.

“Our personal memories define who we are. They bond us together,” says Robyn Fivush, a psychology professor at Emory University in Atlanta and an author of dozens of studies on the topic. Children whose parents encourage reminiscing and storytelling about daily events show better coping and problem-solving skills by their preteens, and fewer symptoms of depression, research shows.

Only acute mental health unit in borough to remain closed – East London and West Essex Guardian Series

Another mental health facility closes in Waltham Forest. Consistent with a pattern across the NHS, North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT) has cut mental health services again. NELFT recently effectively closed Forest House the only facility in Waltham Forest (and one of a dwindling number in the whole NHS) where people could access long-term psychodynamic therapy.

The only facility for treating people with acute mental health problems in Waltham Forest will close permanently, it has been announced. The decision to shutdown Naseberry Court in Larskhall Road, Highams Park, has been taken despite GPs in Chingford calling the facility to remain during a public consultation by Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The treatment centre was temporarily closed by North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT) in March 2013 amid concerns over patient safety, high absconding levels and an incident in December 2012 when a patient attacked staff.

How many basic emotions do you have? It’s written on your face, say scientists.

The Christian Science Monitor has a good short survey on attempts to describe and codify human facial expression of emotions. 

In the 4th century BC Aristotle came up with what he thought were the 14 irreducible emotions: Anger, Calm, Friendship, Enmity, Fear, Confidence, Shame, Shamelessness, Kindness, Pity, Indignation, Envy, Emulation, and Contempt.

New maps may hold clues to brain mysteries –

Two new brain mapping studies offer exciting possibilities. CNN has a report:

 The many connections between different parts of the brain have no street signs or trail markers.

But in order to better explore this complicated organ that enables us to be conscious, thinking, alert beings, scientists need maps. Big maps.

Two studies released Wednesday in the journal Nature showcase brain maps that could have implications for understanding both healthy and impaired brains.

One study reveals the most complete map ever of how parts of the brain are connected in a mouse. The other illuminates the developing human brain in terms of genetic expression — specifically, which genes are responsible for generating different types of neurons, and how brain circuits are formed.