Articles, Leading Stories

July 1st, 2017

Psychologist’s work centers on children, parenting

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Parenting is tough. But, is it tougher than it used to be? Is there better information out there for parents… or just more information that can become overwhelming? Robert Pressman, Ph.D., ABPP, director of research for the New England Center of Pediatric Psychology, has worked with families and children for several decades. He has seen changes in the way children are raised and in the communities surrounding them. Over the years, he has developed unique clinical methods to better reach clients, done extensive research into parenting styles and identified a non-neurologically-based condition he calls “Faux ADHD” that shows a type [More]

July 1st, 2017

Empirically Based Play Interventions for Children

By James K Luiselli EdD ABPP BCBA-D

“Empirically Based Play Interventions for Children” Edited by Linda A. Reddy, Tara M. Files-Hall, and Charles E. Schaefer American Psychological Association Washington, D.C., 2016   Book on play therapy filled with advice, direction Reviewed by James K. Luiselli, Ed.D., ABPP, BCBA-D Play therapy is perhaps the oldest and most popular therapeutic approach with children. Importantly, there are different theoretical models for implementing play interventions, notably client-centered, cognitive-behavioral, family, and psychodynamic, among others. As this book makes clear, most child therapists have traditionally combined interventions without regard to unifying concepts and principles. However, play therapy has been and is often dismissed [More]

July 1st, 2017

Paraverbal Communication in Psychotherapy: Beyond the Words

By Kerry Morrison, Psy.D

“Paraverbal Communication in Psychotherapy: Beyond the Words.” By James M. Donovan, Kristin A. R. Osborn and Susan Rice Rowman & Littlefield New York, N.Y. 2017 Book explores significance of non-verbal communication Reviewed by Kerry Morrison, Psy.D Paraverbal communication includes voice tones, posture, gestures, facial expression and silences. We are embodied speakers. As therapists, we’ve learned to pay attention to these key features of communication, but not all of this is on the conscious level. This new book addresses how being attuned to not only the words that clients are saying, but how they are expressing themselves on a physical, nonverbal [More]

July 1st, 2017

Not only a game

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

Of all the things I thought I would be doing after I retired, I never expected that playing an internet game would be one of them. We all know these things can be addictive but I jumped at the chance to play a word game with my son when he introduced me to Words with Friends, an app based version of Scrabble with some important differences. Exactly what these differences are I would learn as I played, first with my son and daughter, and later with a friend who knew a lot more about the game than I did. In [More]

June 1st, 2017

Psychologist shortage: factors affect access to care

By Phyllis Hanlon

The Kaiser Family Foundation issued a report in January citing a significant shortage of mental health care practitioners nationwide. In New England, the “percent of need met” ranged from 34.26 percent in Connecticut to 61.17 percent in Rhode Island. According to regional psychologists, a variety of reasons, from an aging profession and inadequate training/education programs to low reimbursement rates and health plan disparities, may account for the shortage of licensed mental health providers. For states like Maine, geography and the number of licensed professionals pose a challenge, according to Carly Rodgers, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow and public education chair of the [More]

June 1st, 2017

Push for prescribing privileges fizzles in Vermont

By Janine Weisman

With the stroke of Gov. C. L. “Butch” Otter’s (R) pen on April 4, Idaho became the fifth U.S. state to permit clinical psychologists with advanced specialized training to prescribe medications to treat mental health disorders. So, expect to see continuing momentum for what the American Psychological Association maintains will improve access to mental health services, particularly in poorly-served areas. Just not this year in Vermont. A bill introduced in February in Vermont’s House of Representatives seeking to grant prescribing privileges for psychologist-doctorates with advanced training in psychopharmacology went nowhere after being referred to the Committee on Health Care. The [More]

June 1st, 2017

Vacant building in Westborough to become behavioral hospital

By Phyllis Hanlon

Later this year, Westborough will become the site of a new behavioral health care hospital. In April, selectmen in the town gave approval for the construction of a facility that will better serve the mental health care needs in Central Massachusetts. Francisco Torres, Westborough’s economic development coordinator, reported that Signature Healthcare, which is based in Corona, California, approached the town approximately a year ago with a proposal to renovate a long-vacant building at 300 Friberg Parkway. The property, which formerly housed Verizon and Bay State Gas prior to that, was originally intended to serve as a campus for the College [More]

June 1st, 2017

Lawsuits address segregation of mentally ill prisoners

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Concern over the use of solitary confinement for inmates who suffer from mental illness has propelled a spate of lawsuits over the past few years in the state of Vermont. In one case, settled last August, a prisoner known as Patient A was held in segregation for nearly seven months. The settlement included reforms to the system including the requirement to seek a hospital bed when needed, twice-daily mental health checks in prison and weekly psychiatric evaluation. The most recent case, which has also been filed by Disability Rights Vermont, accuses the state of holding a 34-year-old man, known as [More]

June 1st, 2017

Bill seeks to address gap in services for veterans

By Pamela Berard

Legislation introduced in Maine aims to help the state bridge a gap for mental health services for military veterans. “An Act Regarding Mental Health Care for Maine Veterans,” currently in the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee, directs the Director of the Bureau of Maine Veterans’ Services within the Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management to station at each of the bureau’s field offices a social worker to provide direct mental health care to veterans, to coordinate mental health care for veterans and to work with the federal government and state and local mental health service providers to provide mental [More]

June 1st, 2017

Vermont moves to cover PTSD for first responders

By Janine Weisman

Legislation to provide workers compensation benefits for first responders who suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder in the line of duty has passed both the Vermont House of Representatives and Senate. Now awaiting Vermont Gov. Phil Scott’s signature as of New England Psychologist’s press deadline, the effort has made its way further than similar proposals that appear to have stalled this year in Connecticut and Florida. Vermont House Bill 197, introduced by Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas (D-Bradford), deemed PTSD compensable under the state’s workers compensation act for police officers, firefighters, and rescue or ambulance workers diagnosed up to three years after retirement. [More]

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