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1.  Should treatment for depression be based more on patient preference? 
Patient treatment preferences are of growing interest to researchers, clinicians, and patients. In this review, an overview of the most commonly recommended treatments for depression is provided, along with a brief review of the evidence supporting their efficacy. Studies examining the effect of patient treatment preferences on treatment course and outcome are summarized. Existing literature on what treatment options patients tend to prefer and believe to be helpful, and what factors may affect these preferences, is also reviewed. Finally, clinical implications of research findings on patient preferences for depression management are discussed. In summary, although our knowledge of the impact of patient preferences on treatment course and outcome is limited, knowing and considering those preferences may be clinically important and worthy of greater study for evidence-based practice.
PMCID: PMC3797653  PMID: 24143080
treatment preferences; depression; antidepressants; psychotherapy
2.  A Conceptual and Empirical Review of the Meaning, Measurement, Development, and Teaching of Intervention Competence in Clinical Psychology 
Clinical psychology review  2008;29(1):47-56.
Through the course of this paper we discuss several fundamental issues related to the intervention competence of psychologists. Following definitional clarification and proposals for more strictly distinguishing competence from adherence, we interpret Dreyfus and Dreyfus’s (1986) five stage theory of competence development (from novice to expert) within a strictly clinical framework. Existing methods of competence assessment are then evaluated, and we argue for the use of new and multiple assessment modalities. Next, we utilize the previous sections as a foundation to propose methods for training and evaluating competent psychologists. Lastly, we discuss several potential impediments to large scale competence assessment and education, such as the heterogeneity of therapeutic orientations and what could be termed a lack of transparency in clinical training.
PMCID: PMC2652709  PMID: 18952334
3.  How many treatment sessions and patients are needed to create a stable score of adherence and competence in the treatment of cocaine dependence? 
The study utilized a generalizability theory analysis of adherence and competence ratings to evaluate the number of sessions and patients needed to yield dependable scores at the patient and therapist levels. Independent judges’ ratings of supportive expressive therapy (n = 94), cognitive therapy (n = 103), and individual drug counseling (n = 98) were obtained on tapes of sessions from the NIDA Collaborative Cocaine Treatment Study. Generalizability coefficients revealed that, for all three treatments, ratings made on approximately five to 10 sessions per patient are needed to achieve sufficient dependability at the patient level. At the therapist level, four to 14 patients need to be evaluated (depending on the modality), to yield dependable scores. Many studies today use fewer numbers.
PMCID: PMC3411921  PMID: 22449079
statistical methodology; generalizability theory; adherence; competence
4.  The Relation of Rigidity Across Relationships With Symptoms and Functioning: An Investigation With the Revised Central Relationship Questionnaire 
Journal of counseling psychology  2008;55(3):346-358.
The belief that rigidity across relationships is related to greater symptoms and poorer functioning commonly informs the practice of many psychodynamic and interpersonal therapists. Using a profile correlation approach, we tested this hypothesis in a sample of 250 clients and 90 undergraduate control participants. Symptoms and functioning were assessed with the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems (IIP), Global Assessment of Functioning scale, and Brief Symptom Inventory. A revised version of the empirically-derived Central Relationship Questionnaire (CRQ) was used to measure interpersonal patterns. Revisions were made to the CRQ to increase the interpersonal dimensions it captured, reduce its length, and model a higher-order factor structure. The psychometric properties of the revised CRQ were found to be adequate. Rigidity as measured with the CRQ was not related to rigidity measured with the IIP (amplitude) and did not differ significantly among individuals with different interpersonal problems or DSM-IV diagnoses. Contrary to theory, however, greater rigidity across relationships was related to fewer symptoms and interpersonal problems. These relations did not appear due to the valence or the extremeness of the interpersonal patterns used in the estimation of rigidity.
PMCID: PMC2600800  PMID: 19578479
relationships; interpersonal; rigidity; consistency; symptoms
5.  Isolated Sleep Paralysis and Fearful Isolated Sleep Paralysis in Outpatients With Panic Attacks 
Journal of clinical psychology  2010;66(12):1292-1306.
