Instruction video: Twitter for academics

Would you like to explore what Twitter has to offer but just don’t know how to start?

Here is a video with simple instructions and tailored tips for those interested in mental health and/or trauma research, including how to join tomorrow’s journal club:

It covers how to:

  1. Create a Twitter account
  2. Fill out your profile and send your first tweet
  3. Find trauma & PTSD experts to follow
  4. Use hashtags, with examples specific for research and mental health
  5. Join the #traumaresearch journal club via Twitter or Tweet chat

Let me know if any questions come up, I’m more than happy to help (@EvaAlisic). Continue reading

The efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy for children with PTSD

This week, we discuss a recent meta-analysis by Kowalik et al, which will also be input to a live Twitter journal club / chat. If you would like to join or just want to read the comments, have a look at #traumaresearch on Thursday February 23rd 10pm GMT (= 5pm New York, 23h Amsterdam, Friday 9am Melbourne).

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is probably the most used, or at least most recommended, treatment for children with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As I am quite fond of systematic reviews and meta-analyses, the new meta-analysis on the efficacy of trauma focused CBT by Kowalik and colleagues quickly grabbed my attention. Although (and because?) I have a few critical questions regarding the publication, I think it merits attention from researchers and clinicians. Continue reading

Pink elephants and trauma recovery

Don’t think of a pink elephant.

It’s a classic example of how thought suppression works: counterproductively. You will think of a pink elephant. Wegner and colleagues have shown that it is very difficult to suppress a thought. If you try, it’s very likely that you will think about it more than if you don’t.

This problematic nature of mental control doesn’t apply to fancy experimental settings only. It is thought to play an important role in posttraumatic stress symptoms. Survivors who try harder to avoid thoughts about (or images of) a terrifying moment such as a car crash, are more prone to develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Avoidance of trauma-related thoughts makes it more difficult to challenge unhelpful beliefs related to the trauma (see the cognitive model by Ehlers & Clark).

Recently, researchers have started to look at the role of thought suppression in children. The first studies show strong relations with posttraumatic stress symptoms  (see also the meta-analysis by Trickey et al that I recently discussed). Understanding which cognitive processes take place in the development of PTSD in children is essential for our design of helpful interventions. Continue reading

The first trauma research Tweet chat

Are you a researcher interested in traumatic stress and recovery? Come join the first trauma research Tweet chat!

It takes place at the end of February, depending on your preferences (cast your vote here!).

This post gives you all the details on how to participate. Continue reading