The broken mirror. A self psychological treatment perspective for relationship violence.
Clinicians face formidable challenges in working with male perpetrators of domestic violence. Many treatment programs use a confrontational approach that emphasizes male entitlement and patriarchal societal attitudes, without honoring the genuine psychological pain of the abusive male. Although some men with strong psychopathic tendencies are almost impossible to treat, the majority of spouse-abusing males respond best to an empathic, client-centered, self psychological approach that also includes education about sociocultural issues and specific skill building. Understanding the deprivations in mirroring selfobject functions from which these men typically suffer facilitates clinical treatment response. While insisting that men take full responsibility for their abusive behavior, treatment approaches can still be most effective by addressing inherent psychological issues. Group leaders who can offer respect for perpetrators' history, their experience of powerlessness, and their emotional injuries in primary relationships are more likely to make an impact. (+info)
Group psychological treatment for chest pain with normal coronary arteries.
We used a psychological treatment package (education, relaxation, breathing training, graded exposure to activity and exercise, and challenging automatic thoughts about heart disease) to treat 60 patients who had continuing chest pain despite cardiological reassurance following haemodynamically normal angiography. The treatment was delivered in six sessions over eight weeks to groups of up to six patients. The patients kept daily records of chest pain episode frequency and nitrate use. Questionnaires were used to assess anxiety, depression and disability. Exercise tolerance was tested by treadmill electrocardiography, with capnographic assessment of hyperventilation. The results were compared with waiting-list controls. Treatment significantly reduced chest pain episodes (p < 0.01) from median 6.5 to 2.5 per week. There were significant improvements in anxiety and depression scores (p < 0.05), disability rating (p < 0.0001) and exercise tolerance (p < 0.05), and these were maintained at six month follow-up. Treatment reduced the prevalence of hyperventilation from 54% to 34% (p < 0.01) but not the prevalence of ECG-positive exercise tests. Patients continuing to attribute their pain to heart disease had poorer outcomes. Group psychological treatment for non-cardiac chest pain is feasible, reduces pain, psychological morbidity and disability, and improves exercise tolerance. (+info)
The effect of psychological interventions on anxiety and depression in cancer patients: results of two meta-analyses.
The findings of two meta-analyses of trials of psychological interventions in patients with cancer are presented: the first using anxiety and the second depression, as a main outcome measure. The majority of the trials were preventative, selecting subjects on the basis of a cancer diagnosis rather than on psychological criteria. For anxiety, 25 trials were identified and six were excluded because of missing data. The remaining 19 trials (including five unpublished) had a combined effect size of 0.42 standard deviations in favour of treatment against no-treatment controls (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.08-0.74, total sample size 1023). A most robust estimate is 0.36 which is based on a subset of trials which were randomized, scored well on a rating of study quality, had a sample size > 40 and in which the effect of trials with very large effects were cancelled out. For depression, 30 trials were identified, but ten were excluded because of missing data. The remaining 20 trials (including six unpublished) had a combined effect size of 0.36 standard deviations in favour of treatment against no-treatment controls (95% CI 0.06-0.66, sample size 1101). This estimate was robust for publication bias, but not study quality, and was inflated by three trials with very large effects. A more robust estimate of mean effect is the clinically weak to negligible value of 0.19. Group therapy is at least as effective as individual. Only four trials targeted interventions at those identified as at risk of, or suffering significant psychological distress, these were associated with clinically powerful effects (trend) relative to unscreened subjects. The findings suggest that preventative psychological interventions in cancer patients may have a moderate clinical effect upon anxiety but not depression. There are indications that interventions targeted at those at risk of or suffering significant psychological distress have strong clinical effects. Evidence on the effectiveness of such targeted interventions and of the feasibility and effects of group therapy in a European context is required. (+info)
Reduction in seizure frequency following a short-term group intervention for adults with epilepsy.
A preliminary investigation of the efficacy of a group intervention combining a range of psychological approaches and techniques for seizure management in adults with poorly controlled epilepsy. An uncontrolled AB group design was employed. Seven adults with intractable seizures took part in 8, weekly group sessions which included providing information, employed cognitive-behavioural techniques and addressed emotional difficulties. Weekly seizure logs were kept by participants during the intervention and the following 3 months. Five questionnaires were administered before and after the intervention and at 2-months follow-up to provide an indication of psychosocial well-being. Seizure frequency and scores on the questionnaires were used as outcome measures. There was a significant reduction in seizure frequency in the group, which persisted at follow-up. There were no significant changes on any of the questionnaires. The results suggest that a group-based intervention incorporating a range of psychological techniques may be effective for improving seizure control. The link between seizure reduction and psychological and psychosocial well-being needs further investigation. (+info)
Aftermath of war experience: impact of anxiety and aggressive feelings on the group and the therapist.
