When Clients Access Mental Health Records, and Other News

Shelves containing medical filesPeople are generally entitled to access their medical records, including progress notes made by mental health providers to document the progress of treatment. Increased use of online progress notes makes it easier than ever for people to access their mental health records. A small study published in the journal Psychiatric Services suggests these records can both strengthen and harm the relationship between mental health provider and the person in therapy.

Researchers followed 28 people seeking treatment for mental health conditions at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Portland Health Care System in Oregon. Each participant answered interview questions about their reaction to provider progress notes. When records were consistent with what happened in treatment sessions, when notes indicated that providers listened, and when providers openly discussed diagnoses, participants expressed positive feelings about their providers and their medical records.

However, some components of progress notes eroded the relationship. Information gaps, incorrect information, and outdated treatment details were common sources of frustration. Some people said their records contained diagnoses their providers never discussed with them, significantly decreasing trust.

They study’s authors suggest their research provides important clues about how mental health providers can use progress notes and in-session discussions to strengthen their relationships with people in therapy.

Feeling Burned Out at Work? Join the Club

Burnout at work is increasingly common, significantly affecting performance and morale. Most companies are ill-equipped to treat worker burnout. Moreover, issues with company culture—such as job insecurity and pressure to continually do more while working with less—can cause or worsen burnout.

Scientists Test Deep Brain Stimulation as Potential Anorexia Therapy

Deep brain stimulation, which uses electrodes to electrically stimulate the brain, may reduce symptoms of anorexia nervosa, according to a small pilot study of 16 people. Participants’ body mass index (BMI) increased an average of 3.5 points during the study, and some experienced a reduction in anxiety and depression.

Chicago Leaders Use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Combat Violent Crime

A violent crime wave in Chicago has sparked international media coverage, with 812 people murdered last year alone. A cognitive behavioral therapy program that supports social skills, encourages trust, and offers healthy outlets for anger and aggression is trying to tackle the crime wave by improving the well-being of Chicago’s at-risk teen boys.

Researchers See Promise in Light Therapy to Treat Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is an intractable and complex issue, affecting as many as 100 million Americans. Many people with chronic pain turn to opioids to manage symptoms, but these drugs can be addictive and are not always effective. New research suggests light therapy might offer relief. Researchers still are not sure how this nonpharmacological remedy works, but they say it does appear to reduce symptoms.

Stressed by Success, a Top Restaurant Turns to Therapy

El Celler de Can Roca consistently ranks among the world’s top restaurants. The competitive restaurant world can be stressful, but the dining establishment’s owners have found a novel way to cope. Weekly staff sessions with an on-site psychologist offer a chance to blow off steam and discuss challenging emotions.

Schools Strained by Kids’ Mental Health Woes

In Wisconsin alone, 175,000 students have an undiagnosed mental health condition. These unmet mental health needs, which are often the product of traumatic experiences or chaotic home lives, can strain school resources.

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  • Leave a Comment
  • payel

    March 4th, 2017 at 7:56 PM

    I am in critical mental condition dnt want to leave any more please help me how to end my life peacefully

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team

    March 5th, 2017 at 10:17 AM

    Thank you for your comment, Payel. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at https://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html

    Warm regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • Dana

    March 5th, 2017 at 7:58 AM

    There are times when I think that maybe there is too much information out there for us to get our hands on? And maybe until we are completely released from therapy we shouldn’t have access to the records or to all of them? I don’t know, I’m torn.

  • Letitia

    March 7th, 2017 at 2:28 PM

    Everyone that I work with is so bummed out right now. Corporate is making so many changes and most of us are never sure from day to day if we will still have our jobs tomorrow. That is kind of scary, not to mention stressful not knowing if you are going to go into work one day and be given your walking papers. I need my job to live as do most of the other people that I work with, so the tension just keeps growing and I don’t think that any of us are really being all that productive because we are all just nervous about what each day will bring.

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