Columnists, Articles

October 6th, 2018

500 million, but the need still grows

By John Grohol, Psy.D.

Psych Central just reached an amazing milestone in our 23 years online. We’ve just passed 500 million visitors who’ve come to our site to learn more about mental illness symptoms and treatments, psychology, personality, parenting, or a relationship issue. We’re proud of this achievement, but we also realize we have a much longer road to travel. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the annual suicide rate in the United States has increased 24 percent since 1999. During this same time period, the availability of mental health information and support online has increased dramatically. We went from [More]

October 6th, 2018

To overcome the mental health bias, clinicians must serve as examples

By New England Psychologist Staff

In the middle of labor with my second child, I had a panic attack. It happened when my epidural kicked in and I realized I couldn’t feel my body. I panicked. After spending hours in excruciating pain of back labor and feeling the sweet sensation of the pain subsiding, I realized I couldn’t move. I felt the wave of panic washing over me as the nurse repeatedly asked me to move my legs and I could not. “I can’t feel my body” I said, “I’m going to have a panic attack!” “Ma’am, I see in your chart that you have [More]

October 5th, 2018

Embracing the fall

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

As much as I would like embrace the beauty of autumn with its colorful foliage and bright, clear days, I can never seem to ignore the melancholy chord that this season strikes in my soul and the bittersweet taste of joy diluted by sorrow. This year I might have made it through, gliding into the season on the wings of anticipated good times with family and friends. But this fall, reminders of losses endured in autumns past and others yet to come were intensified by the widely reported deaths of national figures, most notably, Senator John McCain at the end [More]

August 31st, 2018

What’s in a name?

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

You’re sitting in your doctor’s waiting room when the receptionist calls the name of the next patient. No one responds, she calls the name again, and prompted by curiosity, you look up from your magazine to meet her puzzled gaze. She repeats the name, this time adding the surname, and you wonder why she is calling your father. No, wait, Dad is long gone, and then you realize the receptionist is calling you. If you’ve ever had this happen to you, then, like me, you were given a name at birth that no one ever used. In my case, my [More]

August 30th, 2018

Emphasizing psychosocial treatments for ADHD

By John Grohol, Psy.D.

It’s difficult to keep focused on outcomes that are likely to result in the greatest long-term success for your clients. One such example is in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. It’s becoming increasingly less common for clinicians to even see children who present with ADHD, because of the emphasis of medication treatment – stimulants – for this concern. According to 2016 U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention data, 62 percent of children receive medication for treatment, while only 47 percent received a behavioral intervention. The number of children who receive behavioral interventions decreases significantly [More]

July 10th, 2018

The upholstered clock

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

“Will you miss it?” I asked my wife as we stood at opposite ends of the couch in the middle of the floor, aimed at the sliding doors of our family room. “Miss what?” she replied. “Me neither,” I answered. And so, one day after the Salvation Army rejected our offer because of some fraying of the upholstery, the junk man came and carted the old couch away. The piece was one of two that we bought on a single visit to the furniture store 16 years ago as soon the builders had finished our new family room. The other [More]

June 13th, 2018

The power of hard stories

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

As I sat listening to a discussion on the topic of writing hard stories at the recent Newburyport literary festival, I thought of my colleagues in psychology and wished you could hear the message the panel came to deliver. Perhaps some of you were in the audience and heard what the presenters had to say, but for those of you who had better things to do on a springtime Saturday, this one is for you. Psychologists, like writers, are all about the story. When we listen to our patients telling us about the challenges in their lives, we are listening [More]

May 10th, 2018

Striking a Digital Balance

By John Grohol, Psy.D.

Technology is only going to keep invading the nooks and crannies of our life. We can help ourselves and our clients by treating it like a tool that needs our active guidance, instead of welcoming it passively into our lives as the enemy. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – these are all services designed not only to gain your attention and brain cycles, but to keep it for as long as possible. They are designed from a neurocognitive perspective to take advantage of the stimulus-reward system – and they work wonderfully in keeping you captive. The solution to technologies designed to take [More]

May 10th, 2018

Submitted for your approval, a reunion in the Twilight Zone

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

Our son and his wife were flying to Tokyo and we had just taken them to Newark airport. They were starting a 14-hour flight that would take them 11,000 miles from home, by any measure an enormous distance. I never suspected that a brief detour on our way back would take me even farther, not just to my childhood home but, through the corridors of memory, to the core of childhood itself. Neither did I expect that, when I arrived, I would be drawn to the house of a friend who, at that very moment a thousand miles away, was [More]

April 10th, 2018

Saving our souls

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

Who knows why we do what we do? Why did I pick up that book at our town’s recycling center, start to read it, stop, and pick it up again all these years later? And, because it was there on page one of the prologue, this isn’t the first time that I read the passage that I have been turning over in my mind these last few months as if it were a newly discovered truth. The book is Roland Merullo’s novel, “In Revere, In Those Days,” and the passage is the narrator’s eloquent description of his knack of seeing [More]