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]

August 18th, 2017

UMaine athletes to get mental health resources

By Pamela Berard

The University of Maine (UMaine) is adding a mental health program to its athletic department. UMaine is receiving $640,000 in a one-time distribution from the NCAA, which this spring distributed funds to nearly 350 Division I schools for the purpose of providing better support to student-athletes. The money had to be used for new programs or to enhance existing programs (not to buy more equipment, increase salaries, or hire more coaches, for example). Each school was required to submit a spending plan. UMaine, which has more than 450 student-athletes, chose to use the funding to prioritize mental health care for [More]

September 9th, 2020

Uncertainty of pandemic leads to further mental health problems

By Eileen Weber

It should be no surprise that after months of shelter-in-place mandates, wearing masks in public, maintaining a six-foot distance from others, and a resurgence in COVID outbreaks in some states, our collective psyche is at the breaking point. Depression, anxiety, and substance abuse have been on the rise in this country, but those issues have become even more apparent during this pandemic. For many people, it has been a mental and emotional roller coaster. Steven Marans, MSW, Ph.D, a professor of psychiatry and director of the Childhood Violent Trauma Center at Yale’s Child Study Center, says the loss of normal [More]

October 7th, 2020

Understanding collective trauma

By New England Psychologist Staff

Collective trauma can be understood as a response to a one-time event, or as a response to a long-term event. The first type of collective trauma can occur when a “cataclysmic event that shatters the basic fabric of society” happens, such as a natural or human-caused disaster (1). Collective trauma also occurs because of on-going collective physical and emotional injury due to repeated exposure to race-based stress (2). The experience of collective or historical trauma by colonized communities such as Canadian, Australian, and American indigenous peoples is well established in the literature (3). The accumulated evidence of trauma reactions in [More]

November 9th, 2018

UNICEF report: Peer-to-peer violence in schools is pervasive around the world

By Janine Weisman

School is a safe place — but only for half of the world’s students. A new UNICEF analysis finds that half of students aged 13 to 15 globally report experiencing peer-to-peer violence in and around school. That’s about 150 million teens, according to the report “An Everyday Lesson: #ENDviolence in Schools,” which outlines a variety of ways students face violence in and around the classroom. The report measures peer-to-peer violence as the number of children who report having been bullied in the previous month or having been involved in a physical fight. And, the report’s data shows the prevalence of [More]

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