Διαταραχή Ελλειμματικής Προσοχής-Υπερκινητικότητας (ΔΕΠΥ). Ενημερωτικός Οδηγός

Τρίτη, 20 Αύγουστος 2013 Σχολιάστε

Ένας πλήρης ενημερωτικός οδηγός για την Διαταραχή Ελλειμματικής Προσοχής-Υπερκινητικότητας (ΔΕΠΥ).

Δημιουργήθηκε από το Εθνικό Ινστιτούτο Ψυχικής Υγείας των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών και μεταφράστηκε στην Ελλάδα από την Ελληνική Εταιρεία για τις Νευροεπιστήμες, το Ίδρυμα Ευγενίδου, την Πανελλήνια Ένωση Βιοεπιστημόνων και την Επιστημονική Εταιρεία Μελέτης ΔΕΠΥ.  Περισσότερα…

 

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Depression and How Psychotherapy and Other Treatments Can Help People Recover

Δευτέρα, 19 Αύγουστος 2013 Σχολιάστε
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Nine psychological tasks for a good marriage

Δευτέρα, 19 Αύγουστος 2013 Σχολιάστε
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How can psychology can help you

Δευτέρα, 19 Αύγουστος 2013 Σχολιάστε

Δημοσιευμένο: The British Psychological Society, http://www.bps.org.uk/

Psychology is the scientific study of human mind and behaviour.

Psychologists work in many different areas of society and are concerned with practical problems. Below are only a few examples:

  • Helping people to overcome depression, stress, trauma or phobias
  • Easing the effects of parental divorce on children
  • Speeding up recovery from brain injury
  • Helping to stop or prevent bullying at school or in the workplace
  • Ensuring that school pupils and students are being taught in the most effective way
  • Making sure that people are happy at work and perform to the best of their abilities
  • Helping the police, courts and prison service to perform more effectively
  • Helping athletes and sports people to perform better

Many of the challenges we face in the modern world are rooted in human behaviour, so psychological knowledge can help us find solutions.

People with all sorts of problems seek the help and support of psychologists. For example:

Adult mental health problems

Every day counselling psychologists and clinical psychologists help a wide range of people of all ages with all sorts of problems.

Some people have particular emotional or mental health problems, such as depression or schizophrenia. Others have difficulties with their thinking, which is also known as ‘cognitive’ problems. These can take many forms, such as problems with memory or perception after a head injury, a learning disability or dementia.

There are many more areas of life where a psychologist can help. These could include helping people manage and live with health conditions such as HIV, cancer or chronic pain, assisting people who have difficulties in maintaining relationships or providing advice about how to care for a child who has been abused.

Whatever the problem, the psychologist will consider what scientific research says about its probable cause and what will be likely to help.

Sometimes the psychologist will be the one who then provides the help. Examples of this include seeing the person for a number of sessions to provide psychological therapy or giving advice on how to manage memory problems.

Sometimes the psychologist will recommend other people who can help, perhaps advising them on the best way forward for the client.

If you feel that a psychologist may be able to help you, discuss this with your GP.

Clinical and Counselling psychologists work across a range of settings, including the NHS, and are accessible to the public through that service.

A child having problems at school

If you are worried about a child who has problems with academic work or behaviour in school, it may be that consulting an educational psychologist will help the situation.

Some education authorities will have an educational psychology department. Talk to the school or to the department directly about making an appointment. If you make an appointment in this way, there will be no charge for seeing the psychologist.

It is also possible to seek help from a psychologist privately.

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Brain pacemaker may help anorexics

Πέμπτη, 11 Απρίλιος 2013 Σχολιάστε

Δημοσιευμένο, 8/03/2013: The British Psychological Society, http://www.bps.org.uk/

 A neurosurgical implant that acts as a form of pacemaker for the brain can lead to improved mood for severe anorexia patients. This is the suggestion of new research published in The Lancet, which showed this deep brain stimulation (DBS) technique also helped to improve the body mass index of those involved in the study.

Investigators based at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre and University Health Network in Canada looked at six female patients aged between 24 and 57 who had been suffering from anorexia for between four and 37 years.

This pilot study was carried out to evaluate the safety of DBS – which is currently used as a neurological disorder treatment, while research is also being conducted regarding its potential to help combat depression and epilepsy –  but the researchers said the findings could lead to larger-scale trials to further assess the technique’s effectiveness for treating severe anorexia.

