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Book Reviews from The Psychology Times

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Recommended Reading for New Year’s

by Dr. Judith Miranti

The holidays have a way of inserting into our psyches a reflective mode that, if ignored, will just keep inserting itself until we stop and pay attention to our mind, body and spirit.  Individuals react differently to the approaching holidays. For some, the holidays are unbearable after the loss of a loved one depending upon their unique stage of grief and whether or not they are experiencing survivor’s guilt. For others, it is a time of thanksgiving and connecting with those we love.

During our reflective mode, these two short reads, God Isn’t Finished with me Yet (139 pages) and Man’s Search for Meaning (167 pages) put a lot into perspective regardless of one’s spiritual and/or religious beliefs.  Everyone wants to find meaning in life.  The self-help books that fill the shelves of bookstores testify to this search.  As we see fewer years ahead than behind, it can be easy to question our value or what we have left to contribute. How can we continue to be generative and give back and live with purpose in our later years?

Sadly, there is no quick fix.  To have meaning and purpose in life is a quest which is never ending but can be fulfilling.  Often we hear clients discuss how they are spiritually, psychologically and mentally bankrupt. Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir, Man’s Search for Meaning, has captivated generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival.  Frankl argues that while we cannot avoid suffering, we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose.  Throughout the holiday, pause and reflect on any one of the top ten Viktor Frankl quotations:

1. “Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude.”

2. “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

3. “But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.”

4. “In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.”

5. “The meaning of life is to give life meaning.”

6. “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how.'”

7. “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”

8. “Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.”

9. “The point is not what we expect from life, but rather what life expects from us.”

10.”For the world is in a bad state, but everything will become still worse unless each of us does his best.”

Find comfort in God Isn’t Finished with Me Yet.  We still have time to repair old wounds and reconnect with those from whom we are estranged.  We are encouraged to examine our lives and to make reasonable choices that will yield positive results.  We can let go of hurts, forgive ourselves, and find ways of bringing joy into our lives and discovering the spiritual graces of later life.

[Dr. Judith Miranti is Chair of the Division of Education and Counseling at Xavier University of Louisiana. She served as Dean of Humanities at Our Lady of Holy Cross College for 10 years and as VP for Academic Affairs for two. She has also served as the President of the National Association for Spirituality, Ethics, and Religious Values in Counseling.]


Strange Attractors: Chaos, Complexity, and the Art of Family Therapy


by Michael Butz, Linda Chamberlain, and William McCown

In Strange Attractors: Chaos, Complexity, and the Art of Family Therapy, William McCown, PhD, Louisiana psychologist and Associate Dean at University of Louisiana Monroe, stretches readers’ minds to the edges of the galaxy.

A fun, inspiring, and seriously theoretical look into connections between the “Third Revolution in Science” and psychotherapy concepts, Strange Attractors is at the same time surprisingly useful.

Despite the publication date of 1997, the concepts still fascinate. Strange attractors, fractals, bifurcations, chaos, and complexity – the authors show how the concepts relate to the course and sometimes chaotic movements of family systems. It feeds the reader with fantastic notions from theoretical physics.

“It’s become so mainstream in physics,” said Dr. McCown to the Times, “and well accepted in psychology.” There is an organization for this area of study, the Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences, he noted. “The area is now usually called non-linear dynamical theory,” he explained.

Drawing on chaos theory, and showing how chaos has inspired advancements in almost all scientific fields, guiding our attention to the unexplained phenomena, the authors make their major point: nature includes disorder. Sometimes there is no cause and effect, regardless of how much we want to believe in it.

The value of the work is to shake us up, to cause us to drop or at least reconsider our linear, mechanic thinking about things.

The concepts and writing are poetic, as authors grab new ideas from chaos theory and apply them to family systems. Titles are imaginative and intriguing: “Warning, Objects Behind the Mirror May Be More Complex Than They Appear;” “The Eerie Beauty of Strange Attractors;” “Fractals and Forks in the Road;” and “Trying to Unscramble the Eggs.”

There is much that does seem more art than science in Strange Attractors, but the wisdom is the intuitive truth that some things don’t fit, are not linear, and cannot be predicted. Often the eggs cannot be unscrambled. A system must adapt to the new state. Therapists should be able to recognize this in psychology.

We are reminded of a lesson we should not forget, the dramatic limitations of the machine model, the linear model. “… the Age of the Machine is screeching to a halt … the decline of the industrial age forces us to confront the painful limitations of the machine model of reality,” the authors quote Alvin Toffler from Order out of Chaos.

“What does chaos theory do that cybernetics and general systems theory do not do?” The authors pose the question and explain that on a pure systems model, cybernetic theory relates to characteristics of mechanistic processes. These ideas were adapted to family therapy by Haley in 1959 and organic systems by Von Bertalanffy in 1968, with concepts of “steady state and transformative states,” they write.

Chaos goes further. To show us five paradigm shifts in family theory, they take us on a trip through the advances in family therapy, through familiar names of Don Jackson, Jay Haley, John
Weakland, Lidz, Bowen, and Whitaker, and Laing, Minuchin, and Satir.

Bateson’s double bind and metacommunication tangles were first. Then came Jay Haley and his use of cybernetic theory to describe how a “totality that autocorrects.” The third shift came with General Systems Theory, a shift, once and for all, from thinking of organisms as machines. With Bertalanffy the concept of open systems and transformative states made permanent the recognition of homeostatsis in concert with transformation.

By the early 90s Maturana and Varela had described the idea of “autopoiesis,” that living things are self-producing.

And the fifth paradigm, and the Third Great Revolution in Science, came at the turn of the century, “self-organization and chaos theory,” pointing to a constant motion of systems and the constant non-linear change, explained the authors.

For this new paradigm we give up predictability, viewing the therapist as a force, and the traditional view of resistance, and we take up the circular rather than linear reasoning, changing from “cause” to “fit” and adding positive to negative interpretations. It is a lot to change, for a linear mind, but the authors move us along tenderly.

The work opens Part One with “Sensitivity to Initial Conditions,” and “Warning, Objects Behind the Mirror May be More Complex Than They Appear.”

In “A Walk Through the Canyon,” authors give us a partial definition. “Chaos theory, as an umbrella term, describes a holistic process of adaptive transformation, where over time, small instabilities may result in complex behavior, that eventually appears random and is experienced as chaos by those accustomed to linear science.”

The authors introduce the reader to chaos theory concepts of attractor, point attractor, strange attractor, and also perturbation, bifurcation, sensitivity to initial conditions– called the butterfly effect, and also self-organizing, and period-doubling route to chaos.

“Where chaos begins, classical science stops,” they quote Gleick and tell us that new theory is essential for understanding reality, pointing out how quantum theory challenged how we tried to understand the nature of the world, and crystallized the limits of reductionism.

Part Two, “Families … Complex Terrain,” brings it closer to home. For “Into the ‘Phrase Space’,” the authors help define the clinician’s role, looking through this new view finder, and in particular the focus on the system’s attempt to adapt and its fluid boundaries.

In Chapter 4, “The Eerie Beauty of Strange Attractors” authors show the reader how a dynamic system can settle into a pattern, how a system can function between stability and change, that phenomena repeatedly observed in nature change once scientists began looking for it. It is a state that can be “thought of as an idealized state toward which an unpredictable or dynamical system is attracted.” The concept can be applied to mental states of people in therapy, fluctuations in mood, and personality dynamics, explain the authors.

“Catching the Butterfly–Chaos in Therapy,” Part Three, expands on the activities and thinking of a family therapist embracing this new perspective. Authors describe what the “butterfly” means in family therapy, and relate it to more traditional concepts of reframing, paradoxical, surprise, confusion, and strategic techniques.

The metaphor of the butterfly effect, the chaos theory idea that the flapping wings of a butterfly can impact the weather, points to the importance of small changes, magnified by the system.

“Any small difference that can be magnified by the existing family system can generate new and potentially more adaptive patterns,” the authors explain. Therapists need to be aware of small interactions that are not receiving notice, attention, or energy, such as “playfulness, humor, privacy, affection, diversity, conflict, forgiveness, respect …”

In “Fractals and Forks in the Road,” authors expand on the concept of fractals and bifurcations. When researchers starting looking for fractals they found them to be everywhere in nature. While the Western mind typically thinks in symmetrical shapes, “fractals are devoid of transitional symmetry. This means they are infinitely jagged,” a concept authors relate to work with undifferentiated family systems.

“At the Turning Point,” may be one of the most salient chapters for the application of chaos theory to family therapy, focusing on issues of family crisis, with constructs of steady states, change, and self reorganization.

Authors show how Chaos Theory helps to highlight issues in crisis, such as the meaning of abrupt changes, the unpredictability of changes, and the self-limiting aspect of crisis.

“Trying to Unscramble the Eggs,” looks at destabilization. Authors provide case studies and define the dangers, ethics, and prediction about when destabilization is countertherapeutic.

In “The Critical Moment,” the authors apply the concept of bifurcations and the “irreversible path cut by the system over time.” The authors say to look for bifurcation points in the family’s history, and this will help see stability, flow of information, and boundaries.

