Columnists, Articles

November 1st, 2011

Just one of those days?

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

“Hi, my name is Rex and when I’m not doing psychology, I climb mountains. This past season I summitted Everest for the third time.” Anyway, that’s what I thought he said. It probably just felt like he was living an impossibly adventurous life, especially on a day when I wasn’t much in the mood for going around the table and telling something about ourselves that isn’t related to work. We’ve all participated in these kinds of “getting to know you” exercises, usually at the start of a new work group, so I should have been prepared. On that particular day, [More]

November 1st, 2011

Private Practice Made Simple

By Paul Efthim PhD

By Randy J. Paterson New Harbinger Publications, Inc. Oakland, Calif., 2011  Book offers soup-to-nuts collection of tips Reviewed By Paul Efthim, Ph.D. Whether you are fresh out of training or in mid-career, opening a private practice can be a frightening prospect. A recent book by Vancouver psychologist Randy Paterson offers a soup-to-nuts collection of tips on how to launch and manage a successful psychotherapy practice while managing the inevitable anxieties along the way. Having built a private group practice and given workshops on the topic, Paterson knows the territory well. He has produced a well-written guidebook that will appeal to [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]

October 1st, 2011

Sexual reactive behavior: myth or fact?

By Phyllis Hanlon

Children are one of life’s greatest mysteries – just ask any parent. Since the inception of psychological reflection, children have been one of the demographics that have come under a microscope. While some advances and understanding has been achieved, many areas remain unclear, in particular, the subject of sexuality in children. According to Robert A. Dell, Psy.D, private practitioner in West Hartford, Conn., it often comes as a big surprise to some people that children are sexual creatures. “There is a good amount of positive/prosocial types of sexual behavior that goes under the radar of the parents,” he says. “The [More]

October 1st, 2011

Senate approves legislation to transform CHINS program

By Pamela Berard

The Massachusetts Senate unanimously approved legislation aimed at transforming the Children in Need of Services (CHINS) program, which critics say unnecessarily puts troubled children into the court system. The proposed overhaul would instead offer a state-wide community-based intervention network of family resource centers and community-based services and try to divert children and their families from the legal process to the appropriate behavioral, medical and mental health treatment or preventative services. The bill’s lead sponsor, Karen Spilka (D-Ashland), has been working to pass this legislation for six years. The children in the system are often habitually truant or runways. Spilka says [More]

October 1st, 2011

Game-Based Programs Help Youth Build Self-Worth

By Pamela Berard

A program in Maine is utilizing adventure and game-based programs to help youth develop self-worth and become competent, connected adults. The Game Loft is an affiliate program of Spurwink Services, which provides behavioral health, educational and residential services throughout the state. Almost 400 youths in the Belfast community participate and a number of other adolescents and alumni volunteer. In a move that seems retro nowadays – an activities center on non-electric gaming. Games and activities include trading card and collectible groups like a Pokemon Club and Yu-Gi-Oh League, special events like a World War II tabletop miniatures game and a [More]

October 1st, 2011

Program provides rest stop for students after hospitalization

By Jennifer E Chase

For teens who aren’t ready for their regular classrooms following a short- or long-term medical absence, a Massachusetts public-school program provides a safe place for them to ease back into the setting where they may learn while they heal. The Brookline Resilient Youth Team (BRYT) is run by the Brookline Community Mental Health Center, which for 50 years has provided a safety net woven of treatment and advocacy services to children, adults and their families suffering serious mental health disorders. BRYT started in 2003 when staff – comprised of medical doctors, licensed psychologists, occupational therapists and social workers – noticed a [More]

October 1st, 2011

Adopted children at greater risk for health problems

By Nan Shnitzler

Adopted children are more likely to develop deficits in physical and behavioral health than children reared in their birth families, 29 versus 12 percent, according to the 2007 National Survey of Adoptive Parents. The data are included in the report America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being 2011 compiled by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. Researchers surveyed more than 2,000 families via telephone. The result was a point-in-time snapshot of the adoption experience. Among the results: children adopted from foster care and older children are more likely to experience moderate to severe problems, as characterized by [More]

October 1st, 2011

Serenity prayer for psychologists

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

You don’t have to work very long in the mental health field before you encounter the serenity prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, /Courage to change the things I can, /And wisdom to know the difference. For many of us, our introduction to these lines may have come in connection with addictions work since the prayer has been a part of the AA literature ever since a member brought it to the attention of AA co-founder, William Wilson, in 1941. The serenity prayer is generally attributed to the theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr, who may [More]

October 1st, 2011

Q:A: Psychologist uses music in work, as sideline gig

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Nestled high in New Hampshire’s White Mountains sits Crotched Mountain School, a private, special education residential and day school for children with disabilities. Part of the extensive Crotched Mountain Foundation that also includes a hospital, outpatient clinic, specialty hospital for brain injury patients and outpatient and residential services for adults with disabilities, Crotched Mountain is located on 1,400 acres of beautiful countryside with a swimming pool, athletic center and even New Hampshire’s first wheelchair accessible tree house. A large part of the attraction for parents to the school, which accepts 128 students from ages six through 21, is the fact [More]