Innovator Interview #1, Brett Donnelly, PsyD, Acacia Counseling and Wellness

Innovator Interview #1, Brett Donnelly, PsyD, Acacia Counseling and Wellness

MHConcierge interviewed Brett Donnelly, PsyD, LP, co-owner of Acacia Counseling and Wellness.  Acacia has three clinics, two in California and one in Minneapolis, and is in the process of adding more clinics.  Acacia’s mission is to serve students, faculty and staff in university communities.  Brett used his unusual (for a psychologist) marketing background to develop Acacia’s services, and for ongoing refinement.  Acacia has a non-profit foundation to support students in need of financial assistance for mental health services.  Acacia also has strong social justice and “woke” values, and a thriving social media presence.

Raw Fruit and Veggies better for Mental Health Than Processed Fruit and Veggies

Raw Fruit and Veggies better for Mental Health Than Processed Fruit and Veggies

“Intake of Raw Fruits and Vegetables Is Associated With Better Mental Health Than Intake of Processed Fruits and Vegetables” reports on a study using an online survey of 422 young adults in New Zealand and the US.  Raw Fruit and Vegetable Intake (RVI) was compared to processed (cooked and canned veggies) FVI using several mental health-related measures.  Raw FVI was found to significantly predict higher mental health outcomes.  The authors review studies of diet and mood, and theorize that their findings fit with evidence that cooking reduces some important nutrients in veggies, and these nutrients contribute to positive mental health. 

Depression and Mild Cognitive Impairment – treat depression to improve cognition

Depression and Mild Cognitive Impairment – treat depression to improve cognition

“Evaluation and Treatment of Depression May Reverse Memory and Cognitive Difficulties in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment”  reviews interesting research which found that older individuals with worse depression and mood symptoms are more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and to progress from MCI to dementia. The worse the symptoms of depression and mood disorder, the more likely the progression from MCI to dementia.

More evidence that brain training has benefits- but only very specific to the training

More evidence that brain training has benefits- but only very specific to the training

No ‘far transfer’ – chess, memory training and music does make you better at chess, memory training and music” discusses a review of several meta-analytic studies assessing the evidence for “far transfer” learning – the theory that training in one brain domain transfers to another domain. Or, does learning to ride a BMX bicycle result in better skills are riding a unicycle, or piloting a helicopter? The article concludes: “Limiting the analysis to the best-designed studies, they found little or no evidence of far-transfer. The only exception was a robust effect of working memory training on other memory tasks, which

Depression: brain scan can predict response to treatment (medication)

Depression: brain scan can predict response to treatment (medication)

“Brain activity can predict success of depression treatment”reports on a study to be published by JAMA Psychiatry in the June 28 edition. The study builds on previous studies, which have identified neurological markers that predict how patients will respond to antidepressant medication. The study identified more specific markers. The authors conclude that for patients with the marker of low response, “clinicians could decide to start with more aggressive treatment at the outset, such as a combination of pharmacology and psychotherapy, and importantly, monitor these patients more closely.”  From ScienceDaily, read the original article.