General, Leading Stories

January 4th, 2019

Debate over effectiveness of skin shocks continues

By Janine Weisman

When the Food and Drug Administration will finally issue its final ban on electrical stimulation devices for treating self-injurious and aggressive behaviors is anyone’s guess. But there is no doubt about how firmly a Massachusetts school embraces using a device to deliver either 15.25 or 44 millilamps of electric current to the arms or legs of individuals with intellectual disability and autism, many of whom also have psychiatric disorders. Skin shocks — not to be confused with the voluntary depression treatment known as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) — are designed to make a patient stop an undesirable behavior by causing them [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]

November 8th, 2018

Study gives insight into how people experience emotion

By Phyllis Hanlon

Emotions run the gamut, from sadness and grief to happiness and euphoria and many others in between. But little is known about how and why those emotions change at different times and during different stages of life. A team of researchers at Harvard University recently conducted a study to explore these questions. Leah Somerville, Ph.D, associate professor psychology, and director, Affective Neuroscience and Development Lab, oversaw the study, which involved 143 subjects between the age of five and 25. Clinical psychologist graduate student Erik Nook, the “resident expert” on this work – according to Somerville – has long been interested [More]

October 3rd, 2018

Latham Centers offers unique program for kids with Prader-Willi Syndrome

By New England Psychologist Staff

Most people have heard of equine therapy, but the term asinotherapy probably would draw many blank stares. Originally developed in Germany, this lesser-known therapy is actually a successful program that uses miniature donkeys. Since 2009, it’s been an integral part of Latham Centers, a residential care, education, and treatment center for children and adults with Prader-Willi Syndrome on Cape Cod. Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is a complex genetic disorder that affects one in 12,000 to 15,000 births. It is characterized by an insatiable appetite, developmental disabilities, skin picking, and emotional and behavioral problems. “PWS is a spectrum disorder,” said Patrice Carroll, [More]

October 1st, 2018

Collaboration results in enrichment program for kids

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Shortridge Academy, a private co-ed therapeutic boarding school in Milton, New Hampshire, recently announced a unique enrichment program being offered to its students. As part of a community outreach effort, the school has partnered with Granite State Adaptive Sports, a non-profit organization that provides a variety of physical activities for people with disabilities. In the program, a select group of students from the school are given an opportunity to work with Granite State’s clients, coaching and guiding them in various sports. Granite State works with people from age three and up who have physical, cognitive or emotional disabilities as well [More]

November 1st, 2011

Is your client spiritual?

By Jennifer E Chase

Asking early may help treat their anxiety The next time you’re preparing for a new client intake who suffers anxiety and impatience, adding a few questions about spirituality and its importance to your client’s daily life might lead toward more productive sessions. That was the major take-away from a McLean Hospital study that reported those who believe in a kind God worry less and better handle life’s unpredictable nature than those who believe God is indifferent, unkind or doesn’t exist at all. David H. Rosmarin, Ph.D., is an assistant in psychology at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital. He presented the paper based [More]

July 1st, 2010

Providing care is an ongoing challenge

By Ami Albernaz

Mental health care doesn’t carry the stigma it once did and more is understood about mental health disorders than ever before. Yet millions of those meeting the criteria for a psychological disorder still don’t receive care, presenting an ongoing challenge in how to improve access and make sure effective treatments are delivered. Around 26 percent of U.S. adults meet the criteria for a disorder within a given year, while the lifetime prevalence is around 46 percent. These were the conclusions of the National Comorbidity Survey (NCS), a National Institutes of Mental Health-funded study of more than 9,000 adults first done [More]

June 1st, 2010

The Interpersonal Theory of Suicide: Guidance for Working with Suicidal Clients

By James K Luiselli EdD ABPP BCBA-D

“The Interpersonal Theory of Suicide: Guidance for Working with Suicidal Clients” By Thomas E. Joiner Jr., Kimberly A. Van Orden, Tracy K. Witte, and M. David Rudd American Psychological Association Washington, D.C., 2009  Interpersonal theory of suicide outlined in valuable work Reviewed By James K. Luiselli, Ed.D., ABPP, BCBA-D Mental health professionals require specialized training to properly assess clients at risk for suicide. Understanding the threat of lethal self-harming behavior, in part, should be based on theories of suicide and respective clinical implications. This book is intended to “demystify clinical work with suicidal patients by grounding this work within a [More]