online resources

Brief brain-related news

For really brief notes on the latest news about brain-related research, don’t forget to head to!

Bits that caught my eye:

Infant pain, adult repercussions

The making of the male brain (estrogen required)

Eating sweets every day in childhood ‘increases adult aggression’

Reader beware: headlines don’t necessarily mean what they say – take that last one, ‘increases adult aggression’ – what the study shows is that there is a correlation between 10-year-olds who ate confectionary daily and their adult convictions for violence at 34 years old.

There is a newsletter put out by this site, and a discussion forum – at least worth a visit, even if you need to read with a pinch or two of scientific common sense.

Some awesome CBT worksheets and resources

If you’re like me, you probably want to be able to put your hands on some easy-to-use worksheets for use with clients.  While I’m happy to make up my own, it’s nice to find some resources on the web – so thanks to therapyworksheets I’m linking to some of the worksheets I like from this blogsite.  These are NOT all pain-related ones, sorry.

First up is Lynn Martin’s CBT worksheet page.  Lynn has a whole raft of professional qualifications, but her original training is as a registered nurse.  Her site also contains a couple of concise summaries on CBT, and links to resources.  To use her worksheets you’ll need to cut and paste (and then probably reformat) into another document – but that’s hardly difficult is it?!

The next is from Specialty Behavioral Health, which has a lot of pdf documents on various mental health problems – including some helpful ones you could use if you were setting up a new practice, such as an intake form, consent form, privacy notices and so on; plus a range of specific CBT forms such as the Daily Mood and Thought Record, and one that I think I probably need: Common procrastination profiles.  I notice that these have been based around student issues such as writing a dissertation, breaking up with a boyfriend and so on, but they could be easily adapted.

Some lovely ‘personal growth’ worksheets are available from Intuitive Life Coach.  Some of these are very simple indeed – but because they’re well designed, they’re easy to use.  One example is the LifeScape Worksheet which is described as  ‘a tool to help you create a certain scenario or experience in your life. The point of this exercise is to draw a specific “picture” of the scenario using descriptive phrases that capture the essence of the experience—the feeling of the scenario as if you were experiencing it right now.’

Psychology Tools is a ‘central repository for materials useful to psychologists and other mental health professionals. The aim of the site is to provide free downloads of copyright-free materials, and also links to copyright materials.’  You can submit your own materials if they’re copyright-free (creative commons) – I haven’t done so yet, but will do.  Nothing here on pain management, but several resources on various disorders and even one on self esteem.  I liked the link to the Wellbeing Wizard – all about wellbeing(!), some nice information on Systems (such as how to draw a genogram), and I was impressed with the resources on mindfulness.

The last one for today is called Living CBT, which is adivision of the Manchester Centre for Cognitive Behaviour Limited. The Centre provides training and consultancy services across the UK at CBT-Centre UK. They have some simple pdf and word document resources including a pain diary, activity diary, and a great set of helpful self statements that are worthwhile copying and plastering all over your own workplace, not to mention for patients!

NEW: (March 2011) I just received an email from James Hardie from Moodjuice, a self help website developed by a team from the NHS Scotland.  This site has both patient and professional areas, lots of resources, and for professionals, a “build your own” resource area.  Excellent stuff, and I’d love to see more of this on the web.

NEW: (April 2014) I’m not sure why I’ve left this site out for so long, truly one of the most comprehensive sites I’ve seen, with a wonderful range of worksheets including case formulation, a self-help CBT book, and loads of patient resources – GET Self Help and Therapy Resources

101 Fascinating Brain Blogs at Online Education Database

Take a look at this list of great sites on things ‘brain’ – from lighter to really intense, at least one or two of these blogs will have something for you!

While you’re there, the Library holds a range of really good material to inspire you and inform you, especially if you’re taking an on-line education course.

If you’re new to pain management – iv

I don’t know about you, but one subject I struggled with for ages was neuroanatomy. I’m not sure why, but the names and functions just did not stick. I’m glad that there are now some new ways to learn the details! One resource I want to point to today is HEAL, or Health Education Assets Library. This is a ‘digital library that provides freely accessible digital teaching resources of the highest quality that meet the needs of today’s health sciences educators and learners’ – and it contains reviewed material, with about 22,427 resources that you can be directed to, including elearning materials such as ‘neurons’ from Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.

And if you’re wondering why it’s important to know this stuff? Well for one, pain is in the brain (well, the central nervous system) so it’s important to at least have a working knowledge of afferent and efferent pathways…but it also helps to understand more than that when you’re reading the literature on various types of pain and on the expanding knowledge about how our bodies work. Even if you’re the most ardent functionalist and don’t really care how, just care that, change happens, it’s good to be familiar with the enormous range of ways our nervous system operate. I’m fascinated by it all, even if I do struggle to keep the names and functions straight at times.