November 1st, 2014

Sisters accused of improper billing

By Rivkela Brodsky

Twin sisters are accused of billing public agencies in Massachusetts hundreds of thousands of dollars for unlicensed psychological services, often using stolen identities, according to Attorney General Martha Coakley. Nita Guzman and Nina Tischer, 49, formerly of Burlington, pleaded not guilty in September to charges of Medicaid false claims, false claims to public agencies, larceny, identity fraud and unlicensed practice of psychology, according to a news release from the Attorney General’s office. Guzman, through her company New England Psychological Consultants, Inc., is accused of billing Medicaid, Medicare and Lawrence Public Schools more than $550,000 for unlicensed mental health services, according [More]

November 1st, 2014

Marriage Checkup Program outlined

By Catherine Robertson Souter

With the divorce rate hovering around 50 percent of all marriages in this country, the road to happy-ever-after is not always smooth. In fact, according to James V. Cordova, Ph.D., professor and chair of psychology and the director for the Center for Couples and Family Research at Clark University, couples who expect to hit a few bumps along the way can make the journey more successful in the long run. Cordova recently completed work as the principal investigator of a one million dollar National Institute of Health grant developing the Marriage Checkup Program. His research, which he is working to [More]

November 1st, 2014

“Mindfulness for Borderline Personality Disorder: Relieve Your Suffering Using the Core Skill of Dialectical Behavior Therapy”

By Paul Efthim PhD

“Mindfulness for Borderline Personality Disorder: Relieve Your Suffering Using the Core Skill of Dialectical Behavior Therapy” By Blaise Aguirre and Gillian Galen New Harbinger Publications Oakland, Calif., 2013   Volume helps readers understand mindfulness   Reviewed by Paul Efthim, Ph.D. McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass. is famous for its celebrity guest list: Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, James Taylor, Ray Charles and David Foster Wallace passed through its hallowed wards. But McLean also should be recognized for its pioneering approaches to treat borderline personality disorder stretching back to the mid-20th century. Initially employing psychoanalytic approaches, McLean staff introduced cognitive-behavioral models during [More]

November 1st, 2014

“Becoming a Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology Professional: A Global Perspective”

By James K Luiselli EdD ABPP BCBA-D

“Becoming a Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology Professional: A Global Perspective” Edited by J. Gualberto Cremades and Lauren S. Tashman Psychology Press, Taylor & Francis New York, N.Y. 2014   Global perspective is book’s strength   Reviewed by James K. Luiselli, Ed.D., ABPP, BCBA-D The editors of this book invited colleagues from around the world to write about different aspects of sport, exercise and performance psychology (SEPP). This international focus is impressive, with contributions from professionals around the globe. At 44 chapters, the book offers an expansive view of SEPP topics that will likely attract a wide albeit select audience. [More]

November 1st, 2014

The way of the cat

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

You never know what new lesson life has in store or who will come along to teach it. Just when I thought I had missed the pleasures and challenges of pet ownership, our daughter asked us to watch her cat Mushu for six weeks until she came back to bring him home with her to Colorado. I know that most adults own pets because I have seen the stickers on the rear windows of cars, advertising the typical American family complete with parents, kids, a dog or a cat, and sometimes both. Because I fall short in the pet department, [More]

October 1st, 2014

PTSD in children disrupts development, relationships

By Phyllis Hanlon

Many people associate posttraumatic stress disorder with veterans returning from war, victims of violent crime or individuals who’ve been involved in natural disasters. However, adults are not the only ones subject to developing this disorder. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that four percent of adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18 have a lifetime prevalence for PTSD. Wellspring and the Arch Bridge School in Bethlehem, Conn., treats adolescent girls and young women with PTSD at two outpatient clinics and residential treatment facilities, according to Daniel Murray, Psy.D., CEO. “Private schools offer the benefit of clinical treatment and [More]

October 1st, 2014

Inpatient care to expand

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Thanks to several health care providers, Massachusetts will soon experience remarkable growth in inpatient psychiatric care across the state. The news comes at a time when the state has shed more than 40 percent of its publicly-funded psychiatric beds over the past decade, according to a report released in April by the Massachusetts chapter of the National Association for the Mentally Ill. As part of a plan to invest millions in capital expenses across its system, Steward Health Care, the second largest healthcare system in New England, will increase the number of behavioral health beds by a reported 20 percent [More]

October 1st, 2014

Military medical ethics instruction lacking

By Pamela Berard

Researchers say U.S. graduate students in psychology aren’t receiving enough instruction in military medical ethics. Researchers at Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Health Alliance and other Boston-area institutions surveyed 185 students from 20 clinical psychology graduate programs; 74 percent had received less than one hour of instruction about military medical ethics, 97 percent received five hours or less. Among study participants, 37 percent knew that the Geneva Conventions apply whether or not war has formally been declared. Forty-three percent didn’t know that the Geneva Conventions state that physicians should “treat the sickest first, regardless of nationality” and half didn’t know that the [More]

October 1st, 2014

Children with eating disorders getting younger

By Janine Weisman

Several factors contributed to a 12-year-old Massachusetts girl developing what Alyse Beekman, Psy.D., program director at the Center for Discovery in Southport, Conn., called “severe, severe anorexia.” But Beekman believes the problems of the girl referred to her for treatment largely stemmed from one event in the previous year: “She got a notice from her school that said that her BMI was borderline overweight,” Beekman says. “That really kind of set her off.” The term BMI has no place in a school health curriculum, says Beekman. Instead of measuring ideal body fat for a person’s weight and height, teachers should [More]

October 1st, 2014

Proposed hospital to chip away at region’s shortfall

By Susan Gonsalves

Southeastern Massachusetts is taking a step toward addressing a shortage of facilities for behavioral health needs with plans to build a 77,000 square foot, 120-bed inpatient hospital in Dartmouth. The anticipated opening date for the $30 million project is fall of 2015. Acadia Healthcare, a national provider of psychiatric and addiction care based in Tennessee, is partnering with Southcoast Health, a local non-profit provider. The hospital is expected to be located on a 21-acre site with parking for more than 200 cars and feature five core units on three stories servicing a population ranging from adolescents to the elderly. Because [More]

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