Isolated sleep paralysis (ISP) has received scant attention in clinical populations, and there has been little empirical consideration of the role of fear in ISP episodes. To facilitate research and clinical work in this area, the authors developed a reliable semistructured interview (the Fearful Isolated Sleep Paralysis Interview) to assess ISP and their proposed fearful ISP (FISP) episode criteria in 133 patients presenting for panic disorder treatment. Of these, 29.3% met lifetime ISP episode criteria, 20.3% met the authors’ lifetime FISP episode criteria, and 12.8% met their recurrent FISP criteria. Both ISP and FISP were associated with minority status and comorbidity. However, only FISP was significantly associated with posttraumatic stress disorder, body mass, anxiety sensitivity, and mood and anxiety disorder symptomatology.
PMCID: PMC3624974  PMID: 20715166
sleep paralysis; isolated sleep paralysis; panic disorder; anxiety; fear; parasomnia; sleep disorder
6.  Psychometric Properties of the Mobility Inventory for Agoraphobia: Convergent, Discriminant, and Criterion-Related Validity 
Behavior therapy  2011;42(4):689-699.
Aims of this study were (a) to summarize the psychometric literature on the Mobility Inventory for Agoraphobia (MIA), (b) to examine the convergent and discriminant validity of the MIA’s Avoidance Alone and Avoidance Accompanied rating scales relative to clinical severity ratings of anxiety disorders from the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule (ADIS), and (c) to establish a cutoff score indicative of interviewers’ diagnosis of agoraphobia for the Avoidance Alone scale. A meta-analytic synthesis of 10 published studies yielded positive evidence for internal consistency and convergent and discriminant validity of the scales. Participants in the present study were 129 people with a diagnosis of panic disorder. Internal consistency was excellent for this sample, α = .95 for AAC and .96 for AAL. When the MIA scales were correlated with interviewer ratings, evidence for convergent and discriminant validity for AAL was strong (convergent r with agoraphobia severity ratings = .63 vs. discriminant rs of .10-.29 for other anxiety disorders) and more modest but still positive for AAC (.54 vs. .01-.37). Receiver operating curve analysis indicated that the optimal operating point for AAL as an indicator of ADIS agoraphobia diagnosis was 1.61, which yielded sensitivity of .87 and specificity of .73.
PMCID: PMC3519241  PMID: 22035997
agoraphobia; panic disorder; Mobility Inventory; psychometric; reliability; validity
7.  Lifetime Prevalence Rates of Sleep Paralysis: A Systematic Review 
Sleep medicine reviews  2011;15(5):311-315.
To determine lifetime prevalence rates of sleep paralysis.
Data Sources
Keyword term searches using “sleep paralysis”, “isolated sleep paralysis”, or “parasomnia not otherwise specified” were conducted using MEDLINE (1950-present) and PsychINFO (1872-present). English and Spanish language abstracts were reviewed, as were reference lists of identified articles.
Study Selection
Thirty five studies that reported lifetime sleep paralysis rates and described both the assessment procedures and sample utilized were selected.
Data Extraction
Weighted percentages were calculated for each study and, when possible, for each reported subsample.
Data Synthesis
Aggregating across studies (total N = 36533), 7.6% of the general population, 28.3% of students, and 31.9% of psychiatric patients experienced at least one episode of sleep paralysis. Of the psychiatric patients with panic disorder, 34.6% reported lifetime sleep paralysis. Results also suggested that minorities experience lifetime sleep paralysis at higher rates than Caucasians.
Sleep paralysis is relatively common in the general population and more frequent in students and psychiatric patients. Given these prevalence rates, sleep paralysis should be assessed more regularly and uniformly in order to determine its impact on individual functioning and better articulate its relation to psychiatric and other medical conditions.
