Articles, Leading Stories

August 21st, 2015

Psychologists featured at TEDx event

By Rivkela Brodsky

While the official TEDWomen 2015 conference was taking place in Monterey, Calif., at the end of May, a little more than 100 people were gathering at Southern New Hampshire University to hear six speakers share their stories and ideas regarding facing fears, the Ebola virus, dealing with autism and other topics focused on women and momentum. It was the first TEDxAmoskeagMillyard event focused on women and held in conjunction with the official TEDWomen 2015: Momentum event. During the first part of the day, the audience listened to 18-minute-or-less talks by each speaker before watching a live stream of the TEDWomen [More]

August 21st, 2015

Research focuses on hidden stigmas

By Catherine Robertson Souter

There is extensive research showing that certain identities that are often stigmatized in our society can lead to disparities in health and longevity. But, when we talk about the detrimental health correlation between groups of people, researchers are generally studying physical attributes that are plain to see: race, gender or physical disabilities. Studies often conclude this is a result of the way certain patients are treated within health care settings. There is growing research, however, about the health effects of stigmas that are not so easy to see: mental illness, sexual preference or a history of addiction, for instance. Stephenie [More]

August 21st, 2015

“Working with Children and Youth with Complex Needs: 20 Skills to Build Resilience”

By James K Luiselli EdD ABPP BCBA-D

“Working with Children and Youth with Complex Needs: 20 Skills to Build Resilience” By Michael Ungar Routledge New York, N.Y., 2015   Book focuses on treatment from social ecological angle   Reviewed by James K. Luiselli, Ed.D., ABPP, BCBA-D Psychologist Michael Ungar is a proponent of multi-systemic treatment in working with children and families “exposed to high levels of stress,” and confronted with “extremely adverse living conditions.” His clinical focus encompasses the areas of posttraumatic stress disorder, delinquency, drug addiction, child abuse and neglect and related conditions. This exceptional book advances our knowledge about treating the most impoverished populations from [More]

August 21st, 2015

“A Primer for ICD-10-CM Users: Psychological and Behavioral Conditions”

By Joseph Ricciardi

“A Primer for ICD-10-CM Users: Psychological and Behavioral Conditions” By Carol D. Goodheart, Ed.D. American Psychological Association Washington D.C., 2014     Slim book is thick with resources for psychologists Reviewed by Joseph Ricciardi, PsyD, BCBA-D, CBIS By now, most U.S. psychologists are aware that on Oct. 1, 2015 they will need to be using the ICD-10-CM diagnostic codes for HIPAA compliant reimbursement and documentation. For some, this change is considered a mundane re-coding task. Fortunately, “A Primer for ICD-10-CM Users” by psychologist Carol D. Goodheart, Ed.D., explains the importance of the change and should motivate psychologists to view this [More]

August 21st, 2015

Re-thinking what useful means

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

Sometimes, the obvious distortions in the thinking of a person with mental illness can lead us to examine our own assumptions about the way we live our lives. One of the most hopeless people I know believes that he does not deserve to live because he is useless. He is confined to the hospital because he says, and we believe, that he will kill himself if he was not closely supervised. He suffered a catastrophic loss for which he blames himself and he cannot imagine a life other than the one that is no longer available to him. He looks [More]

July 1st, 2015

Remote therapy brings benefits, raises questions

By Phyllis Hanlon

In 2009 when Marty Fino, Ph.D., semi-retired from private practice in Rutland, Vt., telepsychology was a mere blip on practitioners’ radar screen. Although some clinicians had begun to email at that time, communicating electronically with clients had not become as prevalent as it has in recent years. The Veterans Healthcare Administration (VHA) has been a forerunner in telehealth practices since the mid-1990s and covers more than 44 clinical specialties, including TeleMental Health. According to VHA, in fiscal year 2013, more than 278,000 encounters took place to more than 91,000 veterans via telehealth. The scope of these services focused on posttraumatic [More]

July 1st, 2015

EHRs on horizon in the Bay State

By Janine Weisman

Seventy-nine percent of Massachusetts physicians engaged in patient care demonstrated proficiency in the use of electronic health records (EHR) by the Jan. 1, 2015, deadline required by a state law to maintain their license to practice medicine, according to the Massachusetts Medical Society’s Media Relations Manager Richard P. Gulla. That means they achieved “meaningful use” certification for meeting objectives to receive financial incentives from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to defray the costs of setting up health information technology systems. Eligible providers are entitled to a maximum of $44,000 under Medicare and $63,750 under Medicaid. The last payment [More]

July 1st, 2015

ICD-10 takes effect Oct. 1

By Catherine Robertson Souter

After several delays, the United States is ready to catch up with the rest of the world. On October 1, the country is set to begin using the World Health Organization’s updated diagnostic codes. And, by most accounts, psychologists seem ready for the change. The ICD-10, which was originally released in 1994, was adopted by nearly all industrialized countries quickly with the U.S. being the only major holdout because of issues with our more complex system. According to the CDC Web site, “ICD-10 will affect diagnosis and inpatient procedure coding for everyone covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability [More]

July 1st, 2015

Bill would set rates for independent evaluations

By Rivkela Brodsky

Currently, children who need testing to determine special education services are left with only one option in Massachusetts – to follow the results and suggestions of evaluations performed by the school district. That works fine if parents and the student agree with the district’s results. But, under state law, parents have the right to get an independent evaluation and have the costs of those tests and services covered by the district. “If the family doesn’t agree with that evaluation, they have the right under the law for this independent evaluation, except that the law is meaningless because the amount of [More]

July 1st, 2015

Joan Mikula named DMH commissioner in Massachusetts

By Pamela Berard

Joan Mikula was named Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH), after serving as interim commissioner since March. Mikula has served the department for 30 years, most recently as Deputy Commissioner for Child and Adolescent Services. One of Mikula’s first-year priorities will be behavioral health integration, working with primary care practitioners to develop tools they can use to identify behavioral health issues and refer patients to appropriate resources. DMH’s role as the State Mental Health Authority provides expertise and direction for behavioral health integration and mental health parity. “The majority of the people who have mental health distress [More]

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