Multiculturally Responsive Psychotherapy in Ireland

This Irish Times article brings attention on the pressing need to address Irish psychotherapy core trainings both experientially (skills, group process, placements etc.) and academic (reading lists, essays, research) with respect to EDI. Significant demographic change presents new challenges for responsive mental health services.

With statutory regulation of the profession on the horizon, will the opportunity for change afforded by CORU’s review of training standards and creation of protected professional titles take heed of this important issue?

Psychedelic Assisted Therapy

Previously I have shared posts on clinical trials abroad linked to the use of MDMA in conjunction with psychotherapy to treat PTSD.

This recent article outlines ongoing Irish research on the use of psilocybin, (the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms) in conjunction with psychotherapy to help those with treatment resistant depression.

“It’s promising data,” says Dr John Kelly, a psychiatrist and clinical senior lecturer at Trinity College Dublin and Tallaght University Hospital and an investigator with the trial. “It’s going to form the basis for further, larger studies.”

Psychedelics in conjunction with psychotherapy is an area of continued research globally and could provide future treatment options for clients in distress.

This radio clip on RTE may also be of interest.

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.