Dr Andrew Lozano, a neurosurgeon in the DBS field, said: «The finding of improvements in mood and anxiety in patients who were still underweight is especially striking, in view of the well known poor response of underweight patients to conventional pharmacotherapies.»

Chartered Psychologist Dr Nihara Krause said:

«The effectiveness of using DBS, a neurological procedure that moderates the activity of dysfunctional brain circuits in treating major depressive disorder and OCD has been established and since both depression and OCD is often present in those diagnosed with Anorexia nervosa this study offers the possibility of a useful treatment process to what is such a serious disorder.’

«Whilst it is difficult to generalize the results, given the small scale of the study and also because the risks of the procedure and possible hardware problems have got to be factored in the treatment of a vulnerable client group, a major potential benefit to patients may be the possibility of effecting the course of the disorder early so that outcome may be improved. The etiology of anorexia nervosa is formed of many complex factors and if larger trials establish DBS as an effective form of treatment it will be important to keep in mind the need to continue to also offer other forms of treatment to address alternative contributory or maintaining factors.»

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Communication tips for parents

Πέμπτη, 11 Απρίλιος 2013 Σχολιάστε

Δημοσιευμένο: American Psychological Association (APA), http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/

 

Be available for your children

  • Notice times when your kids are most likely to talk–for example, at bedtime, before dinner, in the car–and be available.
  • Start the conversation; it lets your kids know you care about what’s happening in their lives.
  • Find time each week for a one-on-one activity with each child, and avoid scheduling other activities during that time.
  • Learn about your children’s interests–for example, favorite music and activities–and show interest in them.
  • Initiate conversations by sharing what you have been thinking about rather than beginning a conversation with a question.

Let your kids know you’re listening

  • When your children are talking about concerns, stop whatever you are doing and listen.
  • Express interest in what they are saying without being intrusive.
  • Listen to their point of view, even if it’s difficult to hear.
  • Let them complete their point before you respond.
  • Repeat what you heard them say to ensure that you understand them correctly.

Respond in a way your children will hear

  • Soften strong reactions; kids will tune you out if you appear angry or defensive.
  • Express your opinion without putting down theirs; acknowledge that it’s okay to disagree.
  • Resist arguing about who is right. Instead say, «I know you disagree with me, but this is what I think.»
  • Focus on your child’s feelings rather than your own during your conversation.

Remember:

  • Ask your children what they may want or need from you in a conversation, such as advice, simply listening, help in dealing with feelings, or help solving a problem.
  • Kids learn by imitating. Most often, they will follow your lead in how they deal with anger, solve problems, and work through difficult feelings.
  • Talk to your children–don’t lecture, criticize, threaten, or say hurtful things.
  • Kids learn from their own choices. As long as the consequences are not dangerous, don’t feel you have to step in.
  • Realize your children may test you by telling you a small part of what is bothering them. Listen carefully to what they say, encourage them to talk, and they may share the rest of the story.

Parenting is hard work

  • Listening and talking is the key to a healthy connection between you and your children. But parenting is hard work and maintaining a good connection with teens can be challenging, especially since parents are dealing with many other pressures. If you are having problems over an extended period of time, you might want to consider consulting with a mental health professional to find out how they can help.
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You’ve Been Doing a Fantastic Job. Just One Thing …

Πέμπτη, 11 Απρίλιος 2013 Σχολιάστε

Δημοσιευμένο στις 5 Απριλίου 2013 στους nytimes.com, Συντάκτης: Alina Tugend

MOST of us think we know how to give feedback. Positive comments are better — and more useful — than negative ones. And if you do have to point out something wrong, start with a compliment, move on to the problem, then end on a high note.

It turns out that it’s not that simple. Those who have studied the issue have found that negative feedback isn’t always bad and positive feedback isn’t always good. Too often, they say, we forget the purpose of feedback — it’s not to make people feel better, it’s to help them do better.

A recent research paper, “Tell Me What I did Wrong: Experts Seek and Respond to Negative Feedback,” in The Journal of Consumer Research, says that when people are experts on a subject, or consider themselves experts, they’re more eager to hear negative feedback, while those novices are more likely to seek positive responses.

One experiment surveyed students in beginning-level French classes and advanced-level French literature classes. Participants completed a questionnaire about choosing an instructor. They were asked if they would prefer an instructor who emphasized what students were doing well in class and talked about their strengths, such as when they pronounced new words well, or an instructor who focused mostly on what mistakes they made and how to fix those mistakes.

