25th July 2023 Newsletter
Welcome to our final newsletter for July 2023.
This week we are bringing you two new resources, both focusing on permissive thinking – a self-monitoring record and a new handout from our cognitive distortion series. We’re also expanding our available Spanish resources with the release of two guides: Understanding Low Self Esteem and Understanding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
In our research roundup, we cover a paper looking at the therapist factors associated with the use of exposure therapy. We also highlight a systematic review looking at affirmative psychological interventions for transgender and non-binary individuals. Enjoy!
Permissive thinking (also known as facilitative or justificational thinking) refers to thoughts that allow individuals to pursue problematic behaviors. It represents the cognitive ‘bridge’ between urges to engage in maladaptive behavior and the decision to act on them. Permissive thinking is associated with a range of problems including: addictions, compulsive behaviors, eating disorders, self-harm and suicide.
Permissive Thinking – Self-Monitoring Record
This worksheet is designed to help clients better understand the biases and distortions in their thinking that contribute to their distress. Focused specifically on permissive thinking, this self-monitoring record also includes therapist guidance, suggested questions, and prompts.
New Spanish Translations
Understanding Low-Self Esteem
Our ‘Understanding…’ series is a collection of psychoeducation guides for common mental health conditions. The Understanding Low Self-Esteem guide is designed to help clients with low self-esteem understand more about their condition and why it might not get better by itself.
People who experience obsessions and compulsions to a level that interferes significantly with their life are said to have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and it is thought that between 1 and 2 people out of every 100 experience OCD every year. Fortunately, there are some effective psychological treatments for OCD.
Therapist Factors Associated With the Use of Exposure Therapy
Exposure therapy is a highly effective approach to treating anxiety disorders, but it is often underused by therapists. The results of a recent systematic and meta-analysis suggest that therapists who are trained in exposure and see themselves as having a cognitive behavioral orientation are more likely to use it, while anxious clinicians are less likely to. These findings highlight the importance of getting good quality training in exposure, and using supervision to discuss and plan ‘exposure to exposure’ if therapists have concerns about using these interventions.
Langthorne, D., Beard, J., & Waller, G. (2023). Therapist factors associated with intent to use exposure therapy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 1-33.
Psychological Interventions for Transgender and Non-Binary Individuals
Transgender and non-binary (TGNB) individuals are at a particularly high risk of experiencing mental health difficulties such as depression, eating disorders, and self-harm. While guidance and clinical recommendations for working with TGNB are available, few studies have evaluated the effectiveness of these interventions. The results of this comprehensive systematic review of 22 studies indicate that evidence-based affirmative psychological interventions can help improve distress, self-esteem, self-acceptance, and social support. However, it is also clear that psychological interventions for TGNB individuals require development.
“The analyzed psychotherapeutic approaches… prioritized different areas of intervention, focusing either on the reduction of psychological distress, fostering different positive aspects of TGNB individuals’ identities, or working on other key strengths, such as coping skills or resilience. Future interventions should try to incorporate and combine all these aspects”.
Expósito-Campos, P., Pérez-Fernández, J. I., & Salaberria, K. (2022). Empirically supported affirmative psychological interventions for transgender and non-binary youth and adults: A systematic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 102229.