April 1st, 2017

Connecticut report assesses coverage rates

By Janine Weisman

Connecticut’s top insurers denied fewer claims for mental health services in 2015 than the year before even as they continued to reject claims for residential care at high rates, according to a recent state report. Eight managed care insurance companies rejected about 6.4 percent of claims for mental health services, an analysis of the 2016 Consumer Report Card released by the Connecticut Insurance Department shows. That’s compared to the roughly 8.3 percent of mental health claims submitted in the previous year. For nearly two decades, the state agency charged with regulating the insurance industry has published an annual report providing [More]

April 1st, 2017

School culture change is goal of Commission

By Pamela Berard

A Massachusetts commission of educators and mental health leaders is helping schools create safe and supportive learning environments for students. The 19-member Safe and Supportive Schools Commission was created as part of the Safe and Supportive Schools Framework through An Act Relative to the Reduction of Gun Violence in 2014. The law directed the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) to develop a state-wide safe and supportive schools framework and self-assessment tool, based on those created and outlined by the Behavioral Health and Public Schools (BHPS) Task Force in 2011. Commission Co-Chair Susan Cole, director of the Trauma and Learning Policy [More]

April 1st, 2017

Americans’ stress levels on the rise, survey says

By Catherine Robertson Souter

For the first time in a decade of surveys, the American Psychological Association has seen a significant rise in stress levels in America. In 2016, after hearing from APA members that the 2016 presidential election was a growing issue for clients, the organization decided to address the elephant/donkey in the room and add a question about politics and stress to its annual Stress in America survey. “We were shocked when we got the data,” said Vaile Wright, Ph.D., a member of APA’s Stress in America team. “We released that original data and were immediately asked by members if we were [More]

April 1st, 2017

Electronic ties increase stress levels

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Although election stress runs high, the highest amount of stress is with Americans who are too tied to their electronic devices. According to the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America Survey, people who constantly check email, texts and social media accounts report stress levels of 5.3 out of 10. Those who check less frequently reported a level of 4.4 on average. The results are even worse for workers who can’t seem to get away from the job. According to the study, for employed Americans who maintain constant close contact with work, stress levels run at an average of 6.0 out [More]

April 1st, 2017

Court decision prompts bill on disclosure

By Rivkela Brodsky

Legislation introduced in the Vermont Legislature this session is meant to provide clarity on what a mental health professional’s duty is to disclose information concerning a client. A Vermont Supreme Court decision in 2016 made it unclear. The Vermont Supreme Court was asked to rule on the case that stemmed from an assault in 2011 of Michael Kuligoski by a former patient of Battleboro Retreat after the patient was discharged from the mental health facility and was undergoing outpatient treatment with Northeast Kingdom Human Services. The suit (Kuligoski v. Brattleboro Retreat, 2016 VT 54A) claimed Brattleboro Retreat and Northeast Kingdom [More]

April 1st, 2017

Study: Psychopaths feel fleeting regret

By Susan Gonsalves

A Yale study concludes that psychopaths can feel regret but it doesn’t affect their future choices. The research, published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was led by Arielle Baskin-Sommers, Ph.D., assistant professor at Yale University and Joshua Buckholtz, Ph.D., assistant professor at Harvard University. Baskin-Sommers explained that they recruited a group of 62 male community members aged between 18 and 55 who are at risk for engaging in anti-social behavior; 70 percent had been arrested and half, incarcerated at some point. She said the purpose of the research was to determine whether the subjects, who [More]

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]

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