July 1st, 2016

Use of third party vendors reviewed in wake of stabbing spree

By Pamela Berard

The state is conducting a review in the aftermath of a stabbing spree that ended at Silver City Galleria mall in Taunton, Mass., that left three people dead and several others injured. Family members of the man accused of the stabbings – who was shot and killed during the May 10 incident after reportedly stabbing several individuals, two of whom died – reported that he had been taken by ambulance to Morton Hospital the night before for psychiatric issues and was released early the following morning, the day of the attacks. In a statement following the incident, Morton Hospital, part [More]

July 1st, 2016

Harrington Hospital to open dual diagnosis unit

By Phyllis Hanlon

Citing the desire to fulfill an unmet need, Harrington Health Care System is planning to open a Dual Diagnosis Unit (DDU) for the treatment of individuals who have an addiction concurrent with a mental health crisis at its Webster, Massachusetts campus. Greg Mirhej, Harrington’s executive director for behavioral health, said, “Too often the care of those who suffer with both of these types of conditions is compartmentalized. Units, which are adept at treating the addiction spectrum of disorders, have limited access to qualified mental health care. Meanwhile, plenty of inpatient mental health units perform detox procedures for addiction, but few [More]

July 1st, 2016

Revision on wrap-around services focuses on schizophrenia

By Rivkela Brodsky

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services has revised who can receive wrap-around community support services under its Medicaid program, focusing mostly on those “with severe and persistent mental illness.” What was previously available to individuals dealing with mental illnesses like posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety, will now focus on those dealing with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder in accordance with the DSM 5, said Mary Mayhew, commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services. “This is a policy designed to support people with severe and persistent mental illness – especially schizophrenia or schizoaffective [More]

July 1st, 2016

Election cycle analyzed by political psychologist

By Catherine Robertson Souter

For a political psychologist, this election cycle has provided plenty of fodder for discussion. From the rise of a true political outsider to the first woman in line for the top spot on a party ticket, to the role of the media in reporting, and affecting, political outcomes, the presidential election of 2016 has been a game-changer. New England Psychologist’s Catherine Robertson Souter spoke with Elizabeth P. Ossoff, Ph.D., professor and chair of the psychology department at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire, to discuss some of what she sees as key components of the current cycle. She talked about [More]

July 1st, 2016

“ADHD Coaching: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals”

By James K Luiselli EdD ABPP BCBA-D

“ADHD Coaching: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals” By Frances Prevatt and Abigail Levrini American Psychological Association Washington, D.C., 2015    ADHD guide contains invaluable tools   Reviewed by James K. Luiselli, Ed.D, ABPP, BCBA-D Coaching interventions have become popular in recent years. Terms synonymous with coaching are behavioral skills training, competency-based intervention and action-oriented methodologies. In this highly laudable book, psychologists Frances Prevatt and Abigail Levrini address theory, knowledge and strategies “that will help mental health practitioners to develop or improve their ADHD coaching skills.” The book begins by highlighting several recent developments in assessing and treating ADHD, including [More]

July 1st, 2016

“Not So Abnormal Psychology: A Pragmatic View of Mental Illness”

By Kerry Morrison, Psy.D

“Not So Abnormal Psychology: A Pragmatic View of Mental Illness” By Ronald B. Miller American Psychological Association Washington, D.C., 2015   Author’s tone brings textbook to life Reviewed by Kerry Morrison, Psy.D. This volume of abnormal psychology is not your typical introductory textbook, but reads almost as a personally annotated discussion of the theories and practices in the treatment of mental illness. Miller’s goal was to provide undergraduate students and other interested parties with an overview of abnormal psychology that is theoretically grounded and historically informed while simultaneously promoting an understanding of self and others that is critical to emotional [More]

July 1st, 2016

One Perfect Life

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

“There is not a short life or a long life. There is only the life that you have and the life you have is the life you are given, the life you work with. It has its own shape, describes its own arc and is perfect.” This passage, attributed to the ancient Greeks, is easy enough for anyone favored by fortune but these are hard words for those who find themselves at a significant disadvantage. It would be hard to argue that life is anything less than perfect if it is long, filled with loving family and friends, material comforts [More]

June 1st, 2016

Postpartum depression in new dads: under-diagnosed and under-treated

By Phyllis Hanlon

Since the early 1990s there has been a growing body of research drawing attention to and appreciation of postpartum depression in new dads, according to Shannon Erisman, Ph.D., director of the Day Program at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island. She explained that the birth of a baby represents a huge role transition, especially for first time parents. For males, the transition may be especially difficult, particularly if they’ve had prior episodes of depression and are younger at the time of the birth. “Men who are younger than 25 are socially deprived, have less support and are at greater [More]

June 1st, 2016

Telehealth coverage expands in Massachusetts

By Janine Weisman

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts was expected to notify its provider network on May 15 of its plans to expand telehealth coverage starting this summer. On Jan. 1, the largest private health plan in Massachusetts started covering diagnostic evaluations and psychotherapy for 30 minutes or less conducted by videoconferencing. But as of July 1, BCBSMA will expand from two Current Procedural Terminology codes to seven for covering diagnostic evaluations and 30, 45, and 60 minute sessions of psychotherapy with patients and/or family members and such psychotherapy sessions when performed with an evaluation and management service. The telehealth coverage announcement [More]

June 1st, 2016

Telehealth CBT assists breast cancer survivors with memory problems

By Janine Weisman

Specialized cognitive behavioral therapy delivered via telehealth reduced memory problems and anxiety for breast cancer survivors living in Maine in a new study published online May 2. The small-scale study published in Cancer, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, is the first randomized controlled trial to use telecommunications technology to evaluate the treatment of chemotherapy-related cognitive dysfunction with an active control condition. And it shows promise in supporting large cancer center survivorship programs as the number of people living with a cancer diagnosis in the U.S. continues to increase. While the study had only 47 participants, about 75 [More]

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