Critical review of some of the more extreme claims about “neuroplasticity”

The Wall Street Journal edition for 2-28-15 includes an interesting book review 2 books about neuroplasticity. The review, “Brainstorms Brewing,” is by Raymond Tallis, MD, who is described on his website as “ a philosopher, poet, novelist and cultural critic and was until recently a physician and clinical scientist.” He does seem to have impressive credentials for the material being discussed, including neurological work with acute and rehabilitation patients and award-winning research and publications about the brain and, more directly related to the topics of my blog, human behavior and psychology.

Should a therapist’s phone message include a 911 statement?

Should a therapist’s phone message include a 911 statement?

The Psychology Today website published a brief but provocative commentary on 1-1-15 about what it means to have a voice mail greeting that includes a statement about calling 911 in an emergency. “Don’t Tell Me to Call 911: Do therapists need voice mail messages that demean their patients?” was written by Johathan Shedler, Ph.D., who advocates for not directing patients to call 911. He states, “It conveys that our patients are idiots” and asks, “Do we really think they don’t understand, without instructions, when to leave a message for a therapist and when to call 911?” He has several criticisms

A Prominent Psychiatrist Advocates for Therapy for Chronic Depression

The New York Times edition for 1-8-15 included a commentary by a psychiatrist, Richard A. Friedman, M.D., about choosing treatments for depression. The article, “To Treat Depression, Drugs or Therapy?”, provides a summary of some recent interesting research, including neurological research, about “the holy grail of personalized therapy- be it with psychotropic drugs or psychotherapy” and how it has, until recently, proved elusive. The goal is to identify individual factors that would provide some guidance about which type treatment might work better. He notes, “Rarely does a (prescriber) switch to an empirically proven psychotherapy….after a patient fails to respond to

Article about “complicated grief,” an update for therapists and potential resource for consumers

Article about “complicated grief,” an update for therapists and potential resource for consumers

The New York Times published an article about “complicated grief”, “When Grief Won’t Relent”, on 2-2-16-15. This article summarizes a report published last month in The New England Journal of Medicine, and includes a summary of: how complicated grief is different from normal grief; the symptoms of complicated grief; populations more at risk for complicated grief (including people who have lost a romantic partner, who have a 10-20 percent incidence of complicated grief, parents who lost a child, who have an even higher risk for this problem, survivors of victims of traumatic deaths and survivors who are intensely dependent upon