10th October 2023 Newsletter
This week we’re wrapping up our Cognitive Distortions series with two information handouts highlighting some of the most clinically relevant cognitive biases.
In our research roundup, we highlight a systematic review looking at problem-solving interventions for depression in adolescents and young adults. We also explore a paper looking at therapeutic boundary considerations in work with refugees and asylum-seekers who have experienced trauma.
Cognitive Distortions – Unhelpful Thinking Styles (Common)
Cognitive distortions (or ‘unhelpful thinking styles’) are ways that our thoughts become biased. Different cognitive biases are associated with different mental health problems. Accordingly, helping clients think in a more balanced way is a core component of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This information handout describes 10 of the most clinically-relevant cognitive biases.
Cognitive Distortions – Unhelpful Thinking Styles (Extended)
Expanding on the ‘Common’ handout, this ‘Extended’ version describes 20 of the most clinically-relevant cognitive biases.
Problem-solving Interventions and Depression Among Young People
Problem-solving (PS) is a well-known intervention, but is it effective for young people? In this systematic review, the effectiveness of PS interventions for preventing and treating depression among 13–25 year-olds was examined. Analyzing 25 studies encompassing 20 interventions, the results indicate that PS can help reduce both depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation in this group. However, the efficacy of PS appears to vary when it is integrated into broader treatment programs. Further research is needed to optimize PS for young people struggling with depression.
"Our review indicates that PS may have the best results when implemented its purest form as a stand-alone treatment with clinical level adolescents and young adult populations; tailoring or imbedding PS into wider programming may dilute its effectiveness. Our review also points to a need for continued innovation in treatment to improve the operationalizing and testing of PS, especially when included as a part of a more comprehensive intervention.”
Metz, K., Lewis, J., Mitchell, J., Chakraborty, S., McLeod, B. D., Bjørndal, L., … & Shlonsky, A. (2023). Problem-solving interventions and depression among adolescents and young adults: A systematic review of the effectiveness of problem-solving interventions in preventing or treating depression. PloS one, 18(8).
Therapeutic Boundary Considerations for Refugees and Asylum Seekers
What do therapists need to consider when it comes to navigating therapeutic boundaries with refugees and asylum-seekers who have experienced trauma? Niamh Davoren and colleagues provide ample answers in this excellent review of qualitative papers. The paper underscores the importance of flexible boundaries that adapt to clients’ cultural needs and incorporate advocacy when needed. In addition, therapists may grapple with balancing advocacy and neutrality, which can be emotionally taxing. Other challenges, including countertransference, emotional stress, and systemic constraints, can also be demanding. Taken together, these findings highlight the importance of specialized training, supervision, and policies that support therapist well-being, as well as the value of adjusting therapeutic approaches when working with refugees and asylum seekers.
Davoren, N., McEleney, A., Corcoran, S., Tierney, P., & Fortune, D. G. (2023). Refugees and asylum seekers who have experienced trauma: Thematic synthesis of therapeutic boundary considerations. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy.