Articles, Leading Stories

December 1st, 2014

Bystander program promotes caring

By Phyllis Hanlon

In August, Providence College in R.I. launched Step UP!, a bystander program developed at the University of Arizona that aims to raise awareness regarding helping behavior, increase motivation to intervene and develop skills and confidence to safely respond to problem situations. James Campbell, Ph.D., director, Personal Counseling Center at Providence College, leads the program together with two other staff members and several student leaders. He explains that the school had explored several programs before selecting Step UP! “We wanted something with more breadth. This one applies the concept of respect, compassion and courage,” he says. “We are developing a four-year [More]

December 1st, 2014

Psychological maltreatment harmful

By Pamela Berard

Psychological maltreatment in childhood can not only increase – but also independently contribute to – risk for negative outcomes comparable to those imparted by exposure to physical or sexual abuse, according to a new study accepted for publication by the American Psychological Association. Researchers for “Unseen Wounds: The Contribution of Psychological Maltreatment to Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Risk Outcomes” used the National Child Traumatic Stress Network Core Data Set to analyze data from 5,616 youths with histories of one or more of three types of abuse: psychological maltreatment (emotional abuse or emotional neglect), physical abuse and sexual abuse. [More]

December 1st, 2014

Survey provides data on child behavior

By Howard Newman

Preliminary results from The Learning Habit Survey (LHS), an online national research project that polled 21,145 parents are providing data about children’s behavior. The survey was designed to study the interaction of three global variables – family time, exposure to electronic media and parenting style – with children’s social interaction, academic performance, homework, attentiveness, sleep patterns and emotional regulation. Findings from the study, undertaken by the Brown University School of Medicine, the Children’s National Medical Center and the New England Center for Pediatric Psychology, were published in the Sept. 2 edition of “The American Journal of Family Therapy.” While the [More]

December 1st, 2014

Psychologist continues to explore human interaction

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Long revered for his work with family and group systems, David Kantor, Ph.D., continues to press forward even in his 80s with groundbreaking theories and models. The founder of three research and training institutes, including the Kantor Institute of Cambridge, Kantor has taught at Harvard University, Harvard Medical School, Tufts University, and Northeastern University, has written several books, including “Inside the Family,” and has received grants from the National Institute of Mental Health for his research on family systems. From the creation of a unique group home in Cambridge, Mass. in 1959, to his work with families and then corporations, [More]

December 1st, 2014

“Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Its Spectrum: A Life-Span Approach”

By James K Luiselli EdD ABPP BCBA-D

“Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Its Spectrum: A Life-Span Approach” By Eric A. Storch and Dean McKay American Psychological Association Washington, D.C., 2014   Wide audience could benefit from insightful book about OCD   Reviewed by James K. Luiselli, Ed.D., ABPP, BCBA-D Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized by recurrent and persistent thoughts (obsessions) that co-occur with repetitive behaviors and mental acts (compulsions). Diagnostically, OCD falls within the category of obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders, a recently established nomenclature that has stirred controversy among clinicians and researchers. The other disorders comprising OCSDs are body dysmorphic disorder, hoarding disorder, trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder), excoriation (skin-picking) disorder, and substance/medication [More]

December 1st, 2014

Your mailbox is almost full

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

When it comes to life’s little annoyances, right up there with greenhead flies on the beach and that wad of cotton in the aspirin bottle, is the email message that threatens to immobilize your workday, “Your mailbox is almost full.” Of course, that’s only one way of looking at the situation. If my automatic thoughts ran in a more positive direction, I would just be grateful for the reminder, prune the mailbox and get on with my day. Past experience, however, has taught me that this is not as easy as it may sound. Maybe it has something to do [More]

November 1st, 2014

Electronic tools can enhance practice

By Phyllis Hanlon

Technology has undoubtedly changed the way the world does business. For psychologists, electronic tools can open up a new realm, enabling them to reach more patients regardless of geographic location or diagnosis. Before engaging in telepsychology, however, practitioners need to understand the issue of licensing, security and privacy and reimbursement. Ben Johnson, Ph.D., ABPP, clinical assistant professor at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and clinical psychologist and director of RICBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Coaching, conducts some of his therapy sessions via telephone, which he says allows the practitioner to communicate consistently and helps keep the client [More]

November 1st, 2014

Denials of 60-minute session payments at issue

By Janine Weisman

The middle-aged patient was terrified of having blood drawn when the need to undergo medical tests to address a medical problem led to a late 2013 office visit with psychologist Julie G. Breskin, Ph.D. Breskin, who practices in Salem, Mass., treated this individual for a simple phobia in two 60-minute sessions and billed insurance carrier Optum by United Behavioral Health using CPT code 90837. Providers use this code to indicate a 60-minute psychotherapy session with a patient and/or family member. Breskin says she did not seek pre-authorization. For the first visit, Breskin conducted an evaluation, took a history, did some psychoeducation [More]

November 1st, 2014

Butler Hospital’s admissions rise

By Janine Weisman

The daily inpatient census at Providence’s Butler Hospital increased 14 percent in August 2014 over August 2013, creating what Rhode Island’s only private psychiatric hospital is calling “unprecedented” demand for mental health care. And the rising demand continued as the average number of inpatients went from 175 in August to more than 180 in September. The August 2013 average inpatient census was about 153. “The fall tends to be a somewhat slower time for us and as you can see, that is not happening so we are in historically new territory at this point,” says Butler Hospital Acting President and [More]

November 1st, 2014

MassHealth woes could be resolved soon

By Catherine Robertson Souter

The nightmare may soon be over for some Massachusetts psychologists and their clients who were placed on a temporary insurance plan that did not cover all their therapy needs. Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Health Connector, the state’s online health insurance exchange Web site, was not functioning for new enrollees for subsidized health insurance. The state responded by placing some 31,000 people on a temporary plan until the site could be made operational. The fix, meant to ensure a smooth continuation of coverage for these Massachusetts residents, instead left a gap that the Massachusetts Psychological Association has been fighting to [More]

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