April 1st, 2010

Psychologist studies links between DSM panel, drug industry

By Catherine Robertson Souter

As the lines between corporate sponsorship and ethical practice grow fuzzier, it can be difficult to discern what constitutes a conflict of interest in scientific research and practice. With the recent storm still brewing over the apparent lack of transparency with the process of creating the next version of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and the Senate Finance Committee taking a closer look at the links between panel members and the pharmaceutical industry, the issue of ethical practice takes center stage. New England Psychologist’s Catherine Robertson Souter spoke with one of the leaders [More]

April 1st, 2010

Polarities of Experience: Relatedness and Self-Definition in Personality Development, Psychopathology, and the Therapeutic Process

By Paul Efthim PhD

“Polarities of Experience: Relatedness and Self-Definition in Personality Development, Psychopathology, and the Therapeutic Process” By Sidney J. Blatt American Psychological Association Washington, D.C., 2008   Author displays depth of knowledge Reviewed By Paul Efthim, Ph.D. Yale psychologist Sidney Blatt is a phenomenon. Over the course of a distinguished research career spanning five decades, Blatt has churned out more than 200 scholarly publications. Best known for research on depression, schizophrenia and personality development, he also trained as a psychoanalyst. His work has been praised for its theoretical and clinical depth as well as its methodological rigor. Blatt’s most recent book is [More]

April 1st, 2010

Instant Psychopharmacology

By James K Luiselli EdD ABPP BCBA-D

“Instant Psychopharmacology” By Ronald J. Diamond, M.D. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. New York, N.Y., 2009  Medications thoroughly examined in useful book Reviewed By James K. Luiselli, Ed.D., ABPP, BCBA-D Mental health professionals who are non-physicians should be knowledgeable about psychotropic medications. Indeed, pharmacotherapy is often used in conjunction with psychosocial intervention. Ronald J. Diamond, M.D. writes that the premise of his book, “is that medications will be most useful if the people taking them and the non-medical clinicians with whom they work know as much as possible about what medications can do to help and what problems medications can [More]

April 1st, 2010

Recall woes hit psychologists

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

The big news over the past few months has been the recall of thousands of cars by the world’s largest auto manufacturer. First it was an accelerator problem, and then it was the brakes. Aren’t we psychologists fortunate that this couldn’t happen in our field? Or could it? Dateline: The Future: In an April 1st bulletin that rocked the world of professional psychology, the American Institute of Behavioral Torque (AIBT) announced the recall of some 30,000 individuals who received Behavioral Torque Therapy in the last five years. Behavioral Torque Therapy, or BTT as it is commonly known in the field, [More]

March 1st, 2010

Antidepressants study raises questions

By Ami Albernaz

A dozen years ago, rumblings began that antidepressants perhaps really weren’t as effective as people thought. A 1998 analysis of 38 manufacturer-sponsored studies found that although antidepressants did help people who were depressed, they offered little more boost than did a placebo. Four years later, another analysis, this time also including unpublished studies sent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, suggested antidepressants offered even less of an advantage than the minuscule benefit shown in the previous report. The latest salvo came two months ago, when another analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) indicated that [More]

March 1st, 2010

Integrated services: a multi-disciplinary approach to healthcare

By Phyllis Hanlon

Since 2001, cooperation and collaboration among Rhode Island’s insurers, physicians and behavioral health specialists has spawned practices that marry medical and psychological services. The coming year holds significant promise for more co-located and fully integrated practices. Nine years ago, Providence-based Psychological Centers, Inc. began co-locating psychologists and other behavioral specialists at select primary care practices across the state. Currently, 15 sites feature both primary care physicians and behavioral specialists. Jeffrey Migneault, Ph.D., director of the Center for Integrated Care (CIC) at Psychological Centers, reports that Paul Block, Ph.D., co-director of Psychological Centers and two physicians have been collaborating for the [More]

March 1st, 2010

N.H. outlines legislative priorities

By Catherine Robertson Souter

In New Hampshire, with its 424-person legislative body (the fourth largest in the world behind the British and Indian Parliaments and the U.S. Congress), there are always a number of bills introduced each year that would affect the delivery of mental health care in the state. Bills are introduced for any number of reasons by legislators – from responses to angry constituents to bills they feel would smooth the way for first-responders to do their jobs – and each must be looked at closely by those who would be affected. Currently, the New Hampshire legislature is looking at a number [More]

March 1st, 2010

Parent training, medication help curb dangerous behavior

By Jennifer E Chase

Early parent training on how to best teach and communicate with their child – when combined with medication – may be the key to reducing the destructive behavior that often afflicts children with autism spectrum disorders, according to a multi-site study coordinated by a Yale University professor. Even more promising is the treatment combination’s potential as more cost- and time-effective alternative to applied behavior analysis (ABA) or similar psychological treatments. The study was published in the Dec. 2009 issue of Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and chronicled the work of Larry Scahill Ph.D., and his [More]

March 1st, 2010

CPA backs mental health-related legislation

By Phyllis Hanlon

Every year, states across the country focus legislative efforts on health care, safety, children’s issues, economic matters and dozens of other concerns. This year in Connecticut, the state’s psychological association is backing a number of legislative proposals relevant to mental health issues. According to Christine H. Farber, Ph.D., private practitioner in South Windsor, Conn. and one of two legislative chairs for the Connecticut Psychological Association (CPA), her organization has cited support for funding for the Dept. of Children and Families, the Dept. of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), Office of the Child Advocate and Office of the Healthcare Advocate [More]

March 1st, 2010

HealthNet contracts with Beacon Health

By Nan Shnitzler

Reimbursement could suffer Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan has contracted with Beacon Health Strategies to administer behavioral health programs for its MassHealth and Commonwealth Care members effective March 1. Beacon is inviting providers to join its network, but some providers are dismayed by the lower reimbursement rates being offered. A licensed psychologist in western Mass., who asked not to be identified, says that compared with what he had been receiving from HealthNet, Beacon’s rate for an initial diagnostic interview was 26 percent less; for a family or couples session, 12 percent less; for an individual session, 10 percent less. “The [More]

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