PMCID: PMC3156892  PMID: 21571556
sleep paralysis; isolated sleep paralysis; anxiety; fear; parasomnia; prevalence
8.  Developing Research and Recruitment While Fostering Stakeholder Engagement in a National Institutes of Mental Health–Funded Interventions and Practice Research Infrastructure Programs Grant for Depression 
In the context of a National Institutes of Mental Health-funded Interventions and Practice Research Infrastructure Programs (IP-RISP) grant for the treatment of depression, a partnership was developed between a community mental health organization and a team of researchers.
This paper describes the collaborative process, key challenges, and strategies employed to meet the goals of the first phase of the grant, which included development of a working and sustainable partnership and building capacity for recruitment and research.
This paper was developed through the use of qualitative interviews and discussion with a variety of IP-RISP partners.
Lessons Learned
Communication with multiple stakeholders through varied channels, feedback from stakeholders on research procedures, and employing a research liaison at the clinic have been key strategies in the first phase of the grant.
The strategies we employed allowed multiple stakeholders to contribute to the larger mission of the IP-RISP and helped to establish an ongoing research program within the mental health organization.
PMCID: PMC3355190  PMID: 21169707
Mental health; psychiatry and psychology; depression; research infrastructure; community health partnerships
9.  A Clinician’s Guide to PTSD Treatments for Returning Veterans 
What options are available to mental health providers helping clients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? In this paper we review many of the current pharmacological and psychological interventions available to help prevent and treat PTSD with an emphasis on combat-related traumas and Veteran populations. There is strong evidence supporting the use of several therapies including prolonged exposure (PE), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and cognitive processing therapies (CPT), with PE possessing the most empirical evidence in favor of its efficacy. There have been relatively fewer studies of non-exposure based modalities (e.g., psychodynamic, interpersonal, and dialectical behavior therapy perspectives), but there is no evidence that these treatments are less effective. Pharmacotherapy is promising (especially paroxetine, sertraline, and venlafaxine), but more research comparing the relative merits of medication vs. psychotherapy and the efficacy of combined treatments is needed. Given the recent influx of combat-related traumas due to ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is clearly an urgent need to conduct more randomized clinical trials research and effectiveness studies in military and Department of Veterans Affairs PTSD samples. Finally, we provide references to a number of PTSD treatment manuals and propose several recommendations to help guide clinicians’ treatment selections.
PMCID: PMC3070301  PMID: 21475611
PTSD; posttraumatic stress disorder; post-traumatic stress disorder; psychotherapy; psychopharmacology
10.  Early Alliance, Alliance Ruptures, and Symptom Change in a Nonrandomized Trial of Cognitive Therapy for Avoidant and Obsessive–Compulsive Personality Disorders 
Participants were 30 adult outpatients diagnosed with avoidant personality disorder or obsessive–compulsive personality disorder who enrolled in an open trial of cognitive therapy for personality disorders. Treatment consisted of up to 52 weekly sessions. Symptom evaluations were conducted at intake, at Sessions 17 and 34, and at the last session. Alliance variables were patients’ first alliance rating and “rupture-repair” episodes, which are disruptions in the therapeutic relationship that can provide corrective experiences and facilitate change. Stronger early alliances and rupture-repair episodes predicted more improvement in symptoms of personality disorder and depression. This work points to potentially important areas to target in treatment development for these personality disorders.
PMCID: PMC3268072  PMID: 16649878
alliance; alliance ruptures; therapeutic alliance; personality disorders; cognitive therapy
11.  Do Personality Problems Improve During Psychodynamic Supportive-Expressive Psychotherapy? Secondary Outcome Results From a Randomized Controlled Trial for Psychiatric Outpatients with Personality Disorders 
Psychotherapy (Chicago, Ill.)  2009;46(3):362-375.
