Columnists, Articles

March 4th, 2018

Causes of disenfranchised grief: A reminder for therapists

By New England Psychologist Staff

I’ll never forget my first lesson in the meaning of disenfranchised grief. While interning, I was assigned to a young woman who had been referred by her doctor for depression. In our first session, I heard her story. She had miscarried her first pregnancy only a few months before. “Everyone tells me to get over it,” she said. “When I was crying in the hospital, a nurse told me that miscarriage is nature’s way to end pregnancies that aren’t quite right and that I’m young so I will have other babies. But I wanted this baby I had already named. [More]

March 2nd, 2018

You know you’re getting old when…

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

We’ve all heard it said that you’re only as old as you think you are, but I’m proud of my three score and ten. This milestone is a privilege denied to many and each new day is a gift to be used well, enjoyed, and savored. I am also aware that 70 is not especially old. According to gerontologists, it is threshold of our senior years, the midpoint of a stage of life beginning at 65 called the young old to be followed, if we are lucky, by the old beginning at 75, and the oldest old at 85. Still, [More]

February 11th, 2018

Transitions

By John Grohol, Psy.D.

Life is all about transitions. It’s what keeps things interesting and challenges our complacency. I’m honored to take over the reins of New England Psychologist, an independent voice that began life as Massachusetts Psychologist in 1993 by Denise Yocum, Psy.D., expanding to all of New England in 2002. Dr. Yocum approached me at the beginning of October to discuss the possibility of purchasing the publication after deciding the time was ripe for retirement. Following a few discussions, it became clear we were aligned in both interests and beliefs. I want to take a moment to thank Dr. Yocum for her [More]

February 9th, 2018

Painting a life

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

When you reach a certain age and start thinking about retirement, you will get plenty of advice about how to stay healthy and mentally sharp when you stop working at the job that defined your career for most of your adult life. One thing you will hear over and over again is the importance of learning something new – a new language, skill, hobby or maybe even a whole new career. Lately, I’ve been learning about painting. To be clear about this statement, I am not actually taking art lessons and, while I enjoy doodling as much as the next [More]

January 1st, 2018

Paying attention to the music

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

Music is all around us but it took a holiday meal at a memory care center to remind me of its power to restore us to ourselves even if only for as long as we pay attention. My wife and I were there for a special dinner served to the strains of familiar tunes like “She’ll be Comin’ Round the Mountain” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” Accustomed as I had become, even at the center, to crooners singing American standards from the big band era and younger vocalists doing easy listening favorites, I made a face somewhere in the middle of [More]

December 1st, 2017

Letting go of the dark

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

Somewhere in the middle of the holiday season, we find ourselves looking for light. It is dark by 4:15 p.m. on December 21, the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. The earth, tilted 23 degrees on its axis, is tilting away from the sun even though we are as close as we will ever get to the source of the light we crave. Outdoors, the evening commute is a string of lights, oncoming white and receding red, while indoors, lamps are lit, fireplaces blaze and we add even more lights to celebrate the winter holidays. Our past experience [More]

November 1st, 2017

When prayers are not enough

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

There is nothing worse than a mass shooting like the one in Las Vegas last month, except perhaps how easy it is to forget and to go about our lives as if nothing had ever happened. The killing of 59 (including gunman) and wounding of more than 500 of our neighbors gathered to hear a country music concert is one of those events that should burn itself into our memory and wake us up to the need for change. Since the news broke on night of Oct. 1, the details of the story have been accumulating quickly – 22,000 people [More]

October 1st, 2017

My view of our eclipse summer

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

It was the summer of the great solar eclipse, the first total eclipse of the sun visible in the United States since 1979 and the first to traverse the entire country in more than a century. Here in New England, only about 60 percent of the sun was blocked out by the moon’s shadow. While we didn’t have what observers described as the other-worldly experience of totality, we were treated to enough of a show to justify the hype that the event generated. When I look back on this summer of the great solar eclipse, I will remember the view [More]

August 18th, 2017

Dual citizen

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

I have always wanted to be a dual citizen. Don’t get me wrong, the United States is a great place to live and my grandparents went through a lot of trouble so that my parents and I could be born here. Even so, a second passport wouldn’t hurt. The UK or Ireland would be nice, carrying overtones of James Bond or James Joyce. Not that anyone would ever mistake me for either of them, but still two of my heroes all the same. Just when I thought my dream of dual citizenship was beyond reach, the passport came earlier this [More]

July 1st, 2017

Not only a game

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

Of all the things I thought I would be doing after I retired, I never expected that playing an internet game would be one of them. We all know these things can be addictive but I jumped at the chance to play a word game with my son when he introduced me to Words with Friends, an app based version of Scrabble with some important differences. Exactly what these differences are I would learn as I played, first with my son and daughter, and later with a friend who knew a lot more about the game than I did. In [More]