April 18th, 2020

Working towards cultural competence in therapy

By New England Psychologist Staff

For the therapist, cultural competence is the ability to provide therapy than can overcome cultural barriers that exist between the patient and the therapist. The more a therapist knows about a patient’s culture, the more likely that person will feel comfortable. In a world where therapists and clients shared homogenous backgrounds, cultural competency would not be an issue. For therapists practicing today in the United States, however, this is not the case. According to the U.S. census, 23.5 percent of the population identifies as non-white and 13.4 percent are foreign-born. The United States is home to people who come from [More]

July 14th, 2020

Working with clients of color requires training, more listening

By Catherine Robertson Souter

In a perfect world, the color of one’s skin should not affect a therapeutic relationship. However, this is America 2020 and it apparently does. For instance, studies have shown that therapy dropout rates are significantly higher for Blacks than for whites when they work with white therapists. “In general, African-Americans tend to have higher drop-out rates because therapy has historically been considered an institutional privilege,” said Martin Pierre, Ph.D, the president-elect of the Massachusetts Psychological Association (MPA). In a 2014 study by the Trauma Research Institute, at Alliant International University, San Diego, CA, researchers found communication problems cited by 82 [More]

January 1st, 2015

WRAP workshops expand across Vermont

By Pamela Berard

Vermont’s Blueprint for Health initiative is helping to coordinate and expand throughout the state a series of free, evidence-based self-management workshops to help residents with health maintenance as well as prevention of a range of chronic health issues. As part of this effort, Blueprint for Health and the Department of Mental Health, in collaboration with the Vermont Center for Independent Living and Vermont Psychiatric Survivors, worked to help spread Copeland Center Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) workshops across the state. WRAP, a peer-led and peer-engaged wellness and recovery system, helps participants decrease and prevent troubling feelings and behaviors, increase personal [More]

February 1st, 2016

Yale program treats young cancer patients

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Recognizing that young adults diagnosed with cancer show poorer outcomes post-treatment, Yale-New Haven Hospital has initiated a program dedicated to psychosocial treatment for this vulnerable population. The Adolescent Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Psychosocial Program at the hospital’s Smilow Cancer Center will offer services to all patients age 15-39 beginning with the initial diagnosis as a way to improve outcomes. According to a University of Michigan study published in Psycho-Oncology, 39 percent of all adolescents and young adults with cancer reported moderate to severe levels of psychological distress six months after diagnosis. Unlike with adult cancer patients, whose distress levels off [More]

July 1st, 2014

Yale psychologists launch Mood Meter App

By Janine Weisman

The room you’re working in is too warm. You can’t focus on your project because of repeated interruptions. And you have no idea what you’re going to do for dinner. Restless? Annoyed? Stressed? Can’t quite put your finger on how your feeling? Yes, you can. Because the feeling is probably somewhere in the red-orange zone that occupies the upper left quadrant of the new Mood Meter App.The app launched in May is based on research conducted at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and conceived by the center’s director, Marc Brackett, Ph.D., and its associate director, Robin Stern, Ph.D. They [More]

January 2nd, 2019

Yale report shows corrections agencies are reducing use of solitary confinement

By Janine Weisman

The total number of people spending time alone in a U.S. prison or jail cell for an average of 22 hours or more per day for 15 continuous days is decreasing. So is the number of those with serious mental illness (SMI). That’s according to the most comprehensive study of national data on the number of prisoners in restrictive housing — or what is more commonly known as solitary confinement. “Reforming Restrictive Housing,” released in October from the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA) and the Arthur Liman Center for Public Interest Law at Yale Law School, estimated that 61,000 [More]

June 1st, 2015

Yale research: Internet inflates person’s sense of knowledge

By Susan Gonsalves

Thanks to Google, iPhones and the Internet, some people gain a miscalculated sense of what they know. Researchers at Yale University conducted several experiments to determine how looking information up online affected people’s opinion of their own intelligence. The results, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology were derived by recruiting approximately 200 participants online through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and breaking them into two groups: one that could look up answers to questions using a search engine and another that could not. According to lead author Matthew Fisher, B.A., a fourth year graduate student at Yale’s Cognition and Development Lab, [More]

October 1st, 2016

Yale study looks at sub threshold PTSD co morbidity risks

By Susan Gonsalves

According to research, veterans who do not have full blown PTSD but who experience some symptoms are at a heightened risk for depression, suicide and substance abuse. They could benefit from screening and treatment in clinical settings but are overlooked. That was the takeaway of a Yale-university led study, published in the World Psychiatry Journal’s June issue. The research looked at 1,484 veterans nation-wide ranging in age from 20 to 94 with a median age of 64 and found that 22.1 percent experienced “sub threshold” PTSD while eight percent met the DSM-5 criteria for a PTSD diagnosis. In addition, these [More]

March 2nd, 2018

You know you’re getting old when…

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

We’ve all heard it said that you’re only as old as you think you are, but I’m proud of my three score and ten. This milestone is a privilege denied to many and each new day is a gift to be used well, enjoyed, and savored. I am also aware that 70 is not especially old. According to gerontologists, it is threshold of our senior years, the midpoint of a stage of life beginning at 65 called the young old to be followed, if we are lucky, by the old beginning at 75, and the oldest old at 85. Still, [More]

December 1st, 2011

Young addicts need aid to change

By Janine Weisman

Young adults with severe addiction problems genuinely want to become clean and sober. They just don’t know how to do it, says a new study by the Center for Addiction Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School and the Minnesota-based Butler Center for Research at Hazelden. Researchers say they were surprised by the high degree of motivation reported by 18 to 24-year-olds in the study at the time they entered a multidisciplinary 12-step-based residential treatment program. But the subjects had low coping skills, self-confidence and low commitment to support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, according to [More]