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]

March 5th, 2020

Study shows social media isn’t all negative — or positive

By Margarita Tartakovsky, MS

Is social media helpful or harmful to our mental health? So far, the research has been “contradictory and inconclusive,” according to Mesfin A. Bekalu, Ph.D, a research scientist in the Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Bekalu noted that this was his inspiration to conduct a study examining the effects of social media. The study, published in the journal Health Education & Behavior, found a more nuanced response: how individuals used social media had a significant impact on their mental health and social well-being. “In essence, we found that [it] is not [More]

January 6th, 2019

Long-time columnist shares insight, experiences in new book

By Catherine Robertson Souter

They say that it’s best to write what you know and let the bigger truths come from the personal ones. When Alan Bodnar, PhD, began writing for this publication’s predecessor, Massachusetts Psychologist in 1993, the plan was to shine a light on the life of a practicing psychologist and his relationships with his clients at institutions where he worked. Over the past 25 years, however, as hospitals and agencies shifted and expansion led to New England Psychologist, he discovered that his columns were helping him understand that he was talking about more than one professional’s experiences in and outside of [More]

November 10th, 2018

Another chance to get it right

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

As much as anything, fall offers us another chance to get it right and another chance to think about what that really means. In this time of endings and beginnings, we put the garden to bed for the winter, gather up and dispose of summer’s answer to springtime’s promise, and once again prepare the earth for a new carpet of green that we can only hope will cover the bare spots in the lawn. Done right, these chores should produce a tidy landscape where nature can work her magic over the long, cold New England winter just so the cycle [More]

May 16th, 2018

Brattleboro Retreat expands telepsychiatry services

By Pamela Berard

Following the successful launch of a pilot inpatient telepsychiatry program, the Brattleboro Retreat in Vermont has expanded its telepsychiatry services. In early 2017, a psychiatrist on the medical staff at the Retreat — a not-for-profit specialty psychiatric and addiction treatment hospital — moved out of state but wanted to stay involved. Brattleboro Retreat developed an inpatient model of telepsychiatry for the staffer to provide remote, real-time video consultation with patients. “It was very well received early on by patients as well as our staff and the physician involved,” said Mark McGee, M.D., chief medical officer. The Retreat has since hired [More]