The Fifty Minute Hour

Thoughts on therapy and life

Can you measure what therapists do?

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measure successWell, that’s a tricky question; just asking it can be enough to divide a room of therapists.  Added to which, there are many different types of therapy, psychoanalysis is maybe slightly out of favour, considered old fashioned and self indulgent, whilst Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) leads the developing field of new therapies promising effective short term results.  It appears foolhardy to attempt to classify results from different models using a single measure, yet without such a measure how can you compare modalities? View the pictures →


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Latest IAPT Forecasts

iapt-greenIf you’ve read any of my other posts, you’ll have noticed that I have a passing interest in all things IAPT.

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (to give it its full name) is a government programme set up to treat the 6.1M  people estimated to be suffering from depression and/or anxiety in England.

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How useful are self-help books for treating depression? (not very)

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self help books

Luisa Dillner asked this question in the Guardian on 28th Jan, quoting from a recent study suggesting that self-help books could treat depression better than antidepressants or therapy, relatively cheaply and without side-effects. View the pictures →

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Overeating is more than just a weight issue

Insightful piece by a GP, refusing to see overeating as simplistically a weight issue.

A Better NHS

“I don’t think I can go ahead with this, I’m so sorry, after everything you’ve done for me doctor”

Trisha pulled some tissues out of the box I keep on my desk for soaking up my patients’ tears.

“I feel like I’ve let you down”

For the last few weeks her panic attacks had been disabling. In the middle of the night she would wake up, soaked in sweat, a lump in her throat, barely able to breathe, her heart pounding. The same symptoms overwhelmed her almost every time she went out and so her 12-year-old grand-daughter was having to collect her shopping or escort her to appointments. She sat in the waiting room while I handed tissues to Trisha.

I asked if she had ever felt like this before.

“Oh yes, a few times, the worst was when I had my teeth wired together”

Trisha had only been my…

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Can you measure success in therapy?

Can you measure therapy?

There is, and has been for a while, a great debate raging about the role of evidence based practice in counselling and psychotherapy.  My own position is that counselling is a very subjective experience which makes it difficult to measure and compare on a like to like basis. However, I also believe that any profession needs to examine its work and monitor it’s progress; how else can we know that we are working effectively?  On top of which, I’m fairly certain that you, as a prospective client, might want some idea of how good I am at my job (which is ultimately what we’re talking about). Continue reading