February 1st, 2014

A look at the profession: then and now

By Phyllis Hanlon

Psychology has been around since the time of ancient Greek, Egyptian, Chinese and Indian civilizations. In the ensuing years, the profession has evolved into a field with numerous notable figures, significant discoveries, various subspecialties and an array of treatment interventions. In the last 50 years, the discipline has continued to progress and grow thanks to curriculum changes, more opportunities for hands-on practice and publication and the prevalence of technology. When Ethan Pollack, Ph.D., faculty member at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology and partner and founder of private, group practice Needham Psychotherapy Associates, received his doctorate in 1968, he deviated [More]

November 1st, 2015

A night with my invisible friend

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

When my friend had to bow out of an educational event we had planned to attend together, I thought I would be on my own. I never expected to be sitting with a guy who snuck into the auditorium by registering under my name. He was my younger self and he’s been popping up more and more these days since my retirement, reminding me what I used to think and feel about anything and everything. He surprised me that late summer evening when he appeared at a videoconference featuring Dr. Irvin Yalom at Stanford University being interviewed by Dr. Bob [More]

November 1st, 2012

A presidential psychopath?

By Janine Weisman

Research has suggested politicians, especially U.S. presidents, are narcissists. But are they psychopaths too? Successful ones share a boldness associated with psychopathy, according to a new study led by Emory University clinical/personality psychologist Scott O. Lilienfeld, Ph.D. The study, comparing 42 U.S. presidents up to and including George W. Bush, was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. President Barack Obama was not included because his personality data was unavailable. William Henry Harrison and James Garfield were excluded because of their brief presidencies. Presidents ranking highest in what Lilienfeld calls “fearless dominance” – the ability to control others [More]

March 6th, 2018

A proper introduction

By John Grohol, Psy.D.

Many of you are familiar with Psych Central, and hopefully for those of you who are, you’re as happy as I am that we’re able to carry on the wonderful publishing tradition of New England Psychologist. But I suspect there are many professionals who are unfamiliar with us or our history. The roots of Psych Central began while I attended Nova Southeastern University working on my doctorate. In my first year there in 1990, my childhood best friend took his own life back home. As anyone who’s been touched by suicide knows, it was a devastating loss. It also drove [More]

April 1st, 2012

A relapse prevention plan

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

When I caught myself humming the refrain of a Frank Sinatra song under my breath after morning rounds, I knew I was in for a rough day. That’s the beauty of relapse prevention plans and the reason why we are spending increasingly more of our scarce professional resources teaching this simple method of keeping track of our stress level and learning to avoid or at least to manage situations that threaten to send us over the edge. Over the edge, otherwise known as relapse behavior, means different things to different people. To the person living with mental illness who has [More]

March 1st, 2010

A tribute to my colleagues

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

For the past several months, I’ve been writing about the impact of the closing of Westborough State Hospital on the lives of patients and staff. It is much too early to know the effect of this event on the grand variables that measure the success or failure of our public policy, of individual discharge plans or of the men and women living with the challenges of mental illness. Yet, as the hospital closes around us, every day brings evidence of our collective human response to uncertainty, change, loss and opportunity. A recent retirement celebration for five staff social workers gave [More]

December 1st, 2016

A walk through time and history

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

Sometimes we have to remind ourselves to slow down, especially when we travel. And so my wife and I started the morning with breakfast in a park near our London hotel, relaxing at an outdoor café overlooking an expansive lawn punctuated with beds of autumn flowers. For our main event of the day, we planned a visit to Westminster Abbey. The rest we left to chance and whim, never considering that we would spend most of the day in church or what we would take with us when we left. I had been coming to London since my days in [More]

April 1st, 2013

A walk to remember

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

We all love a good story. Outside of the office, I have found the best storytellers among fellow passengers on long distance train trips. The train ride offers long stretches of time in a confined space with complete strangers and nothing better to do than look out the window at the passing scenery. I could not have imagined a better place for storytelling, at least not until a walk I recently took down a city street that I had known for a long time but seldom visited in recent years. With our plans for a longer day trip scuttled by [More]

November 4th, 2019

ACLU-NH lawsuit seeks due process for ER patients waiting for beds

By Catherine Robertson Souter

According to state law in New Hampshire, individuals held against their will because of a mental health crisis must be provided a hearing before a judge to determine if they present a risk to others or themselves. That hearing must happen within three days of the signing of an Involuntary Emergency Admission. However, because of a shortage of beds in the state’s psychiatric care facilities, people are often held in emergency rooms until a space opens up. And the mandated hearings are only offered at psychiatric facilities. The result is that some patients are being held, against their will, in [More]

August 18th, 2017

ACO program aims to integrate healthcare

By Pamela Berard

Massachusetts is readying for a major restructuring of the current fee-for-service payment system for MassHealth, the state’s combined Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program. MassHealth’s Accountable Care Organization (ACO) program begins in January 2018 and 18 healthcare organizations across the state were recently selected to participate. The 18 ACOs – networks of physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare providers – will work together to provide integrated healthcare for patients with the goals of improving their health and containing costs. The ACOs will integrate efforts with community-based health and social services organizations. The ACO program is a component of the state’s five-year 1115 [More]