Studies involving patients with personality disorders (PD) have not focused on improvement of core aspects of the PD. This paper examines changes in quality of object relations, interpersonal problems, psychological mindedness, and personality traits in a sample of 156 patients with DSM-IV PD diagnoses being randomized to either manualized or non manualized dynamic psychotherapy. Effect sizes adjusted for symptomatic change and reliable change indices were calculated. We found that both treatments were equally effective at reducing personality pathology. Only in neuroticism did the non manualized group do better during the follow-up period. The largest improvement was found in quality of object relations. For the remaining variables only small and clinically insignificant magnitudes of change were found.
PMCID: PMC2808137  PMID: 20161588
12.  Unique and Common Mechanisms of Change across Cognitive and Dynamic Psychotherapies 
The goal of this paper was to examine theoretically important mechanisms of change in psychotherapy outcome across different types of treatment. Specifically, the role of gains in self-understanding, acquisition of compensatory skills, and improvements in views of the self were examined. The University of Pennsylvania Center for Psychotherapy Research database that includes studies conducted from 1995 to 2002 evaluating the efficacy of cognitive and psychodynamic therapies for a variety of disorders was used. Patient samples included major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, borderline personality disorder, and adolescent anxiety disorders. A common assessment battery of mechanism and outcome measures was given at treatment intake, termination, and 6-month follow-up for all 184 patients. Improvements in self-understanding, compensatory skills, and views of the self were all associated with symptom change across the diverse psychotherapies. Changes in self-understanding and compensatory skills across treatment were predictive of follow-up symptom course. Changes in self-understanding demonstrated specificity of change to dynamic psychotherapy.
PMCID: PMC2844256  PMID: 19803561
Mechanism; Cognitive therapy; Dynamic therapy; Psychotherapy outcome
13.  Supportive-Expressive Psychodynamic Therapy for Cocaine Dependence: A Closer Look 
Using data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse Collaborative Cocaine Treatment Study, this article focuses on the outcomes of patients who received supportive-expressive (SE) psychodynamically-oriented psychotherapy (plus group drug counseling; GDC). Short-term SE for cocaine dependent individuals, while not the most efficacious treatment examined in the study (individual drug counseling [IDC] plus GDC was), produced large improvements in cocaine use. In addition, there was evidence that SE was superior to IDC on change in family/social problems at the 12 month follow-up assessment, particularly for those patients with relatively more severe difficulties in this domain at baseline. For patients who achieved abstinence early in treatment, SE produced comparable drug use outcomes to IDC, with mean drug use scores numerically lower for SE at all of the follow-up assessments (9, 12, 15, and 18 months). SE patients who achieved initial abstinence decreased cocaine use from a mean 10.1 days per month at baseline to a mean of 1.3 days at 12 months.
PMCID: PMC2786223  PMID: 19960117
14.  Supportive Techniques 
Therapists of different persuasions use various techniques. Although many of these techniques are specific to their theory of treatment, others are practiced in common among different forms of psychotherapy. Many of these common techniques have been previously described, but supportive techniques have been largely ignored. The authors distinguish between the use of supportive techniques and the therapeutic alliance. Using Luborsky's definition of supportive techniques, they examine the empirical literature on the use of these supportive techniques in various therapies. They conclude that supportive techniques are often used in different forms of psychotherapy or counseling.
PMCID: PMC3330649  PMID: 11402079
15.  Early Improvement During Manual-Guided Cognitive and Dynamic Psychotherapies Predicts 16-Week Remission Status 
This study examined the extent to which improvement from baseline to weeks 2, 3, and 4 on the Beck Depression Inventory and Beck Anxiety Inventory predict week 16 clinical remission for patients with major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and/or obsessive-compulsive or avoidant personality disorders who were receiving manual-based psychotherapies. Logistic regression and receiver-operator characteristic analyses revealed relatively accurate identification of remitters and nonremitters based on improvement from baseline to sessions 2 to 4 in both original and cross-validation samples. Predictive success did not vary as a function of diagnosis, treatment type (cognitive or dynamic), or treatment status (short-term or long-term). The clinical implications of the results are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3330652  PMID: 11402077
Cognitive Therapy; Psychotherapy, Psychodynamic; Early Sessions
16.  Change in Compensatory Skills in Cognitive Therapy for Depression 
The Ways of Responding (WOR) was developed to assess change in compensatory or metacognitive skills taught by cognitive therapists. Thus, one would expect WOR scores to change during cognitive therapy (CT) and to be associated with change in depression level. Twenty-seven patients with a DSM-III-R diagnosis of major depression who had received CT filled out the WOR and other measures of cognition. After 12 weeks of CT, the patients exhibited change in the WOR, the Attributional Style Questionnaire, the Dysfunctional Attitude Scale, and the Self-Control Scale. Furthermore, there were indications that change in depression was associated with changes in these measures of cognition, including the WOR. The WOR appears to be a sensitive measure of change during CT that covaries with change in depression. It remains to be tested whether change on the WOR is specific to CT.
