The Discipline of Psychiatry at Sydney Medical School has recently launched its first handbook in the mental health series - The Sydney Handbook of Anxiety Disorders: A Guide to the Symptoms, Causes and Treatments of Anxiety Disorders.

This book is edited by Professor Philip Boyce, Associate Professor Anthony Harris, Dr Juliette Drobny, Dr Lisa Lampe, Associate Professor Vladan Starcevic and Professor Richard Bryant, and presents a comprehensive guide to anxiety disorders, a major mental health concern in Australia. It uniquely explores a biopsychosocial model adopted by the University of Sydney.

Anxiety disorders are common psychiatric conditions with a devastating effect on quality of life that is often underestimated. Unfortunately, anxiety is as misunderstood among patients and health practitioners as it is common. While more than 14 percent of Australians exhibit symptoms of anxiety disorders, only half seek treatment. Of great concern is the fact that 40 percent of those who do seek treatment receive misguided advice.

Despite this alarming news, there is hope. The Australian mental health community, particularly the faculty of the University of Sydney, is rallying around anxiety research and clinical treatment. The Sydney Handbook of Anxiety Disorders presents the latest and most comprehensive information on the diagnosis and treatment of anxiety.

This guide clearly lays out a biopsychosocial model for understanding anxiety that involves biological activity of the brain, psychological theories on attachment, conditioning, cognition and recognition of social triggers. New and traditional psychological and pharmacological treatment options are meticulously analysed in simple language, while case studies give real-life examples of diagnosis and treatment plans.

The Sydney Handbook of Anxiety Disorders shares the experience and expertise of the best medical doctors and mental health specialists in Australia. The result is a must-read manual for anxiety sufferers and those who treat them.

Get your copy today via the following links:

Kindle e-book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00U1V1944

Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0994214502

In collaboration with Professor Malcolm Hopwood and Professor David Castle from the University of Melbourne, Professor Philip Boyce has developed a brand new online course on the latest pharmacological treatment for depression based on the circadian model.

Depression is a biopsychosocial illness. Studies of global burden of disease suggest that by 2020, major depressive disorder will represent the second leading cause of Disability-Adjusted Life Years lost globally, just behind ischaemic heart disease. There are a number of theoretical models to understand why people get depressed. Each of these models has its own mechanism and treatments. This course will focus on the circadian model and teach you how we can use agomelatine to manipulate patients' circadian rhythm in order to achieve better treatment outcomes from both patients' perspective and medical practitioners' perspective.

This course accepts enrolments throughout the year and does not have any prerequisite requirements.

Find more information or enrol via the link below:
http://cce.sydney.edu.au/course/amdc

Bipolar disorder (BD) is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality across all age groups and is one of the four most burdensome global problems in individuals under 25 years. In psychosis and depression, psychological interventions are viewed as effective low risk, high benefit approaches that can be used in combination with pharmacotherapy in individuals with medication refractory illnesses or as a single intervention for those with ‘at risk’ presentations (such as sub-threshold syndromes), first episode and other early onset cases. This paper reviews the state of the art with regard to the use of therapies for these different presentations of BD.

Overall, evidence is strongest for the use of psychological therapies for bipolar depression rather than mania and it seems to be more beneficial as an adjunct to pharmacotherapy rather than a single intervention. Post-hoc analyses and some a priori examinations of clinical trials suggest that these therapies are more beneficial if provided at an early stages of illness rather than as a treatment of the problems encountered by individuals with multiple co-morbidities and adverse consequences of prolonged bipolar disorder.

Join Professor Jan Scott for a webinar and explore more about psychological interventions for bipolar disorder on 5 November 2014 from 3pm to 3.30pm (Sydney time).

