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]

June 4th, 2020

Why Suicide Prevention Advocates Right Now Don’t Despair

By Janine Weisman

Mental health infrastructure has come a long way since 1918-1919 influenza pandemic. Social isolation, a key strategy to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 , is considered a significant risk factor for suicidality. So school closures, mandated face masks, and bans on large gatherings along with the most rapid change in the employment sector ever recorded in the U.S. have led to growing dread that suicide rates might rise. But is an increase in the suicide rate inevitable? Not according to Jerry Reed, Ph.D., MSW, a nationally recognized leader in the field of suicide prevention. “I think it’s really important [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]

March 4th, 2020

Wild Acre & Mental Health Solutions uses home-based health care for mentally ill

By Eileen Weber

About five years ago, New England Psychologist reported the Wild Acre Inn in Belmont, Mass., was changing hands. The residential treatment program, with several sites located within the Boston area, shuttered all but one by the fall of 2014. Bernard Yudowitz, MD, who ran the program since its founding in 1972, could not continue the program because of health issues. He called on John Sciretta, LICSW, for help. Sciretta was Wild Acre’s chief clinical officer from 1983 to 1996. He moved on to build a private practice that included supported apartments and home-based management care in the area. “I already [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]

April 1st, 2015

Winter 2015: mental health impacted

By Phyllis Hanlon

The first two months in 2015 registered as momentous for New Englanders in several ways. In addition to near record snowfalls, bone-chilling temperatures, treacherous road conditions and significant transportation glitches, some residents experienced an increase in stress, anxiety and depression. For those already carrying a mental health diagnosis, these additional factors added to overall emotional tension. Winter disregulates a certain portion of New Englanders, but those who have anxiety or depression can be especially hit hard, according to Mary Anderson, Ph.D., clinical psychologist at Commonwealth Psychology Associates in Boston, Mass., who specializes in behavioral medicine and health psychology. She explained [More]