PMCID: PMC3330623  PMID: 11121002
Cognitive Therapy; Depression
17.  The Central Relationship Questionnaire (CRQ): Psychometric Properties in a Swedish Sample and Cross-Cultural Studies 
The Core Conflictual Relationship Theme (CCRT) method is one of the most widely used and tested instruments developed within a psychoanalytic context for assessing central relationship patterns or characteristic patterns of relating to others. The Swedish version of the Central Relationship Questionnaire (CRQ), a recently developed self-report instrument based on the CCRT, was tested in a sample of Swedish psychology students (31 men, 60 women) and compared with responses of Swedish outpatients (15 men, 15 women) and North American students (49 men, 49 women). The subscales of the Swedish CRQ showed acceptable internal consistency and correlated with each other in a predictable fashion, displaying a pattern of intercorrelations similar to the English version. The CRQ showed meaningful patterns of correspondence with self-reported interpersonal problems as well as meaningful differences between the Swedish students and Swedish outpatients, indicating preliminary convergent and divergent validity.
PMCID: PMC3330609  PMID: 11069133
Rating Instruments; Core Conflictual Relationship Theme Method; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Ethnic Studies
18.  The Role of Therapist Characteristics in Training Effects in Cognitive, Supportive-Expressive, and Drug Counseling Therapies for Cocaine Dependence 
The role of therapist characteristics in therapy training was examined for 62 therapists in a multisite psychotherapy outcome study that included cognitive therapy (CT), supportive-expressive (SE) psychodynamic therapy, and individual drug counseling (IDC) for cocaine-dependent patients. Demographic variables and experience and competence ratings prior to training were correlated with measures of change in competence during the training phase. Higher competence ratings before training were associated with greater change in competence for SE and higher average competence for IDC. More years of experience were associated with greater change in competence for CT therapists, but more hours of pre-training supervision in the CT treatment modality were associated with less change.
PMCID: PMC3330597  PMID: 10896736
Psychotherapy Training and Supervision; Therapist Characteristics; Cocaine
19.  Therapist Interventions in Early Sessions of Brief Supportive-Expressive Psychotherapy for Depression 
Although psychotherapy manuals provide treatment guidelines, detailed descriptions of therapist interventions in manual-guided therapies are lacking. The purpose of the present investigation was to evaluate the types of therapist interventions in Supportive-Expressive (SE) psychotherapy for depression by using a molecular method of assessment and then to compare the results with those attained with a molar method. Four percent of therapist statements per session early in treatment were interpretations, which most often focused on the patient's parents, significant others, and self in the present time frame. This molecular method for assessing therapist interventions did converge with the molar adherence/competence method. (The Journal of Psychotherapy Practice and Research 1998; 7:290–300)
PMCID: PMC3330510  PMID: 9752640
20.  Symptoms and Character Traits in Patients Selected for Long-term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy 
In this naturalistic study of 55 outpatients selected for long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy, two Swedish assessment instruments are presented (the Karolinska Psychodynamic Profile and the Karolinska Scales of Personality), and the significance of psychodynamic criteria for the selection of patients is discussed. Thirty patients (55%) fulfilled criteria for a DSM-III-R diagnosis. The most prominent psychodynamically defined character pathology was found in the areas of coping with aggressive affects; dependency and separation; frustration tolerance; and impulse control. Some psychodynamically defined character traits, particularly poor frustration tolerance, were related to symptomatic suffering.
