A little discussed effect of therapy: it changes your personality

By Christian Jarrett Imagine the arrival of some high-tech brain device for treating mental health problems. It’s effective for many, but there’s an important side-effect. It changes your personality. Alarm ensues as campaigners warn that users risk being altered fundamentally for years to come. Now replay this scenario but replace the neuro-gizmo with good old-fashioned psychotherapy, and realise this: we’re talking fact, not fiction. A new meta-analysis in Psychological Bulletin has looked at 207 psychotherapy and related studies published between 1959 and 2013, involving over 20,000 participants, with measures of personality taken repeatedly over time. The analysis has found that just a few weeks of therapy is associated with significant and long-lasting changes in clients’ personalities, especially reductions in the trait of Neuroticism and increases in Extraversion. Talk of personality change can sound unsettling because we think of our personalities as reflecting our essential “me-ness”. But from a wellbeing perspective, the trait changes uncovered by this new research are welcome and may even underlie the benefits of therapy. Neuroticism or emotional instability is an especially important risk factor for future poor mental and physical health, and meanwhile high scorers on Extraversion are known to be happier on average and more optimistic. The authors of the new research, Brent Roberts at the...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Mental health Personality Therapy Source Type: blogs

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The aim of this review is to evaluate the placebo effect in the treatment of anxiety and depression. Antidepressants are supposed to work by fixing a chemical imbalance, specifically, a lack of serotonin or norepinephrine in the brain. However, analyses of the published and the unpublished clinical trial data are consistent in showing that most (if not all) of the benefits of antidepressants in the treatment of depression and anxiety are due to the placebo response, and the difference in improvement between drug and placebo is not clinically meaningful and may be due to breaking blind by both patients and clinicians. Altho...
Source: Frontiers in Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Source Type: research
We’ve come a long way since therapists prescribed to their clients to punch their pillows when angry as a cathartic way to release negative emotions. While it helped bring up the emotion, they left out a critical piece in recovery: connecting that emotion to the logical side of our brains. What the person felt was not relief but disassociation. What we know today in neuroscience and psychotherapy research is that when a traumatic event occurs, the brain goes into dysregulation. That is, the body and the mind become disconnected. Our survival or emotional part of our brain kicks in and calls the shots while our logic...
Source: World of Psychology - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: PTSD Trauma Treatment Disassociation Emotional Dysregulation Resilience Trauma Informed care trauma recovery Validation Source Type: blogs
It’s a common question people have, understanding the distinction between these two common types of mental health professionals. What’s the difference between a psychologist versus a psychiatrist? Is there one? Should you prefer going to see one over the other? What kinds of things do they treat? And if you want a specific type of treatment — such as psychotherapy vs medication — which one should you go see first? Psychologists Psychologists are professionals who have an advanced educational degree called a doctorate. A doctorate takes most people at least five years to complete after undergraduate...
Source: World of Psychology - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: General Psychiatry Psychology Psychotherapy psychologist vs psychiatrist psychology vs psychiatry Source Type: blogs
Many of us have a narrow view of therapy. We think it’s solely for navigating clinical depression or severe anxiety or roller-coaster moods. We think it’s only an option when we’re going through a major crisis, a big transition, or a prolonged, persistent period of grief. We think therapy is only an option when relationships become disconnected, and marriages are on the brink of divorce. While therapy is important and vital for all the above, it’s also helpful for a lot of other reasons, and you don’t have to wait until the walls are falling down to work with a clinician. You can go when the p...
Source: World of Psychology - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: General Habits Happiness Health-related Mental Health and Wellness Psychotherapy Stigma Success & Achievement Source Type: blogs
 Rachel Star Withers is a speaker, YouTuber, and lives with schizophrenia. She is also a professional stunt woman and tends to describe herself as a “schizo stunt girl.”     In this episode, Rachel tells us a little of her history with the disease and details how she first started in mental illness activism.  Originally meant to just help other people with schizophrenia know that they were not alone, her YouTube channel, RachelStarLive, has become the longest existing chronicle of a personal experience with schizophrenia.  Listen Now! SUBSCRIBE &REVIEW   Guest information for &...
Source: World of Psychology - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Peer Support Podcast Schizophrenia The Psych Central Show Source Type: blogs
CONCLUSION: Using a longitudinal within-subjects design, we showed that hippocampal-amygdalar activation during emotional memory formation is related to depressive symptom severity but not persistence (i.e. time spent with depression or 'load'), suggesting functional activation patterns in depression are not subject to functional 'scarring' although this hypothesis awaits future replication. PMID: 31169102 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Source: Psychological Medicine - Category: Psychiatry Authors: Tags: Psychol Med Source Type: research
CONCLUSION: Trainees experienced AFT as very helpful for their professional development and for dealing with alliance ruptures. The therapeutic competence significantly improved both in self and in observer ratings. The results indicate that AFT is a promising approach to improve psychotherapy training, emphasizing the relevance of the planned proof of concept RCT. PMID: 31158914 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Source: PPmP Psychotherapie Psychosomatik Medizinische Psychologie - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Tags: Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol Source Type: research
CONCLUSION: Although some basic information is given in almost all of the analysed books, advice literature on depression cannot be recommended per se due to the large differences in quality. Systematic evaluations of quality should be established in order to facilitate a well-grounded choice of literature in order to improve the information for patients. PMID: 31158912 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Source: PPmP Psychotherapie Psychosomatik Medizinische Psychologie - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Tags: Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol Source Type: research
AbstractTo update a comparative effectiveness review (1980 –2011) of treatments for adolescents whose depressive episode or disorder (MDE/MDD) did not respond to one or more trials of SSRI antidepressants. MEDLINE, Cochrane Central, PsychINFO, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, EMBASE, CINAHL, and AMED were searched in addition to the grey literatur e. We spanned May 2011 to September 1, 2017 and included only articles in English. 11 new studies were reviewed based on the criteria of having tested a comparative treatment in adolescents with MDD or MDE who were confirmed to have failed one or more SSRI trials. D...
Source: European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Source Type: research
This article discusses identification and assessment of depression in the pediatric population. Specialized interviewing techniques pertaining to assessment in this unique population are discussed. Evidence-based guidelines for management of pediatric depression in terms of both pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy are also enumerated. Choice of medication based on multiple parameters with available evidence base is discussed. Treatment planning and continued evaluation on long-term basis are also elaborated. PMID: 31142910 [PubMed]
Source: Indian Journal of Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Tags: Indian J Psychiatry Source Type: research
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