Articles & Papers

CBT and Cognitive Distortions, Part 2

As the first step in working with cognitive distortions is increasing awareness of the biased patterns of thinking, the second goes into “cognitive restructuring”. Here, the therapist will guide the individual to beginning to develop alternatives to the distorted thoughts, and thus, “replace” the harmful thoughts. Such alternatives will be facts or reminders that are […]

CBT and Cognitive Distortions, Part 1

One of the most popular and widely researched forms of therapy available today is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). While CBT focuses on both the cognitive and behavioral dimensions of an individual’s functioning, one of the main focuses of this mode of therapy is identifying ways in which one’s thinking patterns are biased or distorted. In […]

Guidance on management of Alcohol misuse disorders

Reviewing guidance on alcohol misuse disorders, I see that UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has 3 documents on this topic. All are worth reading. One focuses on alcohol-related disorders, one on harmful use and dependence itself, and one on public health approaches including screening. The most striking point is how common alcohol harmful […]


I found an old but fascinating article on procrastination by Ainslie, available at his website here for those interested. Ainslie is a psychiatrist and has a background in behavioural psychology as well as a wide variety of other disciplines. He has published extensively on willpower and is a central figure in what is called picoeconomics. […]

The prevalence of mental health problems

A reuters article last week reported that according to a release from Mayor Bill de Blaiso’s office ahead of his mental-health initiative, one in five adult New Yorkers suffer from depression, substance misuse, suicidal thoughts or other psychological disorders every year. This seems to have caused some surprise in some quarters but the figure is […]

Headspace as online intervention

A client recommended an online intervention to me called Headspace (available here) that they have found useful. I am very enthusiastic about these online cognitive therapy based resources and think they can really complement counseling and psychotherapy. I always recommend such resources to my clients in Tokyo. However, a recent study published in BMJ (available […]

Validation in relationships

I found an interesting article on `validation` by Hall at Psychology Today (here) . It divides the techniques used for validation into 6 steps and has some worked examples. The article seems to be targeted at couples where one side feels the other is not sufficiently attentive or empathic. I would recommend the article for […]

Diagnostic manuals in Psychiatry

The controversies around the American Psychiatric Association`s DSM-5 have cast a spotlight rather on diagnostic systems in Psychiatry. While we all eagerly await publication of the WHO`s new diagnostic manual – ICD-11 – I thought it worthwhile to quickly review ICD-10. Whereas DSM-IV and DSM-5 are expensive manuals to come by, the WHO publish ICD-10 […]

Workouts for depression at Moodgym

There is a growing evidence base behind several online cognitive-therapy-based interventions for major depressive disorder. Among my patients Moodgym seems to be the most popular. I cannot recommend this free service enough for patients with depression. Please give it a go.

What is counseling and psychotherapy?

NHS Choices is an excellent website providing reliable information on health matters, including mental health, for the general public both inside and outside of the UK. I discovered that their website (link here) has some very nice and simple descriptions of what counselling (counseling for our US colleagues) and psychotherapy are, also including a description […]