Articles, Leading Stories

March 1st, 2017

Extreme form of picky eating is a disorder on the rise

By Catherine Robertson Souter

While it is not uncommon for children to have a limited palate when it comes to food, (heck, restaurants have special menus just for this segment of the population) when does food aversion become pathological? When does the self-restriction to certain textures, colors, tastes or smells necessitate further intervention? In 2013, with the release of the DSM-5, the American Psychiatric Association first recognized the extreme form of picky eating that can lead to malnutrition and slower development, known as Avoidant-Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), as an eating disorder. New England Psychologist’s Catherine Robertson Souter spoke with Renee Nelson, Psy.D, clinical [More]

March 1st, 2017

“Confidentiality Limits in Psychotherapy: Ethics Checklists for Mental Health Professionals”

By James K Luiselli EdD ABPP BCBA-D

“Confidentiality Limits in Psychotherapy: Ethics Checklists for Mental Health Professionals” By May Alice Fisher American Psychological Association Washington, D.C., 2016    Manual’s checklists ideal for peer discussion Reviewed by James K. Luiselli, Ed.D., ABPP, BCBA-D Psychologists, counselors and other mental health professionals must adhere to codes of ethics in delivering therapeutic services. Ethical principles dictate practice standards intended to protect the welfare of service-recipients and society at large. This compact manual (79 text pages) uses a checklist format to help mental health professionals deal with practical challenges and resolve ethical-legal dilemmas involving confidentiality. Author May Alice Fisher describes the manual [More]

March 1st, 2017

“Working with Students with Disabilities: A Guide for School Counselors”

By Kerry Morrison, Psy.D

“Working with Students with Disabilities: A Guide for School Counselors.” By Theresa A. Quigney and Jeannine R. Studer Routledge New York, N.Y., 2016   Book examines vital role of school counselors Reviewed by Kerry Morrison, Psy.D. Our public schools are obligated to educate all students including those with disabilities and to help them realize their potential and meet/or exceed their academic standards, but most school counselors do not have formal training, exposure or experience in treating the needs of students with disabilities according to the authors of “Working with Students with Disabilities.” School counselors specifically lack experience in the process [More]

March 1st, 2017

Where have all our heroes gone?

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

If ever we needed heroes, the time is now. Every day, the morning paper brings news of drastic actions taken by President Trump and widespread public demonstrations of outrage and solidarity with those he maligns or endangers with his policies of exclusion. Building a wall between us and Mexico, closing our borders to refugees and immigrants and acting to endanger the prospects for universal health insurance repudiate the values that have always made America great. Never mind making America great again. In 1630, when John Winthrop called the Massachusetts Bay Colony a “city on a hill,” watched by the world, [More]

February 1st, 2017

Repairing, rebuilding and restoring at heart of psychology of relationships

By Phyllis Hanlon

According to the American Psychological Association, healthy marriages can be beneficial for physical and mental health and for offspring’s well-being. Unfortunately, the APA also reports that 40 to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. For any couple facing rocky times, professional intervention might help get the relationship back on track. The grand themes that bring couples to therapy have remained the same through the years, although there are variations, according to Bruce Chalmers, Ph.D., private practitioner in South Burlington, Vermont. “People come when there has been some kind of crisis,” he said, noting that common triggers include the death [More]

February 1st, 2017

Massachusetts high court upholds privatization plan

By Janine Weisman

A recent Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision clears the way for replacing the last state-run mental health crisis teams with staff employed by two private vendor human service agencies, a move projected to save the state more than $7 million. On Dec. 9, 2016, the state’s high court upheld State Auditor Suzanne Bump’s March 2016 approval of a privatization plan for emergency mental health services in southeastern Massachusetts. Three unions – Service Employees International Union, Local 509, the Massachusetts Nurses Association, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 93 – challenged Bump’s decision on the grounds [More]

February 1st, 2017

R.I.’s legislative focus includes telehealth services

By Pamela Berard

The Rhode Island Psychological Association 2017 legislative agenda will include a focus on telehealth services as well as the goal of improving the ability of the Board of Psychology to investigate and adjudicate disciplinary complaints faster. Peter M. Oppenheimer, Ph.D., chair of the RIPA Legislative Committee, said for the second consecutive year, RIPA will introduce the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT), which enables interstate telepsychology practice for psychologists in participating states. PSYPACT, approved in 2015 by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, becomes operational once seven states enact it. In 2016, Arizona became the first state to enact PSYPACT [More]

February 1st, 2017

Maine Gov. LePage intends to move stepdown unit to Bangor

By Janine Weisman

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) has moved on after abandoning plans to build a proposed 21-bed stepdown unit next to the Riverview Psychiatric Recovery Center in Augusta. As in nearly 80 miles to the north. Two days before last Christmas, the LePage administration revealed it had picked a site in Bangor to build the psychiatric facility for forensic patients in state custody who no longer need hospital-level care. The new facility is part of the effort to free up space and resolve safety issues that led to the loss of Riverview’s hospital certification in 2013 along with $20 million in [More]

February 1st, 2017

Possible rate cuts of concern in Maine

By Janine Weisman

The Maine Psychological Association’s (MePA) top legislative priority for 2017 can be found on page two of a consultant’s report studying reimbursement rates for mental health services through the state’s Medicaid program. The hourly reimbursement rate for neuropsychological and psychological testing through publicly funded MaineCare health insurance would decrease from $79.20 to $60.41 under a recommendation in the March 2016 report by Phoenix consulting firm Burns & Associates. “The waiting list for Maine-Care for those types of services are already a year long. So if you cut the reimbursement rate dramatically, nobody will offer the services,” said MePA Executive Director [More]

February 1st, 2017

William James College announces availability of scholarships

By Pamela Berard

William James College in Massachusetts announced its Multicultural and Veterans Mental Health Scholarships, aimed at increasing the number of individuals trained and committed to providing mental health treatment for underserved minorities and military veterans, who experience complex mental health issues but often are reluctant to seeking treatment if they feel disconnected from those providing services, according to the college. Nicholas Covino, Psy.D., president of William James College, said he hopes the scholarships inspire and empower students to commit themselves to serve historically marginalized populations. The college cites figures that show almost 90 percent of psychologists are classified as Caucasian/non-Latino. “In [More]

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