July 1st, 2012

Connecticut’s suicide increase tied to bad economy

By Janine Weisman

Is the bad economy to blame for a significant rise in Connecticut’s suicides documented this past spring by the state’s chief medical examiner? Experts suggest such a link to explain the 371 suicides recorded in 2011 by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the highest number of such deaths in the last 22 years. Men committed 288 suicides and 83 were by women. Men between ages 40 and 59 accounted for 37 percent of the deaths. The second highest year occurred in 1991, also a period of economic downturn, with 362 suicides. The third highest year, 2010, had 358. [More]

October 10th, 2019

Conrad’s law

By Susan Gonsalves

A proposed law in Massachusetts would make it illegal to coax someone to commit or attempt suicide. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Barry Finegold (D-Second Essex and Middlesex) and Rep. Natalie Higgins (D-4th Worcester District) would make this type of coercion punishable by up to five years in jail and has been dubbed, “Conrad’s Law.” Conrad Roy, 18, killed himself at the urging of his girlfriend Michelle Carter in 2014. Carter of Plainville was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and is serving a 15-month prison sentence. “Like everyone else, I followed the case and was horrified by what happened,” said Finegold [More]

December 1st, 2015

Constructing the world together

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

The first time I realized that none of us sees the world in quite the same way I was just a kid riding in the back of the car with my aunt driving and my mother sitting in the passenger seat. In the way of small children before the days of seat belts, bored with adult company and itching to be out playing, I was lying on my back with my feet up against the front seat, watching the tops of telephone poles gliding by the side window. Suddenly it occurred to me that I was the only one in [More]

April 1st, 2014

Consumer protection bill filed to restrict use of ‘psychotherapist’

By Pamela Berard

Proposed Massachusetts legislation would restrict use of the terms “psychotherapist” or “psychotherapy” to only those professionals licensed with “psychotherapy” included in their statutory scope of practice. “An Act to Protect Psychotherapy Patients” (Bill H. 3466), submitted by Rep. Ruth B. Balser (D-Newton), states that the division of professional licensure may, after a consent agreement between the parties or after an opportunity for an adjudicatory hearing, assess and collect a civil administrative penalty for people who represent themselves to the public as “psychotherapists” or represent their services as “psychotherapy” unless they are currently licensed by the board of registration in medicine, [More]

February 1st, 2010

Consumers rate their satisfaction on N.H.’s mental health services

By Catherine Robertson Souter

In a new research report, consumers of New Hampshire’s 10 community mental health centers (CMHCs) have shown that although they are overall pleased with the services that they receive, there are many areas where the system still falls short. In the second consecutive year of this survey, the Institute on Disability (IOD) at the University of New Hampshire asked adult, youth and the families of consumers of the health centers to provide feedback on the level of satisfaction that they had in working with them. Questions were asked about their satisfaction with the services themselves, access to those services, participation [More]

April 12th, 2021

Continuing education credits for all

By John Grohol, Psy.D.

Continuing education (CE) is a vital part of a psychologists’ on-going training and keeping up with the latest developments in the field. Twenty years ago, the only way to attain your continuing education credits was by attending an in-person seminar or workshop. While this is a great format for learning, we’ve seen the benefits of learning through other, more convenient options. One of those options is through taking your continuing education courses online. As we’ve learned during the pandemic, online learning is a powerful choice because it provides the convenience and access that in-person courses don’t. There will always be [More]

April 1st, 2012

Conversion disorder: medical mystery with psychological underpinnings

By Phyllis Hanlon

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fourth edition (DSM-IV) classifies conversion disorder as one of the somatoform disorders characterized by medically unexplained complaints of multiple physical symptoms, such as inability to speak, blindness, paralysis or numbness with underlying psychological issues or conflicts. In spite of the definition, conversion disorder, a rare occurrence, is difficult to diagnose and remains somewhat of a mystery to medical professionals. Christine T. Finn, M.D., director, Psychiatry Residency Training Program and director of Crises and Consultation Services in the department of psychiatry at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., says, “People don’t have the [More]

August 31st, 2018

Conversion therapy ban passes in New Hampshire, fails in Massachusetts and is vetoed in Maine

By Catherine Robertson Souter

In a movement that seems to be growing, a ban on mental health professionals providing conversion therapy for people under 18 has been signed into law in 15 states. There have been five bans this year alone. In June, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed a bill banning the practice in that state. “There has been a real cultural shift,” said Shannon Bader, Ph.D, A.B.P.P., the legislative chair for the New Hampshire Psychological Association. “We were the 14th state with an outright ban.” Historically, conversion therapy has included everything from instruction on why and how to change to shaming the [More]

February 1st, 2016

Conversion therapy effects shown

By Phyllis Hanlon

In 1974, the American Psychological Association voiced strong opposition to discrimination, prejudice and violence based on sexual orientation. Until that time, those with homosexual tendencies were often treated with “aversion” therapy that included electric shock, systemic desensitization and other techniques. In 2007, the APA established a Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation, which was charged with conducting research on Sexual Orientation Change Efforts. In response, some states have passed legislation that bans conversion/reparative therapy. Rachel Gaillard Smook, Psy.D., owner of Birchtree Psychology in Northborough, Massachusetts, reported that 18 states have legislation pending to ban the practice of [More]

November 1st, 2010

Cough medicines to stay available

By Nan Shnitzler

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted 15 to nine to continue to allow cough medicines containing dextromethorphan (DXM) to be sold over the counter despite recreational use that sends thousands of people to emergency rooms every year. Approved by the FDA in 1958, DXM is found in more than 120 over-the-counter cough medicines like Robitussin, Coricidin, Dimetapp and generics. Taken at recommended doses, DXM can occasionally cause a mild high. But abusers consume it in doses 10 to 20 times higher for euphoriant and hallucinogenic effects, referred to as “robo-tripping” or “tussing.” The DEA, which requested the FDA’s [More]

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