Online Group Therapy – Bipolar 101 – Gina

Gateway’s Bipolar 101 – Online Group Therapy Last week we started the Bipolar 101 Group at Gateway Psychiatric, the second time we’ve hosted this group. It was inspiring to see how a sense of community and connection can develop so quickly in an online meeting.  I regularly hear of the value that support plays in the lives of people I …

Bipolar 101 Group Fall 2017

We are excited to announce a repeat of the very successful Bipolar 101 Group Fall 2017 is being offered at Gateway Psychiatric Services. The group is co-facilitated by Gina Gregory and Peter Forster. Do you want to learn more about bipolar disorder and connect with others who may have experienced similar symptoms to you? Gateway Psychiatric will be hosting an …

Fall 2017 UCSF Bipolar Psychoeducation Group

The UCSF bipolar psychoeducational group starts on August 7, 2017. It runs for 8 weekly sessions, Mondays 12pm to 130pm. Most commercial insurance accepted. I often describe this group as “an advanced class about bipolar disorder for people who have bipolar disorder.” I have attached a flyer and a draft schedule. Please feel free to give/show either to your patients. There is also …

Treatment Controversies

Treatment controversies abound in psychiatry. An earlier post about a conversation I had with a patient’s therapist in which it seemed that both therapist and patient agreed that being encouraged to come in for an early appointment was a kind of punishment, sparked an interesting dialog with one of this blog’s many dedicated readers. The reader wrote – As one who has experienced that …

Better Sleep with SHUTi – Gina

Using Shuti to Get Better Sleep Better sleep is a priority for many of the people I see. Recently I’ve started supporting clients in using an online CBTi (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia) program. I decided to check out the program for myself to get a better feel for what clients are working with. Ultimately I recommend SHUTi to clients …

Depression Is Often Untreated

Depression is often untreated, according to the results from the federal government’s National Health and Nutrition Examination study. The vast majority of Americans with depression didn’t seek help from a mental health professional Only 35% of people with severe depression and 20% of those with moderate depression said they had sought help from a mental health professional, according to the report …

Mindfulness for Depression -Research Update

Mindfulness has received a lot of attention recently as an approach to improving mental health in a number of conditions. But is it really effective as part of a strategy for treating serious depression? And, if so, how can we best incorporate it into treatment, given the great difficulty that many people with depression have doing even a small amount …

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Part 2: Defusion

Defusion is one of the six core processes that make up Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). These core processes, which also include acceptance (click here to review this process as described in Part 1), present-moment awareness, self-as-context, values, and committed action, are aimed at cultivating psychological flexibility, or the ability to have all of our thoughts and feelings while continuing …

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Part 1: Acceptance and Willingness

I recently attended the Anxiety and Depression Association of America conference in Philadelphia, where I offered a two-hour workshop on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and deepening experiential practices in ACT sessions (largely based on the book The Big Book of ACT Metaphors: A Practitioner’s Guide to Experiential Exercises and Metaphors in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy*). This post is Part …

Parity is What We Want

An overwhelming majority of Americans want parity. A large study found that almost 90% of Americans reported that mental health and non-mental health care were equally important to them in terms of their overall well-being. At the same time nearly a third of those Americans surveyed felt that mental health care was inaccessible and 40% felt that it was something that …

Distress Tolerance

In A wonderful young woman we have been seeing for a few months asked for some recommendations for skills to help her deal with her experience of moments of overwhelming negative emotions that often seem to come out of nowhere. This post is a relatively quickly pulled together document derived from Marsha Linehan’s Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Think of it as a “draft” …

DBT for Bipolar Group

We are very happy to pass this information on about a great group for people with bipolar being offered in the bay area by an expert in the psychosocial treatments for bipolar: Dr. Jenifer Culver. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Skills Group for Individuals with Bipolar Disorder in Los Altos, CA. The Next group begins September 2015. This group focuses on teaching …

UCSF Bipolar Group

The UCSF bipolar psychoeducational group starts on September 14, 2015. This group is lead by bay area bipolar expert Descartes Li, MD. It runs for 8 sessions, Mondays 12pm to 115pm. Most commercial insurance is accepted. Dr. Li describes this group as “an advanced class about bipolar disorder for people who have bipolar disorder.” For regular readers of this blog it …

Prefrontal Cortex and Limbic System

A very bright young man who has a great potential as the therapist but who is wrestled with chronic depression for years and has developed a pattern of avoiding doing things that he knows he has to do in order to move ahead with his life led me to talk again about the relationship between depression, the limbic system (or emotional …

Chronic Insomnia Treatments

A recent study confirms that cognitive behavioral therapy is effective for chronic insomnia and is often more effective than medications. “What surprises us is that there isn’t more awareness of this treatment’s effectiveness and that there haven’t been more attempts to make the treatment more available to patients,” James M. Trauer of the Melbourne Sleep Disorders Centre in Australia told …

Mentalize

Sometimes a word just seems to show up everywhere.  This past week the word “mentalize” has come up in conversation a number of times.   A colleague who is looking for a referral for therapy says that she needs someone who can “mentalize well.”  One of my patients who just completed a DBT-based treatment program says that she is doing better because …

Attentional Bias Modification Prevents Depression

A middle-aged nurse wrestling with depression said she want to do “everything” that she possibly could to improve her mood. She doesn’t have access to therapy through her insurance, and she’s already vigorously pursuing mindfulness practice, but her request reminded me of an article I recently read on Attentional Bias Modification as both a possible treatment of depression and as …