Articles, Leading Stories

November 1st, 2015

Becker College opens Counselor Training Clinic

By Phyllis Hanlon

This September, Becker College opened a mental health counseling clinic at its Leicester, Mass. campus. Not only will the clinic offer services to the general public, but it will also provide hands-on experience for graduate students in the newly created master’s program at the school. According to Beth Greenberg, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at Becker and coordinator of the program, graduate students will work in a clinical capacity at the center. “They will be completing their required practicum hours by meeting with clients in the clinic, under my direct supervision. The clinical experience obtained by our students is not [More]

November 1st, 2015

Study: Cyber bullying on the rise

By Susan Gonsalves

While school bullying has decreased in recent years, incidents of cyber bullying are on the rise, especially among girls, according to the Metrowest Adolescent Health Survey. Data analyzed more than 16,000 students in grades 9 to 12 attending 17 metrowest Boston high schools. The surveys, conducted every other year, spanned 2006 to 2012. Trends were measured by sex, grade and sexual orientation, said lead author Shari Kessel Schneider, Ms.Ph., project director and senior researcher at the Education Development Center in Waltham, Mass. Among the findings: Cyber bullying increased from 15 percent to 21 percent overall; while the hike for girls [More]

November 1st, 2015

Partnership seeks to strengthen mental health services

By Rivkela Brodsky

Each month, 340,000 New Yorkers – 5.3 percent of the population – experience serious psychological distress, according to New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Many of those individuals are low-income, uninsured, or receiving public insurance. And, in 2013, about 23 percent of those experiencing distress reported a time in the prior year that they needed mental health services but did not receive it. To better reach these individuals, New York City announced in July a $30 million public-private partnership to better serve low income, at-risk populations who have limited access to mental health services. “I have talked [More]

November 1st, 2015

Study sheds light on need for replication

By Catherine Robertson Souter

We don’t always trust what we read and that can be a good thing, according to researchers across the country who have released findings on a large-scale effort to replicate research. Under the guidance of the Center for Open Science at University of Virginia, nearly 100 previous studies were reproduced to take a closer look at the reliability of individual scientific findings. With only about one-third of the studies being replicated, the work shines a light on how psychology and science in general, publicizes individual findings and emphasizes an on-going need for study replication. New England Psychologist’s Catherine Robertson Souter [More]

October 1st, 2015

Value of peer specialists recognized

By Phyllis Hanlon

In 1985, Larry K. Brendtro and Harry H. Vorrath developed the “Positive Peer Culture” treatment model, grounded on the principles of building group responsibility and incorporating group meetings, service learning and teamwork into the model. Today, those principles are being implemented at some residential facilities and outpatient settings for individuals with serious mental illness and substance abuse diagnoses. Wellspring & the Arch Bridge School in Bethlehem, Conn. is one such facility that has several peer support structures for its adolescent residential students, according to CEO Daniel Murray, Psy.D. He said that Wellspring has created a strong peer culture that is [More]

October 1st, 2015

Private schools in region honored for expertise

By Janine Weisman

Ten New England private special education schools have been named Schools of Excellence for the 2015-2016 academic year by the National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET). Six Massachusetts schools, three in Connecticut and one from Vermont made the list, considered the highest honor a private special education school can achieve through the association. Schools serving students between three to 21 years of age must be open a minimum of 10 months per year, have been operating for at least 10 years, among other eligibility criteria. Students served include those diagnosed with autism, deaf-blindness, developmental delays, emotional disturbance, health impairments, [More]

October 1st, 2015

Use of antipsychotic drugs for ADHD is ‘worrisome’

By Rivkela Brodsky

In recent years, there has been an increase in the prescription of antipsychotic medications to children aged 13-24 in the U.S. – especially adolescent boys, and often for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – according to a recent study in JAMA Psychiatry. The study, published in July, looked at prescription information for antipsychotic medications in patients aged 1-24 in 2006, 2008 and 2010 from the IMS LifeLink LRx Longitudinal Prescription database. The database includes information from about 60 percent of retail pharmacies in the nation. “What we found is that throughout childhood and adolescence, boys are more likely [More]

October 1st, 2015

Conference addresses Hoffman report findings

By Phyllis Hanlon

This year’s annual American Psychological Association conference addressed a wide variety of topics. But topping the list was reaction to and resolution of some of the findings in the recently released Hoffman report. Susan H. McDaniel, Ph.D., Dr. Laurie Sands Distinguished Professor of Families & Health and 2015 APA president-elect, explained that the APA Council of Representatives discussed the main results of the Hoffman report and voted on a number of motions. “They voted to create a Blue Ribbon panel to evaluate and make recommendations for changes to the ethics policy, benchmarking against other organizations to find the best processes [More]

October 1st, 2015

Initiative focuses on child homelessness

By Pamela Berard

Homeless children face immediate needs – such as food and shelter – but the experience also leaves them with more permanent scars. Among them, homeless children are at risk for PTSD because they’ve often been in unsafe traumatic conditions, said Ellen Braaten, Ph.D., associate director of the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital and director of the Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP). “Even for kids who haven’t been through a trauma, they are frequently in and out of different schools so their education is disrupted, which leads to insufficient performance in academic subjects.” In addition [More]

October 1st, 2015

MassHealth claims have new stipulations

By Catherine Robertson Souter

In order to comply with a section of the Affordable Care Act that went into effect in 2011, Massachusetts recently changed its regulations to require that claims to MassHealth must include the NPI (National Provider Identifier) of the provider as well as that of any provider who ordered or referred the patient for a service. The new ruling took effect on September 1, although MassHealth will not immediately deny claims not properly completed. Instead, providers will receive an informational notification with the paid claim. After November 1, claims will be denied that do not include the proper information. “The initial [More]

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