December 1st, 2014

Study shows access to psychiatric care is difficult

By Rivkela Brodsky

Just getting that first appointment with a private psychiatrist is a difficult process and having insurance doesn’t make it easier, according to a new study by Harvard Medical School researchers. “Having insurance does not mean having access to care,” says J. Wesley Boyd, M.D., Ph.D., senior author of the study, an attending psychiatrist at Cambridge Health Alliance and an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. The study, published online in October by Psychiatric Services, found that access to outpatient psychiatric services in Boston, Houston and Chicago was scarce even if the patient had private insurance or was [More]

December 1st, 2014

Lawsuit against APA re-visited

By Catherine Robertson Souter

In September, a class action lawsuit filed against the American Psychological Association saw new life when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled to reverse a decision by a lower court that had dismissed the case in 2012. The class action lawsuit was originally brought in 2010 by Ellen G. Levine, Ph.D., Ruth Fallenbaum, Ph.D., both of California, and Eric S. Engum, Ph.D, of Tennessee, on behalf of themselves and all others “similarly situated,” as the suit explains. (Levine et al. v. American Psychological Association and American Psychological Association Practice Organization). The plaintiffs contended that, since 2002, [More]

December 1st, 2014

Central Falls to launch restorative justice project

By Janine Weisman

Rhode Island’s Central Falls School District has been awarded a $3.68 million federal grant for a pilot project to steer middle and high school students with budding disciplinary problems back on track before they end up kicked out of school or possibly even arrested. Studies show kids suspended or expelled from school are more likely to drop out and that dropouts are more likely to end up with criminal records. Students of color are more likely to be suspended or expelled than white students, even when the infractions are the same. “We really want to stop the typical school-to-prison pipeline. [More]

December 1st, 2014

Tufts examines canine therapy

By Phyllis Hanlon

Three years ago, the American Humane Association launched “Canines and Childhood Cancer: Examining the Effects of Therapy Dogs with Childhood Cancer Patients and their Families,” a multi-year, randomized controlled trial. This year, the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University became the last of five sites to participate in the trial. In May, Zoetis Inc., a leader in the advancement of animal health and wellness, joined the AHA in sponsoring and coordinating the study. The study involves a comprehensive needs assessment, six-month pilot study, which ended in April 2013, and a full clinical trial. Findings are scheduled for distribution [More]

December 1st, 2014

Bystander program promotes caring

By Phyllis Hanlon

In August, Providence College in R.I. launched Step UP!, a bystander program developed at the University of Arizona that aims to raise awareness regarding helping behavior, increase motivation to intervene and develop skills and confidence to safely respond to problem situations. James Campbell, Ph.D., director, Personal Counseling Center at Providence College, leads the program together with two other staff members and several student leaders. He explains that the school had explored several programs before selecting Step UP! “We wanted something with more breadth. This one applies the concept of respect, compassion and courage,” he says. “We are developing a four-year [More]

December 1st, 2014

Psychological maltreatment harmful

By Pamela Berard

Psychological maltreatment in childhood can not only increase – but also independently contribute to – risk for negative outcomes comparable to those imparted by exposure to physical or sexual abuse, according to a new study accepted for publication by the American Psychological Association. Researchers for “Unseen Wounds: The Contribution of Psychological Maltreatment to Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Risk Outcomes” used the National Child Traumatic Stress Network Core Data Set to analyze data from 5,616 youths with histories of one or more of three types of abuse: psychological maltreatment (emotional abuse or emotional neglect), physical abuse and sexual abuse. [More]

December 1st, 2014

Survey provides data on child behavior

By Howard Newman

Preliminary results from The Learning Habit Survey (LHS), an online national research project that polled 21,145 parents are providing data about children’s behavior. The survey was designed to study the interaction of three global variables – family time, exposure to electronic media and parenting style – with children’s social interaction, academic performance, homework, attentiveness, sleep patterns and emotional regulation. Findings from the study, undertaken by the Brown University School of Medicine, the Children’s National Medical Center and the New England Center for Pediatric Psychology, were published in the Sept. 2 edition of “The American Journal of Family Therapy.” While the [More]

December 1st, 2014

Psychologist continues to explore human interaction

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Long revered for his work with family and group systems, David Kantor, Ph.D., continues to press forward even in his 80s with groundbreaking theories and models. The founder of three research and training institutes, including the Kantor Institute of Cambridge, Kantor has taught at Harvard University, Harvard Medical School, Tufts University, and Northeastern University, has written several books, including “Inside the Family,” and has received grants from the National Institute of Mental Health for his research on family systems. From the creation of a unique group home in Cambridge, Mass. in 1959, to his work with families and then corporations, [More]

December 1st, 2014

“Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Its Spectrum: A Life-Span Approach”

By James K Luiselli EdD ABPP BCBA-D

“Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Its Spectrum: A Life-Span Approach” By Eric A. Storch and Dean McKay American Psychological Association Washington, D.C., 2014   Wide audience could benefit from insightful book about OCD   Reviewed by James K. Luiselli, Ed.D., ABPP, BCBA-D Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized by recurrent and persistent thoughts (obsessions) that co-occur with repetitive behaviors and mental acts (compulsions). Diagnostically, OCD falls within the category of obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders, a recently established nomenclature that has stirred controversy among clinicians and researchers. The other disorders comprising OCSDs are body dysmorphic disorder, hoarding disorder, trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder), excoriation (skin-picking) disorder, and substance/medication [More]

December 1st, 2014

Your mailbox is almost full

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

When it comes to life’s little annoyances, right up there with greenhead flies on the beach and that wad of cotton in the aspirin bottle, is the email message that threatens to immobilize your workday, “Your mailbox is almost full.” Of course, that’s only one way of looking at the situation. If my automatic thoughts ran in a more positive direction, I would just be grateful for the reminder, prune the mailbox and get on with my day. Past experience, however, has taught me that this is not as easy as it may sound. Maybe it has something to do [More]

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