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SMALL ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN FREQUENT CANNABIS USE AND COGNITIVE DYSFUNCTION IN YOUTH APPEAR TO WANE AFTER BRIEF ABSTINENCE: RESULTS FROM A META-ANALYSIS

This SCP Blog by Dr. J. Cobb Scott discusses a recent meta-analysis  published in JAMA Psychiatry that addressed the association between cannabis use and cognitive functioning in adolescents and young adults. The US has experienced substantial shifts in policy and perception regarding cannabis, or marijuana, use over the past decade.As of 2018, cannabis has been legalized for adult recreational use in 9 …

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Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Outcomes in Anxiety: We’re Halfway There

This SCP Blog piece by Drs. Levy, Springer, and Tolin discuss a recent meta-analytic review of remission in CBT for anxiety disorders published in Clinical Psychology Review.  The efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety disorders is well established, at least in terms of pre- to post-treatment reductions in anxiety severity.  CBT generally outperforms waitlist controls, placebo controls, other psychological treatments …

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Q&A: Technology Use in Mental Health Practice and Research

This blog piece is a Q&A with Dr. Samuel Lustgarten on a recent article in Clinical Psychology: Science & Practice: “Technology use in mental health practice and research: Legal and ethical risks” (Lustgarten & Elhai, 2018) What legal and ethical risks do you think would be most surprising to the average psychologist in clinical practice? When I talk with other …

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The Role of Lay Health Workers to Address Disparities in Access to Evidence-Based Practices Domestically and Globally

This SCP blog piece by Dr. Miya Barnett  discusses a recent article published in the Annual Review of Clinical Psychology on the role of lay health workers in addressing disparities in access to evidence-based practices. Multiple evidence-based practices have been developed and shown to be effective for treating common mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and disruptive behavior …

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Contemporary Issues in Understanding Immigrant Mental Health Needs and Challenges

This SCP Blog by Dr. Anu Asnaani is sponsored by the Diversity Committee of SCP and briefly explores contemporary issues in understanding immigrant mental health needs and challenges to detection and treatment of psychological distress in our global communities. One of our increasing challenges as mental health professionals domestically and internationally is ensuring we are meeting the needs of the …

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Why Gender Matters in the Study and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders

This SCP Blog by Dr. Kathryn McHugh discusses a recent article published in Clinical Psychology Review about why gender matters in the study and treatment of substance use disorders. For many years, knowledge on the nature and treatment of substance use disorders was based on research conducted in males. The vast majority of research on substance use in women has …

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The Promise of Transdiagnostic Treatments for Anxiety Disorders

This SCP blog piece by Drs. David Barlow and Matthew Gallagher discusses a new article in JAMA Psychiatry pertaining to the Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders. Significant progress has been made in recent decades in identifying effective psychosocial treatments for anxiety and mood disorders. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) treatment protocols for specific disorders such as panic disorder are …

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Assertiveness Training: A Forgotten Evidence-Based Treatment

This SCP Blog post by Brittany Speed, Brandon Goldstein, and Dr. Marvin Goldfried discuss their recent publication in CP:SP addressing the role of assertiveness training in clinical psychology. Although psychotherapy has been in existence for over a century, the field has struggled to build upon research findings with consistent, accumulating evidence. One reason for this problem may be because we …

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Clinical Considerations When Clients Have Children

This SCP blog by Zalewski, Goodman, Cole, and McLaughlin corresponds with a new Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice article titled, “Clinical Considerations when Treating Adults who are Parents.” Flight attendants always instruct passengers to secure their own oxygen masks before assisting others. This simple practice reflects that parents can best help their children after ensuring their own well-being.  This basic …

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Can prisoners with mental health problems benefit from psychological therapy? Yes, but health and justice need to be closer friends.

