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19th September 2023 Newsletter

Psychology Tools
19 September 2023

This week we introduce Psychology Tools Insights, a new series of articles exploring thought-provoking new research and translating findings into accessible, clinical takeaways for practitioners. Hear directly from authors about their latest ideas, and evolve your practice by incorporating their findings into your work. We’re also launching a new addition to our Self-Monitoring series: Urges – Self-Monitoring Record.

In our research roundup, we cover a fascinating paper by Allison Metts and Michelle Craske looking at the influence of social support on cognitive reappraisals. We also highlight a position paper looking at CFT for psychosis. Enjoy!

New Resources

Insights: When Clients Develop Romantic Feelings For Therapists – Ana Rabasco

We begin our new Insights series by discussing how best to handle client attraction to their therapists with Ana Rabasco, author of Well, That Was Awkward: When Clients Develop Romantic Feelings for Therapists.

Insights: Ana Rabasco ᐅ

Urges – Self-Monitoring Record

The Urges – Self-Monitoring Record worksheet is designed to help clients capture information about their urges and cravings. It includes columns to record information about: situational context; focus and intensity of urges; cognitive, emotional, and physiological reactions accompanying urges; responses to the urges; and consequences of those actions.

Urges – Self-Monitoring Record [PDF] ᐅ

New Arabic Translations

Cognitive Distortions

Our ‘Cognitive Distortions’ series is designed to help clients and therapists work more effectively with common thinking biases. Each handout includes a combination of unique psychoeducation and practical elements. This week we’re releasing three Arabic translations from this series: All-Or-Nothing Thinking, Arbitrary Inference, and Catastrophizing.

Cognitive Distortions (Arabic) ᐅ

Latest Research

Influence of Social Support on Cognitive Reappraisal

Cognitive reappraisal is an effective way to reduce emotional distress and is a core component of CBT. What can therapists do to make this intervention more effective? In a fascinating study recently published in Behaviour Research and Therapy, Allison Metts and Michelle Craske asked participants to reinterpret stressful images, either on their own or imagining they were being helped by a supportive individual. Interestingly, cognitive reappraisal with imagined social support appeared to be more effective. These findings suggest that incorporating the perspectives of supportive individuals helps clients develop alternative thoughts: something that many CBT therapists already do, but which hasn’t been tested until now.

Metts, A. V., & Craske, M. G. (2023). Influence of social support on cognitive reappraisal in young adults elevated on neuroticism. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 104355.

Influence of Social Support on Cognitive Reappraisal ᐅ

Compassion Focused Therapy for Psychosis

Compassion focused therapy (CFT) is a popular transdiagnostic approach to understanding and treating mental health difficulties. In this excellent position paper, Charlie Heriot-Maitland discusses CFT applied to psychosis, including its theoretical foundation and research gaps. Drawing on evolutionary models such as social rank and attachment theory, CFT aims to help people with psychosis notice when threat-focused patterns are active and shift to compassionate patterns. While CFT for psychosis has a strong theoretical basis, outcome research is still emerging. Future challenges include distinguishing CFT for psychosis from other modalities and the need for randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

Heriot‐Maitland, C. (2023). Position paper–CFT for psychosis. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice.

Compassion Focused Therapy for Psychosis ᐅ