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Friday Fun Post: Happiness

Thinking about happiness:  Because I live through the long, hot summers in Texas, I am a HUGE fan of Autumn.  The cooler temperatures, rainy days, “sweater weather”, and especially the changes in the leaves.  Just discovered via www.Mashable.com that I can track the progress of changing colors across the country using a U.S Forest Service website.

Happiness

Fall Colors 2013 provides a color-coded map of the US indicating where the leaves have begun to change, where colors are at their peak, and where the leaves have fallen.  The site also provides a toll-free number where you can get updates on specific areas.  It is a great resource of you are planning a trip to see fall foliage.

Happy Fall and Happy Friday!

Holly Scott, MBA, MS, LPC sees clients at Uptown Dallas Counseling. Holly is trained in the specialty of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and holds the position of Diplomate in the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Holly works with clients to help them overcome challenges in their daily lives that may be preventing them from achieving happiness. She helps clients with stress management, depression, parenting, marriage counseling, and other mental health concerns. If you are looking for a counselor or therapist, explore this website to see if Holly may be able to help you. 

To make an appointment for therapy or counseling with Holly at her Uptown Dallas Counseling, you have the option of using the Online Patient Portal to register and schedule. 

Just Discovered Alana Karsch on Upworthy.com

As I was doing my evening internet browsing, I read some posts on Upworthy.com and tweets by Alana Karsch.  Liked them so much, I wanted to share her information here:

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upworthy.com

Alana Karsch

 By day I’m a transformative photographer and art therapist. At night, I sleuth the web for outrageously important stuff. I want you to be happier, smarter, healthier, and more generous. Also, I want to paint the world with watercolors and glitter. Share all this important goodness with me on Facebook and Twitter.- Alana Karsch

I love her goals and the approach she uses to try to achieve them.  Take a look.  You may also like them.

Seth’s Blog: What if surfing was your job?

Seth Godin's blog

Seth Godin’s blog posts are always interesting and informative, but I liked this one so much, I felt the need to repost it.

Seth’s Blog: What if surfing was your job?

CBT for Teens

CBT for Teens is a workshop being offered by a group in New York City.  I just signed up  at the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy.  Workshop will be lead by Dr. Laura Reigada, and focus on Cognitive Behavioral skills when working with children and their parents.  I look forward to learning new skills and insight into parent-child relationships.

CBT for teens
Dr. Reigada’s Training:

Laura Reigada Ph.D.,  American Institute for Cognitive Therapy, is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She completed a two-year NIMH postdoctoral clinical research fellowship at the Institute for Anxiety and Mood Disorders, at the NYU Child Study Center, within the NYU School of Medicine. Dr Reigada continued her education by becoming a NIH Child, Intervention, Prevention and Services fellow. Currently she has grant funding to develop and test an integrative cognitivebehavioral intervention that jointly addresses anxiety and physical complaints within the context of pediatric chronic illness. Based on her research, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America named her the first Goldman Scholar in Pediatric Research. Dr. Reigada has extensive clinical experience working with children and adults on anxiety, mood disorders, parenting, school avoidance, functional pain and chronic illness. She is a founding member, and pastpresident, of the New York City Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Organization.

Fighting Suicidal Thoughts

Natasha Tracy writes in her blog, Breaking Bipolar, about the effect of her grandmother’s end-of-life struggle on her ability to fight off suicidal thoughts.   In her post, she shares her thoughts as she stood by her grandmother in the hospital and how those thoughts now help her in her struggle with bipolar disorder.

Breaking Bipolar

Your Brain Changes After "Talk Therapy"

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As a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, I am excited by any new research that demonstrates a biological brian change after patients undergo “talk therapy”.  A group of scientists just published a study showing:
  • biological brain changes after cognitive behavioral therapy
  • the effects of cognitive behavioral therapy can be studied empirically
The New York Times published an article by Eric R. Kandel on September 6, 2013 describing the biological basis of mental disorders.  He writes about scientists at Emory University who performed a study on depressed individuals looking for evidence of biological changes after psychotherapy and after anti-depressant medications.  They used brian scans before and after treatment to identify biological brain changes.  During this study, the scientists were able to accurately predict whether patients would respond to psychotherapy or medications for the treatment of their depression.
Dr. Kandel summarizes the significance of the study as:
First, the neural circuits disturbed by psychiatric disorders are likely to be very complex.
Second, we can identify specific, measurable markers of a mental disorder, and those biomarkers can predict the outcome of two different treatments: psychotherapy and medication.
Third, psychotherapy is a biological treatment, a brain therapy. It produces lasting, detectable physical changes in our brain, much as learning does.
And fourth, the effects of psychotherapy can be studied empirically. Aaron Beck, who pioneered the use of cognitive behavioral therapy, long insisted that psychotherapy has an empirical basis, that it is a science.
Other forms of psychotherapy have been slower to move in this direction, in part because a number of psychotherapists believed that human behavior is too difficult to study in scientific terms.  The entire article is posted on the New York Times website here.
Eric R. Kandel, a professor at the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute at Columbia, a senior investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a recipient of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, is the author of “The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind and Brain, From Vienna 1900 to the Present.”

