Category: News

Many Kinds of Bullying

Today on the news, television reporters spoke of a new law that will mandate school officials to intervene and report instances in bullying. The bill was proposed after one student committed suicide following bullying. One of the more-fascinating aspects of the increased awareness or incidence of bullying, and what appears to be ineffective adult intervention, […]

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Anatomy of a Mental Health Epidemic

Does brain chemistry equate with emotional welfare or mental illness? We recommend respectful consideration of Robert Whitaker, Anatomy of an Epidemic, recently published by Crown Publishers. As a reporter who is not on the front lines of severe mental illness and emotional trauma, Whitaker, of course, could not have all the answers.

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Stop Bullying Now!

There’s too much bullying going on and not enough being done to stop it. In all fairness, many have the good will and courage and desire to confront bullying but want to make sure it is done properly so as to not make a bad situation worse. AMHF is monitoring the psychological damage done to […]

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A Great Advocate for Children

The New York Times today announced the death of Alice Miller. Dr. Miller is a writer in the psychoanalytic tradition who did not publisher her first book until her late forties and much experience in the field. The Gifted Child was the first of many books written by a first-class intellect who had the great […]

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Preventing Orphans (follow-up to Twain)

Being released this week is an exceptional book. Bruce Feiler, best-selling author and historian, writes of being diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. He calls upon some of his friends to be resources for his daughter should he not survive, and calls them “The Council of Dads.” If you have children, read the […]

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Orphans All (Mark Twain)

On this centenary of Mark Twain’s death, we look back at Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. While psychologists have written thousands if not millions of words on the effects of separation and loss in all our lives, Mark Twain taught about these powerful forces in the lives of two young boys growing up. Tom Sawyer […]

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Boy Scout Troop Therapy

While riding the Lake Shore Limited–Ensconced in a small sleeping room, surrounded by a bag or two of books–I am sometimes reminded of Paul Theroux and his captivating books on Riding the Orient Express or going coast to coast on a train in Canada. In today’s New York Times, Theroux reflects on the Boy Scouts […]

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National Health Care and Mental Health

As everyone is just beginning to sort out what exactly is in the new health-care laws, how they will apply, and whom they will affect, and when, AMHF is monitoring this legislation with a special interest with respect to mental-health care. More to come as the politicizing dies down and the implications become manifest.

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Stuff

Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things, by Randy Frost and Gail Skeketee, is a book of interest to many, a cautionary tale in some respects, and a message of help for a group of others. The latter are those who suffer from one of the varieties of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): compulsive hoarding. For […]

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Pilots and Antidepressants

The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) now allows pilots to continue their in-air responsibilities if they are on certain antidepressants. Historically, pilots have not been allowed to fly while taking antidepressants as many of the original antidepressants had side effects which could be extremely serious if they occurred in flight. Side effects such as seizures or […]

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Loneliness, Sadness, Depression: Do We Have It Backward?

Emily White is a lawyer who lived alone for six years in her 30s and said those were years of “savage loneliness.” She has written a book about this, “Lonely: A memoir”, just published by Harper Collins. Ms. White describes many of the pop psychology attitudes that even serious therapists adope. “Living alone gives you […]

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OCD…as Viewed by Ashley Dupre

The New York Post recently hired Ashley Dupre to write a column on relationships, “Ask Ashley”, and it appears each Sunday. Recently, Cara, age 35, residing in Park Slope, asked Ashley the following: “My boyfriend and I recently moved in together. I’m anal about keeping a straight apartment. How can I approach this so I […]

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Clerical Abuse in Germany

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 […]

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Mental Health, Faculty, and College Violence

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 […]

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Upcoming Changes in the DSM

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 […]

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Too Many Soldier Suicides: Part 2

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 […]

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Too Many Soldier Suicides Part 1: In Flanders Fields

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 […]

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Jerilyn Ross, 63, Dies: A Therapist Who Overcame Her Own Anxiety

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 […]

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More on Aging Gracefully

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? […]

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Our Medicated Army

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 […]

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Funding cuts for the Developmentally Disabled

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 […]

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Counseling out of the Office/Homeless Clients

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 […]

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Concussion, Football, and Other Sports

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, […]

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Seasonal Affective Disorder: Not Just in Central Wisconsin

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 […]

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Trouble Getting to Sleep?

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. […]

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5-star Endorsement of Dr. Raymond B. Flannery Jr., The Violent Person

“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 […]

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Book on Cognitive Therapy Wins British Medical Society Book Award

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 […]

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Tax Dollars at Work

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 […]

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Rave Review of The Violent Person by Dr. Raymond B. Flannery Jr.

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. amazon

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“The New Psychosurgery” and OCD

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 […]

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