General, Articles

July 10th, 2021

Teens’ investment in selfies linked to symptoms of depression

By New England Psychologist Staff

While many parents worry their teens post too many selfies on social media, a new study says the frequency of sharing these photos is less important than how invested the teens are in how the selfies look and whether the selfies got positive feedback from followers.

“I feel like the narrative around posting selfies is very negative,” says Jacqueline Nesi, Ph.D, of Brown University, the lead author of the study, which was published in “Psychology of Popular Media.”

“The idea of posting too many selfies often gets pathologized. However, from my work with teens, it was clear to me that posting a high number of selfies can be normative and isn’t necessarily the sign of a problem,” she said.…

July 9th, 2021

U.S. workers not so keen on heading back to the office

By Eileen Weber

Slowly, a glimmer of what life was like before the pandemic is starting to emerge. Mask mandates are being lifted, there is more relaxed social distancing, and people are returning to the office. But not everyone is eager to resume their lengthy commute only to stare at the inside of a cubical again.

In a March 2021 report, the American Psychological Association noted the health concerns that many people have surrounding this return to “normal.”

While the survey showed things like nearly two thirds of Americans gained significant weight, had sleeping problems, added stress and mental health issues, and canceled health care services, it also addressed post-pandemic sentiment.…

July 9th, 2021

How can psychologists address rise in SAD?

By Catherine Robertson Souter

As clients come in this winter, complaining about feelings of depression and anxiety, it can be easy to chalk it all up to the on-going pandemic. But, as if 2020 was not difficult enough, the darker months also promised to bring a rise in seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

For those suffering from SAD, a cyclical depression, shorter days and longer nights can bring about a desire to go into a sort of hibernation, with isolation, low energy, depression, and anxiety being the hallmarks. Of course, with the pandemic, isolation, depression, and anxiety have become the norm for us all.…

April 13th, 2021

Parenting Education: How to help your children after trauma

By New England Psychologist Staff

Some basics for managing trauma in your child:

In some ways, helping children recover from traumatic experiences, can be simple. In other ways, the healing process can seem endless and grueling. In order to make this process doable, let’s discuss some basic concepts you can incorporate from the get go.

• Physical contact – Be affectionate with your child. This will help him/her feel safe.

• Daily Routines – Structure during times of stress is very healing. Structure provides a sense of security. When everything feels out of control, having structure provides an anchor for the child.…

February 11th, 2021

Maine launches initiatives to address pandemic-related issues

By Phyllis Hanlon

Approximately nine months after the COVID-19 virus was identified in the United States, Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) launched StrengthenME, an initiative designed to provide coping mechanisms for pandemic-related stress and anxiety before it becomes a more serious mental health issue.

According to Jessica Pollard, Ph.D, director of the Maine DHHS Office of Behavioral Health, the state recognized the need for mental health supports and immediately looked to expand existing services, such as the Intentional Peer Warm Line.

“We also launched new services, such as the Maine Frontline Warmline to support health care staff and first responders, and the NAMI Teen Text Line for youth,” Pollard said.…

December 7th, 2020

Psychologists offer advice to parents during this chaotic time

By Catherine Robertson Souter

To say this has been a trying year for humans is to put it mildly. Everything has been thrown up into the air. From fears of a loved one getting sick to the stress of financial or housing instabilities, to the overarching political and social turmoil, 2020 will go down as a year that showed us all what we are made of.

For parents, add keeping kids of all ages on task with school work, arguing with teens about what constitutes safe behavior, and becoming a de facto entertainment director for the cruise ships we call home, and it’s no wonder they come in to the therapist’s virtual office feeling overwhelmed and pandemic-fatigued.…

November 6th, 2020

COVID-19 has tripled depression rate

By New England Psychologist Staff

A new study finds that 27.8 percent of U.S. adults had symptoms of depression as of mid-April 2020, compared to 8.5 percent before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This represents a three-fold increase over what it was before COVID,” says lead author Catherine Ettman, a doctoral student at the Brown University School of Public Health and director of strategic development in the Office of the Dean at Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH).

Not surprisingly, the study found that money was a defining factor in who was reporting new symptoms of depression.…

October 7th, 2020

Long term results of parental alienation to the alienated child

By New England Psychologist Staff

(Source: Dr. Lori Love, Custody Evaluations 101: Allegations and Sensitivities)

What are the long-term effects of parental alienation on the child who has been alienated?
The results are devastating for the alienated child and can last a lifetime. Not only does the child miss out on a lifetime of having an enjoyable and fulfilling relationship with the parent they have been conditioned to reject, they also develop some serious pathological behaviors and attitudes that carry in to their adult lives.

Following are descriptions of some of these disturbing effects:

• Splitting: This is the psychological phenomenon of seeing people as either “all bad” or “all good,” or “black or white.”…

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).…

October 7th, 2020

Woodside’s fate remains up in the air

By New England Psychologist Staff

The fate of Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center, Vermont’s only juvenile detention facility, is up in the air.

While state officials work to figure out what’s next for the embattled facility, there are no children housed at the 30-bed secure facility.

“There are no youth being served by the Woodside facility currently,” said Luciana DiRuocco, executive staff assistant, public information officer, for the state’s Department for Children and Families (DCF).

“We are currently using in- and out-of-state programs to serve the youth traditionally served by Woodside for the time being while we see if we can stand up a new program with approximately five beds for those youth that require this level of secure care,” she continued.…