psychotherapy

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Bracelet Promises to Shock Your Bad Habits Away

The human version of a dog shock collar has yet to be studied for long-term effects

(Newser) - Some people will try just about anything to break a bad habit—and that now includes a gadget that promises to help people retrain their behaviors using mild vibrations and painful zaps. Named after the Russian physiologist who introduced the world to Pavlovian classical conditioning and its subset aversion therapy,... More »

Talking to a Shrink May Not Work as Well as You Think

Publication bias keeps out negative results in efficacy calculations: researchers

(Newser) - No one is denying that talking things out with a therapist can be helpful for those with depression. But, like antidepressants, psychotherapy's usefulness may be overstated, researchers say, per the New York Times —by as much as 25%, finds a study in PLOS One . "This doesn't... More »

Study: Vampires Are Real, and They Have a Big Fear

They drink blood, but live in fear of ... the doctor

(Newser) - This surely ranks among the more unexpected studies: Vampires are real, and they have a fear—"of Coming out of the Coffin to Social Workers and Helping Professionals," as the study's title reads in part. The study, published in the journal Critical Social Work , isn't talking... More »

7 Celeb Couples Who've Gone to Counseling

These famous duos are not afraid to admit they need help

(Newser) - Celebrity relationships are often blink-and-you-miss-them moments, so it's refreshing when celebs like Ben Affleck admit that keeping a marriage going, especially in Hollywood, takes a lot of work (albeit " the best kind of work. ") Below are seven famous couples who've reportedly used therapy as a... More »

Scientists Turn Bad Memories to Happy Ones

Research could mean more effective treatment for human disorders

(Newser) - Scared to death of spiders after you found one crawling in your bed? Scientists may have discovered a way for you to find them positively cuddly. After identifying the neurons powered by positive and negative memories in mice, MIT neuroscientists found a way to use light to essentially rewrite a... More »

NJ Looks to Ban Gay Conversion Therapy

Would join California as only states to do so

(Newser) - California may soon have an ally in its battle against anti-gay psychological therapy. The New Jersey Assembly voted 56-14 yesterday to ban licensed therapists and social workers from pushing gay and lesbian young people to alter their sexuality, Reuters reports. The state Senate is likely to approve the measure Thursday.... More »

Judge to CA: You Can't Ban 'Gay Cures'

Temporary injunction blocks new law from being applied to 3 people

(Newser) - Sorry, California, but you can't ban gay-to-straight "conversion" therapy for minors just yet, a federal judge ruled yesterday. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law in September prohibiting so-called "gay cures," the first law of its kind in the US. But the judge found that the law,... More »

California Moves to Ban 'Gay Cure' for Teens

'Conversion therapy' is dangerous, bill's sponsor says

(Newser) - Psychotherapists who claim they can "cure" gay teenagers may soon be out of business in California. A bill before the state Senate would ban so-called "conversion therapy" for minors and require adults to sign a release form stating that the counseling is ineffective and possibly dangerous, reports AP... More »

Getting High on Ecstasy May Help Soldiers' PTSD

...provided it's taken during therapy sessions

(Newser) - The federal government has given its blessing to the practice of letting US soldiers get high on ecstasy, all in the name of finding a way to cope with post traumatic stress disorder. One catch: It has to be taken while in therapy sessions. Two researchers—with OKs from the... More »

Darth Vader Just Needed Pyschotherapy

He's a candidate for borderline personality disorder

(Newser) - If young Anakin Skywalker had gotten himself into see a good psychotherapist, he might have steered clear of the dark side and the Darth Vader get-up. The Star Wars prequels show that Anakin suffered from borderline personality disorder, say French psychiatrists. (They've made the argument before, but will buttress it... More »

Group Urges Docs to Prescribe Meditation

'Mindfulness' effective in preventing relapse

(Newser) - The best prescription for recurrent depression isn't pills or talk therapy, it's "mindfulness"—a combination of meditation, yoga, and breathing techniques that empties the mind of negative thoughts. So claims a UK mental health organization so impressed by its effectiveness in combating chronic depression that they're urging doctors... More »

Swiss Shrink Revives LSD Research

(Newser) - A Swiss psychiatrist has revived research into the use of LSD to treat emotional disorders after decades of neglect, Der Spiegel reports (unable to resist the headline "Tune In, Turn On, Cheer Up"). Albert Gasser, the first person to study the psychiatric use of the hallucinogen in 35... More »

The Power of Negative Thinking

Better to acknowledge bad feelings than recite phony good ones

(Newser) - Deliberate positive thinking—from Norman Vincent Peale to Stuart Smalley—has long been touted as a way to overcome feelings of worthlessness and self-doubt. But a new study suggests that repeating positive mantras may often backfire, making people with low self-esteem feel even worse about themselves. For many, it may... More »

Boozing Editor Loves New Life on the Wagon

Elle fashionista goes weeks without a drop: 'I love not drinking'

(Newser) - British Elle fashion editor Stacey Duguid knew her drinking was getting to be a problem: “As well as possible health issues, the days I've spent hungover have been some of the most horrific of my life,” she writes in the Daily Mail. But it was a mammoth task.... More »

4-Star General Confesses to Post-Traumatic Stress

4-star general seeks PTS treatment, speaks out about it

(Newser) - The trauma associated with combat is a hushed topic among troops returned from Iraq—but a four-star general’s fight off the battlefield could help usher in a new attitude, USA Today reports. After witnessing the scene of a suicide bomb in an American mess hall at a base near... More »

Drug Abuse Rising Among US Soldiers

Military struggles to keep up with demand for substance-abuse counseling

(Newser) - US soldiers are testing positive for drugs in record numbers even as the number of Army counselors shrinks, USA Today reports. This year 2.38% of troops tested positive during routine urine screens, up from 1.74% in 2004, and more than 7,000 soldiers were sent to counseling for... More »

Group Therapy Linked to Cancer Survival

Study finds improved survival rates among breast cancer patients

(Newser) - Group therapy has been linked to improved survival rates among female participants with breast cancer, a new study has found. Findings appear to support the decades-old, controversial claim that psychological therapy can help cancer patients not only feel better emotionally, but survive longer and fight off recurrences of the disease,... More »

Electric Therapy Can Relieve Depression

New treatment using currents can help when meds don't

(Newser) - People with major depression that doesn't respond to medication may get relief from a therapy that uses magnetic pulses to stimulate the cortex, the Wall Street Journal reports. In a clinical trial, transcranial magnetic stimulation worked in about a quarter of patients—about twice the success rate of patients on... More »

Drugs Shrinking Psychiatrists' Talk Time: Study

Cost-conscious managed care also seen behind decline

(Newser) - Psychiatry is increasingly focused on prescribing drugs and less on psychotherapy, a study published in the Archives of General Psychology finds. A reluctance by insurance firms to pay for therapy is one factor, HealthDay reports, along with the wide variety of drugs now available to treat various conditions. More »

Doc: Brinkley, Ex Need Therapy

Court-appointed shrink wants custody of kids to go to Brinkley

(Newser) - A court-appointed shrink said both Christie Brinkley and her two-timing hubby needed time on a therapist's couch—adding that Peter Cook is a childish narcissist undeserving of custody, the New York Post reports. Psychiatrist Stephen Herman testified that “the father's behavior in this marriage has been terribly destructive and... More »

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