Leading Stories, Articles

September 9th, 2020

Confiding in others identified as the strongest protection against depression

By New England Psychologist Staff

A new study has found that strong social connections are the strongest protective factor for depression. “Depression is the leading cause of disability world-wide,” said Karmel Choi, Ph.D, an investigator in the department of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and lead author of the paper. “About one in five people will experience an episode of major depression in their lifetime. If we could prevent depression, we could not only reduce years of suffering, but also improve health and life outcomes.” That led researchers to ask the question: Which modifiable factors in [More]

August 19th, 2020

How can therapists become more culturally competent?

By Catherine Robertson Souter

As our nation struggles toward building a better society for all races, therapists may find themselves doing some self-reflection on how they handle diversity in their own practices. Cultural competence has become a key phrase within the field. But how does one become culturally “competent?” In its “Guidelines for Providers of Psychological Services to Ethnic, Linguistic, and Culturally Diverse Populations,” the American Psychological Association explains that providers should have a “sociocultural framework” that will help them use a systematic approach to working with a “diversity of values, interactional styles, and cultural expectations.” The organization recommends that psychologists become knowledgeable and [More]

August 19th, 2020

Rhode Island behavioral health centers receive $8 million grant

By Eileen Weber

Funds help create community connections, add services Newport Mental Health and Thrive Behavioral Health, Inc. in Warwick were awarded an $8 million federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Mental Health Services this past spring. The two organizations will receive $4 million each to enhance programs over the course of two years. The grant is meant to introduce both new services and bolster existing services, much of which involves enhancing the staff. At 24 percent, Rhode Island has one of the highest levels of adult mental illness in the country. In addition, 34 percent [More]

August 18th, 2020

National survey measures pandemic’s emotional impact

By Phyllis Hanlon

After several months of quarantine, psychologists are eager to assess the emotional repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Three psychologists teamed up to create a scale that evaluated mental health during this crisis and found both expected and some surprising results. Sarah Gray, Psy.D, director of outpatient rehabilitation psychology at Spaulding Rehabilitation in Boston, said, “As a health psychologist, the psychological effects of the pandemic in society and how that affects our patients is of particular interest to me.” Gray is also the founder/director, Integrative Psychology, PC in Arlington, Massachusetts. Gray explained that this national survey was developed “completely in reaction [More]

July 16th, 2020

Psychologists study what inspires protestors

By Eileen Weber

The most recent Black deaths at the hands of police have fueled protests across the country. But for some psychologists, their interests lie not in what they are protesting, but why they protest in the first place. And when they protest, why does it sometimes turn violent? As we have seen from a few of the recent George Floyd protests, there has been some rioting and looting. A 2018 collaborative study between the University of South Carolina, Stanford University, and the University of Toronto, posed that question: does violent protest backfire? In it, the researchers theorized that when things become [More]

July 14th, 2020

States look at mental health beyond the pandemic

By Phyllis Hanlon

To date, the COVID-19 virus has exacted a tremendous toll on the nation’s economy, uncovered serious flaws in the health care systems, brought long-standing systemic racism to the forefront, and disrupted everyday life. Of paramount importance are the potential long-term effects on psychological well-being. The New England states are taking measures to help ameliorate any adverse effects once the pandemic begins to wane. According to Jessica Pollard, Ph.D, director of Maine’s Office of Behavioral Health, her state has operated a number of crisis phone lines for several years. In response to COVID-19 , Maine set up a “Warmline,” a resource [More]

July 14th, 2020

Research examines link between COVID-19 & racial disparity

By Eileen Weber

A number of studies have shown a disturbing trend in this pandemic: more people of color have contracted and died from coronavirus than other demographics. In May, a study conducted by Yale School of Medicine parsed the available data on race and ethnicity to show a disparity among people who contract coronavirus. Based on their findings, Blacks were 3.57 times more likely to die from the disease and Hispanics were nearly 1.9 times more likely than whites. Cary Gross, MD, professor of medicine at Yale and co-author of the study, said it’s impossible to determine whether access to health care, [More]

July 14th, 2020

Working with clients of color requires training, more listening

By Catherine Robertson Souter

In a perfect world, the color of one’s skin should not affect a therapeutic relationship. However, this is America 2020 and it apparently does. For instance, studies have shown that therapy dropout rates are significantly higher for Blacks than for whites when they work with white therapists. “In general, African-Americans tend to have higher drop-out rates because therapy has historically been considered an institutional privilege,” said Martin Pierre, Ph.D, the president-elect of the Massachusetts Psychological Association (MPA). In a 2014 study by the Trauma Research Institute, at Alliant International University, San Diego, CA, researchers found communication problems cited by 82 [More]

May 8th, 2020

Researchers at UMass Amherst create device to understand schizophrenia

By Eileen Weber

What if there is a way to better understand schizophrenia just by having patients wear a device? Two researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are in the process of finding out. With the help of a $1.15 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, the wireless device is likely to reveal how often a patient interacts socially—how many people they talk to, how close they stand, their breathing and other movements—and that may determine whether medication is working or if other treatments are necessary. Because patients with schizophrenia tend to maintain physical distance from others because of their [More]

May 7th, 2020

How to best present yourself while delivering telehealth

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Across the country, as we deal with the fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic, therapists are turning to video platforms for delivering care. For some, it’s an extension of what they were already doing, but for others this is a whole new world. “Therapists are quickly shifting their practices online,” said Rachel McCrickard, LMFT, CEO & founder of Motivo, a video platform that provides clinical supervision. “Many have formal training and/or extensive experience in the delivery of telehealth, and many do not.” By this point, you have probably made the decision whether to do on-line therapy and have done the research [More]

window.dojoRequire(["mojo/signup-forms/Loader"], function(L) { L.start({"baseUrl":"mc.us19.list-manage.com","uuid":"322e35fa4c6f5b901ca93b808","lid":"51a8cbcdae","uniqueMethods":true}) })