This SCP blog by Karen Slade, Psy.D. correspondents with a new article in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology titled, “Outcomes of Psychological Therapies for Prisoners with Mental Health Problems: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. All over the world, people held in our jails and prisons experience far greater levels of mental illness than the general population including PTSD, major …

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What makes mental illness stigma so hard to change (and also to study)?

by Ava T. Casados about her recently published article in Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice Society holds negative attitudes about mental illness, and these attitudes form a stigma that impacts many individuals on both interpersonal levels (e.g., blaming, name-calling) and institutional levels (e.g., employment discrimination). The stigma experienced because of one’s mental illness can in turn exacerbate psychological symptoms and …

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Medication, Behavioral Therapy, or Both? Examining Understudied Domains for Children with ADHD

by Brittany M. Merrill, MS, Amy R. Altszuler, MS, & William E. Pelham, PhD Children with ADHD experience problems in daily life functioning in school, with their family, and with peers. Rather than focusing on symptoms of ADHD, treatment providers should focus on these impairments in daily life functioning when making recommendations, as these problems are the reason parents and teachers …

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Can You Change Your Personality Traits?

by Brent W. Roberts, PhD Can you change your personality traits? We know from hundreds of observational studies that personality traits can and do change. The fact that personality traits are not “set in plaster” naturally leads to the question of volitional change—if someone or some institution sets about to change personality, can it be done? This question had long …

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Behavioral Activation for Depression During Pregnancy: Results from a multi-site pragmatic randomized controlled effectiveness trial.

Behavioral Activation for Depression During Pregnancy: Results from a multi-site pragmatic randomized controlled effectiveness trial – an SCP blog piece by Drs. Hubley and Dimidjian For many, being pregnant is one of the most important and enjoyable moments in life.  For others, life changes during pregnancy can become major challenges and 1 in 7 pregnant women become clinically depressed (Gavin …

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Is “Abnormal Psychology” Really all that Abnormal?

Is “Abnormal Psychology” Really all that Abnormal – a blog post by Jonathan D. Schaefer, a doctoral student of Clinical Psychology at Duke University An assumption held by many—including many mental health professionals—is that people who suffer from one or more mental disorders constitute a small, troubled minority. This assumption is reflected in both the way we talk about mental …

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Do Beliefs about Biology Matter for Mental Health?

Do Beliefs About Biology Matter for Mental Health? by Kate MacDuffie and Tim Strauman about their newly published article in Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice Imagine that you have just visited a mental health professional and received a diagnosis of depression.  You have just been given a name for the distressing emotional state which, prior to your appointment, felt confusing and unpredictable.  The …

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What can science tell us about suicide? (Answer: Not nearly enough… yet.)

By Joseph Franklin, PhD and Jessica Ribeiro, PhD Suicide. For most people, this word conjures up images of someone who is extremely sad. Someone so lonely, stressed, or defeated that they’ve decided that they’d be better off dead. Some clinicians might add to this picture related characteristics such as emotion dysregulation, substance abuse, or impulsivity. Some researchers may include a …

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Use of Universal Screening Scores to Predict Distal Academic and Behavioral Outcomes Among School-Aged youth

Dr. Katie Eklund discusses the use of universal screening scores to predict distal academic and behavioral outcomes among school-aged youth. Research has well-documented poor school-related outcomes for students with behavioral and emotional concerns, including lower academic achievement, higher rates of suspension/expulsion, increased absenteeism, and lower graduation rates (e.g., Lane, Carter, Pierson, & Glaeser, 2006). As up to 20% of school-aged …

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Clinicians and Clients Disagree: Implications for Evidence-Based Practice

This blog piece by Dr. Douglas Samuel from Purdue University discusses a recently published article in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.  It is well-established that the approaches to diagnosis differ substantially between clinical practice and research settings. Whereas the typical research study collects data using either a semi-structured interview administered by a research assistant or a self-report questionnaire completed by …

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Increasing access to high-fidelity Cognitive Therapy for underserved populations

Guest blog author Dr. Torrey Creed discusses a recently published article in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology focused on implementing trans diagnostic cognitive therapy in diverse community settings with the Beck Community Initiative. Decades of research have led to evidence-based practices (EBPs) for a wide range of behavioral health concerns and populations (e.g., Hofmann et al., 2012), but …

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The Next Generation of Parenting Interventions: The role of Mindfulness and Compassion