“No Predictable Period,” Part Four, continues with “From Chaos to Order, or … From Order to Chaos.” The authors look at the future of family therapy, the impact of the concepts of chaos on the present theories, training, ethics, and how we measure outcomes. They note their belief that therapist will become less invasive, and that views regarding psychotherapy outcomes, measurements, and ethics, will need to change to encompass this perspective.

The text closes with Chapter 11, “Epigram: Measuring Change in Chaotic Systems, Problems with Modeling, and the Need for Case Studies.” Authors approach the challenge of how to collect data and create models for this new paradigm in family therapy.

He explained that many theorists call the approach non-linear dynamical systems, and the term chaos sometimes less favored, but that the concepts are appealing and the text is still selling well.

Strange Attractors is a delightful walk through the canyon, apt to bring about some very new views for the reader. It can be acquired through for the Kindle from Amazon.


The Development of Behavior: A Synthesis of Developmental and Comparative Psychology


Bill Seay, PhD and Nathan Gottfried, PhD

1978, Houghton Mifflin Company

Comparative Psychology––Where has it gone? Merged into ethology or morphed into physiological psychology? Absorbed into behavioral neuroscience, biological and evolutionary psychology?

While many say the area is still thriving, comparative psychology is no longer listed at the Louisiana State University Psychology Department.

But once upon a time the department had its share of these “monkey men,” the affectionate term for those who observed the behavior of primates and then told us about the development, adaptation, or social structures of these close great-ape relatives.

One of those men is Dr. Billy Seay, now retired from both his work as Professor in comparative psychology and from his role as Dean of the LSU Honors College.

“Comparative psychology was the study of animal behavior,” he told the Times. But when asked if the objectivity that comparative often provided is missing these days, he said, “Objectivity requires constant attention and re-evaluation of thinking and point of view. Any field of science requires objectivity and constant vigilance.” And, he explained, it is available now as well as then in efforts of psychologists.

When Seay came to LSU as a young psychologist in 1964, he brought with him the distinction of having published in the then ground-breaking studies about mother-infant separation. Seay studied with the American primatologist, Harry F. Harlow, at the University of Wisconsin.

In his work at Wisconsin and with Harlow, Seay published “Mother-Infant Separation in Monkeys,” in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, “Affectional Systems in Rhesus Monkeys,” and “Maternal Behavior of Socially Deprived Rhesus Monkeys,” and ‘Maternal Separation in Rhesus Monkeys,” in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.

“Harlow provided his students with the resources of his laboratory, staff support, and considerable independence,” Seay explained. “When research was published he used a ‘post-Nobel’ style of authorship. Students were consistently the first author of research reports. Exception occurred only if he had an agreement with an editor to be first author. He would not coauthor dissertation publication. You were on your own.”

When Seay joined the LSU faculty in 1964, the primate center in Covington was just opening. He did his research there and found it easy to find funding for his work. “I had an National Science Foundation grant and repeated some of the Wisconsin rhesus monkey studies with another species, the Java monkey. I was also able to study the Patas monkey.”

But eventually funding became more scarce and Dr. Seay decided to take an offer to serve as the Director of the LSU Honors College and then the first Dean.

Seay worked with colleague and fellow LSU professor and development psychologist, Dr. Nathan Gottried, who passed away in 2012.

Together they authored The Development of Behavior: A Synthesis of Developmental and Comparative Psychology in 1978, which rested on the expertise of both men.

The Development of Behavior was ahead of its time. While debates still occur today about which influence––genetic, environmental, epigenetic, individual, etc.,––is dominant in development, Seay and Gottfried’s text explained the importance of five “sets” for determining behavior from all five directions. In Development, the authors approached behavior from the dynamic interplay of the Phylogenetic Set, the Ontogenetic Set, the Experiential Set, the Cultural Set, and the Individual Set.

“One hopes that what is not lost is that all behavior is multiply determined,” Seay told the Times. “There is not a single cause for any behavioral outcome,” he said.

In The Development of Behavior, Seay and Gottfried took each of these five Sets as a topic for Part I, “The Determinants of Behavior.” The text outlines the multiple and interdependent influences on human development, wrapping each one into the others to punctuate the complex interactions possible, even if yet to be discovered.

The chapter on the “Phylogenetic Set” shows that behavioral development is “species typical.” Authors include topics of reflexes, fixed action patterns, and learning dispositions. For the “Ontogenetic Set” the influence of maturation on behavior is described, and authors include topics of prenatal, neonatal, and sexual identity topics.

In the chapter for “Experiential Set” they cover learning, both classical conditioning and instrumental, and specific and nonspecific environmental dependence influences on behavior.

Chapters 5 and 6 are the “Cultural Set” and “Individual Set” and the authors lay out continuing explanations of development by shifting between Sets and the dynamic influences. Seay and Gottfried explain that cultural influences may not be dramatic, but rather subtle and out of conscious awareness. The chapter on the Individual Set makes clear that there is unique variation in all humans, coming from the individual set of influences.

For Part II, “The Development of Behavioral Processes,” the authors note that “all behavior is oriented and organized in some way,” and they select four behavioral processes to include for readers in showing how this occurs.

They include a chapter on “The Orientation of Behavior” with sources of information about the psychology of attention, perception, and motivation.

In “The Organization of Behavior,” places emphasis on development and schemas (the internal structures that are basic to organized behavior) and explain smiling, self-schemas, counting, and problem-solving schemas, for example. Descriptions of human and also animals are richly woven throughout.

Chapter 10 outlines “Affectional Relationships,” with reviews of attachment, love, affection and development, and includes attachment in humans, birds, mammals and topics of affection, development and heterosexual love and gender identity.

In remarking about the views in 1978, Seay told the Times, “Our point was that ambiguity with respect to personal gender identity,” he said, “would inhibit the development of adjustment. Self-doubt is always a problem. Uncertainty concerning femaleness and/or maleness is a serious form of self-doubt. I continue to believe that ‘the development of an unambiguous personal gender identity is very important for later adjustment.’ I think uncertainty may be a basis for disaster.”

The final section for behavioral processes, is “Social Organization,” Chapter 11. This chapter includes examples of temporary and permanent organization, with examples from bison, mallard ducks, wolves, and humans.

“I think that both biological and cognitive psychology fail to recognize the importance of culture in shaping and determining behavior,” Seay said about the awareness of cultural impacts. “The cultural setting is a determining factor with respect to the environment an individual encounters. Failure to recognize cultural influences on behavior limits understanding behavior.”

The chapter on “Variation in Adaptation” covers the broad issues of population adaptability, with examples of baboons and gorillas. And the closing chapter, “The Meaning of Development,” brings together the synthesis and framework for the text.

In their conclusions, the authors write: “The history of the species, the culture, and the individual always are to be seen in present behavior. The universals and particulars always interact. As much as we study present behavior and its foundations, the future behavior of the species and the individual cannot be predicted with certainty.”

Throughout the text, the authors place their emphasis on the variety of influences that merge to create behavior, that each can be influenced by the others, creating the unique, changing person. The approach in Development of Behavior is as rich and worthwhile today as it was in 1978.


clinical pharmacology cover

Handbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for Psychologists


Mark Muse

and Bret A. Moore Editors

Wiley, 2012

The Handbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for Psychologists provides the foundations of knowledge that readers will want for comprehensive understanding in clinical psychopharmacology, located in the broader context of biology, psychology, and social environment. For the prescribing psychologist the book will prove a user-friendly, efficient training tool, and for consulting healthcare psychologists, an essential desk reference.

Handbook successfully combines information from neuroanatomy, nervous system structure and functions, biochemistry, and physiology, with current information on pharmacology, research, and practice. The authors place the issues firmly in a meaningful context for those who treat patients into today’s mental health and health industry.

Co-editor Dr. Mark Muse, American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) diplomat, and licensed Louisiana prescribing medical psychologist, along with co-editor Dr. Bret Moore, ABPP and licensed New Mexico conditional prescribing psychologist, highlight the concept of the integrative view throughout the text.

They use the term psychobiosocial to stress the need to combine psychological, biological, and social systems. They point out that research and theory, and especially treatment, must be viewed in this broad and inclusive perspective. They present a view that takes into account the multiple influences and feedback loops on and by a “living, surviving, and adapting person.”

“I worked in primary care in Maurepas at a family clinic,” Dr. Muse told the Times, “and found the experience taxing and eye-opening. I would never have found myself in primary care if it were not for the medical psychology piece. I worked with underprivileged children who had never seen a psychologist, nor had their psychotropics ever been reviewed by a prescribing mental health specialist. The family practitioner was doing the best he could, as there were no psychiatrists in sight. He was progressive and forward-looking and wanted desperately to get a mental health professional on board.”

This awareness for a comprehensive model is highlighted throughout the Handbook, and most clearly in the beginning chapters, where Muse and Moore set out the philosophical framework, defining psychopharmacology as a subset of medical psychology and medical psychology as including “… health psychology, rehabilitation psychology, pediatric psychology, neuropsychology, and clinical psychopharmacology, as well as subspecialties in pain management, primary care psychology, and hospital-based (or medical school-based) psychology.”