Those who had just started learning the language wanted the positive feedback, while those who had been taking the French classes longer were more interested in hearing about what they did wrong and how to correct it.

Why is that? One reason is that as people gain expertise, feedback serves a different purpose. When people are just beginning a venture, they may not have much confidence, and they need encouragement. But experts’ commitment “is more secure than novices and their focus is on their progress,” the paper’s authors said. Even labeling feedback as either negative or positive isn’t helpful, said Tim Harford, author of “Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure.” He noted that his karate teacher told him specific things to do, like bending his toes backward or rotating his hips. “It’s not useful to say, ‘That’s really good or that’s really bad,’ ” Mr. Harford said. “We need to separate the emotional side from the technical points.”

That, of course, is much easier said than done, which is why most of us have such trouble giving or getting critiques.

We don’t want to be the bad guy. But Laura Ching, now chief design officer for Shutterfly Inc., found that she wasn’t helping anyone when she tried to be, as she said, a people pleaser.

Early in her career, when she worked at Walmart, she had to tell an employee that she wasn’t doing a good job. But instead of spending 90 percent of the time telling her what she needed to do better and 10 percent encouraging her, “I probably did 50-50,” Ms. Ching said. “And she heard only the positive. So when the annual review time came, and she got, ‘does not meet expectations,’ there was such a disconnect.”

Mr. Harford knows the problem well. He calls it the “praise sandwich,” where we stuff the bad stuff between two slices of compliments. But people often hear only the praise.

“We say, ‘That was a great piece of work, there was just a small problem,’ ” Mr. Harford said. “What we tend to hear is, ‘That was a great piece of work.’ ”

The better way, Ms. Ching said, is to be straightforward.

Research bears that out. In a class she teaches, Ayelet Fishbach, a professor of behavioral science and marketing at the University of Chicago and co-author of the paper “Tell Me What I Did Wrong,” conducts a simulation where half the class gives one-on-one feedback to the other half. Although the feedback givers were supposed to indicate that performance was unsatisfactory, that improvement was needed and to offer ways to do better, in surveys filled out later, the half getting the feedback “thinks they’re doing great,” she said.

While many of us tend to hear what we want to hear, Professor Fishbach says she thinks the problem lies more with those providing the feedback. “The negative feedback is often buried and not very specific,” she said.

Professor Fishbach also said people giving feedback often didn’t give enough information, offered it too late or told subordinates what would happen if they did something wrong rather than what they were actually doing wrong. Employees need to know in detail what they should do to get promoted, for instance. If you tell them simply that they’re not going to get promoted, she said, “That’s not feedback — it’s already an outcome.”

Some companies have developed their own terminology for feedback. Peter Sims, author of “Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge From Small Discoveries,” said the film company Pixar used an idea it called “plussing.” The point, he said, is to “build and improve on ideas without using judgmental language.”

Here’s an example he offers in his book. An animator working on “Toy Story 3” shares her rough sketches and ideas with the director. “Instead of criticizing the sketch or saying ‘no,’ the director will build on the starting point by saying something like, ‘I like Woody’s eyes, and what if his eyes rolled left?”

Using words like “and” or “what if,” rather than “but” is a way to offer suggestions and allow creative juices to flow without fear, Mr. Sims said.

Brain scans of people show that judgmental language — or even being told you have to do things in a certain way — lead to self-censoring, Mr. Sims told me. Such scans show that when a musician is playing scales, for example, “the part of the brain responsible for judging lights up,” he said. “That doesn’t happen when playing jazz improvisation.”

Plussing is particularly helpful in the early stages, when there are lots of ways a character can progress, he said, but as ideas become more developed, it gets tougher.

“Animators at Pixar freely describe how painful it can be to have directors plussing their ideas until the smallest details, say a sliver of hair, seems just perfect,” he writes in his book. “But plussing allows for both pointed critique and positive feedback simultaneously, so that even such persistent criticism is not deflating.”

That’s the trick then: making negative feedback precise and timely enough so that it’s helpful but neutral enough so that it’s not perceived as harshly critical. That’s particularly difficult in a culture like ours, where anything short of effusive praise can be viewed as an affront.

But, again, if we look at feedback as an opportunity to make someone work better rather than feel better, we’re more likely to do it successfully. As Professor Fishbach said, “We’re probably unaware that people would like to know how to improve, and they deserve to know it. It’s their right.”

 

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