AIM: Analysis of some anxious and aggressive features stemming from the highly traumatic war experiences and having as a consequence chronic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). METHOD: Group psychotherapy was applied as a therapeutic approach of choice. RESULTS: During the psychotherapeutic process, the possibility to name and express anxiety and aggressiveness was uncovered not only as the sequels of highly traumatic war experiences but even the transgenerational transmission of frustrations and aggressive feelings. These features have constantly very strong influence on the therapist's countertransference. Some of the most prominent characteristics of these processes are described through clinical vignettes. CONCLUSION: Longer group psychotherapy is required for patients suffering from serious PTSD to develop the possibility to externalize their deep traumas and to work them through in order to reestablish connections with everyday life. During that process, the countertransferential issues disclose the most important traumatic features and encapsulations, and indicate the main topics to be addressed in patients and the therapist as well. (+info)
Countertransference problems in the treatment of a mixed group of war veterans and female partners of war veterans.
AIM: Analysis of countertransference problems in the treatment of a heterogeneous group of war veterans. METHOD: The method used in this work was psychodynamic clinical observation and analysis of countertransference phenomena in group therapy. RESULTS: In the beginning of our work, we faced with a regressive group, which was behaving as it was re-born. The leading subject in the group was aggression and the need for hospitalization to protect them and their environment from their violence. With the development of group processes, a feeling of helplessness and lack of perspective appeared, together with suicidal ideas, which, because of the development of group cohesion and trust, could be openly discussed. With time, the group became a transitional object for its members, an object that gave them a feeling of safety but also a feeling of dependence. CONCLUSION: The role of the therapist is to support group members in becoming independent. The therapist's function is in controlling, containing, and analyzing of the destructive, regressive part and in encouraging the healthy parts of the patient. With the integration of good therapeutic process, the healthy parts of the patient gain control over his or her regressive parts. (+info)
Psychiatric care for patients with breast cancer.
Psychiatric management of patients with breast cancer, as well as women's emotional reactions to all phases of breast cancer, were reviewed. These patients face two major losses; one is the physical loss of part of the body and a threat to life, and the other is the loss of femininity. The patients are also likely to suffer from various psychiatric problems including anxiety and depression. Oncologists should be alert to each patient's emotional reactions and potential psychiatric problems, and if necessary, should refer them to a psychiatrist. A combination of psychotherapeutic, behavioural, and pharmacologic techniques is available for the care of patients with breast cancer. Psychotherapeutic modalities include individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy, and self-help treatment. The author divided individual therapy into general and specific treatment. General treatment deals with a crisis-intervention and cognitive-behavioral approach, whereas specific treatment deals with issues relevant to patients with breast cancer. Some of the therapeutic processes were illustrated in a case report. These guidelines will contribute to the relief and prevention of emotional suffering stemming from an encounter with the most common form of cancer in women. Also, proper and effective care for patients with breast cancer requires combined use of a variety of therapeutic modalities as well as a multi-disciplinary approach including psychiatric care. (+info)
Effects of cognitive treatment in psychiatric rehabilitation.
Ninety subjects with severe and disabling psychiatric conditions, predominantly schizophrenia, participated in a controlled-outcome trial of the cognitive component of Integrated Psychological Therapy (IPT), a group-therapy modality intended to reestablish basic neurocognitive functions. The cognitive therapy was delivered to subjects in the experimental condition during intensive 6-month treatment periods. Control subjects received supportive group therapy. Before, during, and after the intensive treatment period, all subjects received an enriched regimen of comprehensive psychiatric rehabilitation, including social and living skills training, optimal pharmacotherapy, occupational therapy, and milieu-based behavioral treatment. IPT subjects showed incrementally greater gains compared with controls on the primary outcome measure, the Assessment of Interpersonal Problem-Solving Skills, suggesting that procedures that target cognitive impairments of schizophrenia spectrum disorders can enhance patients' response to standard psychiatric rehabilitation, at least in the short term, in the domain of social competence. There was equivocal evidence for greater improvement in the experimental condition on the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale disorganization factor and strong evidence for greater improvement on a laboratory measure of attentional processing. There was significant improvement in both conditions on measures of attention, memory, and executive functioning, providing support for the hypothesis that therapeutic procedures that target impaired cognition enhance response to conventional psychiatric rehabilitation modalities over a 6-month timeframe. (+info)