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Multiple Studies Show Food Choices Correlate With Depression and Dementia

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Could nutritional counseling become a best practice/research-based prevention and intervention for behavioral health treatment in the near future?  Psychiatrist Drew Ramsey, assistant professor at Columbia University and whose clinical practice focuses on nutritional interventions for his clients, outlines in this article on psychiatryonline.com some of the research that supports food choices as interventions for mental health.

Here are some highlights from the article:

There is an increasing base of  evidence demonstrating that diet choice is strongly correlated with mental health risk, particularly the risk of depression, dementia, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

It is also a tool to consider in helping psychiatric patients achieve full recovery.

Multiple studies show that dietary pattern is clearly correlated with depression and dementia.

Consumption of high glycemic index foods increased the risk of depression in post menopausal women as does a “Western” dietary pattern composed of simple carbohydrates, fried foods, and highly processed foods.

Stahl and colleagues found that elderly patients who had received six to eight dietary counseling sessions showed a decrease in Beck Depression Inventory ratings (9.9 to 5.9)… sustained for the two years of the study.

A study that followed 255 individuals aged 60 to 64 over four years and measured MRI changes found that left hippocampal volume was significantly smaller in individuals who ate a Western diet.

Dr. Ransey admits in the article,

nutrition is not a focus of psychiatric assessment or training” but that just adding a few key foods, like “kale, mussels and dark chocolate – covers the basics of psychofarmacology.”(sic).

One cup of kale and other dark leafy greens (33 calories worth) teach the rule of nutrient density delivering:

  • 608 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin K
  • 206 percent of vitamin A
  • 134 percent of vitamin C
  • more iron per calorie than beef
  • a form of calcium that is more absorbable than that in milk

Additionally, in the era of the microbiome, eating plants plays a key role in regulating gut health and determining the microflora.

Dr. Ramsey writes,

In addition to being relatively low risk, prescribing food presents an opportunity for psychiatrists to engage patients in self-care by helping them better nourish their brain.

Dr. Ramsey even goes so far as to say that food choices may even be “a tool to consider in helping psychiatric patients achieve full recovery.” Wow! Now that’s encouraging news from a psychiatrist.

 

 

Study Finds Talk Therapy Helps People With Schizophrenic Symptoms Who Were Previously Considered Beyond Hope

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The NY Times recently reported on a study conducted by Dr. Aaron Beck and other psychiatrists and PhD’s using a form of cognitive therapy to help individuals with severe schizophrenia who were considered beyond hope. The therapy was designed to help patients defuse the negative and self defeating cognitions.

The study was conducted by the University of Pennsylvania with 31 patients from mental health clinics in the Philadelphia area. The control group had 29 patients.

Some of the key and hopeful results noted in the NY Times Article are that people with severe schizophrenia can:

  • Become more social, active and even employable
  • Have more capability to improve their lives than previously thought
  • Increase motivation and reduce negative symptoms
  • Show measurable improvement in 6 months

For more information on the history and treatment of severe mental illness in the United States see Robert Whitaker’s award winning books: Mad in America and The Anatomy of an Epidemic. Here, in another article entitled A Schizophrenia Mystery Solved? where Whitaker documents some of the history of successful treatment with people suffering from schizophrenia.

How to Start A Private Practice Part 3 – Getting Organized

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Now that you have read in Part 1 about finding a location and office, and in Part 2 about what state, local or county licenses you may need and where to find that information, let’s talk about some free and nifty tools that will help you get organized and begin branding your private practice.

Establish Your Online Presence

Do you know how easy it is to establish an online presence? Establishing an online presence does not have to cost you a cent. If you plan to do fee for service work (as opposed to managed care) you definitely need to establish an online presence. Let your friends and contacts do the marketing work for you in a viral way. If people like your services, believe in you and you demonstrate online that you have valuable things to say and to offer people, they will spread the word for you…it’s called viral marketing. Before the age of the internet and social media we called it word of mouth marketing.

Starting a professional Facebook page is the easiest way to establish an online presence. You can also connect your Facebook page to a free blogging platform like WordPress. Of course you can also upgrade to a paid WordPress blog for pennies a day. Of course there may be other costs like purchasing your own domain name. But again it’s all rather simple and very cost effective. Our ebook on how to get referrals explains all of this in an easy to read and well organized format.

Share What You Know Far and Wide

Facebook is a very powerful and free social media platform…use it. If you have a Facebook page, just add a “page” to your already existing personal profile. Then ask all your friends to like it. But don’t send out those invites to “like” until you have a plan for how you will use your professional page and you have propagated it with numerous posts so that when you do invite people to check out and like your page they will see an already established Facebook Page with lot’s of helpful and uplifting information.

You will also need a plan for posting: ie how often and what will you post. One of the items that people love to like and share (and BTW that is the goal of your page to get your audience to share and like your posts to spread and brand your business name) are memes – those pictures with cute, inspiring and thought provoking comments.

Sometimes you can share memes from other sites and FB pages (as long as they get the credit) or make your own. At some point you will want to make your own and it’s easy to do if you get familiar with free online software like Pixlr and grab pictures from FREEIMAGES. They even offer free Facebook headers: just do a search on FREEIMAGES for “facebook header”. For free WordPress headers go here.

Use An Online Scheduler

Also, get organized by using a free online scheduler like ClickBook. I’ve used it myself for years and can’t say enough good things about it. It is one of the most straightforward online schedulers and the interface for clients is very user friendly. A scheduler like this allows both you and your clients to schedule, cancel or reschedule appointments seamlessly. There are many added features as well…too many to describe here.

Plan The Work – Work The Plan

Having your own private practice means having initiative to learn some new skills, create a business and marketing plan, and diligently work it. This entire process can not only make you a more successful business person, having had to work through the process yourself can make you a much better therapist. Why? Because much like you expect your clients to work the plan…you must develop and work your private practice marketing plan to get the results you want!

Please take advantage of our ebook that goes into much greater depth about how to develop your business and marketing plan and get more referrals.

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