Book Reviews, Articles

May 11th, 2018

Book on play is research-based, practical

By New England Psychologist Staff

In “Play and Creativity in Psychotherapy,” Terry Marks-Tarlow, Marion Solomon, and Daniel J. Siegel demonstrate that play can have a significant role in the healing process. Taking the time to relearn how to play as an adult can help build resilience, creativity, and spontaneity for both clients and therapists. As children, it is natural to explore and use play as a way of learning. But as adults, we are supposed to be more serious. We are often overly concerned with how we appear to others, and too often move through life with the logical parts of our brains. Fortunately, it [More]

May 10th, 2018

Striking a Digital Balance

By John Grohol, Psy.D.

Technology is only going to keep invading the nooks and crannies of our life. We can help ourselves and our clients by treating it like a tool that needs our active guidance, instead of welcoming it passively into our lives as the enemy. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – these are all services designed not only to gain your attention and brain cycles, but to keep it for as long as possible. They are designed from a neurocognitive perspective to take advantage of the stimulus-reward system – and they work wonderfully in keeping you captive. The solution to technologies designed to take [More]

May 10th, 2018

Submitted for your approval, a reunion in the Twilight Zone

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

Our son and his wife were flying to Tokyo and we had just taken them to Newark airport. They were starting a 14-hour flight that would take them 11,000 miles from home, by any measure an enormous distance. I never suspected that a brief detour on our way back would take me even farther, not just to my childhood home but, through the corridors of memory, to the core of childhood itself. Neither did I expect that, when I arrived, I would be drawn to the house of a friend who, at that very moment a thousand miles away, was [More]

May 10th, 2018

Transitional housing bridges gap for people with mental illness

By Eileen Weber

For a number of years, New Hampshire Hospital, the only psychiatric hospital in the state, has been massively overcrowded with too many patients and not enough beds. Patients had little choice but to leave the hospital only to find themselves living on the streets or seeking treatment in already crowded emergency rooms. “There needs to be an array of treatment that used to exist,” said Ken Norton, M.D., executive director of the New Hampshire chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “Right now, when patients are discharged, there’s very little step-down.” That’s starting to change. Legislation was recently passed [More]

May 10th, 2018

Vertical development: How to grow personally, professionally

By New England Psychologist Staff

With the required continuing education for practitioners, a great deal of the available offerings focus on ethics, skills, modalities, or new information gleaned from research. One’s professional development can resemble graduate course work, and this type of learning can be predominantly informative or horizontal in nature. In addition, with the number of therapies in the hundreds and growing, and the demands for evidence-based practice, what seems lost is that three decades of empirical research finds that, other than pre-existing client characteristics, individual therapist differences and the therapeutic relationship are the most robust indicators of outcome. Therefore, it makes sense to [More]

April 10th, 2018

Saving our souls

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

Who knows why we do what we do? Why did I pick up that book at our town’s recycling center, start to read it, stop, and pick it up again all these years later? And, because it was there on page one of the prologue, this isn’t the first time that I read the passage that I have been turning over in my mind these last few months as if it were a newly discovered truth. The book is Roland Merullo’s novel, “In Revere, In Those Days,” and the passage is the narrator’s eloquent description of his knack of seeing [More]

April 10th, 2018

In law and language, gun control talk raises red flags

By Janine Weisman

“This was a person who was sick, very sick,” President Donald Trump said at a Feb. 21 White House forum. Trump was referring to the 19-year-old shooter who used an AR-15 style assault rifle to gun down teachers and students at a high school in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14. The mass shooting left 17 dead. Calls for limiting the right to bear arms for people with mental health issues increased after the Parkland shooting, especially for red flag laws that would allow police to take firearms away from people suspected of being a danger to themselves or others. But [More]

April 9th, 2018

Helping to manage fear and anxiety

By Phyllis Hanlon

The recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida rocked the country and launched calls for stricter gun laws and better security measures in the nation’s schools. While such events are rare, all schools experience their share of crises on a smaller scale that challenge students’ well-being. To address a spectrum of situations, schools should implement a comprehensive plan that engages students, teachers and parents, and creates an environment of trust in partnership with community agencies. Arlene Silva, Ph.D, NCSP, chair in the school psychology department at William James College, emphasized that proactive measures are the best practice. “Number one is preparation,” [More]

April 9th, 2018

Lawsuit challenges unlimited civil commitments in Connecticut

By Janine Weisman

A Google search of Gloria Drummer’s name explains what led her to be involuntarily committed at Dutcher Hall in the Whiting Forensic Hospital in Middletown, Connecticut, after being found not competent to stand trial. On Sept. 25, 2015, Drummer, then aged either 57 or 58 according to news accounts, attacked a 27-year-old woman at random with a large knife outside a West Hartford CVS. The woman was treated at a hospital for multiple stab wounds to her head that were deemed non-life threatening. Two psychiatrists testified last fall that Drummer is no longer a danger to herself or others. Yet [More]

April 8th, 2018

School shootings offer no easy answers

By John Grohol, Psy.D.

Not a year goes by in America where we don’t suffer through another horrible mass shooting at a school, perpetrated by a young adult or teenager with a gun. Despite the outcry from both sides, however, there are no clear or easy answers on how to reduce or altogether stop school shootings from taking place. We are a nation born of violence, which we then codified into our Constitution. And while it’s perfectly sensible to suggest reasonable limitations on gun purchases, such solutions all but turn a blind eye to the reality of guns in our nation. Today, there are [More]