Columnists, Articles

August 30th, 2018

Emphasizing psychosocial treatments for ADHD

By John Grohol, Psy.D.

It’s difficult to keep focused on outcomes that are likely to result in the greatest long-term success for your clients. One such example is in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. It’s becoming increasingly less common for clinicians to even see children who present with ADHD, because of the emphasis of medication treatment – stimulants – for this concern. According to 2016 U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention data, 62 percent of children receive medication for treatment, while only 47 percent received a behavioral intervention. The number of children who receive behavioral interventions decreases significantly [More]

August 29th, 2018

Goldwater Rule is re-visited

By Phyllis Hanlon

In 1964, presidential candidate Barry Goldwater issued some alarming “extremist” statements, drawing criticism from the general public and some mental health professionals. The uproar prompted FACT magazine to survey 12,356 psychiatrists regarding Goldwater’s mental health status. While none of the respondents had personally spoken with or examined Goldwater, they provided negative opinions on his psychological health, deeming him unfit to serve as president of the United States. In the wake of serious backlash following the release of the survey results, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) passed the “Goldwater Rule,” which made it unethical for a psychiatrist to issue a statement [More]

August 29th, 2018

Treatment resistance is challenge for practitioners

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Patient X doesn’t show up for an appointment–again. He calls and explains that his dog was sick/mother needed a ride/ car broke down. Client J is late for nearly every appointment. Patient K offers every excuse she can think of for why a particular solution will not work for her–no matter the solution. Patient N, a teenager, is openly critical of you, your clothes, your hair, and your skills as a therapist. No one said that life as a therapist would be easy. No matter the population–younger, older, more or less seriously ill, there are at least one or two [More]

August 29th, 2018

CDC report shows challenge facing public health campaign goals to prevent suicide

By Janine Weisman

The World Health Organization wants to reduce the suicide rate by 10 percent by 2020. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Project 2025 wants to reduce it 20 percent by 2025. The Zero Suicide movement aims to prevent 100 percent of suicides in the first 30 days after a patient is discharged from inpatient or day treatment. Are these goals realistic when new federal data show the reverse has actually been happening? Twenty-five states saw their suicide rates rise by more than 30 percent between 1999 and 2016, including four of the six New England states. That’s according to a [More]

August 28th, 2018

Gender identity added to NH anti-discrimination law

By Pamela Berard

Discrimination in employment, housing, or places of public accommodation on the basis of gender identity is now prohibited in New Hampshire. House Bill 1319 was signed into law in June and added gender identity to the state’s existing anti-discrimination legislation, along with age, sex, race, color, marital status, physical or mental disability, religious creed, national origin, and sexual origin. The legislation defines gender identity as “a person’s gender-related identity, appearance, or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance, or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth. Gender-related identity may be [More]

August 28th, 2018

RI police group concerned about mental health training

By Eileen Weber

The Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association backed late-session legislation in June that attempted to overturn a 2016 law requiring mental health training for police officers. Complying with the National Council of Behavioral Health’s flagship program, Mental Health First Aid USA, it teaches the skills to recognize mental illness, helps assess the risks, and connect individuals with the necessary care. “Mental health training is targeted in how to respond and deescalate the situation,” said Beth Lamarre, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Rhode Island. With nearly two million mentally ill individuals booked into jails every year, the [More]

August 28th, 2018

Retirement planning: Pay yourself first

By Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.

When someone suggested I start thinking about setting up an account for my retirement, I put it on my list for “later.” Later didn’t come until much, much later when I finally woke up to the fact that unless I prepared for a retirement someday, I’d be working until the day I died. Actually, even that didn’t scare me much. Several of my role models were women in their 70s and 80s who were sharp as ever and maintaining private practices. It didn’t occur to me at the time that doing so should be a choice, not a necessity. Eventually, [More]

July 10th, 2018

The upholstered clock

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

“Will you miss it?” I asked my wife as we stood at opposite ends of the couch in the middle of the floor, aimed at the sliding doors of our family room. “Miss what?” she replied. “Me neither,” I answered. And so, one day after the Salvation Army rejected our offer because of some fraying of the upholstery, the junk man came and carted the old couch away. The piece was one of two that we bought on a single visit to the furniture store 16 years ago as soon the builders had finished our new family room. The other [More]

July 7th, 2018

School psychologists: In a class of their own

By Phyllis Hanlon

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), school psychology has “…evolved as a specialty area with core knowledge rooted in psychology and education.” Once focused primarily on assessments, today’s school psychologists undergo advanced training, leading to deeper knowledge and understanding of developmental stages, culture, environment, and social emotional issues as they currently apply to school systems. Graduate students who choose to become school psychologists have two certification options, according to Sandra M. Chafouleas, Ph.D. Chafouleas is a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor in the department of educational psychology, Neag School of Education. She is also co-director of the Collaboratory on [More]

July 7th, 2018

ME 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]