On June 22 it was announced that Judith Wallerstein, 90, had died. Wallerstein is known for a 25-year longitudinal study about the effects of divorce on children. Her study examined the psychological impact of divorce on children, and her scientific findings cautioned against the too-ready “advice” of many mental-health professionals that divorce could be a […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Marsha Linehan on “Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Synthesizing Radical Acceptance with Skillful Means”
Marsha Linehan, always a leader in the psychological profession for her work with people with borderline personality disorder, became well known to the public when the New York Times featured a front-page article on her. In this, Linehan revealed her own personal struggle with borderline personality disorder as a teen. She was hospitalized around the […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Some occupations appear to put persons employed in them at risk for eating disorders. Flight attendants, dancers, actors—persons in these lines of work must maintain unforgiving standards of weight and general appearance in order to ply their trade. As such, they may employ tactics of severe calories-restriction or eating, and then throwing up. (Binging-and-purging as […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Here are some new books on counseling by members of the American Counseling Association, as described in the February 2012 edition of Counseling Today: Married to the Enemy: A Guide to Overcoming the Obstacles to Intimacy When We are Raised in a Culture that Uses Stereotyping and Sexism to Divide Us By Dawn Kozarian and […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Irvin D. Yalom, one of the most accomplished group therapists of his generation, recently offered the opening keynote at the recent 2012 American Counseling Association Convention, held March 21-25 in San Francisco, California. Yalom is well-known for his many books, including The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy, cited by the Journal of the American […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
There’s something about the Deep South that inspires the writing of great literature (think William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote) more than, for example, North Dakota. Likewise, we think of “the grand diagnoses” in psychiatry more than we do, say, about Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Prince of Tides is a 1991 movie capturing the lowland beauty […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
One of the anxiety disorders classified in the DSM-IV-TR is Social Phobia. This can be more deleterious than, say a snake phobia—a social phobia can cause withdrawal from so many important events in one’s life. Social phobia can include fear and avoidance of social situations because of fear of scrutiny and judgment. The person recognizes […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
The American Psychological Association has announced, in the January 2012 issue of American Psychologist, “Guidelines for Assessment of and Intervention With Persons of Disabilities.” This document lists twenty-two practice-guidelines for psychologists who work with persons displaying disabilities of various kinds. The task force for this report was chaired by Kurt F. Geisinger of the University […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Lynne Shallcross, writing in the January 2012 issue of Counseling Today (a journal of the American Counseling Association), reports on research from the Stanford Forgiveness Project that shows that learning to forgive others lessens the amount of hurt, anger, and depression that people experience. She notes the work of Frederick Luskin, a director of the […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Elaine Aron pioneered new ground over a decade ago when she wrote the trade book The Highly Sensitive Person; this was followed up by a workbook, a book on parenting children who are highly sensitive, and even a primer for therapists. Highly Sensitive Persons (HSP), in her view (which incorporates findings from important developmental psychologists […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Alcohol, cocaine, hallucinogens, marijuana, and opiates have had a varied and ambiguous legal and political history prior to the 21st century, and these substances will continue to need study, examination, policy, and law-making into the 21st century and beyond. Dwight Vick and Elizabeth Rhoades have written Drugs and Alcohol in the 21st Century: Theory, Behavior, […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
The December 22, 2011, edition of the New York Times brings out another article on the problems and abuses in New York State public groups homes where developmentally disabled persons reside. It is important to note that the focus of the NYT articles has been on “public” rather than private group homes. Many of the […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Among the millions of Facebook responses generated each day, some are posted by persons who display varying degrees of suicide potential and risk. In an attempt to deal with this constructively, Facebook (according to an article in the December 10, 2001, Boston Globe) will begin a service in which Facebook users can let Facebook know […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
What are mental bears? A person who is asked NOT to think aloud about a white bear will more often than not mention this same white bear: at least once a minute. So “white bears” have come to mean all sorts of unwanted thoughts that cause annoyance to even extreme frustration to those who experience […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
For the past several months, the New York Times has been running a series of articles on people who experience severe psychiatric illness; and who, by dint of their own motivation, creativity, and resilience, are able to lead productive lives despite the ongoing burden. On November 27, 2011, the front-cover story features Mr. Milt Greek, […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
