Professional Articles

Therapists 2014: The Intersection between Clinician, Business Savvy & Personal Brand

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Therapists 2014: The Intersection between Clinician, Business Savvy & Personal BrandIn October 2009, I wrote my first piece in a series for Psych Central on the changing landscape of therapists online. Psychotherapists Unmasked on the Internet reflected upon a conversation I’d had with my psychiatrist father five years prior, who gave me an earful around the ethics of having my picture up on my website.

What he didn’t realize at that time was that websites were becoming an important marketing tool in our profession and that a move toward therapist demystification was occurring. A hearty discussion among many in our field around how to navigate it all was under way.

Introducing Private Practice Kickstart

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Introducing Private Practice Kickstart

As the online world has grown, so have the potential pitfalls a psychotherapist can make while navigating this increasingly interconnected landscape. But with pitfalls also come wonderful new opportunities to grow and market your private practice online.

There are so many business and marketing aspects to your clinical private practice, but few of them are discussed in much depth in most graduate school programs. This leaves new practitioners searching for the basics of business and marketing on their own.

But search no more. We’re happy to be bringing two of the pros in this area to the Psych Central family with a new blog called Private Practice Kickstart. If you’re a clinician or professional psychotherapist, you’re going to want to put this blog on your “must read” list.

Why Do Therapists Summer in Cape Cod?

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Why Do Therapists Summer in Cape Cod?Cape Cod is a wonderful summer destination for hundreds of thousands of people each year. Some of those thousands are therapists.

But unlike most vacationers, the therapists don’t head to the Cape for just the beaches and sun. They’re coming to hone their therapeutic skills, while maintaining their license.

One of the ways to do that is to attend the Cape Cod Institute, the successful continuing education program for mental health professionals run by my friend and colleague, Gil Levin, Ph.D. The Boston Globe (Sunday) Magazine recently featured him and his ground-breaking Institute.

How to Be More Assertive at Work

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

7 Tips for Setting Boundaries At WorkWe’ve all had days or weeks or months at our jobs where we feel like we’re being taken advantage of. You know the feeling: if it doesn’t come in getting passed over for an opportunity, it comes at the hands of either your boss or coworkers not giving you the respect you think you deserve.

You’ve also come up with reasons why these things happen. Sometimes it’s because Jerry from the art department is a brownnoser. Sometimes it’s because of your bad luck and the notion that you just can’t catch a break. Overall, though, you just wish you could be more assertive.

Help Support TILT Magazine

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Help Support TILT MagazineA longtime colleague of mine, DeeAnna Nagel, has asked for my help, and I’m glad to oblige. She and co-founder Kate Anthony started a beautifully produced publication called TILT Magazine to help mental health professionals and students better understand how technology impacts their profession. Where does a therapist go to learn about online interventions? How is cyberculture impacting the way people get help for a mental health issue?

Now they need your help in crowdfunding the continued production of the magazine through 2015 — and I hope you’ll take a moment to consider their plea.

The Lie of Focusing on Those with Serious Mental Illness

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

The Lie of Focusing on Those with Serious Mental IllnessI’ve long scratched my head at one of the arbitrary political lines drawn in the sand in the world of mental health and mental illness advocacy — “serious mental illness.” (Some people refer to it as “severe mental illness,” but the correct term is “serious.”)

Focusing on this division is a lie. It is a lie told to Congress and to the public with earnest testimonials. But also with little evidence that it represents a valid — or meaningful — scientific distinction.

Why No One is Talking About the Possible Overdiagnosis of Autism

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Why No One is Talking About the Possible Overdiagnosis of AutismWith the latest CDC figures out, it appears autism is now appearing in about 1 in 68 children in the United States. The disorder — now officially known as autism spectrum disorder — is being diagnosed at a rate that represents a 30 percent increase from 1 in 88 two years ago.

What’s amazing to me is that I couldn’t find a single media report that floated the idea that this increase represents an overdiagnosis of the disorder. While “overdiagnosis” seems to be the first thing suggested when the topic is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder’s (ADHD) huge jump in diagnoses over the past two decades, it’s not mentioned in any description of autism’s increase.

Why the double-standard?

Help Us Win This Design Challenge in Mental Health

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Help Us Win This Design Challenge in Mental Health

It’s not everyday I turn to our readers for their help, but I’m going to do so with the first design challenge Psych Central has entered. Along with my colleague and regular Psych Central contribute (and an “Ask the Therapist”) Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D., we’ve submitted an entry we’d like you to vote for.

Your vote matters, so please, take the 20 seconds it takes to vote for our entry now (sorry it’s not obvious, but the voting form is at the very bottom of the entry… so keep scrolling!).

If you’d like to read more about our thinking and entry behind the challenge, click through…

Why Getting Good Mental Health Treatment is Complicated

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Why Getting Good Mental Health Treatment is ComplicatedAs long-time readers of World of Psychology know, there’s no easy fix to the convoluted, second-class mental health care system in the United States. People with mental disorders — like depression, anxiety, ADHD or bipolar disorder — are shunted away from the mainstream healthcare system into a patchwork quilt of “care” that varies greatly depending upon where you live, what kind of insurance you have (if you have any), and whether you want to pay cash for treatment instead of using your insurance.

It shouldn’t be this way. It shouldn’t be so hard to find a good treatment provider. It shouldn’t be so complicated to get integrated care from a single practice.

Why is it so hard to get good mental health treatment in the U.S.?

Why Waitlist Control Groups in Psychotherapy Research Studies Suck

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Why Waitlist Control Groups in Psychotherapy Research Studies Suck

It’s long been recognized that the gold standard in medical drug research is a randomized, placebo-controlled study. While not without its faults, this type of research ensures that the drug being tested is more effective (and just as safe) as a pill that contains no active ingredients. That way, the data can show that secondary effects — such as the act of taking a pill once a day or seeing a doctor for refills or collecting study data — aren’t the main cause of any benefits the research may find.

In psychotherapy research, there is no pill. So a long time ago, some researchers developed what they believed to be a similar control group as those receiving a placebo — the waitlist control group. The wait-list control group is simply a group of subjects randomized to be placed on a fake “waitlist” — waiting for the active treatment intervention.

But there are more than a few problems with this type of control group in research. In a word, waitlist control groups suck.

Here’s why.

Lawmakers: Don’t Pass New Involuntary Commitment Bills Without Funding

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Lawmakers: Don't Pass New Involuntary Commitment Bills Without FundingNothing angers me more than when the media — and the public — come down on those with a mental illness when we hear of another violent mass shooting. The vast majority of shootings and deaths in America are due to the ease-of-access to a handgun, and simply knowing the person you’re going to kill (as most murders are conducted by people known to the victim). Mental illness does not enter into the picture in most homicides.

Well, wait a minute… There is one thing that angers me more than attributing a higher rate of violence to someone with mental illness. And that’s feel-good but idiotic lawmakers across the country passing a new round of involuntary commitment bills in their state — but leaving out any additional money to help fund these efforts.

Apparently common sense doesn’t enter into a lawmaker’s head when they author or lobby for the passage of such bills.

Answering the Question: ‘What Should I Do With My Life?’

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Answering the Question: 'What Should I Do With My Life?'What’s the first question exchanged when we meet someone new? You guessed it: “So… What do you do?”

In our culture, what you do for a living is inextricably tied to society’s perception of your worth. A stable job with a good salary is highly regarded, but we often look less lovingly upon the self-trained artist or entrepreneur who gives blood, sweat, and tears to make their vision possible.

Why is this? Is the number on your paycheck the true meaning of success?

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