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Project UPLIFT for NEREG epilepsy patients: New Program provides skills to prevent depression

Starting this year, Urmi Vaidya-Mathur, LCSW of the Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group has started to offer distance based skill building groups to patients with epilepsy through Project UPLIFT. She completed training in this technique over several months. 

This is a program that is designed to be delivered to small groups over conference call or the internet to reduce negative mood among people with epilepsy. The materials for the program were developed based on two kinds of treatment that have been shown to be effective in reducing depressive symptoms and negative mood, which include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness. These groups "meet" weekly and run for 8 sessions. There are no out of pocket cost to patients.

As a member of the neuropsychology department at NEREG Urmi's role is to work closely with our patients who have both Epilepsy and psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES). Depression and anxiety are common reactions to living with chronic illness and can both be treated with different forms of psychotherapy. 

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