Interviews

October 7th, 2020

Walker Schools’ President Gene Takahashi living his career goal

By Catherine Robertson Souter

During this past spring, when schools were shuttered for months only recently to re-open, residential schools working with the neediest of children did not have that luxury. For programs like the Massachusetts-based Walker schools in Watertown and Needham, providing a safe, supportive academic environment was not something they could put on hold. Working with children with complex emotional, behavioral and learning challenges, the administration at Walker (and other residential schools) was faced with both providing services and keeping students and staff safe. New England Psychologist’s Catherine Robertson Souter spoke with Walker president and CEO Gene Takahashi, Ph.D, LICSW, about the schools’ pandemic [More]

October 7th, 2020

Woodside’s fate remains up in the air

By New England Psychologist Staff

The fate of Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center, Vermont’s only juvenile detention facility, is up in the air. While state officials work to figure out what’s next for the embattled facility, there are no children housed at the 30-bed secure facility. “There are no youth being served by the Woodside facility currently,” said Luciana DiRuocco, executive staff assistant, public information officer, for the state’s Department for Children and Families (DCF). “We are currently using in- and out-of-state programs to serve the youth traditionally served by Woodside for the time being while we see if we can stand up a new program [More]

May 6th, 2020

Pandemic affects everyone, especially autistic kids

By Eileen Weber

Coronavirus, or COVID-19 , has ground most of daily life to a halt for weeks. Small businesses are shut down. Children aren’t going to school. People are confined to their homes clinging tightly to toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Globally, there are more than two million cases of the virus with tens of thousands of deaths. The United States has hundreds of thousands of cases with hotspots in areas of New York and Massachusetts and growing pockets in the South and Midwest. But when it comes to issues surrounding the coronavirus, there is one thing that’s been largely overlooked: kids [More]

April 19th, 2020

Vermont mental health services for children doubles in last two decades

By Eileen Weber

In the past two decades, the number of young people 18 and under accessing mental health services has doubled. A recent report showed that one in three children in the state experience at least one “adverse childhood experience” before age nine. The report from Building Bright Futures, a non-profit organization in Vermont that monitors early care, health, and education systems for potential legislative policy improvements, explained that adverse childhood experiences, or ACES, typically involve living in a home that struggles to cover basic needs. It can be anything from divorce to living with someone who has a substance abuse disorder [More]

October 10th, 2019

How to choose what age group with which to work

By Catherine Robertson Souter

For a psychologist just starting out or an established clinician looking to expand her practice or switch focus, the prospect of working with a different age group can be daunting. But, of course, there are plenty of others who have taken the path ahead of you and advice to follow. The first step is to really think about what age group(s) you have a passion for working with on a day-to-day basis. From young children to adolescents, adults and seniors, there are benefits to working with each group and no one can say which is objectively “better.” It really comes [More]

January 7th, 2019

Outreach program assists children exposed to trauma

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Realizing that more must be done to reach out to children who have witnessed traumatic events, representatives from several agencies joined in Manchester NH to craft a unique outreach program. Launched two years ago, ACERT, or the Adverse Childhood Experiences Response Team, has experienced some amazing results. Several times each week, a member of the Manchester Police Department, a crisis service advocate from the Manchester YWCA and a community health worker from the Manchester Community Health Center (MCHC) head out to knock on doors of homes where children were exposed to trauma. The plan, said program founding partner Lara Quiroga, [More]

November 10th, 2018

Maine to assess behavioral health services for children

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Looking to address issues of long wait times and limited access to mental health care, the state of Maine has initiated a system-wide assessment of its behavioral health services for children. With a series of surveys geared towards stakeholders including children and families, providers, law enforcement and corrections personnel, advocacy service providers, educators and behavioral health providers, the state hopes to gather a wide range of feedback about the system, its strengths and areas where corrections are needed. “The review will examine the service array, regulatory structure, and operational processes across Children’s Behavioral Health Services or CBHS,” said Emily Spencer, [More]

November 9th, 2018

UNICEF report: Peer-to-peer violence in schools is pervasive around the world

By Janine Weisman

School is a safe place — but only for half of the world’s students. A new UNICEF analysis finds that half of students aged 13 to 15 globally report experiencing peer-to-peer violence in and around school. That’s about 150 million teens, according to the report “An Everyday Lesson: #ENDviolence in Schools,” which outlines a variety of ways students face violence in and around the classroom. The report measures peer-to-peer violence as the number of children who report having been bullied in the previous month or having been involved in a physical fight. And, the report’s data shows the prevalence of [More]

October 5th, 2018

Psychologist Ashley Warhol, Psy.D finds job at Devereux fulfilling

By Catherine Robertson Souter

As the saying goes, find a job you like and you will never work a day in your life. Psychologists, more than most people, are aware of the need to find meaning in the day to day. For some, however, finding their passion generally takes a long time. For others, it comes more quickly. For Ashley Warhol, Psy.D, finding her niche as director of clinical services and internship training at Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health flowed naturally, and quickly, from a predoctoral internship with the organization in 2012. Following the internship, she was offered a position as a staff clinician, moved [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]

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