Satwant Singh

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Cognitive behaviour therapy in a second language

Human migration occurs for a variety of reasons, and the same applies to why such people access psychological services. Often migrants are offered therapies in their second language, either directly or indirectly with the help of an interpreter. While there is a body of evidence surrounding the use of first and second languages in the linguistic field, little attention has been given to the use of first and second languages in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The case studies presented here explore the experiences of recipients of CBT whose first language was not English. Emotionally charged moments were explored in either their first language or English. The participants were interviewed using a semi-structured interview questionnaire and the Autobiographical Memory Questionnaire. The results were analysed using the Framework Analysis technique as described by Ritchie and Spencer ( 1994 ). Nine key themes emerged from the data. Exploration of charged moments in the migrant’s first language while they are having therapy in their second language can be an effective way to aid collaboration, develop a shared understanding, identify underlying beliefs and reduce the effects of the second language as an avoidance mechanism. Therapists and clinicians can be creative when working with this group to make interventions more effective.

The potential benefits of colour in supporting people with compulsive hoarding disorder

Public health officials are beginning to recognise the significance of compulsive hoarding disorder. As clutter accumulates and obliterates living space, the world of the compulsive hoarder can become drab, dull and achromatic. Many people with the condition report having difficulties finding important items such as passports and other documents that become submerged under piles of hoarded material. Using an exploratory cross-sectional survey design, a volunteer sample of 15 members of a national hoarding therapy group was recruited. Participants were asked to take home sheets of coloured fluorescent card (colour markers) and use them to assist in defining or influencing their home environment. The purpose of the study was to explore what potential benefit colour may have on the environment and also the psycho-emotional benefits of colour for the person with the disorder. The study concluded that both the choice of colour and the way in which the colour marker was used appeared motivationally beneficial and served to inspire attempts at reducing or removing clutter.

Compulsive hoarding syndrome: engaging patients in treatment

The safety and quality of life of an individual, their family members and others can be compromised by compulsive hoarding syndrome. However services and treatment options remain limited despite increased awareness of its effects. The London Hoarding Treatment Group has developed a creative approach to treatment by using visual-method interventions to engage people with the condition. This article provides guidance on how mental health professionals can help people to cope with compulsive hoarding syndrome.