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Nature of the evidence base for evidence-based mental health care

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A distressed couple seeks therapy with the goals of reducing conflict, increasing their relationship satisfaction, and navigating their children’s teenage years with less stress. A socially anxious law student suffering panic attacks when called upon in class discussions wants help to reduce the frequency and severity of panic and increase her confidence in public speaking situations. An elderly man with a decades-long problem of compulsive hoarding is urged by his landlord to obtain help to reduce apartment clutter in order to stave off eviction for creating a fire hazard.

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Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in the case of a teenager with conversion disorder with mixed presentation

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This paper discusses a cognitive-behavioral therapeutic intervention combined with suggestive therapy and the use of a chemical agent (placebo) in the case of a 13- year old teenager, named “Suzi”, hospitalized several times for conversion disorder with mixed presentation. Symptoms were different from one hospital admittance to the other, and initially included chronic vomiting, then rebel headaches and opisthotonos with lower limbs trembling and crying, functional facial paralysis, non-kinetic mutism with language regression, lower limbs hypotony, major walking disorders and fainting episodes.
From a psychological point of view, her mother describes her as being sensitive, hyperemotional, emotionally unstable, anxious, impressionable, and loving to be the center of attention. The teenager’s family was in harmony, but in conflict with one neighboring family. The polymorph symptoms were interpreted as conversion disorder occurring in a conflict situation, and based on a developing personality with sensitive and histrionic traits. We initiated a cognitive-behavioral and suggestive therapy combined with the use of a chemical agent (placebo). A favorable evolution was noticed with every hospitalization.

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Hypnosis as an adjunct to CBT: treating self-defeating eaters

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Self-defeating eating has negative effects on the lives of a large number of people in the western world. In Australia, obesity and overweight is on the rise, affecting twenty-five percent of children, and between thirty and fifty percent of adults. Although disordered eating blights the lives of a relatively small percentage of the population by comparison, the majority of sufferers are girls and young women. Generally in western countries, women and girls indulge in very poor dietary practices, in an effort to attain an unrealistically slim shape that is lauded by the media. Both dietary restriction and over-indulgence in high fat, calorie laden foods with little nutrient value have a large negative impact on the health of at least one half of the western world. Treatment options are inadequate, in terms of availability and efficacy. Of the programs currently available, cognitive behavioural techniques have the best empirical record and it appears that hypnosis may prove a useful adjunct to the treatment program.

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The organization and the nature of irrational beliefs: schemas or appraisal?

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Aurora SZENTAGOTAI, Babes-Bolyai University, Department of Psychology, Cluj-Napoca, Romania Julie SCHNUR Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Biobehavioral and Integrative Medicine Programs, New York, U.S.A., Raymond DiGIUSEPPE St. John’s University, Department of Psychology, New York, U.S.A., Bianca MACAVEI, Eva KALLAY, Babes-Bolyai University, Department of Psychology, Cluj-Napoca, Romania Daniel DAVID, Babes-Bolyai University, Department of Psychology, Cluj-Napoca, Romania […]

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Can we read others’ minds? Rational beliefs, positive illusions and mental health

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With the exception of pathological cases, all people seem to have at least a rudimentary mind reading capacity. The most important consequence is the capacity to predict the behavior of other individuals in various social settings. People are capable of meta-perception but studies show that self-report measures of mind reading skills are poor predictors of actual mind reading accuracy. The aim of this study was to establish people’s evaluation of their own mind reading abilities, which contribute significantly to their state of well-being. In other words, is it healthy to consider that we can read others’ thoughts, emotions, intentions, and can we anticipate and predict their behavior with great precision? We started from the assumption that these over evaluations belong to the field of positive illusions, along with unrealistically positive views of the self and unrealistic optimism. Thus, they give the one that beholds them the illusion of control, in situations characterized by reduced possibilities of control. Another direction of research question concerned the connection between mind reading beliefs and the level of irrational beliefs of the subjects, the implication of which in emotional distress is well-known. Our results showed that (1) men have the tendency of overestimating their abilities to mind read compared to women; (2) the evaluation of mind reading abilities as being high can function as positive illusions; (3) these beliefs are common among subjects with a high level of irrationality (4) positively biased opinions regarding our own abilities to read the others’ mind and predict their outcomes, contribute significantly to the prediction of mental health.

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