September 10th, 2020

A good day out

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

One of our favorite ways to relieve the boredom of pandemic isolation is to take a drive. Most days, almost anywhere will do. A trip to the grocery store or a run to the town dump with our trash, recyclables, and yard waste neatly sorted makes for a satisfying change of scenery, but for a real break, we take to the open road. The Sunday paper gave us a plan for what looked like a fun day trip to Newport, and we earmarked Thursday for our adventure. The week passed in its usual round of daily chores and relaxing diversions [More]

April 18th, 2020

A help line for new moms & medical professionals

By Phyllis Hanlon

In June 2014, the state launched the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Program for Moms (MCPAP for Moms) to provide assistance to pregnant women and new mothers who have behavioral health issues. The program also helps medical professionals better address anxiety, depression and other psychological matters. MCPAP for Moms is modeled after the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Program (MCPAP), which was founded by John Straus, MD, in 2004. This program created a regional system of consultation teams that helps manage the behavioral health of pediatric patients. Strauss credits the Massachusetts legislature and Representative Katherine Clark (D – 5th district) with creating [More]

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]

April 18th, 2020

A review of the less talked about mood disorders

By New England Psychologist Staff

Depressive disorders represent an extremely broad, heterogeneous group of disorders. These clinical syndromes share some common symptoms (especially dysphoria) but, in fact, reflect a number of disorders that have diverse etiologies: characterological, acute reactive, and biologic. The symptoms, course, prognosis, and response to treatment vary considerably depending on the particular type of depressive disorder seen clinically as well as a person’s genetic makeup and psychosocial circumstances. Below is a review of some of the less talked about mood disorders. Seasonal Affective Disorder Organisms evolve in ways that promote adaptation to the environment. Examples of this, seen in numerous species (both [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]

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