November 1st, 2016

Treating responders: a shift in technique

By Phyllis Hanlon

The devastation that occurred on 9/11 shook the entire world. But since that time, numerous other traumatic events – the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the San Bernardino shooting, the Orlando nightclub attack, to name a few – have reinforced the importance of addressing psychological damage resulting from these incidents. In response to the growing need, clinicians have shifted their thinking when it comes to treating first responders. Joan M. Cook, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry at Yale, and current president of the American Psychological Association’s Division 56, Trauma Psychology, noted that events such as the Vietnam War, “put [More]

December 1st, 2017

Treating sexual abuse/harassment with therapy and support

By Phyllis Hanlon

Recently, print, broadcast and social media sites have been reporting sexual abuse, harassment, and misbehavior allegations on a daily basis. While this news has focused on the entertainment industry and corporate America, such behavior also occurs in the workplace, at home and in public venues. Carlos A. Cuevas, Ph.D., associate professor, co-director, Violence & Justice Research Laboratory, School of Criminology & Criminal Justice at Northeastern University, defines sexual abuse as “any kind of unwanted or forced sexual behavior on a person” that might include touching, fondling or rape. “Harassment doesn’t necessarily differ from sexual abuse, but is usually connected to [More]

March 1st, 2010

Treating Substance Use Disorders with Adaptive Continuing Care

By James K Luiselli EdD ABPP BCBA-D

Treating Substance Use Disorders with Adaptive Continuing Care By James R. McKay American Psychological Association Washington, D.C., 2009  Book’s focus will resonate with scientist-practitioners Reviewed By James K. Luiselli, Ed.D., ABPP, BCBA-D Some people who have substance use disorders (alcohol and drugs) respond positively to brief therapeutic intervention. However, other people are not able to sustain sobriety without intensive long-term treatment. As psychologist James R. McKay states in the introduction to his book, “There is now widespread acceptance that addiction is often a chronic problem characterized by increased vulnerability to relapse that can persist over many years.” McKay wrote the [More]

August 29th, 2018

Treatment resistance is challenge for practitioners

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Patient X doesn’t show up for an appointment–again. He calls and explains that his dog was sick/mother needed a ride/ car broke down. Client J is late for nearly every appointment. Patient K offers every excuse she can think of for why a particular solution will not work for her–no matter the solution. Patient N, a teenager, is openly critical of you, your clothes, your hair, and your skills as a therapist. No one said that life as a therapist would be easy. No matter the population–younger, older, more or less seriously ill, there are at least one or two [More]

June 1st, 2012

Treatment resistance: a complex problem that requires multiple approaches

By Phyllis Hanlon

Individuals who suffer with mental illness have several treatment options from which to choose, including psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, short-term residential placement and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or other pharmacological agents. In spite of this robust therapeutic menu, some patients remain significantly impaired, posing a challenge for effective treatment. Treatment resistance, present across a number of diagnoses and common in depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and personality disorders, involves multiple variables, according to Rick Barnett, Psy.D., LADC, MS clinical psychopharmacology and president of the Vermont Psychological Association (VPA). Those variables include who is defining treatment resistance, treatment approach, diagnosis, co morbid [More]

January 1st, 2018

Treatment varies for sexual offenders

By Phyllis Hanlon

Clinicians who treat sexual offenders tailor treatment to the offense. Throughout her career Susan Rudman, Ph.D., Northern Regional representative for the Massachusetts Psychological Association, member of the MPA board of directors, forensic psychologist and private practitioner in Salem, Mass., has treated hundreds of males, and a handful of females, who present with various underlying reasons for sexually offensive behavior. From a chaotic family life as a child and “male rage” to the need to exert power over another and “distortion issues,” such as poor social skills, each offender has usually experienced some sort of trauma, she said. Most of Rudman’s [More]

August 21st, 2010

Trends in growth areas reflect social, cultural conditions

By Phyllis Hanlon

In 2008, the American Psychological Association (APA) identified six growth areas for the profession: public health, seniors, veterans, government service, the workplace and courtrooms. Today, some of those areas, along with new ones, hold potential for climbing the career ladder. Jessica L. Kohout, Ph.D., director of the Center for Workforce Studies, Science Directorate at the APA, says, “We don’t have any crystal balls, but we can suggest some [growth] areas. Public health, as in primary health care settings and clinics, geropsych, veterans and federal facilities remain strong. These career paths are obviously driven by new health care initiatives, the aging [More]

December 1st, 2014

Tufts examines canine therapy

By Phyllis Hanlon

Three years ago, the American Humane Association launched “Canines and Childhood Cancer: Examining the Effects of Therapy Dogs with Childhood Cancer Patients and their Families,” a multi-year, randomized controlled trial. This year, the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University became the last of five sites to participate in the trial. In May, Zoetis Inc., a leader in the advancement of animal health and wellness, joined the AHA in sponsoring and coordinating the study. The study involves a comprehensive needs assessment, six-month pilot study, which ended in April 2013, and a full clinical trial. Findings are scheduled for distribution [More]

April 1st, 2016

Tufts reaches settlement with AG office

By Phyllis Hanlon

The passage of mental health parity was intended to mandate equality in the care of behavioral issues with that given to physical conditions. In spite of the requirements, some insurers have been found to limit access to certain mental health services. The Massachusetts attorney general’s office recently resolved allegations that Tufts Associated Health Plans restricted member access to Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy, a standard treatment for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The AG’s office alleged that Tufts set a policy that required parents to be present during every ABA session in order for the service to be covered. Additionally, [More]

June 1st, 2016

U.S. ranks 13th in World Happiness Report

By Rivkela Brodsky

In the latest World Happiness Report – an update released to coincide with International Day of Happiness on March 20, just 11 months after the 2015 report came out – the United States ranks 13 among 157 countries listed in the report. Coming in at the top at number one was Denmark, followed by Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Sweden, Israel, Austria, and then the United States, which came in just above Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Germany, Brazil, Belgium, Ireland, and Luxembourg to round out the top twenty. Burundi ranked last at 157 after Syria, Togo, [More]