As an educational resource the Handbook has real muscle. Chapters are logically structured with consistent statements of theme, effective expansion into relevant subtopics, and concise summaries. The writing style is clear, fast and straightforward. An excellent use of tables and charts graphically consolidates information. Sections for “Key Terms” make it easy to scan and process information. Post-tests engage the reader and contribute to interactive learning.

The Handbook also includes a CD-ROM with practice questions based on the American Psychological Association’s Psychopharmacology Examination for Psychologists (PEP). The reader can prepare for the actual experience of the exam, with 150 questions from ten content areas, presented in a timed, 3-hour format if desired. This ingenious approach no doubt comes from Muse’s bent toward education methods, a theme mirrored in his website, MensanaPublications.

“Those preparing for the PEP never seem to get enough rehearsal questions to satisfy their hunger,” Mark explained. “There are an additional 250 questions as a Mensana CE quiz with the same title,” he said, allowing additional practice.

The Handbook easily fulfills its promise of reviewing foundations for psychologists who want to be conversant with psychopharmacology, and should also be especially useful to those who simply want to be able to help their clients ask the right questions about medications.

In a spirited Forward, “Integrating Care: A Forward on Changing Times,” Drs. Pat LeLeon and Jack Wiggins, both past APA presidents, applaud the

text and the direction. “… an excellent treatise written by psychologists for psychologists,” they write. And, “Lamentably, it has become commonplace in physicians’ offices to dispense psychotropic medications without an appropriate diagnosis and to do so by providers with little or not training in alternative psychological interventions for behavioral disorders.” LeLeon and Wiggins also point to Louisiana’s Drs. Glenn Ally and James Quillin as prominent in the prescriptive authority movement in psychology.

In Chapter 1, “Medical Psychology: Definitions, Controversies, and New Directions,” Drs. Muse and Moore explain the philosophical issues and controversies in the field, a theme repeated in many of the chapters: that the living, adapting human requires a biopsychosocial paradigm, and not the medical model.

The term Medical Psychology is an umbrella term they say, “… it encompasses the multiple specialties and make up health-care psychology, embracing the biopsychosocial paradigm of mental/physical health and extending that paradigm to clinical practice through research and the application of evidenced-based diagnostic and treatment procedures.” They explain the limitations in the Cartesian idea that mind and body are separate, the limitations of the medical model, or the idea that an individual’s social environment is irrelevant.

They object to Louisiana’s Act 251 because, they say, it “… builds upon the definition issues by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) which recognizes that the term medical psychologist refers to a mid-level provider/practitioner who has prescriptive authority.”

In Chapter 2 Muse and Moore outline more of their rationale, “Integrating Clinical Psychopharmacology within the Practice of Medical Psychology.” Authors point to interesting research demonstrating the complexity and interactions in this psychobiosocial perspective, with examples such as: research on OCD that indicates behavioral therapy is more effective than medication and behavior therapy together; that phobias are better treated with CBT and provides longer- lasting effects; and that 70 percent of the response to antidepressants medications is considered to be placebo. Authors summarize the major large-scale studies such as the STAR*D, TADS, and CATIE studies.

Chapter 3, “Neuroscience,” by Drs. Ken Fogel and George Kaplka (Pediatricians and Pharmacologically Trained Psychologists: A Practitioner’s guide to Collaborative Treatment) write, “Homeostatic balance is the ‘holy grail’ of living things, …” They include sections on neurons,

neurotransmitters, central nervous system, structure and function of the brain, and peripheral nervous system.

In Chapter 4 “Nervous System Pathology” authors provide a comprehensive list of disorders including “Nuerodegenerative/cognitive disorders,” “Mental Retardation,” “Neurodevelopmental Disorders,” “Vascular Disorders.” Readers will appreciate a section on “Behavioral/Psychological disorders with a Neuropathological Basis.”

Chapter 5 reviews “Physiology and Pathophysiology,” including the functional systems of the body, including endrocrine, hormonal, cardiac, digestive systems, and others.

Dr. Robert Younger, ABPP and Navy psychologist with prescriptive authority authors Chapter 6, “Biopsychosocial and Pharmacological Assessment and Monitoring.” He writes that safe and effective use of medications requires psychologists to know “… how to assess the biomedical status of patients, including ongoing assessment of iatrogenic effects of medications in general.” He explains history taking, psychological assessment, as well as physical and neurological examinations and laboratory testing. A list of drug-drug interactions, drug overdose, and a section for adverse drug reactions, are included.

Chapter 7, “Differential Diagnosis in Medical Psychology,” includes important sections on “Medical Disorders that Present as Psychological Disorders,” and “Psychological Disorders that Present as Medical Disorders,” along with other topics that are critical for today’s psychologists.

In “Pharmacology,” Chapter 8, the author addresses how drugs interact with the body to produce effects as well as how they are metabolized and distributed.

Chapter 9, “The Practice of Clinical Psychopharmacology,” by Drs. William Burns, Lenore Walker, and Jose Rey, is one of the longer chapters and explains the “integration of psychotherapeutic and pharmacotherapeutic modalities of treatment.” An extensive table on “Drug Indications, Dosage Ranges, Side Effects, Routes of Administration, FDA Approval for Children, and Pregnancy Risk” is worth the cost of the book. Also described is drug metabolism and CYP450 (Cytochrome P-450), the enzymes involved in detoxification.

“Research in Clinical Psychopharmacology” Chapter 10, and “Professional, Legal, Ethical, and Interprofessional Issues in Clinical Psychopharmacology” Chapter 11, complete the text.

“My hope,” Dr. Muse explained to the Times, “… is that it is a true reflection of the breadth of training a medical psychologist undergoes. I would like the detractors to read it before asserting that prescribing psychologists’ training is insufficient. It is, in fact, more rigorous than psychiatry or practical nursing’s preparations for integrating psychotropics into overall mental health diagnosis and treatment …”

Handbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for Psychologists is a valuable addition to any psychologist’s library resources, a practical guide for key knowledge bases regarding biological, pharmacological, differential diagnosis, ethical issues, and the important contributions and perspectives that psychologists can bring to the challenges of modern healthcare.

Dr. Mark Muse and Dr. Bret Moore will be presenting aspects of Handbook at the American Psychological Association Convention, on Thursday, August 2, in a presentation titled, “New Resources for Preparing for the Psychopharmacology Exam for Psychologists (PEP).”

The book is widely available from the publisher (Wiley) and distributors. Also, Mensana Publications offers a 20 percent discount on the Handbook and all other books bought through the website link to the publisher.

Dr. Muse completed his doctorate in clinical research and counseling psychology at Northern Arizona U. in 1980 and next was awarded the Licentiate degree in clinical psychology by the Universitat de Barcelone in 1984. He later completed a postdoctorate M.S. in clinical psychopharmacology. He served as full professor at the Universitat de Ramon Llull, Barclona, lecturing in Catalan and Spanish. He returned to the U.S. in 1998. He is the author of six books in the area of psychology as well as numerous articles appearing in psychology and medical professional journals.



Procrastination and Task Avoidance Theory, Research, and Treatment


Joseph R. Ferrari, Judith L. Johnson, and William G. McCown

Springer Series in Social and Clinical Psychology, 1995

Procrastination and Task Avoidance is another one of Dr. William McCown’s premier works, covering an intriguing area of psychology, procrastination. For those who want to better understand the complexity in this common, yet often debilitating behavior, the authors bring together theory, research and application.

They explain the interwoven elements of anxiety, depression, passive-aggressiveness, perfectionism, agitation, conscientiousness, and other related characteristics, regarding this behavior that affects life satisfaction in 25 percent of all adults.

Professor and psychologist, Dr. William McCown, currently Director of the Graduate School at Louisiana University at Monroe, told the Times, “Although this book is 15 years old, sales continue to be strong … This attests to the fact that clinicians often encounter people with problems related to procrastination and are frequently stymied.”

Up until Procrastination little scientific attention was given to his characteristic, which is often at the root of problems in human productivity and happiness. The authors speculate that the trait may have been considered too minor or too “flippant a topic to be granted much scientific credence.” However, they say it is both a contributor and an outcome of psychiatric conditions, negatively impacting productivity in work, school, families, and relationships.

“I became interested in this topic for my master’s thesis research,” Dr. McCown said, “because I was trying to make sense of the behavior of some clients that I had seen in treatment. At the time I found that there was almost no literature on the topic.”

“Several years later,” he said, “I wrote the book with Joe Ferrari, a colleague from Illinois that I had previously published with, and my former spouse [Dr. Judith Johnson], who previously was at the New Orleans VA Medical Center. Our intent was to write a book that was both practical and scholarly. We include extensive case histories to illustrate the multiple etiologies of chronic procrastination, which really is a serious problem for many people. It is causally linked to health problems, poor school performance, and general life dissatisfaction.”

Procrastination is laid out logically and with the thoroughness and vision that characterizes McCown’s other books. Many of the chapters could stand alone, combining theory, research and application and walking the reader through what is known about the topic. This is psychology at its most interesting,

where authors clarify and define the topic, so that the reader sees how the behavior might have developed, how it is best measured, how it is nested in personality and clinical syndromes, and how it might be modified.

