The effects of emotional labour in social work practice

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Jo Moriarty explores a Danish study on emotional labour and social work and discovers how social workers manage their emotional responses in practice.

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Mindfulness based group therapy for common mental health disorders

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Mark Smith summarises a recent RCT of mindfulness based group therapy in primary care patients with depression, anxiety and stress and adjustment disorders.

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Social workers' caregiver identity and distress

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Jo Moriarty examines a study on social worker caregiver identity and distress and discovers some useful findings about the nature of stress in social work, with helpful practice messages for team managers.

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Woodland walks and your ‘Elf

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Kirsten Lawson dons her walking boots and reports on the national Walks for Health (WfH) programme, which has been investigated in an observational study looking at the mental, emotional and social well-being of people who participate in woodland walks.

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Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may reduce the demand for primary care visits

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Can’t get an appointment with your GP? Don’t stress, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may help by reducing the demand for primary care visits by distressed patients, according to a new study in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research.

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Bereavement during childhood, but not before birth, is associated with an increased risk of psychosis

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Psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, are often conceptualised as arising from a complex interplay of genetic and environmental influences (Tandon 2008). The impact of social influences on the risk of psychotic experience is undeniable. Recent reviews of this topic have called for a focus on maternal wellbeing as a means of primary prevention for mental [read the full story…]

Quitting smoking is associated with decreased anxiety, depression and stress, says new systematic review

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It is well known that tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the world (WHO, 2011). However, the associations between smoking and mental health are less well established. Smokers often want to quit, but the belief that cigarettes can be used to regulate mood can often deter them, and this is especially true [read the full story…]

Meditation programmes may improve anxiety, depression and pain but better quality research is needed, says systematic review

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There’s little doubt about it – meditation is in vogue. In fairness, it probably always has been. However, clinical and research interest in the effects of meditation programmes on psychological wellbeing has grown considerably in recent years. The development of mindfulness-based interventions has no doubt driven much of this interest. For example, running a PubMed keyword [read the full story…]

Meta-analysis finds that pituitary volume is not affected in people with first episode psychosis or schizophrenia

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* Declaration; I have published articles with two of the authors of this article, including on this topic, and know most of them professionally One influential model of the onset of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia is the stress-vulnerability model, first put forward by Zubin and Spring in 1977. This model proposes that people at [read the full story…]