Columnists, Articles

October 10th, 2019

What astronomy offers psychology

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

It had been a long time since I took the telescope out onto the front lawn for a spell of stargazing, just over a year according to the calendar built into the electronic guidance system of my small glass. Time gets away, new concerns take precedence, and the town installs brighter streetlamps. The stars fade. But one night this past summer before Jupiter slipped beneath the treetops, a quick glimpse reminded me of what astronomy has to offer psychology. A heightened sense of awe, perspective, humility, and a feeling of wonder are all there at the price of simply looking [More]

October 9th, 2019

Reducing mental illness stigma is everyone’s responsibility

By John Grohol, Psy.D.

It may seem that trying to reduce the prejudice and discrimination that’s commonplace when talking about mental illness is a never-ending job. Because it is. But I believe that every single one of us needs to be responsible for helping to forward the conversation about mental illness. It can’t just be left to advocacy groups, government agencies, or professional associations. To me, that means challenging friends and even family members if they say something that is stigmatizing to people with mental illness, or suggest that a person with mental illness is somehow “less than.” After all, we wouldn’t let people [More]

August 28th, 2019

Practical Practice: Continuing ed can provide learning, networking opportunities

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Nearly every state in the U.S. requires continuing education (CE) for renewing a psychology license. The requirements vary from Idaho’s 30 hours every three years to 60 hours every two years in Vermont, Arizona, and Washington. There are a few states that have no required amount of continuing ed credits and South Dakota inexplicably asks for “some” with no guidance on the exact amount. In New England, the requirements vary. New Hampshire and Maine ask for 40 hours every two years, Rhode Island is at 24 and Massachusetts requires 20. Of these hours, each state allows for a certain amount [More]

August 27th, 2019

Your online directory service doesn’t have to be so expensive

By John Grohol, Psy.D.

Nearly every therapist subscribes to an online therapist directory service. Paying hundreds of dollars of a year to be listed in a directory may seem like it makes good business sense for a psychologist in individual practice. But there’s no reason these directories need to cost $300 to over $500 per year for a basic listing. To me, that just seems over-priced. Psych Central is committed to changing the directory space by offering an affordable directory listing to mental health clinicians. Our directory listings are only $9.95/month for a basic listing or $14.95/month for an advanced listing. No annual contracts [More]

August 27th, 2019

How traveling the inner state highway works

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

When it comes to wisdom and humor both, there is nothing like the comics in the daily paper. Given the content of the news these days, we need wisdom and humor more than ever. In a recent edition of The Boston Globe, Hilary Price’s strip, “Rhymes with Orange, ”featured a worried looking driver reading a road sign on the “Inner State Highway” bearing this message: “Is it missing your exit that’s bothering you, or something deeper?” The idea of the inner state highway appeals to me as a psychologist. For many of us, it was the first road we learned [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]

May 29th, 2019

Looking both ways

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

Looking forward to my 50th college reunion this month and backward to what I learned during those four years, I am surprised by the power of a teacher’s words to strike a responsive chord that has been vibrating in my life through the passing decades. So, come with me to the leafy campus of suburban university in the late 1960s, to classroom in a Gothic style building made of gray Pennsylvania fieldstone. We sit at wooden desks on seats attached to a flat writing surface that spreads out from a single arm of our chairs, a right arm for right-handers, [More]

May 13th, 2019

The shame of United Behavioral Healthcare

By John Grohol, Psy.D.

I’m surprised United Behavioral Healthcare (UBH) – a part of behemoth UnitedHealthcare — can even show its face these days. After a scathing ruling against this disliked healthcare insurer was handed down in early March, it’s become clear – to me at least — that UBH only cared for its bottom line, not the highest quality patient care possible. It also once again illustrated the separate and unequal systems that exist in parallel – one that treats physical symptoms, and an inferior system setup to provide the most minimal of coverage to treat mental symptoms. In the case, Wit v. [More]