From the 14th edition of Abnormal Psychology by James N. Butcher, Susan Mineka, and Jill M. Hooley (Boston: Allyn and Bacon): “The concept of mental disorder, as we have seen, suffers from the lack of a truly objective means of what is disordered and what is not. It is also in the financial interests of […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
American Mental Heath Foundation Annual Report November 1, 2010, to October 31, 2011 This is the first Annual Report on the American Mental Health Foundation, a research organization founded in 1924, incorporated in New York State in 1954. The new Vision Statement on the homepage of the Web site: Building a More Compassionate Society. The […]By: Evander Lomke
AMHF attended the 51st Annual Meeting of the New England Psychological Association (NEPA), held October 28-29 at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut. After a wonderful dinner, hosted by Drs. Robin Crabtree and Susan Franzosa, deans at Fairfield, participants heard child-development expert Dr. James Garbarino speak of “Children and the Dark Side of Human Experience: Confronting […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
On Friday, October 28, 2011, AMHF attended the 17th Annual Meeting of the Northeast Conference for Teachers of Psychology. This is a group of psychologists, who teach in colleges and universities, dedicated to improving their teaching of undergraduates and graduates. Participants of the group come from a wide range of specialties and interests including developmental, […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
The DSM was first issued in 1952, during that liberating period that saw, for example, Kinsey’s reports on sexual behavior. The DSM in its various editions guides treatment decisions throughout North America and other continents. The original DSM listed 106 disorders. This was pretty much carried over to the 1968 revision. However, the DSM III […]By: Evander Lomke
Claudia M. Gold, MD, is a behavioral pediatrician who writes for the Boston Globe. She offers some excellent thoughts on the topic of psychiatric medication and children: “In the last chapter of my new book Keeping Your Child in Mind: Overcoming Defiance, Tantrums, and Other Everyday Behavior Problems by Seeing the World through Your Child’s […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
PREVENTING YOUTH VIOLENCE PART 1: ITS GENERAL NATURE AND WARNING SIGNS Raymond B. Flannery Jr., Ph.D., FAPM, Harvard Medical School, The University of Massachusetts Medical School Recent months have seen outbreaks of mindless violence by youth in Canada, Europe, and the United States. These acts have included homicide rape, robbery, assault, arson, and rioting among […]By: Dr. Raymond B. Flannery Jr.
Researchers, including one from Northern Illinois University, in DeKalb, Illinois, where a gunman killed five students in a classroom and then shot himself, recently published research showing a genetic link to symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as noted in The Chicago Tribune. This was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Archives of General Psychiatry. […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
One theme of Dr. Stefan de Schill’s lifework was his passion for group therapy. His own personality lent itself to work simultaneously with the fascinating dynamics that occur in a group, and he was able to communicate understanding and direction almost intuitively. In many ways Dr. de Schill was also prescient in his concerns over […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
This week there is a great deal of introspection occurring about the events of 9/11/01. Some retellings and analyses are meant to be helpful and cathartic while others may be presented to us with underlying agendas. The counseling profession itself examines A Day That Changed a Nation and a Profession in an article by Lynn […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Some good new books from American Counseling Association: Cyberbullying: What Counselors Need to Know, by Sheri Bauman. This book is geared toward counselors, teachers, school leaders, and all professionals who work with children and teens. In a reader-friendly style, the author addresses real-life dangers on the Internet, including offensive, confrontational, and harassing messages; disclosure of […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Two new books of interest from The American Counseling Association (ACA): Integrating Spirituality and Religion Into Counseling: A Guide to Competent Practice, Second Edition, edited by Craig S. Cashwell and J. Scott Young. The ACA noted: “An introductory text for counselors-in-training and clinicians, this book describes the knowledge base and skills necessary to effectively engage […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
The evolution of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM I, II, III, IV, IV-TR) and upcoming DSM V is an interesting one. The first manual was a short volume with a small number of diagnoses. The diagnosis itself was often not as important as the detailed clinical description written about the patient, often written from […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Counseling Today (a journal of the American Counseling Association in their July 2011 issue reports on a survey released by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the needs of families who have children experiencing mental illness. The Adolescent Action Center of NAMI did a survey of over 500 respondents. Each of these was […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
In the news: Betty Ford, former First Lady of the United States of America, has died. The much-beloved wife of President Gerald Ford died at the age of 93, as reported in the July 11, 2011, edition of The New York Daily News. Mrs. Ford was born in Chicago, reared in modest circumstances, became a […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.