Articles, Leading Stories

April 1st, 2014

Efforts hindered to eliminate restraint and seclusion in schools

By Janine Weisman

To understand the challenges facing reformers who want to eliminate the practice of physical restraint and seclusion of schoolchildren, look no further than numbers reported in Connecticut and Massachusetts. A Connecticut Department of Education report released in February documents 33,743 incidents of restraint or seclusion involving children with disabilities because of behavior during the 2012-2013 school year. But in that same time period, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education reported only 165 such incidents. Massachusetts requires school officials to report the use of any physical restraint that results in any injury to a student or staff member or [More]

April 1st, 2014

Psychologist defines vicarious traumatization

By Catherine Robertson Souter

It’s a fact of human nature that Hollywood banks on: humans are both extremely empathetic and have an amazing ability to put ourselves into a storyline. While those talents might work well for losing ourselves in an action scene or in a good book, are there times when being attuned to others’ experiences can hurt us? For a therapist helping a patient work through a traumatic event, hearing the details, sharing the emotions, visualizing what they describe and the ability to empathize can lead to the therapist experiencing symptoms of PTSD themselves. This type of vicarious traumatization, says Ghislaine Boulanger, [More]

April 1st, 2014

“Humanity’s Dark Side: Evil, Destructive Experience, and Psychotherapy”

By Paul Efthim PhD

“Humanity’s Dark Side: Evil, Destructive Experience, and Psychotherapy” Edited by Arthur C. Bohart, Barbara S. Held, Edward Mendelowitz & Kirk J. Schneider American Psychological Association Washington, D.C. 2013 Book addresses working on the ‘dark side’ in treatment Reviewed by Paul Efthim, Ph.D. If the current zeitgeist is any indication, there is no shortage of psychologists extolling the virtues of positive psychology. Remarkably, our professional conversations routinely neglect (or avoid) facing destructive human emotions. How refreshing to encounter a book that brings intellectual rigor to the important question of how psychotherapists think about and work with the dark side in treatment. [More]

April 1st, 2014

The Psy who came in from the cold

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

It’s cold – deep, penetrating, bone-chilling, soul-killing cold. That sentence may be a peculiar thing to read when this issue hits the streets on the first of April but now, as I write at the beginning of March, it’s cold. It has been one of the coldest winters in history with snow as far south as Georgia and the entire eastern part of the country swallowed up in one polar vortex after another. Last year, no one even knew what a polar vortex was and now it’s just another phrase to describe the weather, taking its place alongside familiar Bermuda [More]

March 1st, 2014

Psychology of failure

By Phyllis Hanlon

Addressing rejection, self-esteem and fear Just about everyone has experienced some type of setback in life, but reactions to those experiences vary from one individual to the next. A person’s belief system, temperament and environment may influence response and help determine appropriate treatment. Wendy Grolnick, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Clark University and co-author of “Pressured Parents, Stressed-Out Kids” attributes fear of failing to a person’s belief system, i.e., the perception that ability, intelligence and talent are either fixed or changeable. “The person might be a perfectionist and think ‘If I make a mistake, I’m inadequate, so I’ll never do [More]

March 1st, 2014

Practice issues examined

By Catherine Robertson Souter

For many psychologists, the issues that come up outside the therapy room are the ones that cause the most stress. From dealing with insurance regulations to communicating with patients beyond scheduled session times to understanding laws of inter-state commerce, practicing psychologists need to keep abreast of issues that could seriously impact their business. In this article, we address a few of the concerns that have been brought recently to our attention: Email communications The prevalence of email has opened up new channels for communicating with clients, but it has also brought up a multitude of privacy concerns. Does email comply [More]

March 1st, 2014

N.H. 10-bed unit could happen sooner

By Rivkela Brodsky

As a means to ease an emergency room crisis, state lawmakers hope to accelerate the timetable on a plan to add a 10-bed stabilization unit to New Hampshire Hospital. The state’s Senate Capital Budget Committee in January approved $375,000 in additional funds for the $2.1 million project that was originally slated to be completed in 2016, says committee chairman Sen. David Boutin, (R-Hooksett). The additional funding is meant to get the unit finished faster. “At the end of the day, [the project] gets moved up about a year. That’s a big help here in the state. It provides some relief [More]

March 1st, 2014

Conn. mandates coverage for transgendered individuals

By Howard Newman

The state of Connecticut wants to make things absolutely clear when it comes to residents seeking medical treatment, psychological counseling and other related services. No one will be denied medically necessary care because of race, creed or sexual orientation. As of Dec. 19, 2013, the latter group now specifically includes transgendered individuals. A bulletin issued by the Connecticut Department of Insurance prohibits insurance companies from withholding treatment “because of the individual’s gender identity or expression.” It mandates that “health insurers are required to pay covered expenses for treatment provided to individuals with gender dysphoria where the treatment is deemed necessary [More]

March 1st, 2014

Stigma keeps veterans away from services, N.H. study says

By Rivkela Brodsky

The health needs of veterans in New Hampshire are going unmet, according to a recent report by a legislative commission on PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI. The 23-member panel issued a report in January that cited stigma as the main hindrance to treatment in a state with the fifth highest per capita population of veterans. “Veterans, of course, do seek health services from non-veteran providers with general success. However, the greater challenge comes when the injuries are invisible, and the struggles deeply personal,” reads the report. “The challenge of stigma with regard to disorders of mental health and [More]

March 1st, 2014

Vermont mayors cite mental health reform as priority

By Janine Weisman

The mayors of eight Vermont communities have named mental health reform their top legislative priority for 2014 to draw attention to the plight of emergency rooms and law enforcement agencies across the state coping with rising demand for services. “There is a fairly acute problem in this area right now. We see that in the strain of law enforcement. We see it in the strain on our hospitals,” says Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger. “We have seen some unfortunate events, very high profile events, that have affected Vermonters over the last year and there is an active policy discussion going on [More]

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