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]

July 17th, 2020

A world turned upside down is also a time for new opportunities

By John Grohol, Psy.D.

Online counseling services have gotten a big boost in the past few months, as the coronavirus pandemic closed down much of the face-to-face world. In fact, the only way for most to do psychotherapy during this time was either via some sort of teleconferencing or online therapy service, or going old-school and using just the phone. (You shouldn’t be using email to do therapy, because it is insecure). Unbeknownst to many, online counseling is now in its third decade. It got its start in the mid-1990s as a way of offering therapy services to people who would otherwise not get [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]

February 1st, 2013

ACOs hope to save money

By Phyllis Hanlon

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act represents one of the most ambitious health care reform initiatives this country has experienced. One of the law’s provisions calls for the creation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), systems that aim to provide improved care coordination and save money through better health management and preventative strategies. The ACO concept originated in March 2011 when the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed a set of rules that would provide complete and coordinated care for Medicare recipients. Under a collaborative system, providers, practices and hospitals work together to treat a patient across several [More]

June 1st, 2015

ACT may benefit patients with depression and psychotic features

By Phyllis Hanlon

Treatment for individuals with psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia has typically involved cognitive behavioral therapy and medication. But research is demonstrating that acceptance-based behavioral therapy may offer significant benefits beyond those derived from traditional treatment approaches. Brandon A. Gaudiano, Ph.D., research psychologist in Butler Hospital’s Psychosocial Research Program, faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and author of Incorporating Acceptance and Mindfulness into the Treatment of Psychosis, has been studying the use of Acceptance and Compassion Therapy (ACT) and mindfulness for individuals with psychosis and depression. The term [More]

February 1st, 2013

Active shooter trainer: a good idea?

By Janine Weisman

What should you do if a gunman suddenly bursts into your school or workplace? The conventional answer has long been lockdown: hide quietly, lock or barricade doors, turn off lights and equipment and wait for police. But that passive response frustrates many as mass shootings – and anxiety about public and personal safety – continue to increase. Newer emergency response training programs teach participants to consider ways of fighting back against a shooter. School officials in Canton, Mass., recently implemented an active shooter training program for students and staff known as A.L.i.C.E. (Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuate) that covers how [More]

March 1st, 2016

Acupuncture: alternative therapy for addiction

By Phyllis Hanlon

United States researchers are exploring the effectiveness of acupuncture as a treatment option for addiction. Acupuncture, designed to restore balance in the body, has been used for more than 2,000 years in China and Asia. Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx is reportedly one of the first facilities to offer acupuncture for addiction and the Veterans Administration lists acupuncture as a viable treatment option in its guidelines for treating posttraumatic stress disorder. Laurie Edwards, Psy.D., a psychologist, administers auricular acupuncture at the Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC) at the Yale School of Medicine and explained this particular form of acupuncture addresses [More]

February 1st, 2017

Addiction Campus opens in Massachusetts

By Rivkela Brodsky

Addiction Campuses, a company based in Brentwood, Tenn., offering comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment programs at facilities around the country has opened its fourth national location in Cummington, Mass., called Swift River. The company, which specializes in alcohol, illegal drug and prescription drug addiction treatment, has three other facilities in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Texas, according to the company’s Web site. “There is a real addiction – especially opioid – epidemic going on in the Northeast, but frankly, it’s really over the entire country,” said Swift River CEO Mark Lancet, MA, NCC, LADC, LPC. “There is a lot a lot of [More]

October 1st, 2013

ADHD brain-wave test gets mixed reviews

By Howard Newman

A new, non-invasive clinical test for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents has drawn varying degrees of concern, interest and skepticism from mental health professionals in New England. The test, which takes about 15-20 minutes, was developed by NEBA Health in Augusta, Ga. It uses EEG technology to measure the ratio of theta and beta brain waves. The testing device, Neuropsychiatric EEG-Based Assessment Aid (NEBA) System, was approved by the FDA on July 15. Several controversial issues surround the NEBA system, not the least of which is the single study – unavailable to the public and conducted [More]