Jan Scott is Professor of Psychological Medicine at the University of Newcastle, and has recently been appointed to the post of Chaire d'Excellence with Fondation Fondamental and the Center Expert Bipolaire with the Universite-Paris-Est-Creteil, in France. She is an Honorary Professor at the Institute of Psychiatry and a Distinguished Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Professor Scott trained in psychiatry in Newcastle upon Tyne and was then a professor in Glasgow and the Institute of Psychiatry in London, before returning to Newcastle. Professor Scott also held visiting academic posts with Aaron Beck at the Penn State University in Philadelphia, Eugene Paykel at Cambridge University, and Eduard Vieta in Barcelona and was also awarded the RCPsych travelling scholarship to Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

To secure your spot in the webinar, please CLICK HERE to register your details and receive your personalised login link in the email.
If you have problems connecting to the webinar, please call toll free number 1800 105 054 (option 1 and then option 1) for technical support.

Date and Time: 5 November 2014 3pm - 3.30pm (Sydney time)
Cost: Free
Registration: http://bit.ly/1tAF83h
Contact:
Richard He | Program Manager
T +61 2 9845 7798
E richard.he@sydney.edu.au

Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) is an empirically validated treatment for a variety of psychiatric disorders. The evidence for IPT supports its use for a variety of affective disorders, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders, and for a wide range of patients from children and adolescents to the elderly.

Join Professor Scott Stuart for a webinar and discover the concepts, theory and practice appropriate to the effective intervention of interpersonal psychotherapy for the treatment of mood disorders.

Professor Scott Stuart is a psychiatrist and a Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Iowa (USA). He is an internationally acclaimed teacher and workshop leader, and has conducted training courses in IPT and perinatal psychiatry in 30 different countries and across the US. Prof Stuart has been active in clinical work, education and research in Interpersonal Psychotherapy and perinatal psychiatry for over two decades, and has received a number of research grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. Dr Stuart completed his medical training at the University of Kansas, followed by internship at the University of Pittsburgh. He has received many teaching awards, including the John Clancy Teacher of the Year Award (Department of Psychiatry of the University of Iowa). Prof Stuart is the President and co-founder of the International Society of Interpersonal Psychotherapists and Director of the Interpersonal Psychotherapy Institute. He has also authored a number of articles on IPT, and is the co-author of an internationally acclaimed textbook on Interpersonal Psychotherapy – Interpersonal Psychotherapy: A Clinician’s Guide.

To join this webinar, please CLICK HERE to register your details and receive your personalised login link in the email.

If you have problems connecting to the webinar, please call toll free number 1800 105 054 (option 1 and then option 1) for technical support.

Date and Time: 26 September 2014 9am - 9.30am (Sydney time)
Cost: Free
Registration: http://bit.ly/1nHqksc
Contact:
Richard He | Program Manager
T +61 2 9845 7798
E richard.he@sydney.edu.au


Whilst mental health policy and framework documents internationally espouse the embracing of a recovery-oriented approach to mental health practice, current outcome measures reflect a deficit and symptom focused paradigm. There is a need to adopt self-report measures that facilitate shared understandings between consumers and mental health workers that lead to genuinely collaborative and recovery-oriented goal setting or action planning.

Join Dr Nicola Hancock for a webinar and learn to use the Recovery Assessment Scale – Domains & Stages (RAS-DS). The webinar will cover the following topics:

1. The recovery construct as measured by the RAS-DS
2. Administration of the RAS-DS
3. Scoring of the RAS-DS
4. Use of the RAS-DS for facilitating collaborative, recovery oriented goal setting

Dr Hancock has a strong mental health background: clinical practice; education; research and instrument development. Nicola is an occupational therapist, and has extensive clinical experience working internationally in in-patient and community-based practice. Dr Hancock was responsible for establishing and directing the first NSW program based upon the international Clubhouse model of psychosocial rehabilitation. Now an academic at the University of Sydney, her PhD thesis is titled "Measuring Mental Health Recovery: Collaborating with Consumers". This study involved, in part, the development and testing of the Recovery Assessment Scale – Domains and Stages (RAS-DS). Dr Hancock used participatory action research methods throughout her thesis and this required the collaborative development of research training modules with which to skill-up and empower consumer-researchers on her team. Dr Hancock is engaged in a number of additional mental health related research projects: mental health outcome assessment within the NSW government and non-government sectors; evaluation of a number of Partners in Recovery (PIR) programs, what facilitates and hinders maintaining open employment for people living with mental illness, the role of peer-support for people living with mental illness, the impact of fieldwork education upon students' attitudes towards people living with mental illness, meaningful occupation and mental health recovery.

