Leading Stories, Articles

July 5th, 2019

NH aims to reduce emergency boarding

By Catherine Robertson Souter

As part of a much broader plan to institute changes to a mental health care system that has seen serious degradation over the past three decades, the New Hampshire legislature recently passed a bill aimed at addressing the issue of emergency room boarding for men and women facing mental health crises. The bill was signed into law by Governor Chris Sununu in late May. New Hampshire’s mental health care system was once listed as the second best in the country according to the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) but had sunk to 32nd by 2011 (and risen slightly [More]

July 5th, 2019

Specialists address the complexities of treating women’s emotional health

By Phyllis Hanlon

Statistics show that women are twice as likely as men to experience depression and several types of anxiety; females are also approximately nine times more likely to have eating disorders than males. But women may present with complexities that require therapy from psychologists who specialize in treating this population. Wendy F. Habelow, Ph.D, owner of Beacon Behavioral Services, LLC in West Hartford, Connecticut, certified mediator and collaborative divorce coach, said that only a woman can truly understand what other women are experiencing. Embracing a feminist perspective on life and in therapy, she believes there is “personal and professional value in [More]

July 4th, 2019

The empowered patient

By John Grohol, Psy.D.

Patients nowadays are empowered more than ever. They’ve not only read all about their disorder online, but they may have even participated in an online support group or previously tried online therapy before coming to you. This trend is a good one that every clinician should embrace. A fear of misinformation online has been put to rest by research suggesting that most information about mental health concerns online is trustworthy. Of course, people can always seek out non-mainstream opinions and viewpoints, but most do not. An empowered patient doesn’t just mean they’re informed and educated about their condition. It also [More]

July 4th, 2019

What I imagined in the psychology aisle

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

About once every decade, I go down to my local bookstore to scan the shelves in the psychology aisle and simply let the titles speak to me. These rare excursions are not meant for shopping or browsing. As a book store junkie, I shop and browse often enough, but scanning and waiting for an insight is a special activity reserved for special occasions. I suppose if I were more systematic in my observations, I might be able to discern the Zeitgeist of every decade from the titles of the books on offer, but I go more out of curiosity and [More]

July 4th, 2019

What is the meaning of patient silence?

By Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.

Midway through a session, Grace, age 24, says she just doesn’t want to talk anymore – and doesn’t. Joe, age 15, enters your office and slumps in a chair, legs spread apart, arms crossed, head down, hidden under the hood of his sweatshirt. “Hello,” you say. He grunts. You are in a couple’s session. The louder Mike gets, the quieter Evie becomes. He piles statements and accusations like cordwood. She goes silent. Kiisha has been doing well during the first 3 months of therapy. Today, she is looking more down than usual. Answers to your questions are in monosyllables. She [More]

July 4th, 2019

CT bill holds insurance companies accountable

By Eileen Weber

Connecticut’s House of Representatives recently approved a bill requiring insurers to cover mental health and substance abuse treatment at the same level as physical health. Taking a step further, House Bill 7125, known as An Act Concerning Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits, also requires insurance companies to submit annual documentation to prove their compliance with the legislation. Representative Sean Scanlon, (D-Guilford/Branford), chairman of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, led the House in May to a unanimous vote. The legislation is awaiting action in the Senate. This bill is the second iteration of an earlier version that didn’t [More]

July 4th, 2019

Flaws in healthcare system outlined in book

By New England Psychologist Staff

There is no such thing as a perfect system and in the case of the mentally ill, nothing could be truer. People with mental illness face an uphill battle to secure appropriate services, avoid being caught up in the criminal justice system, and most of all, steer clear of the revolving door that has become our mental health system. Lynn Nanos, a mobile emergency psychiatric clinician, believes it is time for a change. Her book, Breakdown: A Clinicians Experience in a Broken System of Emergency Psychiatry reads like a clarion call to all involved in mental health care in this [More]

July 4th, 2019

New APA guidelines for girls and women put focus on strengths

By Janine Weisman

The empowering #MeToo hashtag didn’t exist yet when the American Psychological Association (APA) issued its first practice guidelines for treating girls and women in 2007. Now, the updated version of these APA guidelines acknowledges the strength and resilience many girls and women possess to overcome adversity from the effects of sexism, oppression, discrimination, and prejudice. Released in May, the new APA guidelines follow the release of recommendations for treating boys and men published last year. Previous guidelines for psychological practice include those for working with racial and ethnic minorities, older adults, LGBT clients, and people with disabilities. “We don’t mean to [More]

May 29th, 2019

Treating mind and body at the heart of rehabilitation psychology specialty

By Phyllis Hanlon

Individuals across the spectrum require care from a rehabilitation psychologist. Tim Belliveau, Ph.D., ABPP, director of postdoctoral training & research at the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain, Connecticut said pediatric patients with pervasive mental disabilities, individuals who suffered traumatic brain injuries, stroke or spinal cord injuries, and athletes with torn muscles are among those who may seek help. Elderly patients with age-related physical and/or cognitive decline also could require the services of a rehab psychologist “…to help maximize overall health and encourage a sense of personal choice and independence.” Established in 1958, Division 22, Rehabilitation Psychology, was one [More]

May 29th, 2019

Massachusetts bans conversion therapy for minors

By Eileen Weber

Massachusetts became the 16th state to ban conversion therapy, a method attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity by treating it as if it’s a mental illness. Sometimes referred to as “reparative therapy,” tactics range from shaming the person to using painful physical stimulation like electric shocks. In early April, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a bill banning licensed health care professionals from providing this practice to anyone under 18. Fifteen other states and Washington D.C. have already banned conversion therapy, with California being the first in 2012. Massachusetts joins Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and [More]