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18th July 2023 Newsletter

Psychology Tools
18 July 2023

This week we’re continuing with the release of our new ‘Exposures for….’  series, covering a range of suggested exercises for commonly experienced fears. We’re also publishing a further two translated Understanding… guides, in Polish this time: Understanding Depression and Understanding Health Anxiety.

In our research roundup, we cover a paper exploring the delivery of exposure and response prevention during the pandemic. We also highlight a paper looking at the reciprocal relationship between affective and cognitive distortion symptoms of depression, by Jacqueline Persons and colleagues. 

New Resources






‘Exposures for…’ series

The next 5 resources in this new series are available to download today: Exposures For Fear Of DeathExposures For Fear Of FlyingExposures For Fear Of HeightsExposures For Fear Of Illness, and Exposures For Fear Of Losing Control Of Your Mind.

Exposure is one of the most effective interventions for overcoming fear, and an essential treatment component for many conditions. Each handout provides a range of exposure exercises for addressing a specific difficulty. The series also includes helpful guidance for practitioners, including theoretical details, suggested questions and prompts for extra direction.

The series is accessible for anyone with a paid membership – Basic, Advanced, or Complete.

Works well with…

The series can be supplemented with other resources in our library:

  • Facing Your Fears And Phobias
  • Fear Ladder
  • Exposure Session Record
  • Maximizing The Effectiveness Of Exposure Therapy

Exposures for… Series ᐅ

New Polish Translations

Understanding Depression

Our ‘Understanding…’ series is a collection of psychoeducation guides for common mental health conditions. Understanding Depression is designed to help clients suffering from depression understand more about their condition.

Understanding Depression [PDF] ᐅ

Understanding Health Anxiety

It is thought that between 1 and 10 people out of every 100 will experience health anxiety every year. This friendly and explanatory guide gives clear descriptions of symptoms and treatment options, as well as exploring maintenance factors.

Understanding Health Anxiety [PDF] ᐅ

Latest Research

Delivering ERP During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is a first-line treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder and involves intentionally facing feared stimuli without engaging in compulsions. ERP can be daunting for therapists and clients alike, especially when working online. Fortunately, excellent guidance and hard-won lessons are outlined in this open-access paper, published in Cognitive and Behavioral Practice. The authors describe the common challenges that arise in online ERP, such as missing subtle compulsions and difficulties modeling exposures, as well the benefits of teletherapy, including opportunities for spontaneous exposure and involving others in treatment.

Hezel, D. M., Rapp, A. M., Glasgow, S., Cridland, G., & Simpson, H. B. (2023). Year of zoom in a year of doom: lessons learned delivering ERP remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice30(2), 263-272.

Delivering ERP During the COVID-19 Pandemic ᐅ

Changes in Affective and Cognitive Distortion Symptoms of Depression

The classical view in CBT is that cognitive change leads to emotional change, but the relationship between thoughts and feelings isn’t always so clear cut. In this recent study, Jacqueline Persons and colleagues found that changes in cognitive distortions and affective symptoms of depression preceded and predicted the other. In other words, thoughts and feelings appear to have a reciprocal relationship. These findings suggest that cognition-focused interventions such as cognitive restructuring and emotion-focused, exposure-based interventions both have a place in CBT for depression. It might also mean that there are differences in how individuals respond to cognitive and emotion-focused interventions.

“Our results hint at the notion that patients might be differentially responsive to interventions that target distorted cognitions and negative affective states… These [results] suggest that patients may differ in their response to treatment, with some having larger changes in distortions that precede changes in affective symptoms, and others having large changes in emotional symptoms that precede changes in cognitive distortions.”

Persons, J. B., Marker, C. D., & Bailey, E. N. (2023). Changes in affective and cognitive distortion symptoms of depression are reciprocally related during cognitive behavior therapy. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 104338.

Affective and Cognitive Distortion Symptoms of Depression [Full Article] ᐅ