October 1st, 2013

Test data access examined

By Edward Stern J.D.

Are clients/patients entitled to test data as part of their records if they request a copy of their records or request their records be forwarded to others? In 2002, the American Psychological Association changed its Ethics Code to include “test data” as part of a client/patient’s records. Standard 9.04 defines test data as “raw and scaled scores, client/patient responses to test questions or stimuli, and psychologists’ notes and recordings concerning client/patient statements and behavior during an examination.” Notice that “test data” does not include “test material.” Test material is the actual test administered to the client/patient. Test data, however, is [More]

February 1st, 2013

The Affordable Care Act: What it means for psychologists

By Phyllis Hanlon

The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has given the green light for partial application now with full implementation of the law slated for 2015. While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides more Americans with insurance coverage, including equal access to medical and mental health services, the role psychologists will play in the delivery of services remains unclear. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the ACA eliminates coverage exclusion due to pre-existing conditions; removes annual or lifetime caps on coverage; forbids rescinding coverage; and creates a basic benefit package [More]

August 15th, 2011

The Aging Intellect

By Paul Efthim PhD

‘Marvelous’ resource looks at cognitive functioning’ reviewed by: Paul Efthim, Ph.D. “The Aging Intellect” By Douglas H. Powell Routledge New York, N.Y., 2011   At a friend’s recent 60th birthday party, I was struck by the sheer volume of jokes about the indignities of aging, especially one-liners about the loss of cognitive functioning. Hearing so many wisecracks about ‘senior moments,’ I felt I’d stumbled upon a hidden aspect of the boomer zeitgeist. Concealed beneath the generational focus on age-defying lifestyles, we baby boomers seem to harbor enormous anxieties about losing our minds. As we extend our life spans through healthy [More]

May 1st, 2010

The Art and Science of Mindfulness: Integrating Mindfulness Into Psychology and the Helping Professions

By Paul Efthim PhD

By Shauna L. Shapiro and Linda E. Carlson American Psychological Association Washington, D.C., 2009 Mindfulness explained in clear, rigorous work Reviewed by Paul Efthim, Ph.D. The term “mindfulness” probably evokes a mixed or even negative response for some psychologists. This is unfortunate because we in the helping professions have much to learn from Buddhist thought and meditative disciplines. Why is the field of mindfulness not more fully embraced by psychologists? Possible explanations include a lack of accurate information about mindfulness, unfamiliar terminology, resistance to working with the body in a non-intellectual way and a general mistrust of spiritual and experiential [More]

March 1st, 2012

The birth of a new hospital

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

In the course of my career as a psychologist, I have witnessed the closing of many of the hospitals but I have never seen a new one open. That is about to change with the scheduled opening of the new Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital in July of 2012. Every day is a step closer to the awakening of the sleeping giant that shares a hilltop with the last functioning building of Worcester State Hospital, a 1950s era, eight-story afterthought to the original 1876 structure destroyed in a 1991 fire. All that remains of the original hospital are the shells [More]

June 1st, 2013

The Brattleboro Retreat addresses deficiencies

By Phyllis Hanlon

In response to a complaint, the Vermont Division of Licensing Protection completed a survey on Feb. 21, 2013 to determine if the Brattleboro Retreat met the Conditions of Participation for Psychiatric Hospitals. Peter Albert, senior vice president of Government Affairs at the Retreat says, “After an on-site survey in February by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Brattleboro Retreat received a letter on March 13 citing deficiencies. The Retreat has submitted a Plan of Correction and CMS conducted a follow-up survey the week of April 15. We are awaiting the CMS report in response to the Plan [More]

May 1st, 2010

The changing role of the hospital-based psychologist

By Phyllis Hanlon

While incidence of mental health-related hospitalizations hasn’t diminished, the model of inpatient care is shifting. Shrinking budgets, bed elimination and community-based care is creating a new treatment paradigm and changing the role of some psychologists who work in hospitals. In March, Eastern Maine Medical Center (EMMC) in Bangor laid off approximately 50 full and part-time staff because of financial issues and declining patient census. The cuts did not involve psychologists, according to Jill McDonald, B.S., MA, APR, EMMC’s vice president of communication and market development. “We do have a few psychologists on staff at EMMC in some outpatient capacity, but [More]

October 29th, 2018

The dilemma: to join a group practice or go solo

By Catherine Robertson Souter

It is perhaps the most important question to answer for anyone just starting out in a clinical practice. Does it make sense to take a “safe” position in a group practice or would it be wiser in the long run to set out on your own, rent an office, and start building your brand? There is, of course, no “right” answer, only many factors to consider. Among them, the administrative benefits of each option, the financial impact, the social impact and the market itself must each be considered before deciding which path to follow. Of course, it’s also important to [More]

July 4th, 2019

The empowered patient

By John Grohol, Psy.D.

Patients nowadays are empowered more than ever. They’ve not only read all about their disorder online, but they may have even participated in an online support group or previously tried online therapy before coming to you. This trend is a good one that every clinician should embrace. A fear of misinformation online has been put to rest by research suggesting that most information about mental health concerns online is trustworthy. Of course, people can always seek out non-mainstream opinions and viewpoints, but most do not. An empowered patient doesn’t just mean they’re informed and educated about their condition. It also [More]

March 15th, 2011

The Ethics of Supervision and Consultation: Practical Guidance for Mental Health Professionals

By James K Luiselli EdD ABPP BCBA-D

Book about ethics an ideal resource (March 2011 Issue) “The Ethics of Supervision and Consultation: Practical Guidance for Mental Health Professionals” By Janet T. Thomas American Psychological Association Washington, D.C., 2010 By James K. Luiselli, Ed.D., ABPP, BCBA-D This book is dedicated to the conduct of supervision and consultation by and for mental health trainees and career professionals. By reading the book, psychologist Janet T. Thomas hopes that prospective supervisors and consultants “will learn to recognize the myriad ethical challenges and pitfalls inherent in this work, prevent or avoid them when possible, acknowledge mistakes when they occur and make repairs [More]