The type of parenting a child receives can have profound impacts on the life trajectory of that child. For example, in contrast to punitive parenting we know positive parenting practices affords children many life advantages, including, building secure attachments, accelerated language development, greater readiness for school, reduced risk of antisocial behavior and substance abuse problems, improved physical health, and greater …

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Improving the clinical utility of mental disorder classifications

Classifications of mental disorders are a necessary evil. Without a comprehensive, consensual list of the kinds of problems human beings experience, the field of mental health would be continually swamped by the task of describing the nature of each person’s problem. Communication between professionals would break down. Selecting treatments and identifying conditions for research would be a free-for-all. Tracking the …

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Do psychotherapists improve with time and experience?

Naturally, we all want to get better at the things that we do.  Psychotherapists too may like to think that as they gain experience, they are continuing to develop their skills and improve the services they provide.  Knowing that therapists contribute significantly to clients’ outcomes (explaining approximately 5% of variance in outcomes; Baldwin & Imel, 2013), therapists’ ability to improve …

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Social Comparison Feedback to Reduce Heavy Drinking among College Drinkers

Social influences are a primary contributor of heavy drinking among young adults (Neighbors, Lee, Lewis, Fossos, & Larimer, 2007). Social norms refer to a specific source of influence defined as typical behavior (descriptive norms) or typical level of approval (injunctive norms) in a given reference group. For the purposes of our discussion we will limit our focus to descriptive norms. …

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What we know now about bridging the gap between research and practice

About two decades ago, psychologists who develop and study psychotherapy interventions began to recognize that publications on the efficacy of new psychotherapies were not sufficient to change practice. Shortly thereafter, research emerged that indicated that manuals and workshops alone were also not sufficient to change practice (see Herschell et al., 2010 for a summary). We are now at a point …

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Dropping Out of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has earned a position of high regard in the scheme of evidence-based treatment of psychological disorders. Yet, it shares some of the same difficulties faced by psychotherapy and medical practice in general. One such major problem is dropout. Dropout is the client’s discontinuation of treatment against the recommendations of the clinician. When this happens, many questions …

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Writing Trauma Narratives Increases Temporal Organization & Habituation

Emotional processing theory posits that the therapeutic benefits of exposure include habituation to the distress triggered by trauma memories (Lang, 1977) as well as their reorganization (Foa, Molnar, & Cashman, 1995). Trauma narratives among people with PTSD have been observed to have greater sensory, perceptual, and emotional references and interrupted temporal, causal and logical connections (O’Kearney & Perrott, 2006). Habituation …

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The anti-depressive effects of cognitive behavioral therapy are in decline: What is the next step forward for psychotherapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), in its current format, was developed and implemented as an anti-depressive treatment in the 1970`s (Beck et al., 1979.). Ever since, the method has been in worldwide growth, gaining recognition and appraisal on its way to becoming the dominant force in the world of psychotherapy. Until recently, no thorough attempt had been made with regards to …

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Preventing Interpersonal Violence among Military Veterans: The Strength at Home Program

Intimate partner violence (IPV) represents a significant clinical problem among veterans and service members. Numerous studies indicate that veterans and service members with greater posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms are at particularly high risk for IPV use (Marshall, Panuzio, & Taft, 2005; Taft, Watkins, Stafford, Street, & Monson, 2011). With large numbers of returning U.S. military members, there is an increasing …

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Consumer Marketing of Psychological Treatments: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Direct-to-consumer marketing: The next wave of dissemination and implementation? Most Americans are familiar with the pharmaceutical advertisements that are featured in many forms of media. Many of these advertisements are for psychopharmaceutical interventions, which have recently been surpassing efficacious psychological treatments in outpatient mental health care (Olfson & Marcus, 2010). While traditional dissemination and implementation efforts (e.g., targeted at the …

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Outcome monitoring and feedback: A transtheoretical, transdiagnostic evidence-based practice

This blog piece by Dr. James Boswell discusses a recent study published by his research team in Psychotherapy entitled, “Implementing routine outcome monitoring in clinical practice: Benefits, challenges, and solutions.” In their seminal paper, Howard, Moras, Brill, Martinovich, and Lutz (1996) suggested using standardized session-to-session measures of patient progress to evaluate and improve treatment outcome by using data-driven feedback. In doing …