“I believe that procrastination may have multiple etiologies,” said Dr. McCown, noting why the book was needed and some of the confusion that still exists. “There is the trend today to say that it is simply a facet of low conscientiousness. This is not true,” he explained. “Sometimes very perfectionistic people are procrastinators, in part because they fear that they will not live up to their own high standards. Depression and anxiety may also be causal factors, both of which are not related to conscientiousness.”

Procrastination and Task Avoidance provides this clarity in a concise eleven chapters, beginning with, “An Overview of Procrastination.” Authors review definitions, prevalence, and clinical significance. In one of the few studies on prevalence in a nonstudent population, McCown and Johnson found that over 25 percent reported that procrastination was a significant problem. Using his

Adult Inventory of Procrastination McCown found scores for men reach a peak in the mid to late 20s, then decline until about age 60, when scores begin to go up. For female scores decline from a high in the early 20s, and are lower than males. But then at age 60, females’ procrastination scores rise and are higher than for men. McCown also examined over 1500 college students and found that 19 percent of freshmen, 22 percent of sophomores, 27 percent of juniors and 31 percent of seniors indicated that procrastination was a significant source of personal stress.

In Chapter 2, “ Procrastination Research,” authors examine childhood personality development, the behavioral perspective of reinforcement, escape, and avoidance conditioning, the role of state anxiety, and of specious rewards. They review cognitive and cognitive-behavioral theories with irrational beliefs, self-statements, locus of control, learned help- lessness, and irrational perfectionism. Sections on depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety are included, along with how procrastination relates to achievement motivation, intelligence and ability, impulsivity and extraversion. Authors also note the neuropsychological and biological variables.

In Chapter 3, “The Use of Self- Report Measures,” assessment methods are described, including McCown’s and Johnson’s Adult Inventory of Procrastination (AIP), the Mann’s Decisional Procrasti- nation Scale, General Procrasti- nation Scale, and Procrastination Assessment Scale-Students.

Authors provide a model in Chapter 4, “Academic Procrastination,” including how fear of failure and achievement-related fear often

result in avoidance. They clarify the fear of failure, procrastination, avoidance, big five characteristics, and self- worth, then flow into specific treatment of academic procrastination.

Chapter 5 is “Trait Procrastination, Agitation, Dejection, and Self- Discrepancy,” and the author defines how discrepancies between “ideal self” and actual evoke emotions of disappointment or shame, and how discrepancies between the “ought self” which represents duties and responsibilities evoke fear and uneasiness.

In “Dimensions of Perfectionism and Procrastination,” Chapter 6, authors explain the distinct dimensions of “other-oriented perfectionism,” (the individual sets unrealistic standards for others), “self-oriented perfectionism” (the standards apply only to oneself), and “socially-prescribed perfection- ism” (concerns meeting expectations of others). Within this multidimensional perspective authors delve into correlational research and suggest a fascinating set of issues, including how socially- prescribed perfectionism correlates with fear of failure.

In Chapter 7, “Procrastination, Negative Self-Evaluation, and Stress in Depression and Anxiety,” authors pull together a variety of constructs and research to show how procrastination results from interactions between early learning, anxiety, depression and negative self-concept. A review of the impact of life stresses is included, and the development of “self- uncertainty,” pessimism, and

optimism. Included is a model for overall adjustment.

In Chapter 8, “The Role of Personality Disorders and Characterological Tendencies in Procrastination,” authors explain the relationship between procrastination and personality disorders.

Specific guidance for treatment is offered in Chapters 9, “Treatment of Academic Procrastination in College Students,” and 10, “Treating Adult and Atypical Procrastination.” Authors include the common cognitive misconceptions of individuals who procrastinate, such as overestimation of time left to perform a task, underestimation of time needed, and overestimation of future motivation. Authors also describe a 10-session group approach with detailed instructions and point out the need for a careful and full assessment because of many issues that can be overlooked, such as stress or the “addiction” to procrastination.

“During the past 20 years I’ve treated or treated or supervised treatment of over 300 people who had procrastination problems,” Dr. McCown told the Times. “They can and do get better, but often it takes multiple treatment interventions to find what works.”

“One consistent finding,” he said, “is that about a third to half of the variance in the construct can be accounted for by ADHD symptoms. Whether there are deeper similarities is yet to be researched. It would be exciting if the behavioral and other interventions effective for adult ADHD also worked for procrastination.”

“I have seen cases where procrastination had a psychodynamic or family etiology,

though the prevailing wisdom among many clinicians is that it is best characterized and treated by cognitive behavioral methods.”

“I want to emphasize that procrastination tends to be chronic. Like depression, it seems to be stress-related. If a person is successfully treated, they will most usually require follow up sessions to keep from relapsing in the future.”

The final Chapter, “Epilogue as Prologue,” completes the text with a perspective on the need for additional research to propel this important area forward. Dr. McCown explained, “Since the time I wrote it the literature regarding procrastination has increased 300 fold. There is even a meta-analysis available in the literature. Unfortunately, what are lacking are quality studies to determine what type of treatment works best for which type of procrastinators.”

Procrastination and Task Avoidance is an informative, interesting, and worthwhile text for clinicians and research psychologists who deal with the human condition. The content is still quite useful, even though Dr. McCown may be planning to update. “I hope we can put out a second edition soon,” he noted. That would be a treat.

Dr. William G. McCown, clinical psychologist, professor, and international consultant, is the coauthor/editor of eight books. He has held various positions in the U. of Louisiana at Monroe, including Director of Training and interim Associate Provost. Presently he is interim Director of the Graduate School.


Clinical Assessment and Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorders


Clinical-Assessment-and-Intervention-for-Autism-Spectrum-DisordersEdited by Dr. Johnny Matson 2008, Academic Press

In Clinical Assessment and Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorders, premier scientist and LSU Professor and Distinguished Research Master, once again brings together a slate of experts to help clinicians sift through a complex and evolving area of psychological practice.

The work clarifies and lays out the research and what is known about autism and related difficulties. While a straightforward compellation of research is valuable in itself, two main themes in Clinical Assessment create a more interesting and useful reference.

First, the theme of evidence-based practice is echoed throughout, with authors often pointing to important gaps in the research and also that many treatments selected by consumers lack evidence for their value.

Secondly, the theme of lifespan and the long-term view for assisting those with developmental challenges is addressed in many of the key chapters, helping the clinician or research look beyond early childhood.

Louisiana contributions include Dr. Matson and Dr. Marie S. Nebel-Schwalm, Dr. Karen Sheridan, and Dr. Troy Raffield writing from Pinecrest Developmental Center in Pineville, Louisiana.

The text is a bold effort to inform the clinician and research psychologist in a field where there are many gaps in what is known and many approaches that are not evidenced-based. The text is a collection of experts discussing what is known in the field, often in stand alone chapters, and echoing the message that there is a large amount we still do not know. Readers will find guidance for best practices in working with children who struggle with developmental delays, and also for better awareness to a life-span perspective.

Clinical Assessment is structured in three parts, Part I – Introduction, Part II – Assessment, and Part III – Interventions.

In Part I, Chapter 1, “Assessment and Intervention in Autism: An Historical Perspective,” authors summarize the history and development of the diagnostic criteria, as well as the history of treatment.

Chapter 2, “Evidence-Based Practice for Autism Spectrum Disorders,” provides the current state of evidenced-based treatment, with a description of “science, pseudoscience, and antiscience.” Criteria for evaluating different treatments is reviewed and several strategies in applied behavior analysis (ABA) are highlighted. The author critiques non-behavioral treatments.

In Chapter 3, “Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Lifespan Perspective,” authors review the importance of the lifespan perspective, a theme mirrored in many of the chapters that follow. The author introduces sections on “Lifespan Theories” and “Outcomes Across the Lifespan.” They provide a review of outcome evidence and discuss common concerns that clinicians will encounter in key developmental periods.

Part II is “Assessment,” and begins with a chapter by Louisiana State University authors Marie S. Nebel-Schwalm and Dr. Johnny Matson, on “Differential Diagnosis.”

The authors point out that ASD are five disorders that share features but that researchers and clinicians do not always agree on the methods used to diagnose or even the distinctions between disorders on the spectrum. This is a critical area since families need information to “maximize the child’s quality of life,” the authors note.

Sections on “Etiology,” “Genetic,” “Neurobiological,” “Immunological,” “Perinatal,” and “MMR Vaccinations,” are included. They summarize that there is little evidence of causal variables (80 percent of those with ASD have no known cause) and that among the theories such as immunological, “consistent empirical results are lacking.” Assessment challenges are reviewed in “Differential Diagnoses within the Spectrum,” “Comorbid Psychopathology and Differential Diagnoses,” “Intellectual Disabilities,” “Language Disorders.” Included are descriptions of interview methods, observational systems, clinician rating scales, and over 10 informant rating scales and checklists.

Chapter 5, “Assessment of Challenging Behaviors in People with Autism Spectrum Disorders,” focuses on functions of assessment when clinicians are looking at problem behaviors such as aggression, tantrums, stereotypy, and eating behaviors.

In “Communication and Social Skills Assessment,” Chapter 6, authors note a consensus that a comprehensive assessment in this area is of vital importance to providing help to families and individuals. They review theory, classification, and the purposes of assessment. In “Assessment Procedures,” authors lay out specific information for the reader in behavioral observation, role-play tests, rating scales, and behavior checklists.

