A bumper newsletter this month containing new Psychology Tools resources, a great selection of articles. A radio program with the brilliant Andy Zaltzman living as a stoic, and some of this month’s best psychology research.
New on Psychology Tools
A selection of new worksheets this month. One free, and one for members of Psychology Tools Pro. If you haven’t joined up yet, take a look here to see how it will make your clinical life easier.
- Gratitude Journal (Free)
Trait gratitude is associated positively with a number of measures of health and wellbeing. Evidence suggests that it is possible to become more grateful with attendant health and wellbeing increases. This worksheet provides expert tips on keeping a gratitude journal.
- Assertive Responses (Pro)
It’s one thing knowing that we need to be more assertive, it’s often another putting it in to practice. This exercise worksheet will help your clients develop their assertive responses.
- My life as a … Stoic (BBC Radio 4)
This is a brilliant series presented by the comedian and cricket fanatic Andy Zaltzman.
The first episode sees him living as a stoic for a week. CBT is built upon a stoic foundation – Epictetus’ famous idea that people are upset not by things, but by the opinions they form of them. This episode sees Andy talking to, among other people, illusionist Derren Brown about the psychological component of suffering.
- Self-help guide to dialoguing with voices
This is a beautiful, friendly and open approach to dialoguing with voices by Rufus May & Elisabeth Svanholmer
- We need to talk about children’s mental health – and the elephants in the room
Thoughtful blog from a consultant clinical psychologist working with children and families. Choice quote:
- “It is important, therefore, to ask the question what message does being referred to see a therapist inadvertently give the child? Worse still, when we move into the language of mental disorder, the child and everyone around them is given a clear message that the problem is located within the individual and becomes locked there in time. Furthermore, because this is a model society is so steeped in from adult mental health services we don’t even stop to consider what potential damage it does to children, and their sense of why they feel a certain way. Instead of what is happening to them being the focus, the dialogue changes to what is wrong with them. Rather than a ‘child who was severely bullied’ the conversation shifts to a ‘child with a severe anxiety disorder’ – a potentially very disempowering message.”
PERCEPTIONS OF SOCRATIC AND NON-SOCRATIC PRESENTATION OF INFORMATION
Using analogues of therapy materials the authors compared socratic vs didactic presentation of material. They found that socratically-presented material was better received.
- Heiniger, L. E., Clark, G. I., & Egan, S. J. (2018). Perceptions of Socratic and non-Socratic presentation of information in cognitive behaviour therapy. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 58, 106-113.
Download paper at sciencedirect.com
A LEARNING MODEL OF CHRONIC FATIGUE
Chronic fatigue is a highly prevalent and poorly understood symptom.This fascinating theoretical review takes an associative learning approach as an attempt to explain inter-individual differences in fatigue.
- “Central to this model is that during the experience of fatigue, both exteroceptive (i.e., external to the body) and interoceptive stimuli (i.e., stimuli that provide afferent information from receptors monitoring the internal state of the body; Ceunen, Vlaeyen, & Van Diest, 2016) are paired with fatigue and individuals may learn that they are related (Bouton et al., 2001). As a consequence of this learning, these stimuli may acquire the capacity to evoke a conditioned response, which may be the expectancy of fatigue, fear of fatigue, fatigue-related behavior such as resting or avoidance of activity, or fatigue itself.”
- Lenaert, B., Boddez, Y., Vlaeyen, J. W., & van Heugten, C. M. (2017). Learning to feel tired: A learning trajectory towards chronic fatigue. Behaviour Research and Therapy.
Download paper at sciencedirect.com