Columnists

July 15th, 2011

Was justice served in Phoebe Prince case?

By Edward Stern J.D.

What is justice? This question has been the basis of a debate since the conclusion of the cases resulting from the harassment and suicide of Phoebe Prince in South Hadley, Mass. This case has been used to support the need for the new anti-bullying law in Massachusetts (see “In Wake of Suicides, Anti-Bullying Bill Passed,” New England Psychologist, June 2010). Bullying deals with persistent or unreasonable hurtful acts against another of unequal power. The six defendants faced different charges. The charges were begun under a district attorney who was no longer in office at the time of the trial. According [More]

July 1st, 2011

Advanced Methods for Conducting Online Behavioral Research

By James K Luiselli EdD ABPP BCBA-D

Book chapters take form of self-contained tutorial “Advanced Methods for Conducting Online Behavioral Research” Edited by Samuel D. Gosling and John A. Johnson American Psychological Association Washington, D.C., 2010 By James K. Luiselli, Ed.D., ABPP, BCBA-D The Internet has become an invaluable resource for conducting research. As the editors of this book propose, Internet-based research can ease the process of data collection, capture large populations, allow for instantaneous storage of results and permit rapid feedback to participants. At the same time, doing research via the Internet poses some practical and ethical concerns. “Advanced Methods for Conducting Online Behavioral Research” reflects [More]

July 1st, 2011

The inventory of terrible things

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

When American architect Louis Sullivan coined the phrase, “Form follows function” in 1896, he certainly wasn’t thinking about how psychologists would be doing risk assessments more than a century later. Now here we are busily re-defining our functions throughout the spectrum of mental health services and looking for forms to help us categorize the things we consider important in understanding and changing human behavior. Especially in the realm of inpatient care, psychologists throughout New England, if not the entire nation, are shifting their focus away from doing therapy and toward providing specialized assessments and developing treatment plans to be implemented [More]

June 15th, 2011

The Psychology of Prejudice: From Attitudes to Social Action

By Paul Efthim PhD

Despite drawbacks, book sheds light on prejudice “The Psychology of Prejudice: From Attitudes to Social Action” By Lynne M. Jackson American Psychological Association Washington, D.C., 2011 By Paul Efthim, Ph.D. This well-written book mostly succeeds in its mission to present the latest theory and research on prejudice. A chief selling point is its sophisticated integration of several key domains not often brought together in a social psychology text, ranging from evolutionary biology to psychodynamic theory to religious and environmental concerns. Author Lynne Jackson, a social psychologist at the University of Western Ontario, is a nimble guide to this fascinating but [More]

June 15th, 2011

The games therapists play

By Mitch Abblett Ph.D.

Tug-of-war is a silly game – all of that straining in order to move a rope a few yards. If you’ve ever played, the whole thing seems pointless, yet it is so easily and regularly played in our daily social lives. Husbands with wives, parents with children, co-workers and confidantes – no one, not even the experienced therapist, is above such game playing. One person feels an unmet need and pulls at an important other to meet it. The other misreads or rejects the person’s pulling and gives a yank themselves. Whether you call it a “power struggle” or a [More]

June 1st, 2011

Relapse Prevention for Depression

By James K Luiselli EdD ABPP BCBA-D

“Exceptional” resource gives readers prevention strategies “Relapse Prevention for Depression” Edited by C. Steven Richards and Michael G. Perri American Psychological Association Washington, D.C., 2010 By James K. Luiselli, Ed.D., ABPP, BCBA-D Approximately 20 million people in the United States experience serious depression. Although there are effective psychotherapy and pharmacologic treatments for this condition, many patients relapse after improving. Indeed, a somber conclusion echoed in this book is that “depressive relapses are very disabling and sometimes more so than the original depressive episode.” “Relapse Prevention for Depression” focuses on major depressive disorder as defined by the current “Diagnostic and Statistical [More]

June 1st, 2011

How to love the job you have

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

When I ended last month’s column with the challenge to reconcile the work of psychology with the demands of available jobs, I realize now that I was being much too abstract. Without suggesting who is responsible for this reconciliation, I risk giving the impression that it should be left to professional organizations or administrators. The task is too important and the world moves too fast to wait for that to happen. It is up to us. Every day, psychologists at every stage of their careers make decisions about what jobs to apply for, which offers to accept and how long [More]

May 15th, 2011

Who do we think we are?

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

You would think by now I would know what to expect when a room full of psychologists meets to discuss issues bearing on our professional identity. Then why do I still come away from these gatherings surprised and impressed by our diversity? Earlier this spring, the Massachusetts Psychological Association hosted a conference that brought together psychologists and graduate students from all over New England to discuss contemporary challenges in psychology training. Featured speakers included representatives at the national level from APA, APPIC and ASPPB, the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. Regional interests were represented by directors of clinical [More]

April 15th, 2011

Beyond the Crisis of Masculinity: A Transtheoretical Model for Male-Friendly Therapy

By Paul Efthim PhD

Superb book delves into male-friendly therapy (April 2011 Issue) “Beyond the Crisis of Masculinity: A Transtheoretical Model for Male-Friendly Therapy” By Gary R. Brooks American Psychological Association Washington, D.C., 2011 By Paul Efthim, Ph.D. Why do men hate therapy, and what can be done about it? In “Beyond the Crisis of Masculinity,” psychologist Gary Brooks tackles this question from both a scholarly and clinical perspective. The whole notion of psychotherapy, he argues, clashes with key elements of male socialization. Most guys find themselves caught between the conflicting demands of the traditional male role (with its focus on control over emotion) [More]

April 15th, 2011

Finding a new way to listen

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

It’s the kind of conversation that might occur anywhere two reasonably sociable strangers find themselves sharing time together waiting for something to happen – a long line at the registry of motor vehicles, a tedious train or bus ride or an unforeseen delay in the airport’s departure lounge. It’s the kind of conversation we usually try to avoid, burying our noses in the daily paper or a good book. Sometimes, however, we get hooked as I did one day not long ago. My partner in this dialogue began with a comment about our shared predicament in heavily accented English and, [More]