Chapter 7 is an overview of “Assessment of Independent Living/Adaptive Skills.” Sections include, “Home-Based or Parent/Caregiver-Report Assessments,” “School-Based or Teacher-Report Assessments,” “Clinic-Based or Clinician-Report Assessments,” and “Self-Report Assessments.” Authors note that this is a critical area related to “level of independence for community integration” and write that in some cases, adaptive behavior is more important than IQ, especially in adolescence and adulthood.

Chapter 8 is “Pharmacology Effects and Side Effects.” Authors look at instruments for assessing response to psychotropic medication, noting important gaps in research and evidence.

Part III, “Interventions,” begins with Chapter 9, “Challenging Behaviors.” Authors cover the definition of challenging behaviors and those common to ASD. In “Approaches to Intervention,” authors review the evidence for behavioral treatment, and conclude that the ABA approach for reducing these behaviors should become the norm.

Chapter 10 reviews the critical area of “Communication Intervention for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders.” The authors note that speech and language problems are the “defining characteristics of autism and related conditions within the autism spectrum.” In this comprehensive chapter the authors outline specifics of “Speech-Based Interventions,” “Milieu-Based Interventions,” and “Social Interaction Interventions.”

“Teaching Adaptive Skills to People with Autism,” Chapter 11, is authored by two Louisiana psychologists, Dr. Karen Sheridan, now at the Resource Center on Psychiatric and Behavioral Supports in Hammond, previously with the Pinecrest Developmental Center, in Pineville, Louisiana, and Dr. Troy Raffield, who continues with Pinecrest.

The authors point out that developing skills in adaptive functioning is critical when transitions to community living are the goal. These skills, the authors note, are associated with quality of life and so have absolute value. They review “Applied Behavior Analysis,” “Task Analysis,” “Visually Cued Instruction,” and “Modeling.” They review techniques including sections on vocational skills, domestic skills, self-care, community, and leisure skills.

The final chapters, “Comprehensive Treatment Packages for ASD: Perceived vs. Proven Effectiveness,” a review of “Pharmacotherapy,” completes the work.

Clinical Assessment and Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorders offers an important foundation for those wanting to ground themselves in evidenced- based information in this essential area of clinical practice and research.

Editor’s note: An expert in mental retardation, autism, and severe emotional disorders in children and adolescents, Dr. Johnny Matson has produced 600+ publications including 37 books. Among many duties, he is Editor-in-Chief for Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders (Oxford England) and Editor-in-Chief for Research in Developmental Disabilities (Oxford, England).


Child & Youth Care Forum


Child-&-Youth-Care-ForumJournal of Research and Practice in Children’s Services

Editor-in-Chief: Carl F. Weems, PhD Springer

Carl F. Weems, PhD, Professor of Psychology at the University of New Orleans, oversees this peer-review, multidisciplinary publication by Springer, Child & Youth Care Forum: Journal of Research and Practice in Children’s Services. Dr. Weems guides a host of experts from around the nation and the world in the Forum’s Editorial Board, including an array of colleagues from the New Orleans area, giving this comprehensive platform for improving the lives of children a clear Louisiana connection.

Contributors and readers in psychology, psychiatry, and social work, as well as those in public policy and government, will find the journal to be a valuable, useable resource. blending theory and applications for all those dedicated to the well-being of youth in today’s world.

This may be one of the most important contributions of Forum, noted Dr. Weems to the Times. “The Journal tries to bridge research and practice in children’s intervention and psychological services broadly,” he said, “while focusing on publishing scientifically excellent empirical papers and theoretical reviews.”

This broad approach is the goal. “We also try to integrate across fields and publish work from developmental psychology, education, medical anthropology, pediatrics, pediatric psychology, psychiatry, school psychology, and social work. So the multi-disciplinary nature of the journal.”

Dr. Weems took over the editorial leadership of the journal in 2009 when Springer Senior Editor Judy Jones asked him to be the Editor. He knew he was filling some big shoes. In his first editorial he explained, “My primary goal as editor is to continue the excellent stewardship that the journal has benefited from since its inception in 1971 with founding editor Jerome Beker (as the Child Care Quarterly, see Beker 1971) and to specifically carry on the publishing initiatives begun by my most recent predecessor Dr. Marc Atkins (a focus on publishing of high quality empirical papers in child services). My hope is that CYCF remain an international, interdisciplinary outlet for publishing high quality empirical papers and theoretical reviews that have implications for child and adolescent intervention and services broadly defined, but to also expand the content.”

At U. of New Orleans, Dr. Weems’ research interests include developmental psychopathology of anxiety and depression. He specifically looks at how to integrate developmental, cognitive, biological and behavioral theories, a perspective that supports his editorial duties on the Forum. He also has looked at severe stress, physiological response, brain development and function. One of his recent publications, “Post traumatic stress, context, and the lingering effects of the Hurricane Katrina disaster among ethnic minority youth,” in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, is an example of this wide-angle viewpoint.

Carl is joined in these goals by R. Enrique Varela, PhD, from Tulane University. Dr. Varela serves as Associate Editor for the Child & Youth Care Forum, and brings his research in development of anxiety in youth, and also a particular emphasis on cultural, familial, and cognitive influences in this process.

Brandon Scott, PhD, from the U. of New Orleans serves as Editorial Assistant. He works closely with Dr. Weems in the Youth and Family Stress, Phobia, and Anxiety Research Lab at UNO, and his current research interests focus on understanding the role of emotion regulatory processes in anxiety-related problems for children and adolescents.

Jody Camps, PhD, from Children’s Hospital New Orleans, and Natalie Costa, PhD, from University of New Orleans also serve on the board. Dr. Costa brings her expertise at investigating why anxiety aggregates in families and the association between parent and child anxiety.

Psychology Chair and Distinguished Professor at UNO, Paul Frick, PhD, is included on the Forum’s Editorial Board. Paul is an international expert in understanding the different pathways through which youth develop severe antisocial behavior.

Tulane’s, Michael Scheeringa, MD, Professor from Tulane Medical School also serves on the Editorial Board.

While the journal seems to enjoy the variety of scientific talents from the New Orleans area, that is only a small part of the overall approach, explained Dr. Weems to the Times. “The Journal is really international in scope,” he said, “members of the board are from the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Britain, Croatia, Sweden, etc. I think local psychologists who are interested in multi- disciplinary knowledge development will be interested.”

Together the experts create a platform to bridge the gap between research and practice, and to give readers a perspective and source for effective practices with children, adolescents, and families. To accomplish this, articles include science about how children and adolescent can overcome difficulties of mental health problems, traumatic stress, negative family dynamics, and community issues such as crime or violence. Another goal is to help “normal children actualize their potential,” as understood from the perspective of positive psychology and other theoretical frameworks.

The February issue included two articles from Louisiana researchers: “Perceptions of Parenting, Emotional Self- Efficacy, and Anxiety in Youth: Test of a Mediational Model,” authored by Laura Niditch and R. Enrique Varela; and, “The Good Enough Home? Home Environment and Outcomes of Young Maltreated Children,” by Neil W. Boris, Sherryl Scott Heller, and Charles H. Zeanah, all of the Tulane U. School of Medicine. And also Janet Rice, Department of Biostatistics, Tulane U. School of Public Health.

The Forum offers free downloads of some of their most popular articles, including the “The Good Enough Home?” article.

Other popular, free articles include: “Exploring the Feasibility and Benefits of Arts-Based Mindfulness- Based Practices with Young People in Need: Aiming to Improve Aspects of Self-Awareness and Resilience,” “Teenagers’ Explanations of Bullying Robert Thornberg,” and “The Play of Children: Developmental Processes and Policy Implications.”

Dr. Weems said, “Next month [April] is a special issue, “Advancing intervention science through effectiveness research: A global


perspective.” We hope to increase the impact of the journal on research and practice and continue publishing scientifically excellent empirical papers and theoretical reviews that have implications for those practicing in the field.”

What is the most rewarding part of his editorial role? “Getting to see research that isn’t yet published and trying to steer a solid course for knowledge development.”

But some of the challenges included, “Finding reviewers who are experts, who will agree to do a review, and who will turn th

eir reviews in on time. A quick turnaround for authors, with fair reviews is essential for a good journal.”

The journal’s goal is to provide the ideas and innovations needed, not simply to resolve children’s problems, but to “foster what is best for child and adolescent’s development and functioning. In other words, to help the child and adolescent actualize and attain their fullest potential.” To this goal, Dr. Weems is looking for important contributions. “We would love to receive submissions from Louisiana psychologists – clinical or researchers– on topics of research and practice in children’s intervention and psychological services,” he told the Times.

The website for Child & Youth Care Forum is: ychology/journal/10566



Chameleon by Dan Dylan (Dr. Dan Lonowski)


Louisiana psychologist Dan Lonowski, working under pen name Dan Dylan, has crafted a realistic, hair-raising psychological thriller in his debut fiction novel, Chameleon.

