The blog reviewed here is ‘Psychotherapy Brown Bag. Discussing the Science of Clinical Psychology‘.
Appearance and Design
The background is white including in the title pane. The title pane features what looked to me like a series of progressively fading blue trees. However this might be a concrete interpretation. So they could also be letters (o, p and q) which is consistent with the image of a blog (words) or people with the tear drop shapes representing heads (so looking from above it would be a group of people huddled together) which would fit with psychology (maybe this is a variant of the Rorschach test!). Just below the title pane is an index – here the reader can navigate using the archives menu while there is also an ‘About Us’ and ‘Links’ section (amongst others) that can be accessed. The articles occupy the left two-thirds of the screen. On the right hand one-third of the screen there are a large number of features – a search bar, twitter, options, RSS feed icon, subscribe option, recent comments, recent posts and categories as well as adverts. At the end of the articles themselves there are a number of options including the ability to disseminate the articles using social media tools as well as a rating system.
The first article in the archives is from February 2009. A number of articles contain a number of references to the research literature, suporting the main arguments in the articles themselves. Many of the articles give an overview of a topic (e.g. Distress Tolerance in Problematic Behaviours). In an article on binge eating, Anestis explains the diagnosis in more detail and also includes links to a number of books on the subject. In this article, he explores impulsivity in detail. The authors cover current research, discussing studies in detail. For instance in this article, there is a discussion of a study looking at an interesting (almost abstract) computerised therapy for social anxiety which showed promising results. Indeed there is a series of articles on online treatment approaches for different conditions (e.g. insomnia). Michael Anestis, doctoral candidate in clinical psychology, writes two interesting articles on dialectical behavioural therapy and explains how this can be used with a mindfulness-based approach (see here and here). The authors also look at the use of approaches to specific contexts (e.g. see this article). A number of the articles address commonly posed questions such as this article on why group data is useful for informing individual therapeutic approaches. In an article about a related topic, Anestis addresses the role of clinical intuition versus actuarial approaches to decision making. A number of articles such as this one on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder look at changes that might take place in DSM-V.
The ‘Psychotherapy Brown Bag’ blog is in my opinion an excellent resource for those wanting to learn more about different forms of psychotherapy both from an experiential and more prominently an evidence-based perspective. The authors have written a number of very interesting and useful articles on pragmatic issues and have utilised a systematic approach in doing so. They also intersperse these articles with commentaries on contemporary issues for instance news stories reported in the media.
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