Columnists, Articles

October 5th, 2018

Embracing the fall

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

As much as I would like embrace the beauty of autumn with its colorful foliage and bright, clear days, I can never seem to ignore the melancholy chord that this season strikes in my soul and the bittersweet taste of joy diluted by sorrow. This year I might have made it through, gliding into the season on the wings of anticipated good times with family and friends. But this fall, reminders of losses endured in autumns past and others yet to come were intensified by the widely reported deaths of national figures, most notably, Senator John McCain at the end [More]

October 3rd, 2018

Residential schools: Helping students get back on track

By Phyllis Hanlon

Residential, or boarding, schools serve different populations and have different goals. Schools that address behavioral issues in children admit students with a variety of diagnoses. Those diagnoses include a number of psychological and emotional issues that range from anxiety, mood and eating disorders, attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) to fire setting, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other behavioral problems. In recent years, more children have presented with a diagnosis on the autism spectrum. According to Valentina M. Parchin, Ph.D, director of education for the Adelbrook Learning Center in East Hartford, Connecticut, this agency has moved [More]

October 3rd, 2018

Latham Centers offers unique program for kids with Prader-Willi Syndrome

By New England Psychologist Staff

Most people have heard of equine therapy, but the term asinotherapy probably would draw many blank stares. Originally developed in Germany, this lesser-known therapy is actually a successful program that uses miniature donkeys. Since 2009, it’s been an integral part of Latham Centers, a residential care, education, and treatment center for children and adults with Prader-Willi Syndrome on Cape Cod. Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is a complex genetic disorder that affects one in 12,000 to 15,000 births. It is characterized by an insatiable appetite, developmental disabilities, skin picking, and emotional and behavioral problems. “PWS is a spectrum disorder,” said Patrice Carroll, [More]

October 2nd, 2018

Behavior analysts must be licensed in Connecticut

By Janine Weisman

On July 1, Connecticut became the 30th state in the country to require behavior analysts to obtain a license to practice what has become the best-known approach to treating children with autism. Behavior analysts help individuals change behaviors associated with negative consequences to improve outcomes. Being licensed will allow behavior analysts to be reimbursed by insurers. And, it ensures that families, public school districts, the state Department of Developmental Services (DDS), private insurance, and Medicaid providers have a means of regulating the practices of behavior analysts. Behavior analysts have earned a graduate degree in behavior analysis, education, psychology or a [More]

October 1st, 2018

Collaboration results in enrichment program for kids

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Shortridge Academy, a private co-ed therapeutic boarding school in Milton, New Hampshire, recently announced a unique enrichment program being offered to its students. As part of a community outreach effort, the school has partnered with Granite State Adaptive Sports, a non-profit organization that provides a variety of physical activities for people with disabilities. In the program, a select group of students from the school are given an opportunity to work with Granite State’s clients, coaching and guiding them in various sports. Granite State works with people from age three and up who have physical, cognitive or emotional disabilities as well [More]

October 1st, 2018

Youth Villages closes residential program for girls in Mass.

By Janine Weisman

A residential treatment program for girls with emotional and behavioral problems in Arlington, Massachusetts, shut down in September after a decision by its parent organization to shift focus to community-based services. That decision impacted 150 staff members at the Germaine Lawrence campus on Claremont Avenue operated by the national private non-profit Youth Villages. The vast majority of positions are direct care staff, including several master’s level and licensed positions, nursing and maintenance staff. The program is licensed to serve a maximum of 72 girls between the ages of 12 and 22. But there were only 48 girls on site when [More]

September 14th, 2018

Isolation and LGBTQ youth: Social, psychological and financial implications

By Phyllis Hanlon

This project was supported by a grant from the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA). In a 2017 Washington Post article, former Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy cited emotional well-being and loneliness as one of today’s big public health worries. While the average American might experience isolation and disconnectedness at various times during their lives because of intense career involvement, age discrimination, geographic remoteness or for other reasons, many youth who identify as LGBTQ endure isolation, broken relationships and disconnections on an ongoing basis, sometimes with devastating results. According to David Oberleitner, Ph.D, chair, department of psychology, University of [More]

August 31st, 2018

Conversion therapy ban passes in New Hampshire, fails in Massachusetts and is vetoed in Maine

By Catherine Robertson Souter

In a movement that seems to be growing, a ban on mental health professionals providing conversion therapy for people under 18 has been signed into law in 15 states. There have been five bans this year alone. In June, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed a bill banning the practice in that state. “There has been a real cultural shift,” said Shannon Bader, Ph.D, A.B.P.P., the legislative chair for the New Hampshire Psychological Association. “We were the 14th state with an outright ban.” Historically, conversion therapy has included everything from instruction on why and how to change to shaming the [More]

August 31st, 2018

What’s in a name?

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

You’re sitting in your doctor’s waiting room when the receptionist calls the name of the next patient. No one responds, she calls the name again, and prompted by curiosity, you look up from your magazine to meet her puzzled gaze. She repeats the name, this time adding the surname, and you wonder why she is calling your father. No, wait, Dad is long gone, and then you realize the receptionist is calling you. If you’ve ever had this happen to you, then, like me, you were given a name at birth that no one ever used. In my case, my [More]