8th August 2023 Newsletter
Welcome to our second newsletter for August 2023.
This week we are bringing you three new resources for working with death anxiety: Understanding Death Anxiety, What Keeps Death Anxiety Going?, and Am I Experiencing Death Anxiety?
In our research roundup, we cover a paper exploring the components and antecedents of hopelessness, and corresponding targeted interventions to address them. We also highlight a qualitative meta-analysis looking at clients’ negative experiences of psychotherapy. Enjoy!
Understanding Death Anxiety
Death anxiety (or ‘thanatophobia’) is a common fear that anyone can experience. Research suggests that up to 10% of people experience death anxiety, and around 3% have an intense fear of death. These concerns might relate to one’s own death, someone else’s death, the process of dying, or what happens after death. Understanding Death Anxiety is designed to help clients with death anxiety understand more about their condition.
What Keeps Death Anxiety Going?
The “What Keeps It Going?” series is a set of one-page diagrams explaining how common mental health conditions are maintained. Friendly and concise, they provide an easy way for clients to understand at a glance why their disorders persist, and how they might be interrupted.
Am I Experiencing Death Anxiety?
Worries about dying or losing a loved one are a normal part of life, but if thoughts about death (or dying) are extremely distressing, time-consuming, or stop you from doing important things, you might be experiencing death anxiety. Am I Experiencing Death Anxiety? is an indicative screening tool, designed to help clients self-assess whether their experiences might warrant further investigation.
Targeted Interventions for Hopelessness
Hopelessness is a painful cognitive state characterized by bleak future expectations and a sense of helplessness, which often plays a role in depression and suicide. In this comprehensive review, Igor Marchetti and colleagues explore the intricate nature of hopelessness. Through an analysis of existing research, they identify three key components of hopelessness: dismal expectations about the future, blocked goal-directed processing, and a feeling of helplessness. The review explores established and promising interventions to address each component, as well as interpersonal factors such as loneliness and reduced social support. By understanding and targeting these factors, interventions can effectively prevent the occurrence and recurrence of hopelessness.
Marchetti, I., Alloy, L. B., & Koster, E. H. (2023). Breaking the vise of hopelessness: Targeting its components, antecedents, and context. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 1-35.
Negative Experiences in Psychotherapy from Clients’ Perspective
A substantial number of individuals don’t find psychotherapy helpful. Why is this the case? Drawing on the results of over 50 qualitative studies, Zbynek Vybiral and colleagues summarize clients’ key reasons in this comprehensive meta-analysis. Factors such as a perceived lack of competence, poor therapist-client matches, unmet expectations about therapy, and self-criticism all appear to play a role in negative therapy experiences. These findings have many important implications, including how decisions about treatment are made, how therapists deliver psychotherapy, and perhaps even the content of their interventions.
Vybíral, Z., Ogles, B. M., Řiháček, T., Urbancová, B., & Gocieková, V. (2023). Negative experiences in psychotherapy from clients’ perspective: A qualitative meta-analysis. Psychotherapy Research, 1-14.