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Increasing the Use of Effective Behavioral Treatments through Direct-to-Consumer Marketing

This piece by guest blogger, Dr. Sara Becker, summarizes ideas from her recent manuscript, Direct-to-Consumer Marketing: A Complementary Approach to Traditional Dissemination and Implementation Efforts for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Interventions, published in the March 2015 edition of Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice. Increasing the Use of Effective Behavioral Treatments through Direct-to-Consumer Marketing  One of the greatest challenges facing …

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What Is This Treatment and Will It Work For Me?

This is a blog piece by Damion Grasso, Ph.D. (Division 12 Web Editor) that explores how we communicate information about treatment effectiveness to our patients. It draws from recent articles that discuss methods for translating results from psychotherapy research into probabilistic information that aims to inform treatment consumers. David is a middle-aged man who just one year ago was assaulted and …

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Evidence-Based Treatments for Mental Health Among LGB Clients

This blog piece by guest blogger, Dr. John Pachankis, on behalf of Division 12’s Education and Training Committee, discusses recent efforts to establish evidence-based treatments for mental health and co-occurring psychosocial concerns (e.g., alcohol use, sexual compulsivity, sexual risk behavior) among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) clients. John Pachankis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology …

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Division 12 Response to NIMH Strategic Plan

Society of Clinical Psychology (Division 12, American Psychological Association) Response to NIMH Strategic Plan The Society of Clinical Psychology (Division 12, American Psychological Association) represents the interests of clinical psychologists in the United States.  Its mission is to encourage and support the integration of psychological science and practice in education, research, application, advocacy and public policy. We thank NIMH for …

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What is Neurorehabilitation?

Neurorehabilitation and Modular-Based Psychotherapy for the Co-Management of Nervous System Injury and Comorbid Psychopathology  – By Saritha Teralandur Saritha is a second year M.S. student at DePaul University. Her research interests include child and adolescent psychology and neuropsychology.  This blog piece explores neurorehabilitation, a personalized, multidisciplinary treatment approach designed to concurrently address impairment caused by nervous system injury, as well …

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Advances in Psychotherapy Series: Autism Spectrum Disorder and Headache

The latest editions of the Advances in Psychotherapy – Evidence-Based Practice Book Series (Hogrefe Publishing) include Autism Spectrum Disorder and Headache. Autism Spectrum Disorder (Vol. 29, 2015) by Joseph, Soorya, and thrum (ISBN 978-0-88937-404-1) is a straightforward yet authoritative guide to effective diagnosis and empirically supported treatments for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The book starts by reviewing DSM-5 and ICD-10 diagnostic …

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Client Preferences and Shared Decision Making in Clinical Care

In a new article in Clinical Psychology Review, Lindhiem and colleagues describe a meta-analysis on the importance of client preferences for treatment satisfaction, completion rates, and clinical outcome. As the number of treatment options for different mental health conditions increases and clients have more resources available to learn about varying treatments, the idea of shared decision making has come to …

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Mental Health and Pediatric Primary Care

With increased attention paid to the high prevalence of unaddressed mental health problems among our youth, there is a growing demand for increased capacity of mental health care in pediatric primary care (PPC) practices . There are two good reasons why the PPC setting can make a large impact in detecting and managing child and adolescent mental health problems. First, almost all …

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The Promise of the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) Initiative

By now many of us are familiar with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) 2009 launch of a new initiative called the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project. RDoC continues to be a work-in-progress with the primary goal of developing a classification system for mental health disorders that is dimensional and that links to neurobiological systems. The proposed framework is …

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Primary Prevention of Trauma-Related Problems Before Trauma

Risk of lifetime exposure to a potentially traumatic event (PTE) increases exponentially across the lifespan until non-exposed individuals are rare.1 Although a minority of individuals in the general population develop trauma-related emotional and behavioral problems,2 this is not true of multiply traumatized or poly-victimized individuals.3-5 These experiences can start to accumulate very early in life with potential to disrupt normal …