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- PublicationA review of Wells, R. & Gianetti, V. (1990). Handbook of Brief Psychotherapies, New York: Plenum(Taylor and Francis, 1993)This handbook sets out to provide a comprehensive account of current knowledge on empirically grounded time-limited approaches to psychotherapy. The book contains 25 chapters divided into five sections. The first includes a series of essays on key topics such as theoretical integration, recent innovative approaches to process research, and the implications of mental health policy for brief therapy. The second section covers a number of technical issues such as managing engagement problems, using time limited contracts to promote change, setting tasks and single session therapy. The third, fourth and fifth sections contain review chapters on individual, family and group approaches to brief therapy. Within these chapters, psychodynamic, systems and cognitive-behavioural perspectives are well represented along with a number on interesting integrative approaches.
- PublicationThe assessment and treatment of juvenile sex offenders in IrelandChild sexual abuse (CSA) is a widespread national problem. Evidence indicates that in between one-quarter to one-third of all cases the perpetrator is a juvenile sex offender. In the Republic of Ireland there are only 4 juvenile sex offender treatment programmes staffed by interagency, multidisciplinary teams. These teams have developed rigorous assessment and treatment procedures. The programmes take account of the multifactorial causation of juvenile sexual offending and the need to involve families and a variety of agencies in helping these youngsters develop more productive lives and avoid recidivism. There is a need to develop and evaluate similar programmes in each region of the country.
- PublicationReview of Psychotherapeutic Interventions in infancy: A seminar given by Dr Margareta Berg-Broden / Alan Carr. Social constructionist psychology and family therapy: Reflections on Professor Ken Gergen's paper to the Psychology Dept, University College Dublin 20th June 1996 / Alan Carr(Family Therapy Association of Ireland, 1993-12)Article 1: This fascinating seminar was held under the auspices of the Irish Institute for INtegrated Psychotherapy and the Irish Forum for Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy at All Hallows College on 2nd April 1993. Margareta, a Swedish pscychologist and psychotherapist, is an international authrity on treatment of mother-infant attachment difficullties. She has worked over the past twenty years in the US, France and Italy. She currently practices at Victoriagarden, a unit within the Child Psychiatric Clinic of Malmo in Sweden. The seminar was later published in the Irish Psychologist, 19 (10), 123-124. / Article 2: Ken Gergen spoke to a full house at UCD on 20th June 1996. He outlined three criticisms of the representationalist position in academic psychology and then went on to sketch the implications for psychology of discarding a representationalist position in favour of a social constructionist stance.
- PublicationLeaves on a stream: The effectiveness of a mindfulness-based exercise on the frequency, and difficulty in "letting go" of, anxious self-statementsA controlled trial was conducted to investigate the effect of a brief mindfulness- based intervention on the frequency, and difficulty in "letting go" of anxious self- statements. Each day for a week participants in the treatment group (n = 28) listened to the Leaves on a Stream mindfulness exercise (LeJeune, 2012), while those in the control group (n = 29) listened to a passage of prose of equal duration. The mean scores of both groups improved from pre- to post-intervention. However, after intervention, the treatment group did not display lower frequency or difficulty in letting go of anxious self-statements than the control group. Explanations for, and practical implications of, these results are discussed.
- PublicationFathers in family therapy: Lessons from research(Edwin Mellen Press, 2001)Treatment outcome research has shown that for 2/3 to 3/4 of cases family therapy is an effective intervention for child focused problems. One factor that has consistently been shown to enhance the effectiveness of family therapy is father involvement. Where fathers do not attend at least some therapy sessions, it is more likely that the family will drop out of treatment or that therapy will not lead to problem resolution. An important question arising from this finding is how best to engage fathers in family therapy and how to create opportunities within therapy for fathers to contribute to resolving presenting problems. In this paper the implications for clinical practice of research on the role of fathers in families and family therapy will be explored.
- PublicationProfiles of cases referred for CSA assessmentThe present study aimed to build on the findings of other Irish studies by profiling a cohort of cases in which CSA had occurred or where there was a high probability that it had occurred on a wider range of variables than used in previous studies. Of particular interest was the status of the cohort on variables in the following domains: circumstances of referral, demographic characteristics, family adversity, characteristics of abusive experiences, perpetrator characteristics, strategies to achieve compliance and factors hindering disclosure, emotional and behavioural problems before and after disclosure, and factors supporting credibility of allegations. We also wished to examine the associations between variables in these domains.
- PublicationThe short term effectiveness of critical incident stress debriefingThis study examined the short-term effectiveness of Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) in alleviating stress responses of people exposed to traumatic events such as armed robbery or managing major medical emergencies involving death or extensive injury. Acute stress reactions and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are the principal psychological disorders that occur following exposure to actual or potentially life-threatening events involving the self or others. Both conditions are characterized by intrusive memories of the stressful event coupled with attempts to psychologically avoid or suppress these distressing intrusions. Acute stress reactions are short-lived and subside within a month, whereas PTSD persists beyond a month's duration. Over a third of cases exposed to traumatic events such as violent robbery or dealing with severe medical emergencies involving significant injury or death develop PTSD.
- PublicationThe Clonmel Project. Mental Health Service Needs of Children and Adolescents in the South East of Ireland: Final ReportThe aim of this project was to determine the prevalence of mental health problems among children and adolescents in the South East of Ireland and make recommendations for service development.
- PublicationA robust method for the evaluation of prison based sex offender treatment programmesThis paper outlines the approach to evaluating the sex offender treatment programme currently running in the Irish prison system. It begins with an introduction to the scope of the problem of sexual offending as reflected by the extent of the prison population in Ireland who have been convicted of a variety of sexual offences. It then outlines two key points that can be gleaned from several decades of general research on evaluating the effectiveness of psychological treatments while indicating how they have been included in our present research. We also describe the variety of data sources that need to be incorporated into an effective evaluation of prison based sex offender treatment programmes. We conclude with an introduction to some preliminary findings from our on-going research. These finding high-light the return in terms of more reliable information when care is taken in developing a robust method for the evaluation of prison-based sex offender treatment programmes.
- PublicationPrevention of child sexual abuse: Implications of programme evaluation researchThirty child abuse prevention programme evaluation studies were selected according to a set of methodological criteria following an extensive manual and computer literature search. Targets for intervention in 17 studies were children; in 3 were parents; in 4 were teachers; and in 6 studies multisystemic programmes were evaluated where some combination of children, parents and teachers were targeted for intervention. From a review of the 30 studies it was concluded that child abuse prevention programmes can lead to significant gains in children's, parents' and teachers' safety knowledge and skills. Best practice guidelines arising from the review include the use of multisystemic programmes; child-focused curricula which cover a wide range of safety skills and concepts; and the use of didactic instruction and discussion; video modeling; and active behavioural skills training techniques in programme delivery. The curricula for parents' and teachers' programmes should cover child-protection issues and local child protection procedures along with an overview of the children's programme lesson plans. Longer programmes conducted by trained staff are preferable and such staff may include teachers, parents, mental health professionals and law enforcement officers.
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