To join this webinar, please CLICK HERE to register your details and receive your personalised login link in the email.

If you have problems connecting to the webinar, please call toll free number 1800 105 054 (option 1 and then option 1) for technical support.

To achieve the best outcome of the webinar, please download the RAS-DS and have it available during the webinar.

Date and Time: 12 September 2014 1.00pm - 1.30pm
Cost: Free
Registration: http://bit.ly/1sVU7V1
Contact:
Richard He | Program Manager
T +61 2 9845 7798
E richard.he@sydney.edu.au

Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent of all mental disorders, affecting around 1 in 7 Australians, with approximately 14% of Australians being affected by an anxiety disorder in any 12-month period. The impact and cost associated with anxiety disorders is very high, both for the sufferer, the community and society at large. Although effective psychological and pharmacological treatments are available for anxiety disorders, recent research indicates anxiety disorders remain under-recognised in primary care, with the majority of sufferers not receiving adequate treatment.

The Discipline of Psychiatry's new short course Anxiety Disorders for GP: Managing Anxiety Disorders in Primary Care has been designed specifically for General Practitioners. It is a one-day training course aimed at providing additional skills for the use of medications as well as focus on psychological approaches useful in the treatment of patients with anxiety disorders.

On completion of the course, participants should be able to:

1. Discuss the symptoms, prevalence, and burden of anxiety disorders
2. Develop imaginal and in vivo exposure hierarchies for feared situations
3. Identify and challenge cognitive distortions common to anxiety disorders
4. Design a behavioural experiment to test an anxious cognition
5. Systematically appraise the basis for the selection of particular treatment approaches to anxiety disorders
6. Identify appropriate medications to complement cognitive-behavioural treatments for anxiety disorders

For more information, visit http://cce.sydney.edu.au/course/adgp or call +61 2 8999 9608.

Contact course coordinator Richard He if you have any questions.

SoCog, created by Dr Pamela Marsh, is a novel remediation program that targets the characteristic social impairments found in schizophrenia.

Social impairments are identified by people with schizophrenia, their carers, and clinicians as one of the greatest unmet treatment needs. These impairments cause great difficulties with communicating and understanding one’s own and other people’s perspectives and they cause severe social isolation for many individuals with schizophrenia.

These social impairments are not improved by medications usually used to treat schizophrenia. 66% of people with schizophrenia cannot fulfill basic social roles such as parenting or work and 83.7% are unemployed due to poor social functioning. These figures could be reduced with better access to treatment but over 80% of Australians with schizophrenia do not receive any rehabilitation. Therefore, the SoCog program is filling an important gap in the treatment of schizophrenia.

SoCog comprises a suite of games and activities presented within a social atmosphere with small groups of participants. The idea is to use the games and activities as a platform via which to encourage participants to engage their own social-cognitive abilities to infer other people’s likely thoughts to explain and predict others’ behaviour. This is achieved by exploring different possible interpretations and inferences in response to ambiguous social situations.

You do not need to be a qualified psychologist to run SoCog. All you need is an understanding of the concepts that underlie social cognition. At its most basic, social cognition is about people understanding other people. You do need a good sense of fun and to be prepared to play because SoCog relies on the facilitators being a part of the group rather than taking on the role as the ‘teacher’ or the ‘therapist’.

Want to learn to administer the SoCog program ? Join us for a full-day training session at the University of Sydney.

For more information, visit http://cce.sydney.edu.au/course/scrs or call +61 2 8999 9608.

Contact course coordinator Richard He if you have any questions.

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