November 1st, 2017

When prayers are not enough

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

There is nothing worse than a mass shooting like the one in Las Vegas last month, except perhaps how easy it is to forget and to go about our lives as if nothing had ever happened. The killing of 59 (including gunman) and wounding of more than 500 of our neighbors gathered to hear a country music concert is one of those events that should burn itself into our memory and wake us up to the need for change. Since the news broke on night of Oct. 1, the details of the story have been accumulating quickly – 22,000 people [More]

March 1st, 2017

Where have all our heroes gone?

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

If ever we needed heroes, the time is now. Every day, the morning paper brings news of drastic actions taken by President Trump and widespread public demonstrations of outrage and solidarity with those he maligns or endangers with his policies of exclusion. Building a wall between us and Mexico, closing our borders to refugees and immigrants and acting to endanger the prospects for universal health insurance repudiate the values that have always made America great. Never mind making America great again. In 1630, when John Winthrop called the Massachusetts Bay Colony a “city on a hill,” watched by the world, [More]

January 5th, 2019

Where is the leadership in Mass. compensation debate?

By John Grohol, Psy.D.

Psychologists in Massachusetts are letting down their fellow citizens, as more and more clinical psychologists refuse to accept traditional health insurance for payment. In an in-depth article in the Oct. 21, 2018 issue of the Boston Globe, Liz Kowalczyk details the challenges citizens in Massachusetts face in getting psychological care through their insurance provider or through the government’s Medicaid program. The typical finger-pointing ensues in the article, with insurance companies and Medicaid claiming they are paying market rates ($72 for a 45-minute session) while trying to cut back on burdensome paperwork costs. Psychologists and other therapists claim it’s still not [More]

May 15th, 2011

Who do we think we are?

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

You would think by now I would know what to expect when a room full of psychologists meets to discuss issues bearing on our professional identity. Then why do I still come away from these gatherings surprised and impressed by our diversity? Earlier this spring, the Massachusetts Psychological Association hosted a conference that brought together psychologists and graduate students from all over New England to discuss contemporary challenges in psychology training. Featured speakers included representatives at the national level from APA, APPIC and ASPPB, the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. Regional interests were represented by directors of clinical [More]

October 1st, 2016

WHO proposes removing transgender from diagnosis list

By Phyllis Hanlon

In recent years, society has witnessed a number of changes related to the transgender population that are leading, for the most part, to some semblance of acceptance. In July, the World Health Organization added its voice to the discussion when it proposed the declassification of transgender identity as a mental disorder in its next version of the International Classification of Diseases-11. A study out of Columbia University lends support to the move. Geoffrey M. Reed, Ph.D., professor in the department of psychiatry at Columbia University, conducted a study at a transgender health services clinic in Mexico City. He interviewed 250 [More]

June 1st, 2015

Why place matters

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

The man had just explained how his violent behavior was the norm in the poor urban neighborhood where he was raised and I responded with a simple acknowledgement of how difficult it must have been to grow up there. Then he surprised me with a question. Did I know anything about Mallorca? Only that it is a beautiful island in the Mediterranean off the coast of Spain, I replied. The world traveler agreed and added that in his eyes, the rough neighborhood of his youth is every bit as beautiful. Of course it is, I reflected silently and wondered what [More]

May 11th, 2019

Why we walk

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

When he was finally given permission to walk outside of the locked areas of the hospital with staff supervision, the man wasted no time in arranging opportunities to walk with his psychiatrist, to work in the hospital greenhouse, and to spend some of his weekly therapy hour with me in the open air. There is nothing new about walking during psychotherapy sessions. It was a common practice for Sigmund Freud to walk with his patients around the University in Vienna. The walks helped his patients clear their minds and speak more freely than they could have done in the office. [More]

February 1st, 2014

Will more screenings correspond with more treatment?

By Janine Weisman

It took a federal judge’s order to make Massachusetts implement routine behavioral health screenings during well-child visits and get the state’s Medicaid agency to reimburse pediatricians for them. But it’s unclear what will make sure children identified as having mental health concerns get the treatment they need, even as Massachusetts leads the nation in screening the youngest and most vulnerable children. “The bottom line is that there are far too few providers willing to see children, whether they’re psychologists or social workers, who take insurance, because the reimbursement is still way too low,” says Michael Yogman, M.D., a pediatrician who [More]

July 5th, 2018

William James College acquires Teachers21: Aims to make schools a better place for students

By Phyllis Hanlon

Four years ago Teachers21, Inc., a 30-year old organization that offers customized professional development for academic leaders, began renting space on the campus of William James College where it also drew upon the school’s experienced faculty to spearhead various programs. Last year, an opportunity arose and the two entities joined forces. Nicholas A. Covino, Psy.D., president of William James College, explained that Teachers21 has been offering “sophisticated consulting work with schools” and has developed a robust relationship with school superintendents and principals across the Commonwealth. With the growing interest in social emotional learning in the last couple of years, the [More]

February 1st, 2017

William James College announces availability of scholarships

By Pamela Berard

William James College in Massachusetts announced its Multicultural and Veterans Mental Health Scholarships, aimed at increasing the number of individuals trained and committed to providing mental health treatment for underserved minorities and military veterans, who experience complex mental health issues but often are reluctant to seeking treatment if they feel disconnected from those providing services, according to the college. Nicholas Covino, Psy.D., president of William James College, said he hopes the scholarships inspire and empower students to commit themselves to serve historically marginalized populations. The college cites figures that show almost 90 percent of psychologists are classified as Caucasian/non-Latino. “In [More]