Chameleon’s protagonist, Dr. John Foster, is a retired FBI profiler who has settled down into a clinical psychology practice. The setting is Chicago and Foster’s typical work involves clinical and forensic psychology. As the story begins Foster is consulted by a young wife regarding her new husband’s disturbing and suspicious behavior. From here Foster and the array of characters are launched into a deadly progresssion of events.

The reader is brought into the inner workings of the villain’s mind, a sociopath named Eddie Vinson, who unravels into a manipulative and violent serial killer. As the events unfold the hero Foster is compelled by his need to help the potential victims, into a lethal game of one-ups-manship with the villain, returning to his FBI training and gritty, street smart past.

Chameleon treats the reader to an insider’s view of the practice of psychology and the frightening realities of a decompensating sociopath who targets the hero.

At the same time, Lonowski is able to describe the background of abuse that is so often part of the cycle of violence, and that leads to the destruction of lives.

The fictional tale is gritty, realistic and suspenseful. The sprinkling of actual psychology practice issues and technology adds flavor and interest. The plot, body count, tension and transition of the hero from office psychologist back to street savvy FBI agent move the story to the finale between the hero and villain

Authentic psychological terminology and practice perspectives offer an interesting viewpoint for suspense fans. The realistic progression and decompensation of the villain into a full blown serial killer, with the back story of how and why a person can cut a swath of human destruction without looking back, is darkly fascinating and clinically accurate.

The story is not for the faint of heart, but for readers who enjoy psychological thrillers this work will engage them in the many layers and levels, and is a commendable offering into this complicated fiction genre.

Dr. Dan Lonowski considered writing in his mid-thirties. But family and work made it impossible, he explained to the Times.

However, in the following years, his practice required literally thousands of reports which forced him to develop his descriptive writing skills, as he reported accurate and authentic descriptions of human nature.

“One ordinary day, a colleague and I shared a conversation about the likelihood of a sociopath

intentionally committing suicide,” he told the Times. “I believed it unlikely that an Antisocial Personality Disordered individual would attempt to end his or her life. I could conceive, however, that he or she might fake suicide as a manipulation to achieve some personal goal, and, perhaps, by accident or miscalculation, death could result. The upshot of that discussion was Eddie Vinson, antagonist, who claimed his place in my imagination. I compared him metaphorically to a chameleon,” said Dan, “hence the title of my novel. Vinson, like other sociopaths I have known, hides in plain sight while committing terrible acts, often violent and deadly ones.”

In writing Chameleon Dan explained that the characters he created took the story forward. “Many authors attest to the fact that their characters take on lives of their own and develop wills that run counter to a carefully crafted plotline,” Dan noted. “Before I began writing, I would have said it couldn’t happen, at least not to me. Well, it happens! The cast of Chameleon came to life, and in many cases, all I had to do was follow where they led. I could ‘hear’ their dialogue, visualize the locations to which they drew me, and, often, I did not end up where I had planned to go. My muse proved to be a spineless creature as the characters simply took over. I have since talked with other authors who reported this same ungovernable influence in their creative writing, an influence that leaves us wondering if the finished work should bear our names.”

One part of the creative process, Dan noted, was brainstorming with wife Lynda. “My editor and wife, Lynda, a.k.a. Dylan, and I spent many an hour brainstorming scenes or characters and their development, and this, too, was a satisfying part of the creative process.”

Dan is about halfway through his second novel, with working title Deadly Eyes. “It is a psychological study

of a voyeur who escalates from benign observations of those around him when a sexual awakening draws him into watching women in their most private moments. His compulsion drives his evolution into a creative and vicious serial killer. At the request of readers, I reprise some of the characters from Chameleon, and introduce intriguing new ones I hope readers will enjoy.”

A third novel is going to be set in a fictional state psychiatric hospital and will capture the comedy that was his clinical psychology internship.

Using the platform of fiction, and by exploring child abuse and its ramifications for individuals and society, Dan hopes to give his readers a small slice of one psychologist’s perspective.

“I have learned so much from the training and experiences gained through my career. I am one of those fortunate individuals who are able to do exactly what they are meant to do. I am thankful for what my profession has taught me about the human condition, from its best to its worst, and now, as I approach retirement, if it is meant to be, I will write every day with two goals in mind. First, to tell a good story, and second, to help my readers gain a realistic understanding of my profession from within – to see from my perspective what it has been like to be an applied clinical psychologist. In thirty-five years, I have been privileged to become a part of people’s lives and, for many, to help them along the road to greater understanding and self-awareness.”

Chameleon is available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and as an e-Book on Kindle and Nook devices and apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, PC, Mac, Blackberry, and Android-based devices. See more about the author with an exclusive excerpt from Chameleon at


Stress Solutions for Pregnant MOMS: How Breaking Free from Stress Can Boost Your Baby’s Potential


by Susan Andrews, PhD Twin

stress-solutions-pregnant-momsSpan Press, 2012

Dr. Susan Andrews has written an essential guide for the pregnant mom about stress and her developing baby.

Dr. Andrews, a New Orleans psychologist, neuropsychologist, and researcher, has captured the essence of a major societal problem and turned the spotlight on it. She draws from theory, research, and application, as well as her own extensive experience, to create this engaging self-help book with an eminently important message: The modern woman who is growing a new child must be aware of and in control of her stress level.

Stress Solutions is a must read for childbearing women of all ages, but also fathers-to-be, grandparents, health psychologists, and physicians seeking to understand the mother’s true wellbeing.

Andrews points to an alarming and dramatic rise in children’s health issues, and shows that while there are many contributing variables, stress is a critical and often unacknowledged risk factor.

“A mounting body of evidence,” she writes, “clearly links sustained high levels of stress and anxiety during pregnancy to many of today’s major issues of birth and childhood, such as low birth weight and preterm birth, difficulty coping in emotional situations, learning disabilities, attention deficit, and childhood anxiety.”

She clarifies that the issues are not simple cause-and-effect, but that variables come together in “complex ways to shape the baby’s development in the womb.” Pointing to research she explains that the risk factor for stress may be as serious or more so than those associated with smoking or alcohol.

“I realized that everyone intuitively senses that prenatal stress might affect the baby,” she said to the Times, “but few really understand how. When I investigated how stress affects the unborn, I discovered a huge number of very credible research studies stating that high levels of stress do indeed affect the term length of pregnancy, the weight of the child as well as their physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development.”

Stress Solutions puts into the hands of the reader the power to influence their own and their babies’ health.

Andrews’ writing also offers a pleasing subtext, a woman’s book written by a woman. Her voice is authoritative, kind, and encouraging–but also firm. Like the tribal wise woman, she explains to us what’s at stake, and it is momentous. But she is also there to teach, encourage, and guide. She lightens the tone at times with a spoonful of sugar here and there, touches of wisdom, humor and well-chosen metaphors.

For example, she strategically places the phrase, “Now is a good time for a relaxation break,” at various points in the text. Andrews knows her cognitive psychology. The message sticks to your mind as if covered in Velcro.

A Chinese proverb warns, “That the birds of worry and care fly over your head, this you cannot change; but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.” Nests in your hair? That sticks too.

An image from Pooh mirrors how many modern women approach stress without saying it. “Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it.

Dr. Andrews’ A-B-C Formula is ingenious. She engages the reader seamlessly in a simple, practical treatment plan, by using baseline assessments of stress and of relaxation activities. She shows the reader how to calculate the “deficit” in relaxation efforts, and then lays out a comprehensive set of behaviors to fill that gap.

“As a treating clinician,” she said, “I recognized that presenting a problem of this magnitude without a solution to it, would only compound the problem. And, in fact, that might have been one of the reasons no one had presented the information in a public format.”

“I came up with the A-B-C Formula for Stress Reduction in a stroke of insight one morning watching the morning unfold with a cup of coffee. The Formula provides a way to measure and become more consciously aware of your daily stress. I realized that it is so important that pregnant women pay close attention to extra stress and to reducing it when it builds up and that most pregnant women would do just that if they realized how important it is to the health and potential development of their unborn child.”

Stress Solutions is a well-structured text, combining the latest scientific findings in Part One, “Stress and Your Pregnancy.” While leaving some wiggle-room, Andrews pulls no punches about the significance of the topic, showing how stress affects the mother-to-be and also the alarming new evidence that a pregnant woman’s stress level can affect her child for years to come. Part One is both educational and motivational.

Andrews also points out a “dangerous misperception of stress.” She explains in the annual APA study on stress, 30 percent rated their stress as extreme, 52 percent complained of fatigue and sleep problems, and 65 percent to irritability. However, Andrews points out that 81 percent still believe they are handling stress well, a “glaring contradiction,” she notes.

Part Two, “The Stress Solutions Formula,” introduces the steps and components that go into the complete stress monitoring and stress-lowering plan of the book.

“… the Formula is a lot like the point system of Weight Watchers,” Andrews said to the Times. “First, you start by measuring your Baseline level of stress before you became pregnant. Second, you add your daily stresses and hassles as they occur. Third, you subtract a constant because some stress is normal. Then, the system gives credit points for ways that people already normally use to relax and reduce stress, in the Resource Manual. And lastly, the Formula tells you how many relaxation credit points the mom should try to earn to reduce their stress by the end of the day.”