New School Year: Easy Exercises for School Counselors

The Center for Greater Good at Berkeley has found that creating a Positive School Climate is so important because it:

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decreases absenteeism, suspensions, substance abuse, and bullying, and increases students’ academic achievement, motivation to learn, and psychological well-being. It can even mitigate the negative effects of self-criticism and socioeconomic status on academic success. In addition, working in this kind of climate lessens teacher burnout while increasing retention. All really good stuff!”

While meeting their criteria for having a Positive School Climate can be challenging, small steps can be made relatively easily.  School counselors may want to consider the Behind Your Back exercise with student groups, faculty groups, and maybe even parents.

Here’s to happy, healthy, students, teachers, and administrators in the coming academic year!

Back to School Means Study Time

Are you or someone you know returning to school this week?  Here is a nice summary of efficient study skills from Scientific American.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=psychologists-identify-best-ways-to-study

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Great Resource in Dallas

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has a Dallas Chapter.  This wonderful group of volunteers provides great services to those in the Dallas area affected by mental illness.  One of the most important things they do is facilitate and guide SUPPORT GROUPS.

If you are looking for a SUPPORT GROUP, here’s a link to their monthly newsletter:

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http://library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1101971778974-178/September+2013.pdf

You will find a list of SUPPORT GROUPS and other information about NAMI-Dallas.

 

Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work? Will it Work for ME??

CBT-therapy

As a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, I believe in what I do, see daily results, and know that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can change lives.  My confidence in this type of therapy was strengthened when I came across a scientific study analyzing the effectiveness of CBT.  Experts in the psychology field reviewed the therapeutic results of using CBT when working with patients with differing mental health disorders.  The study was published in the Clinical Psychology Review 26 (2006) under the title:  The empirical status of cognitive-behavioral therapy: A review of meta-analyses by Andrew C. Butler, Jason E. Chapman, Evan M. Forman, and Aaron T. Beck.

The psychologists found CBT to be an effective treatment for:

Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • depression
  • generalized anxiety disorder
  • panic disorder with or without agoraphobia
  • social phobia
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • childhood depressive and anxiety disorders
  • marital distress
  • anger
  • childhood somatic disorders
  • chronic pain

(Savannah Krantz (Greenhill, 2014) provides a comprehensive summary of the study at the end of this post.)

These results are so encouraging to patients and treatment providers who deal with the pain of mental illness everyday.  This wide-ranging, scientifically significant study gives confidence and hope to people entering therapy.  If you are reading this post, and looking for help with a mental health challenge, consider finding a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist.  You can find more information and details about the treatment process by going to the Beck Institute of Cognitive Therapy.

If you live in the Dallas area, and would like to talk about treatment with a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, please read my web page at Holly Scott, MBA, MS, LPC.

Effectiveness of Treatment with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

by Savannah Krantz (Greenhill, 2014)

therapy for depression 
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, also known as CBT or CT, has been closely examined in many psychological studies relating to treatment results. The cognitive-behavioral treatment of mental disorders is often compared and contrasted with other treatments. CBT differs from behavioral therapy because it suggests that cognitive thoughts produce aberrant behavior, and therefore, CBT focuses on cognation. In an attempt to determine whether CBT has a higher success rate than other treatments, this study required a meta-analysis. This type of research pulls results from previous studies, works to sort out their differences, and essentially combines them. Meta-analysis measures what is called the effect size, which is the measure of strength in statistics. This process aims to estimate the effect size with a large sample of studies rather than a single study, which would only provide data drawn from a single set of circumstances. Similar to using a large sample size in an experiment, using meta-analysis sharpens the precision of the effect size because it eliminates the involvement of erroneous factors.

therapy for depression

This CBT study examined many mental disorders: adolescent and adult unipolar depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, anger, bulimia nervosa, internalizing childhood disorders, sexual offending, and chronic pain. Not only does the meta-analysis inspect the effects of CBT treatment, but the study also compares the results to other treatment results whenever possible. Out of these disorders, three used data from an uncontrolled effect size: obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, and bulimia nervosa. Unlike a controlled effect size, the improvement was measured within its group, rather than being compared to other treatments and/or conditions.

In the results, the U3 score is provided next to the effect size. The U3 score is a percentage that indicates whether or not CBT was more successful than other treatments. If the U3 score is 50%, that means that on average, the CBT patient experienced the same results as the control patient who received other treatment. If the percentage is above 50% and the effect size is positive, the CBT patient’s outcome was superior. If the percentage is above 50% and the effect size is negative, the CBT patient’s outcome was inferior to the control. The higher the percentage, the more (if positive ES) or less (if negative ES) successful CBT was on average.

CBT was proved to be superior to all other treatments for adult and adolescent depression, but was only very slightly more successful than behavioral treatment, with a U3 score of 52%. CBT was more successful than all other treatments for general anxiety disorder, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, anger, bulimia nervosa, internalizing childhood disorders, and sexual offending. Two exceptions, chronic pain and panic disorder (with and without agoraphobia), had either one or two elements that were proven to be less successful when treated by CBT.

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Overall, the meta-analysis proved that CBT appears to be the superior treatment for these sixteen mental disorders. This can be accredited in part to the fact that CBT differs from other treatments due to its ability to teach the patient therapeutic skills that the patient can then apply, without external assistance, into his or her everyday life.

Source:

Clinical Psychology Review 26 (2006), The empirical status of cognitive-behavioral therapy: A review of meta-analyses by Andrew C. Butler, Jason E. Chapman, Evan M. Forman, and Aaron T. Beck.