Hvem er du, terapeut?

En ny studie tyder på at personlige egenskaper hos terapeuten har stor betydning for hvor godt utbytte pasienten får av terapien. Stor faglig selvtillit fra terapeutens side, ga ikke nødvendigvis god behandling – et funn som overrasket psykolog og forsker Helene Amundsen Nissen-Lie.

– Vi så at hos terapeuter som tvilte på egen kompetanse, hadde pasientene mer positiv effekt av terapien. Hun mener forskning på psykoterapi lenge har neglisjert problemstillingen med individuelle forskjeller mellom terapeuter, også kalt terapeuteffekten – kanskje fordi svarene man får kan bli ubehagelige.

Studien som tyder på at litt terapeut-tvil kan være bra, er en del av Nissen-Lies doktoravhandling ved Psykologisk institutt ved Universitetet i Oslo, som hun fullfører i disse dager.

– Vi tror at sammenhengen her kan skyldes at terapeuter som oppgir mer tvil evner å reflektere over eget bidrag i terapien. Det vil tilsi at de er mer ydmyke, og dermed er mer sensitive og lydhøre ovenfor pasienten, sier hun.

Illustrasjon hentet fra morgenbladet.no

Illustrasjon hentet fra morgenbladet.no


Meditasjon på Colbert Report

Meditasjon brer om seg! Fra artikkelen «Dan Harris Led Colbert’s Audience in a Meditation Last Night» hos mindful.org.

Dan Harris, bestselling author of 10% Happier, talked to Stephen Colbert about exactly why he’s only 10% Happier (he doesn’t subscribe infinite happiness schlock pedalled by self-help gurus) and how meditation helps quiet that negative voice in your head.

Se hele epiosden her (intervjuet begynner ca 13:15): Colbert Report

Ny forskning belyser bivirkninger av antidepressiva

Fra PsychCentrals artikkel Warning: These Antidepressant Side Effects May Be Downplayed:

A new study discovers psychological problems resulting from depression medications have been understated, leading some authorities to question if the drugs have been over-prescribed. (…) Over half of people aged 18 to 25 in the study reported suicidal feelings and in the total sample there were large percentages of people suffering from “sexual difficulties” (62 percent) and “feeling emotionally numb” (60 percent).

Percentages for other effects included: “feeling not like myself” (52 percent), “reduction in positive feelings” (42 percent), “caring less about others” (39 percent) and “withdrawal effects” (55 percent). However, 82 percent reported that the drugs had helped alleviate their depression.

Blir man et bedre menneske av å meditere?

Meditasjon har blitt en hype – men hjelper det oss egentlig i hverdagen? Artikkelen «More mindfulness, less meditation» i The New York Times setter spørsmålstegn ved akkurat det.

The simplest definition of meditation is learning to do one thing at a time. Building the capacity to quiet the mind has undeniable value at a time when our attention is under siege, and distraction has become our steady state. Meditation – in the right doses — is also valuable as a means to relax the body, quiet the emotions and refresh one’s energy. There is growing evidence that meditation has some health benefits. What I haven’t seen is much evidence that meditating leads people to behave better, improves their relationships or makes them happier.

Consider what Jack Kornfield has to say about meditation. In the 1970s, after spending a number of years as a monk in Southeast Asia, Mr. Kornfield was one of the first Americans to bring the practice of mindfulness to the West. He remains one of the best-known mindfulness teachers, while also practicing as a psychologist.“ While I benefited enormously from the training in the Thai and Burmese monasteries where I practiced,” he wrote, “I noticed two striking things. First, there were major areas of difficulty in my life, such as loneliness, intimate relationships, work, childhood wounds, and patterns of fear that even very deep meditation didn’t touch.

Second, among the several dozen Western monks (and lots of Asian meditators) I met during my time in Asia, with a few notable exceptions, most were not helped by meditation in big areas of their lives. Meditation and spiritual practice can easily be used to suppress and avoid feeling or to escape from difficult areas of our lives.»

