The InterPsych Newsletter 2(4)

 


 

IPN 2(4) Section A: News


_______________________________________________________________
VOLUME 2, ISSUE 4   THE INTERPSYCH NEWSLETTER        MARCH, 1995
________________________________________________________________

                       SECTION A: NEWS

                          *********
                          * INDEX *
                          *********

          1.   UPDATE OF MOVE TO NETCOM
          2.   IRC CONFERENCE ON SCHIZOPHRENIA TREATMENT
          3.   IRC CONFERENCE OF PARTIAL RESPONSE TO TREATMENT OF
               CHRONIC DEPRESSION
          4.   IPN NORTH DAKOTA LISTSERVICE MOVED TO NETCOM

================================================================
1.   UPDATE ON MOVE TO NETCOM
================================================================

InterPsych has completed the move from Mailbase to Netcom.
This move was instigated by Mailbase withdrawing its support of
InterPsych due to concerns about stressing the trans-atlantic
link (see IPN Vol.2, Iss.3).  All connections with Mailbase were
terminated as of January 22nd, 1995.

The move was much more problematic than originally envisioned,
being termed by one InterPsych official as "a nightmare".
Differences between the Mailbase system and the Majordomo system
at Netcom caused a variety of problems transferring name lists,
resulting in interruptions of many of IP's forums.  These
problems are believed to be corrected as of this writing.
Problems also occurred at Netcom due to the size and complexity
that InterPsych presents, causing, among other things, Netcom's
computers to be slowed to a virtual halt for two days.

During the interim, InterPsych's members, used to transparent
forum operation, became annoyed by repeated "unsubscribe"
messages and non-functioning forums.  Forum leaders were often
frustrated, not knowing what the problem was with their list or
who to look to for a solution.  Many of these problems reflect
the fact that InterPsych's needs are expanding so quickly that
it is often difficult to fulfill them as quickly as they arise.
One of the issues that the move highlighted was the
need for a larger staff.  A very small number of people were
responsible for making the move happen which both taxed these
people and made it difficult for them to do their jobs properly.
People involved with the move to Netcom found themselves deluged
with e-mail messages - many of them left unanswered in an attempt
to fix problems as quickly as possible.  This resulted in further
frustration among IP's forum leaders and IP members.  Ben
Goldhagen, executive director of InterPsych, states "we've
learned a lot.  No one envisioned how difficult and time
intensive this was going to be".  In conjunction with needing
more staff is the growing need for funding, something that will
be addressed when IP receives non-profit status (see IP Update).

Above all, what the move and the resultant problems have shown is
the size and uniqueness of InterPsych.  While Netcom is one of
the largest access providers, IP comprises twelve percent of all
lists at Netcom and a majority of its majordomo mail traffic!
Additionally, many of the problems that arose as a result of the
move had to do with software not being available that could
perform the sophisticated tasks necessary to make the forums
function smoothly.  These problems spurred IP into creating
software in order to efficiently run and manage its electronic
forums - something no one envisioned as necessary months ago.

The end result, now that InterPsych's forums are once again fully
functional, should that IP's forums are much more user-friendly.
A number of longstanding issues have been resolved.  IP members
can no longer post to the Superlist (the list of all of IP's
members).  This was not technically feasible before the move
occurred and was increasingly problematic as people would post
messages that were not relevant to many of InterPsych's members.
This caused people to receive mail that they did not want without
any way of stopping it - creating virtual junk mail.
Additionally, the lists are now set up to ensure that people will
only receive one copy of anything that is sent to the Superlist,
something that was also a growing problem before the move. A
system has also been set up to allow people to unsubscribe from
the InterPsych Newsletter if they do not wish to receive it (this
will be described further in next month's IPN).

Additionally, the move has caused a number of changes in the
electronic forums (see IP Update).  These changes should expand
the useful of InterPsych for all of its members.

