April 1st, 2017

Research focuses on self-injury

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Cutting, burning, scratching or biting the skin as way to regulate negative emotions is on the rise, according to experts, especially among adolescents. Using physical pain to reduce emotional pain is not a new phenomenon and, with the inclusion of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) as a “condition for further study” rather than as only a symptom of other diagnoses in the DSM-5 in 2013, there has been an increase in research on the topic. The work of Jill M. Hooley, D.Phil., professor of psychology and head of the clinical psychology program and the experimental psychopathology program at Harvard University, has opened [More]

April 1st, 2017

“Core Principles of Meditation for Therapy: Improving the Outcomes for Psychotherapeutic Treatment.”

By Kerry Morrison, Psy.D

“Core Principles of Meditation for Therapy: Improving the Outcomes for Psychotherapeutic Treatment.” By Annellen M. Simpkins & C. Alexander Simpkins John Wiley & Sons Hoboken, N.J 2016     Book offers techniques to improve client well-being   Reviewed by Kerry Morrison, Psy.D. In the last decade, the psychotherapy world has been excited about using mindfulness and meditation in therapy with clients. Many psychotherapists who have their own meditation practices have long thought about integrating body mind techniques with their existing psychotherapy strategies. The authors of “Core Principles of Meditation for Therapy: Improving the Outcomes for Psychotherapeutic Treatment,” are psychologists who [More]

April 1st, 2017

“Celebrity & Entertainment Obsession: Understanding Our Addiction”

By James K Luiselli EdD ABPP BCBA-D

“Celebrity & Entertainment Obsession: Understanding Our Addiction” By Michael S. Levy Rowman & Littlefield Lanham, MD, 2015    Author explores celebrity worship Reviewed by James K. Luiselli, Ed.D., ABPP, BCBA-D Believe it or not, some psychologists have coined the term Celebrity Worship Syndrome to describe a person’s obsession and life-dominating fascination with movie stars, musicians, athletes and similar high-status performers. There are even rating scales to measure celebrity worship along purported entertainment-social, intense-personal and borderline-pathological dimensions. Although celebrity and entertainment obsession seems to take many forms, it has not been highly researched or written about extensively. This book offers the [More]

April 1st, 2017

Health care economic changes on the horizon

By Edward Stern J.D.

An interesting circumstance is happening in health care. The government, including state and federal entities and private enterprises are both funding health care and providing health care. The funding and provision of health care are two entirely separate issues and, although inter-related, should not be confused with each other. As the federal government appears to be planning to reduce its economic footprint in health care, the states may need to make economic choices regarding who will provide particular services in their states. Mental health crisis teams in Massachusetts are now fully served by private vendors. In a process that began [More]

April 1st, 2017

Back to square one

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

In a recent Thursday night, my wife and I drove into Harvard Square to hear a talk by Damion Searls, the author of “The Inkblots,” a new book about Hermann Rorschach and the test that Searls described as once having been as emblematic of the psychologist as the stethoscope is of the physician. The square is a short drive from our home over a long road rich in memories and connections to the beginnings of my career as a psychologist. I have not traveled this road alone and have always been grateful for my companions on the way – my [More]

March 1st, 2017

Integrated practices: Moving toward comprehensive health care

By Phyllis Hanlon

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and Health Resources and Services Administration report that some primary care offices are becoming a “gateway” for individuals who have a combination of behavioral and physical health needs. The growing prevalence of co-existing physical and behavioral challenges is prompting a closer look at integrated practices. Corey D. Smith, director of behavioral health training at the Maine-Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency Program, which trains medical doctors and nurses in collaboration with the University of New England (UNE) College of Medicine and UNE’s College of Pharmacy, pointed out that few medical conditions present without a [More]

March 1st, 2017

What will ACA replacement mean for mental health?

By Janine Weisman

Uncertainty surrounding President Donald Trump’s often repeated campaign promise to dismantle the Affordable Care Act has changed the way Republicans talk about it: Instead of “repeal,” the emphasis is now on “repair.” Even so, mental health advocates are worried that any fix to the 2010 federal health care law might mean the loss of historic protections requiring health plans to cover mental health and substance use disorder treatment and services. Before ACA made these services “essential benefits,” individual and small group market policies rarely covered them. “The Affordable Care Act, put in extreme terms, is a life-or-death issue for people [More]

March 1st, 2017

Wait times still long in EDs

By Pamela Berard

Patients having mental health emergencies who require hospital admission wait nearly four times longer for an inpatient bed than their medical counterparts, according to a study published in Annals of Emergency Medicine. Additionally, mental health patients waited more than five times as long for transfer to another facility, according to the study, “Analysis of Emergency Department Length of Stay for Mental Health Patients at Ten Massachusetts Emergency Departments.” “Boarding, the practice of prolonged waiting in the emergency department for an inpatient hospital bed or transfer to another facility, is a pervasive public health problem that disproportionately affects mental health patients,” [More]

March 1st, 2017

Safe rooms at EDs provide temporary respite

By Catherine Robertson Souter

The signing of the Community Mental Health Act in 1963 introduced a major shift in mental health care. Signed by President John F. Kennedy, the act initiated a shifting of federal resources away from large institutions with the goal of increasing community-based mental health treatment programs. Flash forward more than 50 years later to find that all did not turn out as planned. While there are fewer people committed to inpatient care, community services have not matched expected growth. The result? Fewer beds and less local services have led to higher levels of incarceration among the mentally ill and people [More]

March 1st, 2017

Reimbursement for telehealth still an issue

By Catherine Robertson Souter

In Massachusetts, Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced that it would add coverage for telehealth services early last year. While the coverage was expanded, however, BCBS limited its reimbursement rates, falling short of parity with face-to-face services. That announcement triggered questions for many psychologists in the Commonwealth. What other insurance companies provide coverage and at what rates? When videoconferencing technology first became widely available in the late 1990s, professionals in the mental health field started to ask how they could use this new technology. If you can see someone, gauge their reactions, read body language and provide nearly the same [More]

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