Leading Stories, Articles

October 1st, 2012

Maine agency changes structure to improve services

By Jennifer E Chase

Spurwink is a cute name for a serious, nationally recognized agency that for 50 years has provided mental health and educational services to New England children, adolescents, adults and the families that care for them. The Portland, Maine-based collaborative prides itself on what President Dawn Stiles calls “a comprehensive array and continuity of services across the lifespan of individuals, from preschool services for kids with autism or behavioral issues, to in-home support services.” To keep offering the best services within the bounds of its finances and resources, however, this summer Spurwink strategically closed its flagship program and moved its youngest [More]

October 1st, 2012

N.H. takes top spot in child well being survey

By Catherine Robertson Souter

New England is a good place to be a kid these days…or at least the best in the nation, although that is not exactly the same thing. In the 2012 “Kids Count Data Book,” released in July, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private, national philanthropy, ranked the states according to their success in areas of economic well-being, education, health and family and community. The top three spots were taken by New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont. Connecticut was seventh, Maine 13th and Rhode Island 25th. New Hampshire showed progress in eight of 16 indicators, notably in education and health. “There [More]

October 1st, 2012

Men and violence link prompts discussion

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Most violent crimes are committed by men. This is true across the world and throughout history. The US Bureau of Justice Statistics puts the figure at 78 percent in 2008. Other studies put that number closer to 90 percent. These figures don’t surprise most people. Yet, whenever the discussion is raised, most recently in light of the shootings in a Colorado movie theatre, there is often a backlash, a defensive retort. In a recent Hartford Courant article, Linda Scacco, Ph.D., and Molly Turro brought up the subject, insisting that we take a closer look at the problem and try to [More]

October 1st, 2012

Job forecast: shifting niche areas present opportunities

By Phyllis Hanlon

As the economy wends its way back from the brink, the job outlook for psychologists presents as a mixed bag. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, the profession is expected to grow by 22 percent between 2010 and 2020. The growth rate for all occupations is 14 percent. While this eight-percentage point difference appears encouraging, the total number of new jobs will only be 800. With approximately 5,000 doctoral students graduating annually from psychology programs, as reported by the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Center for Workforce Studies, finding a job [More]

October 1st, 2012

Study focuses on explosive disorder in teens

By Pamela Berard

Nearly two-thirds of adolescents admitted to having anger attacks that involved destroying property or threatening or engaging in violence and one-in-12 of those adolescents meet criteria for Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED), according to a recent study. The study, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, is among the first to measure the prevalence of IED in teens. The survey of teens 13-17 and their parents published this summer in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that the disorder has an early age onset – age 12 on average. Study leader and epidemiologist Ronald C. Kessler, Ph.D., department of health [More]

August 24th, 2012

Curing trauma: reality or myth?

By Phyllis Hanlon

Horrific events such as a divorce, serious motor vehicle accident, physical assault, a terrorist attack or military service in an active war zone hold the potential for inducing trauma in its victims. A variety of treatment options are available that can alleviate symptoms and restore psychological balance. Some recent news stories report the possibility of a “cure” for trauma. But is this optimism misplaced? Simon A. Rego, Psy.D., ABPP, ACT, director of psychology training at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College in the Bronx, explains that patients who are traumatized have developed widely distorted beliefs about the world, along with coping [More]

August 24th, 2012

States with privileges provide feedback

By Pamela Berard

Since 2002, when New Mexico became the first state to grant prescription privileges to psychologists, only Louisiana has followed suit. But Dan Abrahamson, Ph.D., assistant executive director for state advocacy for the American Psychological Association, says an average of seven states over the past decade have introduced legislation. He expects a similar number to seek privileges in 2013. “There are new states coming on and getting involved all the time,” he says. Oregon (2010) and Hawaii (2007) successfully passed bills through the legislature, only to have them vetoed by the governor. “With all the effort we’ve put into supporting this [More]

August 24th, 2012

Region’s pursuit of privileges on hiatus

By Pamela Berard

While several states have active groups pursuing legislation for prescription privileges for psychologists, such efforts appear on hiatus in New England. Dan Abrahamson, Ph.D., assistant executive director for state advocacy for the American Psychological Association, says no New England state is among the current group engaging in prescriptive authority efforts. But, the issue is not dead yet. Rick Barnett, Psy.D., LADC, and president of the Vermont Psychological Association, attained a master’s degree in clinical psychopharmacology in 2009. “I have found it extremely useful since I got the training and gained the knowledge,” Barnett says. Although he can’t prescribe in Vermont, [More]

August 24th, 2012

Study: Ketamine holds promise for PTSD treatment

By Janine Weisman

A fast acting anesthetic approved more than 40 years ago for American soldiers during the Vietnam War may hold the key to better treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the 21st century. Ketamine has already shown effectiveness in lifting symptoms of deep depression. Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine, the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and other research institutions are pursuing more studies to learn more about how ketamine can work within hours to alleviate symptoms “I don’t think any drug is a miracle drug, but I think that ketamine has produced some very [More]

August 24th, 2012

PTSD support remains pertinent for Holocaust survivors

By Jennifer E Chase

Elihu Kover is the vice president of Nazi Victim Services for Selfhelp, Inc., a New York City organization that provides assistance to people who lived through the Holocaust. Founded in 1936 (there were people fleeing Germany for the U.S. before the Holocaust was fully underway), the organization serves about 5,000 New York City Jews each year who wish to stay in their homes and in their communities in spite of what their age and the Holocaust has done to them. For many, that means combating symptoms of late-onset posttraumatic stress disorder that may have lain dormant during their youth and [More]

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