This week brings an intriguing story from Germany that raises questions concerning the duty to warn others when there is imminent danger of behaviors such as child abuse, suicide, or violent behaviors. In a story reported by the New York Times, a German psychiatrist has made public allegations that he warned a Roman Catholic Archdiocese […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
How might the manner of treatment in which behaviors indicative of mental-health problems on campuses be related to violence? The recent murders by a professor who was denied tenure in Alabama bring the issue of FACULTY mental health to the fore. Heather Munro Prescott has some tantalizing ideas on the massacre that recently occurred in […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
The profession of psychiatry is now in the fourth edition of the book that classifies mental disorders: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV. The revised version will be published in 2013, and there continues to be debate about what will and will not be included. The New York Times brings this and a spirited discussion in […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Headlines everywhere proclaim sad news: *In 2009 alone more than 330 active servicemen and women have committed suicide *Shocking new figures show the number of soldiers who commit suicide in January could top the number of soldiers killed in Iraq *Tough old soldier battles new enemy: suicide *Every day, five US soldiers try to kill […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Too many US soldiers are attempting or carrying out suicide attempts; many succeed. One reason for this is the tremendous ambivalence over current military actions. This is not like World War II, a so-called good war, although this phrase also causes many to wince. Viktor Frankl, concentration-camp survivor, wrote in Man’s Search for Meaning that […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
There is a touching story in the news about Dr. Jeriyn Ross, a therapist who was especially helpful to those who had phobias, especially phobias involving the fear of heights. She was well known and esteemed for her compassionate accompaniment of persons with phobias as they faced their fears directly. This approach has now become […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
The following article by William Van Ornum appeared in the Hudson Valley News on January 19, 2010. RIVER REFLECTIONS ON PSYCHOLOGY AGING GRACEFULLY As a clinical psychologist, resident of the Hudson Valley, and recent member of the +55 Club, what might I offer to a subject that is on a lot of our minds—getting older? […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Time reports on the use of antidepressants as well as anti-anxiety drugs by our troops overseas. This brings up a question: Are these drugs a cure for something or a Band-Aid? The article is about how substances have been used to medicate soldiers in the past, in wars as diverse as the American Revolutionary and […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
This article appeared in the December 30, 2009 and January 6, 2010 editions of The Hudson Valley News DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED TO SUFFER FROM PROGRAM CUTS by William Van Ornum We are in a recession. There simply isn’t enough money to keep New York State running as it has in the past. Governor Paterson can’t be […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Sandy Sheller, coordinator of the Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia, tells of a client who wouldn’t go for treatment at a drug-treatment center. Her case worker simply labeled her as resistant and noncompliant, and closed the case. When Sheller worked with this client, she asked in s caring manner why it was that the client […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
There is an increasing awareness of the vulnerability of football players and other athletes to the serious possibility of concussions that have gone unrecognized. This means there is an interaction between the mental health and neurological domains. There is increasing evidence of brain damage caused by concussion in professional athletes within the NFL. This month, […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Winter, early winter, is especially dark. People become particularly isolated in Central Wisconsin during these months. Those who cope well, like my 87-year-old aunt, keep productively busy with a range of activities from walks, tending animals, baking, sewing, quilting, visiting, sending photos and messages to members of the family in far-flung places. Altruism abounds. My […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Sleep is essential according to the American Psychological Association. This professional group notes that “millions of people don’t get enough, resulting in such problems as daytime sleepiness, poor decision-making, interference with learning, and accidents.” One study, using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), suggested that CBT can do a better job of reducing anxiety than sleeping pills. […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
“The Violent Person is a masterpiece. It is must reading for anyone in risk management or hospital administration. Dr. Flannery is without question the leading authority on the violent patient. His insights and recommendations on the management of this increasing challenge in health care are not only welcomed, but essential as the face of American […]By: Evander Lomke
Many therapies focus on identifying and resolving feelings and conflicts. Empathy–truly understanding another’s life situation–is a common characteristic of all successful therapists. Beginning in the 1970s, Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck developed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which emphasizes identifying dysfunctional thoughts, changing them to transform negative feelings such as depression and anxiety into positive mental […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
The National Institute of Mental Health offers a rich Web site for consumers, researchers, and program administrators. Not only is there detailed and highly credible information about major mental-health conditions, the procedures for obtaining research and program grants are detailed. A section of the Web site, “Science News,” provides interesting feature stories about conditions and […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
The Midwest Book Service gives a 5-Star review to The Violent Person the first book issued by the American Mental Health Foundation. See this review on amazon by clicking below. amazonBy: Evander Lomke
We are all aware of the psychosurgeries near the turn of the 20th century and how many of these had drastic side effects. There is a new version of psychosurgery, reserved for patients who have profound OCD, whose illness causes incredible suffering and loss of personal freedom. They are patients that have tried all of […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
One advantage of a blog is the expression of creative ideas, or at least new ideas, in a rapid way. So I will take advantage of this and hope there is at least a little creativity to be found in what follows. Personally written messages are becoming extinct. It is so much easier to dash […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
I had the distinct honor to receive an invitation to the Fall Harvest Festival presented by Suicide Prevention International. Suicide is now recognized by the World Health Organization and the United States government as a global health problem. Suicide Prevention International has developed four distinctive projects: – Youth Suicide Prevention – Recognition of an Individual […]By: Evander Lomke