Leading Stories, Articles

June 8th, 2018

Maine Gov. LePage continues push for step-down unit in Bangor

By Janine Weisman

Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s effort to build a privately run 21-bed stepdown unit for Augusta’s Riverview Psychiatric Center on state land in Bangor has quietly resumed with a developer’s permit application filed with the Bangor Planning Board. Bangor Holdings LLC in Hermon submitted an application and site development plan on May 30 to build a one-story, 9,536 square foot secure forensic rehabilitation facility on State Hospital Drive on the grounds of the Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center. Although the application sought a site review, Bangor Planning Officer David Gould said the proposed 2.32-acre site would need a conditional use permit [More]

May 16th, 2018

Brattleboro Retreat expands telepsychiatry services

By Pamela Berard

Following the successful launch of a pilot inpatient telepsychiatry program, the Brattleboro Retreat in Vermont has expanded its telepsychiatry services. In early 2017, a psychiatrist on the medical staff at the Retreat — a not-for-profit specialty psychiatric and addiction treatment hospital — moved out of state but wanted to stay involved. Brattleboro Retreat developed an inpatient model of telepsychiatry for the staffer to provide remote, real-time video consultation with patients. “It was very well received early on by patients as well as our staff and the physician involved,” said Mark McGee, M.D., chief medical officer. The Retreat has since hired [More]

May 14th, 2018

Mass. increases beds, facilities while other states remain stable

By Phyllis Hanlon

The psychiatric care landscape has shifted in recent years from an inpatient setting to community placement and back to in-hospital treatment. New England Psychologist surveyed the New England states to assess the current inpatient situation. Kathleen Remillard, public information officer (PIO) at New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services, reported that the state has had no psychiatric unit closures in the past year. Rather, New Hampshire has gained 20 new transitional housing beds for patients recently released from New Hampshire Hospital or other designated receiving facilities. Vermont has also added 20 youth psychiatric beds; and four mobile crisis apartments [More]

May 13th, 2018

Psychologists weigh benefits, challenges of working in inpatient hospital settings

By Phyllis Hanlon

Psychologists today have opportunities to pursue several different professional career paths. New England Psychologist spoke to psychologists who practice in inpatient settings and found that this venue offers both rewards and challenges. Before retiring, Robert J. Kamman, Ph.D, of Raymond, Maine, spent 32 years working at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center in New York, where he conducted initial screenings on every admission and determined the necessity for assessments. His responsibilities also included administering tests, running group therapy sessions, collaborating with the art and music therapist, occasionally treating patients on an individual basis and frequently working with families. Throughout his career, the [More]

May 13th, 2018

Vermont searches for solutions to increase bed capacity

By Janine Weisman

The Vermont House of Representatives Committee on Health Care has already come out against funding a temporary 12-bed forensic unit at the Northwest State Correctional Facility in Gov. Phil Scott’s proposed fiscal 2019 state budget. But during the appropriation process in early April, Senate members appeared more receptive toward the facility proposed to alleviate the demand on emergency rooms and psychiatric facilities around the state. “That’s a showdown between the Senate and the House that we get caught in the middle of,” said Department of Mental Health (DMH) Commissioner Melissa Bailey. “They’ve got to figure out where they’re going to [More]

May 12th, 2018

Plymouth’s Child and Family Services re-design creates stir

By Susan Gonsalves

Earlier this year, there was an outcry when word got out that the Emergency Services Program (ESP) operated by Child and Family Services in Plymouth was about to change. Executive Director Anne Sampaio, LICSW, noted that people feared the closure of the current office space on Long Pond Road in June would mean that people in 10 communities would be left without `walk-in’ aid or have to travel to the New Bedford site for help. The program provides crisis intervention for a variety of mental health and substance use disorders. The services include facilitating a placement in a treatment facility, [More]

May 11th, 2018

New behavioral units designed to enhance care

By Pamela Berard

St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston, Maine, opened its new pediatric behavioral unit in early 2018 and is on track to open a new adult behavioral unit in 2019, as part of a three-year, $12 million improvement project. Project funding was partially funded through a capital campaign. Improvements include the relocation and remodeling of the pediatric and adult behavioral units, which will move to the main hospital; as well as renovations and expansion for the building supporting oncology, rheumatology, infusion, and other outpatient services. The new 13-bed pediatric behavioral unit provides specialized care for children and adolescents. It features [More]

May 11th, 2018

Book on play is research-based, practical

By New England Psychologist Staff

In “Play and Creativity in Psychotherapy,” Terry Marks-Tarlow, Marion Solomon, and Daniel J. Siegel demonstrate that play can have a significant role in the healing process. Taking the time to relearn how to play as an adult can help build resilience, creativity, and spontaneity for both clients and therapists. As children, it is natural to explore and use play as a way of learning. But as adults, we are supposed to be more serious. We are often overly concerned with how we appear to others, and too often move through life with the logical parts of our brains. Fortunately, it [More]

May 10th, 2018

Striking a Digital Balance

By John Grohol, Psy.D.

Technology is only going to keep invading the nooks and crannies of our life. We can help ourselves and our clients by treating it like a tool that needs our active guidance, instead of welcoming it passively into our lives as the enemy. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – these are all services designed not only to gain your attention and brain cycles, but to keep it for as long as possible. They are designed from a neurocognitive perspective to take advantage of the stimulus-reward system – and they work wonderfully in keeping you captive. The solution to technologies designed to take [More]

May 10th, 2018

Submitted for your approval, a reunion in the Twilight Zone

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

Our son and his wife were flying to Tokyo and we had just taken them to Newark airport. They were starting a 14-hour flight that would take them 11,000 miles from home, by any measure an enormous distance. I never suspected that a brief detour on our way back would take me even farther, not just to my childhood home but, through the corridors of memory, to the core of childhood itself. Neither did I expect that, when I arrived, I would be drawn to the house of a friend who, at that very moment a thousand miles away, was [More]