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.
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.
Many people still have the idea that psychological testing is mostly practiced in clinics and hospitals, and have images of psychologists sitting with clipboards giving Rorschach Inkblot tests and intelligence tests. In actuality, most psychological testing is now done in schools, and it has a preventive function: to identify mental retardation, learning disabilities, emotional disorders, […]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.
Many remember Curt Schilling for his postseason successes with the Boston Red Sox, including one in which he pitched while in pain and with a bloodied sock. Schilling recently announced that he has formed his own video-game company, which will be releasing a fantasy-oriented game for gamers. The story behind the story here is that […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
American Psychological Association Announces Guidelines for Psychologist Involvement in Pharmacological Issues
In the recent yearly “Reports of the Association” issue of the American Psychologist (December 2011), the American Psychological Association announced “Practice Guidelines Regarding Psychologists’ Involvement in Pharmacological Issues.” This report notes several factors that will make psychologists more involved in medication-management issues. One survey noted that the number of Americans using antidepressants increased from 6.7 […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Ann Carrns, writing in the January 11, 2012, New York Times, notes a new financial tool, one geared for families with individuals who have special needs: “Families with children who have special needs or disabilities face even bigger hurdles than most people when it comes to planning for their financial futures. Merrill Lynch Wealth Management […]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.
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.
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.
This week brings a big welcome to Dr. Raymond B. Flannery Jr. of Harvard Medical School, whose expertise in many fields including stress and violence prevention is greatly needed. It is also the time of year for the football season to be getting underway and for baseball season to reach a sometimes-fevered high of playoffs, […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
PREVENTING YOUTH VIOLENCE PART 2: INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP APPROACHES Raymond B. Flannery Jr., Ph.D., FAPM, Harvard Medical School, The University of Massachusetts Medical School Part 1 of these two essays on youth violence examined the basic cultural, biological, sociological, and psychological theories of youth violence and the continuum of early (disrupted mastery, attachment, meaning), serious […]By: Dr. Raymond B. Flannery Jr.
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.
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.
Sallie Mae has recently added tuition-refund insurance to its spectrum of financial offerings, according to the July 22 edition of the New York Times. This can refund tuition that has already been paid when a student withdraws from classes due to illness. There is a catch, however: although the coverage will pay for 100 percent […]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.
One of the goals of AMHF is to help those with the extraordinary and often isolating emotional problems connected with developmental disabilities and special needs. To this end, I highly recommend two Web sites and blogs. The first one today features a story about a young woman with a severe seizure disorder and how her […]By: Evander Lomke
In Chicago, on June 20, 2011 Vice PresidentBy: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Time magazine on June 20, 2011, reports that a certain Misery Index has reached a 28-year high. This survey tool, when it was concocted in the 1960s, wasn’t meant to be a scientific and comprehensive measure of human behavior. Rather, it is a shorthand measure combining unemployment and inflation to gauge the effect of both […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Over on The Corner at National Review, Jack Fowler (AMHF Board Chairman), shows protesters in Madison, Wisconsin, disrupting a Special Olympics visit to the state capital. Special Olympians rarely if ever disrupt or protest the peaceful activities of others, as they are so absorbed in their sport and the joy and fellowship accompanying this. They […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
As part of the AMHF series on Bullying, we call your attention to the American Psychological Association (APA) new video by Dr. Norman B. Anderson, CEO of the APA. Dr. Anderson states… The problem of bullying has received a great deal of media attention recently, and for good reason. Bullying can lead to lasting psychological […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Piers Morgan hosted the Axelrods who eloquently and movingly diagnosed the sorry state of epilepsy research in the United States and their 29-year-old daughter’s battle (along with her family) against this condition. Epilepsy is a so-called orphaned disease in the United States. (Two new anticonvulsants are currently available in Canada, finally set for FDA approval […]By: Evander Lomke
Rearing a child with autism brings challenges too many to mention. A particular sadness, recurring frequently, is the inability to travel with your child due to difficulties that occur in boarding airplanes. Many citizen without autism now avoid the flight lines and procedures, and drive, take the train, or just stay home. For young people […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Over at AMERICA we are having a discussion on National Day of Silence. Regina Sewell is a group therapist who, like Stefan de Schill, has kept the art and craft of group therapy alive and prosperous in times when most therapists have shifted over to the individual therapy model. She has these thoughts on National […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
It has become a tradition where I teach for the students to make “National Day of Silence” a part of the year. This is national youth movement where silence is used as a tool to make others aware of the silence, often a quietude of contempt or ignoring, faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Mental-health issues with and among gay teens include coming-out and bullying. Now, these issues will be portrayed in the perennial Archie comic-book series. Kevin Keller is a gay teen who made his debut in the Veronica comic book last year. Now Kevin will debut in a four-part series, the first from a major comic-book publisher. […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Student Allyse Bamonte responds: Alyssa, what a terrible situation you had to experience. Unfortunately, this guy’s insecurities drove him to put you down in order to make himself feel better. Stories similar to Alyssa’s are all too common nowadays. On the news, bullying often comes up a few times a month. When and how did […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
A college student, Alyssa Cariani, responds to our recent article on bullying and hazing: “I, along with millions of others, have been a victim of online bullying. In high school, a seemingly shy boy I had known for years asked me on a date. As I was not interested in this person, I respectfully declined […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.