Dr. Andrews provides the “Baseline Stress Level Scale,” and “Daily Hassles Worksheet.” The section gives easily digestible information with tables such as “ Factors That Prevent Our Nervous System from

Returning to Balance,” “Six Factors That Can Affect Your Baseline Stress Level,” and a variety of case studies. She includes a chapter on how sound and music can lower stress, anxiety, and cortisol.

Part Three, “The Stress Solutions Resource Guide,” lays out the treatment component of the Formula, allowing the reader to create her own personal plan for lowering stress. In her “Directory of Resources,” she describes activities for breathing, music, mental such as prayer or meditation, physical such as yoga, biofeedback, and pampering, like naps and massage. Each is given a rating and a number of “Relaxation Points,” and folds into the overall stress reduction plan, nicely wrapping up the program for the reader.

How did Dr. Andrews decide to write Stress Solutions? “For years,” she said, “I had been interested in the results of a study that was conducted in 1991-2 in Paris. The study showed that a specific program of listening to music through headphones reduced the stress of labor and raised the apgar scores of the children who had a more normal average birth weight. Early in their development, the children were found to have better social skills and a more easy-going temperament than their siblings.” She asked why and that got her thinking.

The topic is so critical that Dr. Andrews is planning a workbook to accompany the text, and after that a book

perhaps for youngsters. “I think that there needs to be a guide to help the children who are challenged by stress, worry, and anxiety,” she explained.

Dr. Susan Andrews is in full time practice in Metairie where she is Senior Partner at Neuropsychological and Psychological Services for Children, LLC. She is also Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at LSU Health Sciences Center, Department of

Medicine and Psychiatry, and Clinical Coordinator and Neuropsychologist at Center for Head Injury Rehabilitation, East Jefferson General Hospital. She received her first PhD in Child Psychology from Tulane, and did a full retraining in Clinical Psychology at U. of Southern Mississippi. She headed a grant for Parent-Child Development for ten years and then managed the replication of the work for the national level, as Research Coordinator from the Bank Stress College of Education in New York City.


Dr. Andrews writes a blog and answers questions on her website at

Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders

International Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders


Autism and Pervasive Developmental DisordersJohnny L. Matson and Peter Sturmey Editors
Springer, 2011
Dr. Johnny Matson, distinguished research master and director of clinical training in the LSU Psychology Department, together with colleague Dr. Peter Sturmey from Queen’s College in New York, has once again gathered his extensive community of experts together, this time to produce the International Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders. The Handbook is part of Springer’s Autism and Child Psychopathology Series, also edited by Dr. Matson.
Thousands of new research articles and papers appear yearly about etiology, assessment, and treatment of autism and related disorders, making it nearly impossible for the conscientious clinician to stay current or the research scientist to cover all bases in this explosion of information.
“The field of ASD is moving rapidly and so an effort that provides a broad overview … is the major contribution to the field,” Dr. Matson told the Times about the Handbook.
“… while there have been other handbooks on this highly visible topic most have largely been from a medical perspective,” he said. “Given that most of the research and clinical advances to date have been on psychological assessment and treatment we thought a book taking that approach filled a big gap in the literature.”
The International Handbook meets this goal easily, providing expert analysis of current findings and a comprehensive, up-to-date review of the growing volume of information that readers will appreciate.
As is his style, Matson and his contributors provide clear, solid information in applied psychological science, thoroughly gathered, reviewed, and synthesized. He and his editors and authors lay the information before the reader in digestible subtopics with clear theoretical connections.
Psychologists, psychiatrists, researchers, behavior analysts, educators – will all find this work indispensible, whether they diagnose, treat, or research new questions in this demanding and sometimes confusing area of science and practice.
For those who like books, the International Handbook is a treasure chest. Matson draws on his decades of expertise and connections in the national and global scientific community. He brings together a who’s who of experts and 80 contributors from across the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and others including Norway, Ireland, Israel, Sweden, Italy, Japan and New Zealand.
Contributors are not only multicultural but come from a variety of disciplines. Psychology, psychiatry, psychobiology, neurobiology, behavior analysis, occupational therapy, and nursing are included among the experts.
The writing is straightforward and clear, even considering the heavy lifting that comes with a comprehensive coverage of this topic, through 33 chapters and with over 500 pages. There is very little waffling even with highly complex issues. Ongoing clarifications or controversies are presented clearly.
A wealth of references is included, but not so many as to weight down the reasoning of the narrative or to become meaningless. Chapters are surprisingly consistent in style and tone, given the variety of authors. The Handbook can serve as a reference book for those well versed in the subject of autism, or as a thorough training text for those who are filling gaps in their information base.
The International Handbook is divided into three sections, beginning with the overview, history, and background. Part II is “Nosology and Etiology,” and serves as the preparatory and theoretical section, and gives an emphasis to applied research, critical background concepts, and theoretical subjects.
Part III includes the science and practice of assessment and 15 chapters on treatment, even though part three is named assessment.
Included is “Prevalence and the Controversy” where authors review the methodology and challenges in estimating prevalence. They explain the differences between prevalence and incidence, and discuss controversies surrounding the different ways of judging the changing rates of autism, an insightful look at variations in rates, and the impact of public awareness.
Also in the first section is a chapter addressing the overlap of “Autism Spectrum Disorders and Intellectual Disability.”
Part II opens with “The Genetics of Autism.” The chapter fulfills the promise to “… make the fast-paced, expanding field of the genetics of autism accessible to those practicing who help children …” The authors accomplish this well by providing an overview of genetics, and blending with research on autism.
The section also includes, “Behavioural, Biopsychosocial, and Cognitive Models of Autism Spectrum Disorders,” a review of the models linking biology and behavior in explaining autism, including “Theory of Mind Hypothesis,” “Executive Dysfunction Hypothesis,” and “Weak Central Coherence Hypothesis.”
Dr. Dennis Dixon, a PhD from the LSU program, now the director at the Center from Autism Related Disorders in Tarzana, California, opens Part III with “Early Detection of Autism Spectrum Disorders.” Dixon and coauthors note that early detection is essential for treatment and review assessment tools needed for this important goal.
LSU authors Julie Worley and Johnny Matson review the major assessment tools and their psychometric properties in “Diagnostic Instruments for Core Features of ASD,” Chapter 13. They provide a detailed list and review 29 instruments including limitations and uses.
Chapters in a variety of treatment topics include understanding moderators of treatment outcomes, fad therapies, physically active living, and self-injurious behavior.
The book concludes with, “Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder,” LSU doctoral candidates Sara Mahan and Alison Kozlowski walk the readers through the less common topic of adults with ASD, explaining challenges and issues in quality of life and independence.
Editors Matson and Sturmey acknowledged LSU’s Julie Worley and Alison Kozlowski for assistance in manuscript preparation, both who were also contributors.
“This book has 33 chapters since it was a handbook. As a result there was a lot more coordination needed due to length,” Dr. Matson explained to the Times. “Also, the book is international in authorship and allowed us to work with colleagues from around the globe. It was a very interesting and enjoyable task and will hopefully prove to be an aid to professionals in the field.”
Dr. Johnny Matson is an expert in mental retardation, autism, and severe emotional disorders in children and adolescents. He has produced 600+ publications including 37 books. Among many duties, he is Editor-in-Chief for Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders (Oxford England), Editor-in-Chief for Research in Developmental Disabilities (Oxford, England), and series editor for Springer’s Autism and Child Psychopathology Series, of which the International Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders is a part.
His career has been dedicated to improving the lives of children.
Available at
Options include hardcover, eBook, and MyCopy