Overall, although it was more difficult than originally
envisioned, InterPsych's move to Netcom should bring IP to a much
higher level of functioning and make it much more useful to its
many members.  InterPsych would like to thank those individuals,
especially Ben Goldhagen, Nancy Tice, Charles Stinson, Bill
Kearns, Beverly Jameson, and J.J. Larreau, whose tireless work
made the move to Netcom reality. [SPS]

================================================================
3.   IRC CONFERENCE ON SCHIZOPHRENIA TREATMENT
================================================================

Sunday, January 8, 1995 brought Dr. Ivan Goldberg's IRC
conference, this one on the Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia.
Attended by approximately fifteen interested students and
professionals, issues were discussed for almost two hours.

Dr. Goldberg, had prepared a pre-conference reading list,
including an abstract of T. H. McGlashan's article, "What
has become of the psychotherapy of schizophrenia?", published in
the Acta Psychiatrica Scandidavica, 1994, 90 (Suppl 384),
147-152. McGlashan's introduction underlines the motive for the
conference: "The psychotherapy of schizophrenia has been
changing.  The outcome studies which were primarily negative
have lead to psychotherapy with schizophrenic patients being
ignored in teaching programs."  McGlashan went on to elucidate
the differences in treatment approaches between "Supportive" and
"Investigative" modes.

Approximately half of the participants polled by Dr. Goldberg
reported currently working with schizophrenic patients. This
quickly developed into a discussion of the hardships of doing
treatment with this population and the effect of the relative
lack of outcome success on any treatment efforts. The critical
role of case management was cited. One participant stated, "Most
important is daily contact with attention paid to prodromal
signs and daily adjustment."  The possibility of an exclusively
psychoanalytic approach being "counterproductive" was also
stated - when "intense" and "frequent" contacts can result in
intrusions which exacerbate symptomatology. Nevertheless,
insight and exploration of experiences were named as important
aspects of treatment if combined with good case management and
supportive approaches. The possibility of using phenomenological
approaches was discussed, especially in helping patients see
that they are not alone with their suffering. Working with
groups were suggested as a possibly favorable treatment mode. It
was agreed by all that, "humility" and  "patience" were
necessary ingredients for therapists treating this disorder.

In spite of a number of electronic glitches which periodically
"expelled" participants  the discussion was lively, informative
and interesting. [JL]

===============================================================
4.   IRC CONFERENCE ON PARTIAL RESPONSE TO TREATMENT OF CHRONIC
     DEPRESSION
===============================================================

InterPsych & PsyComNet hosted a conference entitled, "Partial
Response of People with Chronic Depressions to Antidepressant
Therapy" on 1/15/95 on IRC.  Partial response in patients with a
depressive disorder is thought to be the norm, not the
exception, with up to 60-70% of such patients responding only
partially to treatment.  The general consensus from this
conference was that more attention and care must be paid to
patients suffering from a depressive disorder and be aware that
partial response to treatment is to be expected.  More research
needs to be done to examine the impact such response has in
these patients and what can be done to improve their response to
treatment, perhaps through follow-up treatment, maintenance
antidepressants, etc.  [JG]

===============================================================
5.   IPN NORTH DAKOTA LISTSERVICE MOVED TO NETCOM
===============================================================

In order to centralize operations at Netcom, the InterPsych
Newsletter (IPN) in January closed its listservice at the
University of North Dakota and moved it to Netcom.  The IPN list
at North Dakota allowed people who were not members of any of
InterPsych's forums to subscribe to the newsletter (see IPN Vol.
2, Iss.3).

If you are not a member of any of InterPsych's electronic
forums and you wish to receive the newsletter, you must now send
a message to LISTSERV@NETCOM.COM with the body of the message
SUBSCRIBE INTERPSYCH-WATTAGE. If you are a member of an
InterPsych Forum, you will receive the newsletter automatically.

The newsletter staff would like to thank the University of North
Dakota for providing us with the list and also Joe Plaud and Ric
Ferraro for running the list. [SPS]