There is a difference between mindfulness meditation and simple mindfulness. The latter isn’t a practice separate from everyday life. Mindfulness just means becoming more conscious of what you’re feeling, more intentional about your behaviors and more attentive to your impact on others. It’s about presence — what Ms. Ingram calls “keeping quiet and simple inside, rather than having any mental task whatsoever.

The real challenge isn’t what we’re able to do with our eyes closed. It’s to be more self-aware in the crucible of our everyday lives, and to behave better as a result. That’s mindfulness in action.

Yoga stresser deg – og det er bra!

Fra bloggen «PreFrontal Nudity» i Psychology Today: Yoga: Changing The Brain’s Stressful Habits

As a neuroscientist, despite my initial incredulity, I came to realize that yoga works not because the poses are relaxing, but because they are stressful.  It is your attempts to remain calm during this stress that create yoga’s greatest neurobiological benefit.

Your brain tends to react to discomfort and disorientation in an automatic way, by triggering the physiological stress response and activating anxious neural chatter between the prefrontal cortex and the more emotional limbic system.  The stress response itself increases the likelihood of anxious thoughts, like «Oh god, I’m going to pull something,» or «I can’t hold this pushup any longer».  And in fact, your anxious thoughts themselves further exacerbate the stress response.

Interestingly, despite all the types of stressful situations a person can be in (standing on your head, running away from a lion, finishing those TPS reports by 5 o’clock) the nervous system has just one stress response.  The specific thoughts you have may differ, but the brain regions involved, and the physiological response will be the same.  The physiological stress response means an increase in heart rate, breathing rate, muscle tension and elevation of cortisol and other stress hormones.

Some people might think that the stress response is an innate reflex and thus can’t be changed.  To clarify, the response is partly innate and partly learned in early childhood.  Yes, the stress response comes already downloaded and installed on your early operating system.  However, this tendency is enhanced, by years of reinforcement.  In particular, you absorb how those around you, particularly your parents, react to stressful situations.  Their reactions get wired into your nervous system. However, just because a habit is innate, and then reinforced, does not mean it is immune to change.  Almost any habit can be changed, or at least improved, through repeated action of a new habit.

Er du redd for lykke?

Interessante saker fra Scientific American:

Unhappiness is often viewed as something to be prevented, avoided or eliminated. Yet recent studies reveal that for some people, feeling good is what scares them. Recognizing this fear and targeting it with therapy may be a critical first step before other mental illnesses can be treated.

People fear positive emotions for many reasons, such as feeling unworthy or believing good fortune inevitably leads to a fall, according to two new studies. Mohsen Joshanloo, a psychology graduate student at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, developed a Fear of Happiness Scale, on which participants indicate their level of agreement with statements such as “Having lots of joy and fun causes bad things to happen.” Such beliefs can plague people in many countries, according to a study by Joshanloo published online in October 2013 in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. The study found the scale to be reliable in 14 different cultures.

Er du redd for lykke? Ta testen her.

Myten om trassalderen

Jesper Juul, i Dagbladet:

Det begynner alltid med et smilende nei. En tilfeldig dag sier man: «La oss gå inn og spise». Barnet ser på den voksne, og sier «nei» med et nesten frydefullt smil rundt munnen og øynene. Fra da av er dette svaret på nesten alt det de voksne sier eller vil.

Dette frydefulle smilet har ingenting med trass å gjøre. Det kan best oversettes med: «Jeg har akkurat skjønt at du og jeg ikke er samme person. Vi er to ulike personer. Er ikke det gøy?». Med smilet og ordet «nei» feirer barnet oppdagelsen av sin egen selvstendighet. Både gleden over og viljen til autonomi og selvstendig utvikling varer med fredelige forhold i ett til halvannet års tid. Det lureste de voksne kan gjøre, er å svare med et hyggelig smil og gå inn til spisebordet. I løpet av 15 sekunder følger barnet etter. Det gjelder stort sett i alle situasjoner.