World of Psychology

You Never Forget Your First… House

We said our final goodbye's on Thursday.

But we ended it for good today.

Buying your first house is an experience you will always remember. It's like any first in our lives -- first time riding a bicycle, your first kiss, your first serious relationship, your...

Coming Soon: Abilify for Depression?

On Tuesday, Bristol-Myers Squibb received approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for expedited approval to review its antipsychotic medication, Abilify -- already approved in the treatment of bipolar and schizophrenia -- for treatment of depression in adults too. Typically such expedited approval is requested when a drug has been on the market for awhile and there is additional research data to support its use and effectiveness in another disorder. Keep in mind, "expedited approval" means little, a difference of only...

Take it easy on ECT

People are polarized over ECT, popularly known as electroshock and otherwise electroconvulsive therapy. It's either a torture device that must be banned, or it's a lifesaver. Well, my memory is good enough to remember from psychotherapy that things are not black or white. (It's a cognitive distortion to think they are, and I learned skills to counter and tolerate that distortion). Reality lies in a shadowy wisp of gray.

I've had ECT. It helped, and it hurt. It was administered in a skilled,...

Can Rats Feel Hopelessness?

Animal research has always been a part of modern American psychology, especially that done with rats. But historically psychologists haven't sliced and diced their brains as much as other researchers have. Earlier this week, USA Today discussed a study that purportedly shed light on hopelessness. In rats. After reading the article, however, I'm not so certain what we -- or the researchers -- really learned.

Essentially, the study — published online by the journal Science — suggests that hopelessness is just a short-circuit of...

Closed Psychiatric Hospitals Reused, But Current Patients’ Rights Restricted

Two stories in today's Boston Globe caught my eye. The first is a look at the reuse of old, closed public psychiatric hospitals throughout the state, mostly being turned into some type of housing. Typically developers purchase the properties (which is a lengthy, difficult process because the legislature must approve the sale of this public property), tear down most of the old buildings and structures, but keep one or two historic structures which are rehabilitated. Then new housing, typically apartments, condominiums, and/or affordable...

Does EMDR Work for PTSD in Just 5 Sessions?

Can eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), a psychotherapy technique, work to help people with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in just 5 sessions? The short answer is, yes.

And what about its long-term effects of EMDR? Do the benefits continue even after treatment has ended? Yes again.

For the first answer, I turn to Swedish researchers who examined 24 subjects who had just five sessions of EMDR therapy for the treatment of PTSD. After the five-session treatment, 67% of the subjects no longer...