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VIRTUAL REALITY IN THE REHABILITATION OF ATTENTION DEFICIT / HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER. INSTRUMENT CONSTRUCTION PRINCIPLES

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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most prevalent psychiatric childhood disorders. Good clinical practices are therefore needed regarding both assessment and therapy. In which assessment is concerned, valid instruments are available, one of the last developments in the field being the virtual reality guided assessment (VirtualClassroom). Regarding intervention, the multimodal, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) oriented approach is the most frequently employed. However, this approach has some limitations, one of them concerning ecological validity. Our VR-based intervention addresses this issue, by providing a high ecological validity therapeutic tool. We do not propose a new therapeutic paradigm. We instead move the intervention from the clinician’s office into the virtual classroom, where we still use cognitive restructuring and the behavioral techniques of the classic intervention. This paper highlights the implementation of the psychotherapeutic principles of ADHD therapy in the VR environment. The different features of this instrument are designed to address specific cognitive-behavioral modifications involved in the therapeutic process.

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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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Dysfunctional attitudes scale, FORM A; norms for the Romanian population

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The results obtained following administration of the Dysfunctional Attitudes Scale, Form A (Hollon & Kendall, 1980) to a Romanian sample are, on the whole, consistent with those obtained in earlier normative studies involving American samples. The scale was administered to a group of 701 adults and teenagers selected from the normal population. Internal consistency coefficients (Alpha Cronbach) ranged from .79 to .86, which are adequate for reporting reliable results. A pilot study examining validity revealed the DAS-A discriminated between groups with extreme scores on different measures of emotional distress. Norms for the Romanian version of the scale are also included.

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Cognitive psychology research as a tool for developing new techniques in cognitive behavioral therapy. A clinical example

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Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is based on the premise that human psychological problems stem from maladaptive cognitions. One of the most important tools used in CBT is cognitive restructuring that aims to change maladaptive cognitions and replace them with more adaptive ways of information processing. However, maladaptive thinking patterns are sometimes so strong and automatic that they tend to persist and bias the process of acquiring new adaptive ones. The goal of this article is to illustrate the development and implementation of two cognitive techniques for blocking the impact of mental contamination during cognitive restructuring by using fundamental research findings from cognitive psychology. After a brief introduction concerning relevant aspects in the literature, we describe two techniques hypothesized to control mental contamination: (a) the rational anticipation technique and (b) the incompatible information technique. The final section of the article focuses on illustrating the implementation of these techniques based upon a clinical case conceptualization.

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