MDMA assisted therapy

Previously I have shared articles on the progression of this new approach to treating PTSD that combines pharmacotherapy with psychotherapy.

This 2021 article gives an update on the research and points to some promising possibilities for a new approach to working with PTSD/C-PTSD.

The results of the studies were encouraging. Among participants who received MDMA, 56% no longer met PTSD criteria by the end of the study and, at a 12-month follow-up, that number rose to 67%. Mean change on participants’ Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-IV) fell around 45 points. Meanwhile, 23% of participants who received the placebo did not meet criteria for PTSD by the end of the study.

It is worth noting this treatment is not available currently and will require specific training so anyone interested in the area will not be able to access this approach from their psychiatrist or psychotherapist just yet.

The below video discussion with well known psychiatrist and trauma specialist Bessel Van Der Kolk looks at the area in more detail.

Multicultural Orientation (MCO)Training

Talk Therapy Dublin is collaborating with Outcomes Matter Education and Training to deliver an exciting new Multicultural Orientation Training, that strives to move beyond traditional cultural competency frameworks. This training will be relevant to those who work with diverse and multicultural populations across a wide variety of health, education, community or social care sectors, particularly those in or seeking to enter a role such as counsellor, support worker, psychologist, social worker, or community worker.

This training will introduce you to a process-orientated model of working with diversity, such as race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, physical ability, religion, age as well as other aspects of diverse cultural identities. 

This MCO training moves beyond the competency framework by providing a lifelong developmental trajectory, or ‘way of being on the part of the practitioner. The MCO invites an attitude, offering a way to view and respond to diverse and multicultural presentations. A lens to view and engage with individual’s multicultural identities, values, and beliefs.

The training is highly interactive, involving group work, reflective exercises , case studies, videos and an opportunity to practice the approach in real time using an approach knows as deliberate practice.

Please feel free to make contact if any further information is required.

Black Therapists Ireland

In a previous post, I shared an article highlighting the challenges clients from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds face accessing culturally responsive psychotherapy and mental health services. This is an issue I continue to hear about from clients enquiring for supports here in Ireland.

I had the privilege of discussing this issue recently with psychotherapist Ejiro Ogbevoen (MIACP) who has set up a website called Black Therapists Ireland which aims to create a directory of Black therapists, working in Ireland while hopefully helping to dissolve stigma around mental health, particularly in our Black communities.

This article from Shamim Malekmian in the Dublin InQuirer featured Ejiro and describes the background of the service interestingly highlighting some of the structural issues present in Ireland in terms of promoting diversity within the profession of counselling & psychotherapy.

The HSE launched the Second National Intercultural Health Strategy (2018-2023) outlining goals such as

  • Enhancing accessibility of services to service users from diverse ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds.
  • Addressing health issues experienced by service users from diverse ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds.

In terms of mental health this strikes me as very challenging when counselling is on the ineligible list of jobs for work permits, issued by the Department of Business and Enterprise. In a situation like this Black Therapists Ireland strikes me as a very important initiative which could potentially expand to provide a comprehensive service like the Muslim Counselling & Psychotherapy Network in the UK.