PMCID: PMC3330478  PMID: 9407473
21.  Measuring adherence and competence of dynamic therapists in the treatment of cocaine dependence 
This article presents the development of a new 82-item rating scale of therapist adherence and competence for supportive-expressive (SE) dynamic psychotherapy for the treatment of cocaine dependence. Sixty- four items are rated for adherence, appropriateness, and quality of prescribed interventions. As part of the pilot/training phase of the National Institute on Drug Abuse Collaborative Cocaine Treatment Study, two independent expert judges rated 32 audiotapes of SE therapy sessions with cocaine-dependent patients, 10 tapes of cognitive therapy (CT) sessions, and 10 tapes of individual drug counseling (IDC) sessions. Reliability was acceptable for adherence but poor for quality and appropriateness. SE therapists used more expressive (interpretative) techniques than did either CT therapists or IDC counselors, and they used more supportive techniques than did IDC counselors.
PMCID: PMC3330446  PMID: 9058557
22.  The Revised Helping Alliance Questionnaire (HAq-II)  
The concept of the therapeutic alliance and its operationalization have received much attention in recent years. One of the early self-report measures of the therapeutic alliance was the Helping Alliance questionnaire (HAq-I). This scale was recently revised to exclude the items that explicitly reflect improvement. Using the revised 19-item HAq-II on a sample of 246 patients diagnosed with DSM-III-R cocaine dependence, the authors found that the new scale had excellent internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Further, the HAq-II demonstrated good convergent validity with the California Psychotherapy Alliance Scale (CALPAS) total score. Alliance levels as measured by the CALPAS or the Helping Alliance questionnaire during early sessions were not associated with pretreatment psychiatric severity or level of depression.
PMCID: PMC3330423  PMID: 22700294
23.  Factors in Outcomes of Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy for Chronic vs. Nonchronic Major Depression 
The benefits, and variables influencing the benefits, of short-term dynamic psychotherapy for chronic major depression versus nonchronic major depression were examined for 49 patients. The two diagnostic groups started at the same level on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Global Assessment of Functioning Scale (GAF) and benefited similarly. The bases for the benefits were examined by linear models explaining 35% of termination BDI variance and 47% of termination GAF scores. By far the largest contributor to outcome was initial GAF, followed by presence of more than one comorbid Axis I diagnosis. Initial level of depression on the BDI was not a significant predictor of termination BDI. The chronic/ nonchronic distinction accounted for less than 1% of explained variance, and little was added by personality disorder, age, or gender.
PMCID: PMC3330414  PMID: 22700274
24.  Efficacy of Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy  
The author outlines the history of brief dynamic psychotherapy, describes some of its characteristics, and addresses methodological requirements for assessing the efficacy of psychotherapy. Review of two major meta-analyses suggests that manual-based brief dynamic psychotherapy by trained therapists is likely to be as effective as other forms of psychotherapy and more effective than no treatment. More studies are needed that 1) compare brief dynamic psychotherapy with other forms of treatment for specific psychiatric disorders; 2) use theory-specific measures of outcome in addition to measures of symptoms; and 3) compare brief dynamic psychotherapy with long-term psychotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3330368  PMID: 22700185
25.  On What Bases Do Patients Choose Their Therapists? 
Forty-four outpatients were given the opportunity to have two sessions each with two different therapists and then choose one for ongoing treatment. Patients chose the therapist whom they viewed as more helpful and liked better, but not on the basis of demographic similarity or pretreatment expectations about the therapist’s qualities. Patients reported liking the opportunity to choose and stated definite reasons for their choices. However, 75% of the patients chose the second therapist. Possible explanations for the preponderant choice of the second therapist are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3330324  PMID: 22700137

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