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Confronting a Broken Juvenile Justice System

Detention Facilities Have Become Warehouses for Mentally Disturbed Youth

Rob Waters

By Rob Waters - Record numbers of young people have been sentenced to juvenile detention facilities that have become warehouses for mentally disturbed youth. But outcome studies have found that kids who complete Multisystemic Therapy programs go on to commit fewer crimes than kids in control groups who went to correctional facilities.

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Assessing the State of Psychotherapy

Is Today's Therapy Losing Out to Science and Psychopharmacology?

Mary Sykes Wylie

The bad news was made official in 2010, though everybody in the head-shrink business had long suspected as much: psychotherapy was in decline, or even in freefall. You might think this trend represents people’s preferences for the quick fix of a pill, rather than a slog through talk therapy, but you’d be wrong: surveys have consistently shown that depressed and/or anxious people and their families would rather talk to a real, live, human therapist than fill a prescription. So in what appears to be the twilight of the psychopharm gods, why aren’t therapy practitioners rising up, throwing off their chains, and reconquering lost mental health territory?

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War-Borne PTSD Enters the DSM

How Veterans Forced Mental Health to Confront the New Trauma

Mary Sykes Wylie

Before the 1970s, almost no mental health authorities imagined, much less expected and prepared for, traumatic reactions to war to emerge years after the conflict ended. But after they returned stateside, almost 50 percent of Vietnam veterans began breaking down, months or even years later. By the late 1970s, it had become obvious to many therapists that the old diagnostic system had fatal flaws. DSM-II seemed to have been written for a world in which serious trauma virtually never occurred. While the veterans were struggling for recognition on one front, another campaign was being waged---which included some of the same people---on another, to get traumatic stress back into the DSM.

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The Politics of PTSD

How a Diagnosis Battled Its Way into the DSM

Mary Sykes Wylie

During Vietnam, there were proportionately far fewer reported cases of trauma on the actual battlefield than there'd been in previous wars. The primary reason seems to have been that soldiers had one-year rotations and knew that if they could just hold themselves together for 12 months--often with a little help from their friends, marijuana and heroin--they'd be free. But after they returned stateside full of relief and happy to be alive, many of them--up to 50 percent according to the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Survey of 1988--began breaking down, months or even years later. Why?

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What Makes Psychotherapy Possible

Today’s Video: Clarifying the Fundamental Task of Therapy

Rich Simon

Stephen makes it clear that hard scientific evidence now exists for what most therapists instinctively know: successful therapy depends utterly on establishing a safe, caring, mutually trustworthy, stable relationship with a client.

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How to Make Clients Feel Safe

Today's Video: Bringing Polyvagal Theory into Your Practice

Rich Simon

How can therapists acquire neuroscientific knowledge without becoming brain scientists themselves? Even more pressing, what real-life practical therapeutic implications, if any, can truly be drawn from neuroscience?

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Understanding the Dangers of Diagnostic Epidemics

The Most Powerful Psychiatrist in America on Why DSM-5 Is a Step Backward

Rich Simon

Allen Frances learned first-hand how, even when motivated by the best of intentions, changes in the “bible of psychiatry” can have large-scale negative consequences no one can foresee.

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The Best DSM Ever Written?

Jack Klott, an Advocate for DSM-5, Speaks Out

Rich Simon

In the intense debate its publication has sparked, DSM-5 has both its critics and its champions. One of the latter is Jack Klott, who says that the new edition is “the best DSM ever written.”

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