rural american no masks during pandemic

Psychotherapists should find empathy when rural ideas about COVID-19 safety vary

As psychologists, many of us are natural people watchers in public. As such, while stopped for gas and coffee at a local convenience store, I pass the time by counting the number of people exiting the store wearing masks. How many would you guess in my home state of South Dakota? I counted two out […]

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  • walking therapy

    Pandemic spurs interest in walk-and-talk therapy

    While most psychologists have flocked to online therapy because of COVID-19, a few lucky practitioners have another alternative: walk-and-talk therapy. Walking with patients while talking with them for clinical sessions isn’t new – at least one New York social worker has been doing it for years. But in a worldwide pandemic where outdoor togetherness is […]

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  • dreaming

    Dreams can be valuable in therapy

    Clinical dreamwork and the science of dreaming are separate worlds that rarely cross-fertilize. However, those who work with dreams in clinical practice have much to gain from current dream research findings. We now know much more about the nature and purpose of dreaming than we did even a decade ago, and this new information strengthens […]

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  • therapy husband wife commitment

    Deconstructing competitive commitments

    In the human psyche, competitive commitments occur when the individual is having difficulty committing due to their commitment being in two or more directions at the same time. These commitments are competing due to the reality they are in direct opposition to one another (i.e., freedom versus security). In most cases, the competing commitment is […]

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    Teletherapy tips

    The National Psychologist talked with psychologists across the country about how they’re managing to operate their practices using teletherapy during the pandemic. Here are some of their suggestions for other practitioners. Talk regularly to other colleagues about the challenges of this “new normal.” Find a teletherapy platform that’s simple, efficient, compliant and has few glitches. […]

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  • Access to care during COVID 19

    How to ethically increase access to care during COVID-19

    COVID-19 is an unprecedented public health crisis with both mental-health and financial impacts. Psychologists’ skill sets are critically important in meeting the challenges of the present moment. Yet many clients are losing financial security (job loss, reduced hours due to furloughs, changes in insurance benefits) while potentially relying on mental-health treatment more than ever. Being […]

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    Talk of risks, side effects may lead to nocebo effect

    Appropriate informed consent requires disclosure of the proposed treatment, the risks and benefits of that treatment, the risks and benefits of not proceeding, and alternatives to the treatment. This practice has become widely accepted, primarily because it supports patients’ autonomy. However, perfect autonomy is impossible because there are always factors influencing non-rational decision making. Further, […]

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  • teletherapy

    Psychologists pivot to teletherapy as pandemic takes hold

    For clinical psychologist Alison McGrath Howard, Psy.D., the decision to stop practicing face-to-face and begin using teletherapy to counsel patients was a no-brainer. On March 13 – the Friday of the week that COVID-19 turned America upside down — she woke up with a fever and a cough and felt “horrific.” The week before, she’d […]

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  • elderly man getting teletherapy during COVID-19

    COVID-19 brings change to behavioral health for older adults

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says eight out of 10 U.S. deaths from the novel coronavirus have been in adults age 65 and older. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have become hotspots for the virus, accounting for 42 percent of COVID-19 deaths, according to the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunities […]

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  • coping strategies to survive abusive childhoods.

    Psychologists should help victimizers understand their past

    In 1990, I was a prison psychologist at Wisconsin’s intake facility, Dodge Correctional Institution. At the same time, I volunteered at a local battered women’s shelter, running its women’s support group. I had an epiphany during a conversation I was having with a psychologist who practiced in the local community. “I bet you find them […]

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