February 1st, 2015

The psychology of romantic relationships

By Phyllis Hanlon

Consider all the songs, poems, magazine articles and novels that focus on romance and it would appear that nearly everyone is looking for love. Sometimes finding Mr. or Ms. Right may be relatively easy, but establishing a romantic relationship typically involves some distinct behavioral patterns and maintaining that relationship requires nurturing. “When trying to form a relationship, you are on your best behavior,” said Margaret S. Clark, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Yale University, adding that three processes are important to relationship initiation: strategic self-presentation, partner evaluation and self-protection. “You must present yourself to a partner in a manner that [More]

July 1st, 2014

The retirement readiness test

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

The question I hear more and more often these days concerns when I’m planning to retire. Never mind that I’m the one doing most of the asking, but I hear it from friends and colleagues as well. It’s a stage of life thing, something my fellow baby boomers and I toss around in meandering conversations about life, work and our hopes and plans for our so-called golden years. My first response to this question was a glib, “When I meet my first happy retired person or after I’ve paid all my big bills, whichever comes first.” It didn’t take much [More]

August 21st, 2010

The risks of restraint and seclusion

By Edward Stern J.D.

Last month, New England Psychologist looked at the use of restraint and seclusion. In this installment, the column examines some of the risks of these methods to both patients and mental health care workers. Restraint and seclusion have their own risks because restraint can involve physical struggling, pressure on the chest or other interruptions in breathing. JCAHO reviewed 20 restraint-related deaths and found that in 40 percent, the cause of death was asphyxiation, while strangulation, cardiac arrest or fire caused the remainder. Reported deaths (Hartford Courant) in cases where restraint or seclusion was a factor were caused by asphyxia, cardiac [More]

May 13th, 2019

The shame of United Behavioral Healthcare

By John Grohol, Psy.D.

I’m surprised United Behavioral Healthcare (UBH) – a part of behemoth UnitedHealthcare — can even show its face these days. After a scathing ruling against this disliked healthcare insurer was handed down in early March, it’s become clear – to me at least — that UBH only cared for its bottom line, not the highest quality patient care possible. It also once again illustrated the separate and unequal systems that exist in parallel – one that treats physical symptoms, and an inferior system setup to provide the most minimal of coverage to treat mental symptoms. In the case, Wit v. [More]

August 19th, 2016

The surprising life of Sister Mary

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

At the risk of appearing to be living a cliché of the retired life, I must say that I have been spending more time these days reading obituaries. It could be because I have more time to read the morning paper and the obituaries are printed in the same section as the funnies. I always turn to the funnies after a brief glance at the bad news on the front page. Bad news can wait and, if I somehow miss it in the paper, that’s what television and Internet news programs are for. I also receive obituaries by email from [More]

July 10th, 2018

The upholstered clock

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

“Will you miss it?” I asked my wife as we stood at opposite ends of the couch in the middle of the floor, aimed at the sliding doors of our family room. “Miss what?” she replied. “Me neither,” I answered. And so, one day after the Salvation Army rejected our offer because of some fraying of the upholstery, the junk man came and carted the old couch away. The piece was one of two that we bought on a single visit to the furniture store 16 years ago as soon the builders had finished our new family room. The other [More]

October 9th, 2019

The Walker School completes extensive renovations

By Margarita Tartakovsky, MS

This past summer, the Walker School completed an extensive renovation to its campus, creating new classrooms, a gym, and other improvements to benefit its students who have various behavioral, emotional, and social challenges. Located in Needham, Mass., the Walker School is a private special education school for students ages five through 13. Previously, the Walker School had three buildings, one of which included a hexagon-shaped building from the 1960s, which their architect noted had “outlived its useful life,” said Danielle Wetmore, M.Ed., the principal at Walker. It wasn’t conducive for learning or for kids with social, emotional challenges.” It was [More]

November 1st, 2014

The way of the cat

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

You never know what new lesson life has in store or who will come along to teach it. Just when I thought I had missed the pleasures and challenges of pet ownership, our daughter asked us to watch her cat Mushu for six weeks until she came back to bring him home with her to Colorado. I know that most adults own pets because I have seen the stickers on the rear windows of cars, advertising the typical American family complete with parents, kids, a dog or a cat, and sometimes both. Because I fall short in the pet department, [More]

August 1st, 2011

Therapy with Coerced and Reluctant Clients

By James K Luiselli EdD ABPP BCBA-D

Book tackles issue of reluctant clients “Therapy with Coerced and Reluctant Clients” By Stanley L. Brodsky American Psychological Association Washington, D.C., 2011 By James K. Luiselli, Ed.D., ABPP, BCBA-D How would you describe coerced and reluctant clients? According to psychologist Stanley L. Brodsky, they include children, adolescents and adults who are forced into therapy by schools, employers and the courts. Similarly, patients in psychiatric hospitals may have mandated treatment as a prerequisite to their release. Whatever the conditions, people entering a therapeutic relationship involuntarily pose many challenges for mental health professionals. Brodsky is a recognized expert in forensic psychology, devoting [More]

October 1st, 2015

Therapy, recreation integrated

By Howard Newman

The Grove School, a therapeutic boarding school in Madison, Conn., provides a holistic environment for students in grades 6-12. By integrating education, therapy and recreation into a year-round program, the school creates a family-type structure that allows residents to heal, learn and enjoy group activities in a non-restrictive setting. Utilizing the “Educateur” program model, teachers have roles that extend well beyond the classroom. “They are dormitory parents, activity leaders and mentors,” explained Executive Director Peter Chorney, M.Ed. “This requires our teachers to work long hours and live on site. They understand that part of the work to heal and connect [More]