January 1st, 2010

Westborough State Hospital to close ahead of schedule

By Elinor Nelson

In a money saving plan expected to help meet the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health’s $14 million shortfall entering fiscal year 2010, the state will be closing Westborough State Hospital in April, two months ahead of schedule. The plan to close the hospital and build a new state-of-the-art facility on the campus of Worcester State Hospital has been in the works for about eight years, and the new hospital is expected to open in 2012. At the moment, the Department of Mental Health is “in the middle of transition and discharge plans for [Westborough State’s] patients” until patients can be [More]

March 1st, 2013

What can be done to prevent horrendous acts?

By Edward Stern J.D.

On Dec. 14, 2012, a 20-year-old male shot and killed his mother in their home and then killed 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school The perpetrator reportedly broke into a locked school by shooting his way through a glass door, carrying a Bushmaster XM-16 rifle, a 10mm Glock 20SF handgun and a 9mm SIG Sauer handgun. A shotgun, allegedly owned by his mother, was also found in his car. He allegedly killed his mother with a .22 Marlin rifle which was left at her home and there was also a .45 Henry repeating rifle and a [More]

January 1st, 2013

What I didn’t get for the holidays

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

This is a story that began 40 years ago. When I was just starting out in psychology, it all seemed so complicated that I was never quite sure I knew what I was doing. Then one night an old man appeared to me in a dream. He held a large diamond-shaped crystal which he described as the crystal of wisdom. So I did what any resourceful but insecure beginner would do in that kind of situation. I asked him to give me the crystal. That’s exactly what I need. May I have it? Not so fast, the old man replied, [More]

July 4th, 2019

What I imagined in the psychology aisle

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

About once every decade, I go down to my local bookstore to scan the shelves in the psychology aisle and simply let the titles speak to me. These rare excursions are not meant for shopping or browsing. As a book store junkie, I shop and browse often enough, but scanning and waiting for an insight is a special activity reserved for special occasions. I suppose if I were more systematic in my observations, I might be able to discern the Zeitgeist of every decade from the titles of the books on offer, but I go more out of curiosity and [More]

July 4th, 2019

What is the meaning of patient silence?

By Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.

Midway through a session, Grace, age 24, says she just doesn’t want to talk anymore – and doesn’t. Joe, age 15, enters your office and slumps in a chair, legs spread apart, arms crossed, head down, hidden under the hood of his sweatshirt. “Hello,” you say. He grunts. You are in a couple’s session. The louder Mike gets, the quieter Evie becomes. He piles statements and accusations like cordwood. She goes silent. Kiisha has been doing well during the first 3 months of therapy. Today, she is looking more down than usual. Answers to your questions are in monosyllables. She [More]

January 1st, 2016

What we miss along the way

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

On a recent trip to Colorado to visit our daughter, I found myself obsessed by the desire to see the Rockies covered with snow. I had a particular view in mind, probably an amalgam of what I had seen in documentaries about climbing Mt. Everest, a scene from the movie, “Lost Horizon” and my ever active imagination. In my mind’s eye, I am standing on the top of a mountain or at least sitting in my car at a scenic overlook, looking out on layers of mountain tops receding into the distance, each layer smaller and fainter than the one [More]

March 1st, 2017

What will ACA replacement mean for mental health?

By Janine Weisman

Uncertainty surrounding President Donald Trump’s often repeated campaign promise to dismantle the Affordable Care Act has changed the way Republicans talk about it: Instead of “repeal,” the emphasis is now on “repair.” Even so, mental health advocates are worried that any fix to the 2010 federal health care law might mean the loss of historic protections requiring health plans to cover mental health and substance use disorder treatment and services. Before ACA made these services “essential benefits,” individual and small group market policies rarely covered them. “The Affordable Care Act, put in extreme terms, is a life-or-death issue for people [More]

August 31st, 2018

What’s in a name?

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

You’re sitting in your doctor’s waiting room when the receptionist calls the name of the next patient. No one responds, she calls the name again, and prompted by curiosity, you look up from your magazine to meet her puzzled gaze. She repeats the name, this time adding the surname, and you wonder why she is calling your father. No, wait, Dad is long gone, and then you realize the receptionist is calling you. If you’ve ever had this happen to you, then, like me, you were given a name at birth that no one ever used. In my case, my [More]

April 1st, 2012

Wheels Down: Adjusting to Life After Deployment

By James K Luiselli EdD ABPP BCBA-D

“Wheels Down: Adjusting to Life After Deployment” By Bret A. Moore and Carrie H. Kennedy American Psychological Association Washington, D.C., 2011   Self-help guide one of the best of its kind Reviewed by James K. Luiselli, Ed.D., ABPP, BCBA-D Military psychology encompasses many areas but none more valuable than supporting service personnel returning home from deployment. The authors of “Wheels Down” are experienced Army and Navy veterans, both psychologists who are at the forefront of helping women and men preparing for and going through the transition stateside. It is an exemplary self-help book that deserves the widest attention. The first [More]

April 1st, 2015

When laughter shows the way

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

In all the years I had known him, through hundreds of therapy hours that sometimes left me feeling as hopeless as he did; he had never stopped talking about killing himself. He had almost succeeded on a number of occasions and we believed him when he said that the only thing keeping him alive was the lack of means and opportunity in the hospital. Like many people who have abandoned hope, he had lost much. He would say everything and that would be only a slight exaggeration. Alone with his thoughts, he cried almost daily. And yet, he wondered out [More]