When therapy hits a wall: 10 suggestions for getting back on track

If you're currently participating in psychotherapy to address depression or a related illness, you're probably already seeing (or will soon see) improvements in your symptoms, outlook, mood, and coping skills. But what if you're feeling stuck, or if you're just not connecting with your therapist? Encountering barriers to progress is not uncommon in therapy – here we offer a few suggestions to get back on track, based on the real-world experiences of therapists working at the Depression Center.

Honoring a son's memory by providing hope for others

The NJ Star Ledger produced a video featuring Herbert Ouida, a member of the Depression Center's National Advisory Board, who established the Todd Ouida Clinical Scholars Award and Annual Lecture in Childhood Anxiety and Depression at the Center in honor of his son, who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center.

Exploring human genetics to advance depression research

Srijen Sen, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and a member of the Depression Center, examines variations in genetic profiles to learn more about depression risk and help improve the prevention and treatment of depressive illnesses. Read more about his work in this profile from the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research.


Dr. Greden briefs U-M Regents on Depression Center's first decade

On July 21, John Greden, M.D., executive director of the U-M Depression Center, briefed the U-M Board of Regents on the Center's progress over the last 10 years, describing its research and outreach efforts, including its leadership in developing the National Network of Depression Centers. Dr. Greden also noted that the Center will soon launch a fundraising campaign to generate additional resources in the face of overwhelming demand for services. The meeting was chronicled in the Ann Arbor Observer. Stay tuned for news about the Center's 10th Anniversary year!

Study finds antipsychotics routinely used for dementia patients despite warnings

Antipsychotic medications are routinely prescribed to older patients with Parkinson's disease, a pattern that has remained steady despite a warning from the Food and Drug Administration about the risk of death in elderly adults with dementia. This finding comes from a study published in the Archives of Neurology that was featured in the Wall Street Journal. Helen Kales, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry, was the study's senior author.

New trends in treating bipolar disorder

Depression Center Associate Director Melvin McInnis, M.D., principal investigator of the Prechter Bipolar Research Fund, was quoted in a dailyRX article on advances in medications used to treat bipolar disorder. "We've got a new generation of medication with fewer side effects, but the long-term challenges remain pretty high," McInnis said.

Risky behaviors in teens

A Kalamazoo News article on recent trends in teens' involvement with drugs, alcohol, and sex quoted Daniel Keating, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, psychology, and pediatrics, who offered several strategies to help teens avoid risky decisions and their consequences.

Strategies for boosting willpower

Ethan Kross, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology, provided some tips for increasing self-control in the face of temptation in an article in Shine (by Yahoo).

New tool for assessing depression remission

The Remission Evaluation and Mood Inventory Tool (REMIT), designed to be used along with the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) to gauge depression remission in a way that considers the individual's own sense of recovery, was featured in the Journal of the American Medical Association. REMIT was developed by Donald Nease, M.D., former associate professor of family medicine, Michael Klinkman, M.D., M.S., professor of family medicine and associate professor of psychiatry, and colleagues.

Genetics, alcoholism and the brain

A U-M study which found evidence suggesting that a genetic variation may contribute to the risk of alcoholism by influencing impulsive behavior was featured in the St. Louis American. The article quotes study senior author Margit Burmeister, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and human genetics and MBNI research professor, and lead author Sandra Villafuerte, Ph.D., research investigator for MBNI and the Department of Psychiatry.


Sales of prize-winning dessert to benefit Prechter Fund

Congratulations to Farmington Hills, Mich., resident Joni Pitt, whose "OMG Peach Crostata" (pictured) took top honors in the We're Cookin' in Michigan Recipe Contest. Pitt's winning recipe will be sold at all seven Hiller's locations for one month, with profits going to the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund.



September 18: “Out of the Darkness” Suicide Prevention Walk
Gallup Park, Ann Arbor
Organized by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and co-sponsored by the Depression Center. Participate in this walk to honor the memory of lost loved ones, to raise awareness, or to support the causes of mental health education and advocacy.

September 23: Depression Center Colloquium
Trauma, Attachment, and Childhood PTSD
Presenters: Neil Boris, MD, Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Neurology; Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics; Co-clinical director, Early Childhood Support and Services (ECSS); Tulane University School of Medicine; Maria Muzik, MD, MS, Assistant Professor, U-M Department of Psychiatry.

September 24: Walk of the Minds (NAMI Michigan)
Oakland Community College (OCC), Farmington Hills, MI
Join people from around Michigan to celebrate recovery and fight the stigma related to mental illness by participating in or donating to Michigan's NAMIWalk, part of NAMI's Campaign for the Mind of America.

October 3: 5th Annual Prechter Lecture
1-5pm, Rackham Graduate School – 4th Floor Amphitheater
Keynote speaker: Andrew A. Nierenberg, M.D., Associate Director, Depression Clinical and Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital; Medical Director, Bipolar Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital; and Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School.

October 5: Ninth Annual Todd Ouida Lecture in Childhood Anxiety and Depression
10:30am-12pm, Rachel Upjohn Building – Depression Center Auditorium
David Brent, M.D., professor of psychiatry, pediatrics, and epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, presenting "Assistance for Treatment Resistance in Adolescent Depression: Lessons from the TORDIA study."

October 8 AND November 5: Military Family Support Forum
12:00pm-2:00pm, Rachel Upjohn Building
A free monthly program for family members of OEF/OIF service members or veterans. Spouses, significant others, children, parents, and other relatives are welcome. The program offers information, support, and an opportunity to connect with other families. The forum is moderated by professionals and includes a program for children ages 0-17. Registration requested: or 734-763-4904

November 9: 16th Annual Raymond Waggoner Lecture on Ethics and Values in Medicine
4pm, Ford Auditorium, U-M Hospital
Laura Roberts, M.D., Stanford University, presenting "On Becoming a Physician: Stresses and Strengths of Physicians-in-Training."

November 18: Michigan Summit on Military Family Research
8:30am-4:30pm, Rachel Upjohn Building
Contact Michelle Kees at for more information.


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