March 1st, 2011

Cultural competence and Groundhog Day

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

If you ever need a demonstration of the importance of cultural competence, just imagine yourself in psychotherapy in a country that doesn’t celebrate Groundhog Day. You are spending your first winter in a tropical country in Asia and, in the waning days of January, your thoughts turn to friends and family back home. You think of your snowbound grandmother and how important it is for her to get to Savannah for the country’s biggest Saint Patrick’s Day parade on March 17. With an early spring, she will have just enough time to crank up her Model A Ford and make [More]

February 15th, 2011

Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children: Research on the Family Life Cycle

By Paul Efthim PhD

Book examines children of sexual minority parents (February 2011 Issue) “Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children: Research on the Family Life Cycle” By Abbie E. Goldberg American Psychological Association Washington, D.C., 2010 By Paul Efthim, Ph.D. “The Kids Are All Right” is the name of a superb motion picture starring Annette Benning and Julianne Moore about a lesbian couple and their two teenaged children, but it could also serve nicely as the unofficial subtitle of this excellent book on the same subject. The implied question, of course, is: What is it like for children to grow up with gay [More]

February 15th, 2011

Saving our lives one step at a time

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

Just one month into the new year, some of our resolutions for self-improvement may have already started to split along the fault lines of old comfortable habits and resistance to change. It happens every year and, according to one source I consulted, it began with the Babylonians who were the very first to make new years’ resolutions. They probably weren’t much better at it than we are. But that’s okay because, for most of us, the price of failure isn’t terribly high. There are some, however, for whom the ability to change is a matter of life and death every [More]

February 1st, 2011

Common Dilemmas in Couple Therapy

By Paul Efthim PhD

Author guides readers through menu of techniques (February 2011 Issue) “Common Dilemmas in Couple Therapy” By Judith P. Leavitt Routledge New York, N.Y., 2010 By Paul Efthim, Ph.D. This intriguing text takes a different approach than most books on couple therapy. Rather than presenting a model of couple treatment linked to one particular theoretical viewpoint, this new book by Judith Leavitt offers a technically eclectic overview of strategies for working with specific issues in relationship therapy. Leavitt, a psychologist and certified sex therapist who maintains a private practice in Wayland, Mass., teaches couple therapy and human sexuality at the Massachusetts [More]

January 15th, 2011

Earning a Living Outside of Managed Mental Health Care: 50 Ways to Expand Your Practice

By James K Luiselli EdD ABPP BCBA-D

Unique resource is fun, worthwhile read (January 2011 Issue) “Earning a Living Outside of Managed Mental Health Care: 50 Ways to Expand Your Practice” By Steven Walfish American Psychological Association Washington, D.C., 2010 By James K. Luiselli, Ed.D., ABPP, BCBA-D Many books are available to mental health professionals (MHPs) that offer advice and direction for building and maintaining a private practice. I’ve read most of them. This book, edited by psychologist Steven Walfish has a single purpose: educating MHPs about surviving and prospering financially in the era of managed care. Walfish’s formula for the book is creative. He solicited contributions [More]

January 12th, 2011

More than a few good interns

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

By the time this column appears in January, the interview phase of the annual internship sweepstakes will be in full swing. But as I write in December, I have just finished reviewing my share of the mountain of applications that come every year to our hospital’s training program. Reading applications for internships always makes me think that I have been transported to Lake Wobegon, Garrison Keillor’s fictional Midwestern city where “all the women are strong, all the men are good looking and all the children are above average.” I don’t know about strength or looks and those qualities aren’t relevant [More]

December 16th, 2010

Ebenezer Scrooge and the Season of Second Chances

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

What I love most about the dark cold days of December is the opportunity they give us to notice and enjoy glimpses of contrasting light and warmth. Outdoors the cold makes everything sharp and clear and paradoxically we are more aware of the sun glinting off crystalline expanses of blinding white snow. Indoors we light fires, celebrate holidays and remind ourselves that anything is possible. True or not, this is something we need to believe because we see too much distress and suffering and know too well the importance of second chances. This is the season of second chances and [More]

December 16th, 2010

Crimes against children are decreasing

By Catherine Robertson Souter

If you took the nation’s pulse only by reading newspapers, you’d probably believe that bullying and crimes against children are on the rise. In fact, those reports, sensationalized or not, may be positively impacting the rates of crimes against children. In a study conducted by the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, researchers found that rates of bullying and reports of sexual assault against children had declined in the years between 2003 and 2008. Based on two nationally representative sample of children ages two to 17, the study saw a reduction of bullying from 22 [More]

December 16th, 2010

Bill would extend technology assistance to mental health providers

By Pamela Berard

Time is running out, but Congress is considering legislation that would amend the Public Health Service Act and the Social Security Act to extend health information technology assistance eligibility to mental health and addiction treatment providers and facilities. The Health Information Technology Extension for Behavioral Health Services Act of 2010 would add mental health and substance abuse professionals, psychiatric hospitals, substance abuse treatment facilities and community mental health centers to those eligible for electronic health record incentive payments established under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Companion bills were introduced in the Senate (by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, [More]

December 1st, 2010

CDC adds depression module to behavioral risk survey

By Nan Shnitzler

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention included a depression questionnaire in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey for the first time in 2006 and again in 2008. Combined data revealed that an estimated nine percent of U.S. adults experienced depression during the two weeks preceding the survey, including 3.4 percent who met criteria for major depression. A total of 235,067 adults in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands were polled in telephone surveys. The findings were reported in this past Oct. 1 CDC “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.” Depression [More]

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