Articles, Leading Stories

January 1st, 2016

Panelist: Hybrid careers likely for newcomers

By Rivkela Brodsky

Having a hybrid career in psychology – a mix of academic, clinical, and work in other industries – is more likely in the near future with fewer full-time academic job opportunities in the field of psychology, said Steven N. Broder, Ph.D., clinical associate professor of counseling, psychology, and applied human development at Boston University’s School of Education. “It’s the nature of the world and the changing economy; people will be doing a variety of things,” Broder said. But, there are also some personality factors that should be considered when choosing a hybrid career versus a traditional full-time academic or clinical [More]

January 1st, 2016

Research uses MRI to identify attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

By Catherine Robertson Souter

When magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, was first introduced as a diagnostic tool in the 1990s, a new world was opened to researchers as the scans provided a novel way to look at the inner workings of the human body. Now, researchers at Yale University have found a way to use the MRI to see even further into the human psyche to identify attention problems. In a study recently published in Nature Neuroscience, the Yale team presented evidence that they could correctly identify adults and children with a range of attentional issues through MRI scans that focused on connectivity between [More]

December 1st, 2015

Celebrity stalking: a dangerous combination of obsession, delusion

By Phyllis Hanlon

When Robert John Bardo murdered actress Rebecca Schaeffer in 1989, he drew public attention to the issue of stalking. In response, California passed the first stalking legislation in the country in 1990; by 2000, all 50 states had enacted similar laws, according to the National Center for Victims of Crime. While stalking most often involves perpetrators and victims who are acquainted or related, celebrity stalking captures headlines. According to Gerald Sweet, Ph.D., forensic and police psychologist, co-developer of the Military Veterans Psychology Program and faculty member at William James College (formerly the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology), celebrity stalking falls [More]

December 1st, 2015

NAMI forum offers multi-faceted workshops

By Susan Gonsalves

Preventing unnecessary arrests and prison time for people with mental health disorders is the goal of the Criminal Justice Diversion Project, a National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) initiative, said June Binney, J.D., director. Personnel from the Fitchburg and Cambridge police departments presented a workshop on “Best Practices in Law Enforcement/Mental Health Partnerships,” at NAMI’s Massachusetts state convention in Leominster on Oct. 31. The Department of Mental Health awards approximately $1.5 million in annual grants to cities and towns to implement specialized training so that officers are better able to respond to incidents involving people with mental illnesses. NAMI created [More]

December 1st, 2015

Violence toward staff of concern at Worcester Recovery Center

By Rivkela Brodsky

When the Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital opened in 2012 it was touted as a state-of-the art facility that emphasized the “natural structure of home, neighborhood and community.” The $305 million, 430,000-square foot structure, with 320 beds – 60 for adolescents and 260 for adults – was built to have a “non-institutional look” where the “intent is to provide a private, quieter space.” However, there has not been much quiet at the hospital as of late. The hospital has seen a dramatic rise in incidents of violence against staff by patients – far and above anything the Massachusetts Nurses Association [More]

December 1st, 2015

Mental health screenings come out in the open

By Janine Weisman

G“et a CHECK-UP from the NECK UP?” The sign next to the sleek looking kiosk in the first floor lobby of the rec center at Drexel University in Philadelphia invites students, faculty and staff and the general public to take anonymous, two-minute screenings to test for depression, anxiety, alcohol use, eating disorders or other mental health concerns. The MindKare kiosk by Screening for Mental Health, a nonprofit organization in Wellesley Hills, Mass., takes mental health screenings into public view just like blood-pressure check-ups at the local pharmacy. Installed last May, the Drexel rec center kiosk is the first such public [More]

December 1st, 2015

Many children see primary doctors for mental health care

By Rivkela Brodsky

Primary care physicians play a large role in treating children in the U.S. dealing with mental health conditions, according to a new study. The study, published in the November issue of Pediatrics, suggests that primary care doctors are the sole provider of care for one-third of children dealing with mental health conditions and for four in 10 children with ADHD. “What we found essentially was that a fair number of children and young adults see a primary care physician for mental health conditions,” said Jeanne Van Cleave, M.D., assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and a pediatrician at MassGeneral Hospital [More]

December 1st, 2015

Study boosts belief that anorexia is brain-based illness

By Pamela Berard

A new study may help explain why anorexia nervosa is so hard to treat: those who struggle with it activate a different part of the brain when making food choices than those who don’t. The study, “Neural mechanisms supporting maladaptive food choices in anorexia nervosa,” which was published in Nature Neuroscience, demonstrated that when making decisions on what to eat – women with anorexia nervosa showed increased activity in the dorsal striatum area of the brain compared to women without anorexia. The dorsal striatum has a critical role in the establishment and expression of action control and learned automatic behaviors. [More]

December 1st, 2015

Early interventions crucial in schizophrenia treatment

By Janine Weisman

“Family psycho education,” “resilience-focused individual therapy,” and “supported employment and education.” All are interventions a team of clinicians provided participants enrolled in a major National Institute of Mental Health funded study of treatment approaches for patients soon after their first schizophrenic episode. Receiving such coordinated and sustained treatments along with personalized medication management dramatically increased quality of life for the study’s participants over a two-year period compared to usual care emphasizing strong doses of antipsychotic drugs. And the earlier patients are treated after their first break from reality, the better the outcomes, according to the results of the Recovery After [More]

December 1st, 2015

Professor: Violence has decreased

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Ask the person sitting next to you on the subway if the world is less safe than when they were younger. Most likely he will say yes and start railing about terrorist acts, gun deaths, car accidents, domestic abuse cases and random acts of violence that we are bombarded with on the nightly news. The woman on the other side will tell you how kids can’t even play outside anymore with the risk of kidnappings and molestation. But, is the world really more dangerous? Is violence on the increase? The answer, according to Steven Pinker, Ph.D., a Johnstone professor of [More]

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