Social Behavior and Skills in Children Johnny L. Matson, Editor


Springer, 2009
In Social Behavior and Skills in Children, premier scientist and LSU Professor and Distinguished Research Master, Dr. Johnny Matson, brings together a slate of experts to explain the science and practice of helping youngsters with problems to strengthen their social behavior. Matson and his contributors unfold a wealth of information in theory, research, and practical advice to support both the clinician and researcher to update and focus thinking in this complex and essential topic.
Matson has a gift for coordinating interesting, authoritative sources. In Social Behavior he draws from experts at Louisiana State University, from the Center for Autism and Related Disorders in California, from the Universities of Kansas, Southern Illinois, Southern Mississippi, Southeastern Louisiana, Virginia, Texas at Austin, Central Florida, and Universities in New Zealand and Italy.
Among this group are Louisiana State University’s Jessica Boisjolie, Dr. Thompson Davis, III, Timothy Dempsey, Jill Fodstad, Melissa Munson, Tess Rivet, and Erin Tarcza from LSU, and Dr. Monique LeBlanc from Southeastern.
Also contributing are Dr. Rebecca Mandal-Blasio and Dr. Karen Sheridan from the Louisiana Office of Citizens
with Developmental Disabilities, Resource Center on Psychiatric and Behavior Supports, in Hammond, Louisiana.
Dr. George Schreiner from Northlake Supports and Services Center in Hammond, and lecturer at Southeastern,
is also a coauthor.
Dr. Matson is an expert in mental retardation, autism, and severe emotional disorders in children and
adolescents, with over 600 publications including 37 books. In Social Behavior he provides the underlying
connections between theory and research, general practice, and then applies this foundation in eight specific
diagnostic groupings.
Children who suffer with learning disabilities, ADHD, conduct disorders, anxiety, depression, chronic physical
illness such as diabetes or and other disabilities, may need specific help to function socially in school, with
friends, with family, and to move smoothly in social adjustment toward adulthood. Social Behavior addresses how
these deficits in social skills can impact quality of life and future development of a youngster.
The 13 chapters provide an in-depth study of the topic of social behavior and social skills, not always covered
adequately in texts about mental or physical disorders.
Previously Dr. Matson said to the Times, “Writing is rewarding in the sense that it assists in allowing for the
review of empirically supported evidence and the concise delivery of this information to professionals in the field.”
Social Behavior will help ensure that practitioners have the newest information supported by scientific findings.
Dr. Thompson Davis, agrees. Coauthor of the chapter on anxiety and phobias, he is Director of the Psychological Services for Youth Clinic and of the Laboratory for Anxiety, Phobia, and Internalizing Disorder Studies at LSU. He told the Times, “I always enjoy the opportunity that chapter writing provides of getting an updated in-depth review of a topic. I learn a lot by having to then turn around, digest the information, and do my best to present it in a concise and usable form for others.”
One of the satisfying aspects of Social Behavior is the logical structure and consistency that flows from chapter to chapter, despite the variety of topics and different authors’ perspectives. The structure facilitates the readers’ thinking about the subject, defining the concepts, applying the available evidence, analyzing gaps and directions, and linking practice recommendations to both assessment and treatments.
Whether a practitioner or researcher, the reader will easily be able to update knowledge in this rapidly evolving area, and have on hand a comprehensive and relevant review of the literature.
Yet there is ample practical advice and information. Social Behavior provides 48 norm-referenced measures of social skills and an array of evidence- based interventions with critiques.
Dr. Matson has authored more than 37 books and his way of handling complex theoretical and technical matters is to produce cleanly written and logically organized volumes. Social Behavior meets this goal by capturing a record amount of information in a concise 13 Chapters without unnecessary tangents or bloated narrative.
In “History and Overview,” Chapter 1, authors define applicable concepts and review the progression and evolution of the science over time. Authors provide the scope of the field, an overview of assessment and treatment, and the current state of research. Dr. Monique LeBlanc, Assistant Professor at Southeastern Louisiana University helped coauthor the chapter.
In Chapter 2, “Theories of Social Competence from the Top-Down to the Bottom-Up: A Case for Considering Foundational Human Needs,” authors untangle the theoretical issues further in an intriguing review, including sections on “meta-theoretical lens” and “resource control theory,” an evolutionary based theory of social competence.
“Etiology and Relationships to Developmental Disabilities and Psychopathology” comes next. The
authors, including Dr. Sara Jordan of U. of Southern Mississippi, point out how social skills problems are related to a variety of developmental and psychological disorders experienced by youngsters.
LSU’s Jessica Boisjoli and Johnny Matson author Chapter 4, “General Methods of Assessment.” They provide a comprehensive review of current methods for assessing social skills, along with supporting evidence, current trends, and future directions.
“General Methods of Treatment,” Chapter 5, is authored by LSU’s Timothy Dempsey and Johnny Matson. They provide an overview of the guiding theory for social skills interventions, including the methodological issues in current research. Results of meta-analysis of outcome studies is included and also an explanation of “social validity,” a way of understanding the value of interventions.
Chapter 6 is “Challenging Behaviors.” This chapter is coauthored by Dr. Rebecca Mandal-Blasio and Dr. Karen Sheridan, both from the Louisiana Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities. Dr. George Schreniner is also a coauthor. Authors examine how challenging behaviors such as aggression, property destruction, or self-injury, for example, are related to social skills deficits, including acquisition deficits, performance deficits, fluency deficits, and interfering behaviors. They review functional assessment and interventions.
In Chapter 7, “Social Skills in Autism Spectrum Disorder,” authors define concepts and provide an overview of interview and observation scales that are useful in measuring social skills in this population. They include the Children’s Social Behavior Questionnaire, the PDD Behavior Inventory, The Social Responsiveness Scale, and Matson Evaluation of Social Skills with Youngsters. Coauthors also review an array of skills addressed by interventions, including social initiation, conversational behavior, sociodramatic play, reciprocal interactions, perspective taking, and others.
For Chapter 8, authors review the current scientific status of “Intellectual Disability and Adaptive-Social Skills.” They provide 11 specific examples of interventions with associated evaluations, including “A program to promote adaptive (leisure) engagement and improve mood in children with severe/profound intellectual and other disabilities” and also “A program to reduce sleep problems in children with mild-to- severe intellectual disability.”
In Chapter 9, “Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder,” authors provide an overview with current definitions, assessment methods, and interventions for social behaviors deficits in youngsters with ADHD. They include a section on “Novel Directions for Treatment,” and explain “friendship interventions,” interventions for peer rejection that focus on the peers, and new strategies for cooperative learning in classrooms.
Chapter 10 is “Evidence-Based Methods of Dealing with Social Deficits in Conduct Disorder.” Authors outline diagnostic criteria, etiology, assessment issues, and treatment including a section on prevention.
LSU’s Dr. Thompson E. Davis, III, collaborates with coauthors Melissa Munson, and Erin Tarcza, for Chapter 11, “Anxiety Disorders and Phobias.” The authors note that numerous anxiety disorders and phobias in children can interfere with social, school and family relationships, including discrimination and even victimization. They explain that little attention has been paid to social behavior in anxiety-disordered children outside of social phobia, and provide information on etiology, prevalence, and social skill problems that are unique to this population. They provide an appealing definition of anxiety, current theory, research, assessment, and treatments, calling for a multi-level approach.
Dr. Davis told the Times, “I hope this chapter helps in establishing the social context surrounding anxiety disorders, and that it emphasizes the reciprocal social influences children and adults have on each other–for the alleviation or, unfortunately, exacerbation of anxiety problems.”
In Chapter 12, “Major Depression,” LSU’s Jill Fodstad and Johnny Matson, point out that at one time experts thought children did not experience depression and write “serious psychological disturbance that affects a large number of children,” must not be taken lightly. The complex nature of depression, they note, requires the clinician to take into account etiological variables, and “skill set, competence, developmental level, and needs of the client…” It is not a one-size fits all problem, the authors say, and recommend a broad- based, multi-method assessment approach. They review biological, environmental and psychosocial factors, and present an extensive review of available assessment methods.
Social Behavior and Skills in Children concludes with Chapter 13, “Medical and Physical Impairments and Chronic Illness,” by Tessa Rivet and Johnny Matson of LSU. They define chronic physical childhood conditions and review theoretical models for psychosocial adjustment. They outline the impact of these illnesses and physical disabilities on social skills, psychosocial development, risk, resilience and provide extensive information for assessment, including a compilation of studies of social functioning of children with asthma, cancer, cardiac conditions, cerebral palsy, craniofacial conditions, epilepsy, hearing loss, HIV, and others.
This excellent work is available at Springer ( and at online booksellers everywhere.


Pediatricians and Pharmacologically Trained Psychologists: A Practitioner’s Guide to Collaborative Treatment George M. Kapalka


In this edited text about how pharmacologically trained psychologists work with pediatricians, editor Dr. George Kapalka, a clinical psychologist and associate professor from Monmouth University in New Jersey, weaves a tapestry of ideas from a variety of psychologists across the nation, including a number from Louisiana. He and his contributors demonstrate that whether in prescribing or non-prescribing states, psychologists can collaborate with pediatricians and other primary care physicians to deliver the best and highest quality care to children and adolescents.
“I’m really quite thrilled to have such a breath and depth of contributions,” Dr. Kapalka told the Times. In Practitioner’s Guide authors provide a rich variety of perspectives, information, experiences, and case studies. They write in different voices, from different views of the patient and from different perspectives of practice, all woven together by a solid structure from the editor.
“One of the biggest challenges was to pull it all together and get the consistency,” George said. Practitioner’s Guide is nicely organized into four main themes starting with Part I, “Foundations of Collaborative Care,” followed by “Collaboration in Specific Settings.” Part III is “Collaboration for Specific Disorders,” and the text concludes with Part IV, “Future Directions.”
Who’s Writing What?
Any reader should find something of value in this volume, from those who wish to learn more about collaboration, to those trained in pharmacology who want to help the primary care physician with choices, to those with RxP who have responsibility for prescribing. “It was a really rewarding project,” George Kapalka told the Times, “because I think the end product is a good volume with some superb contributions, including those from some people from Louisiana.”
“I wanted to show that in states where we do not prescribe, we can still make very meaningful contributions,” George said, who has Level 3 training in psychopharmacology. He has found that physicians are “quite appreciative of the dimensions that we can bring.”
In his balanced and cogent preface, Dr. Kapalka lays out the rationale for pharmacological treatment with children, showing that “many factors may contribute to the decision to utilize pharmacological approaches in conjunction with or instead of psychotherapy,” including severity, speed of improvement, time and effort required to participate in psychotherapy, expense, and limitations from insurance.
In Chapter 1, “Psychology, Psychopharmacotherapy, and Pediatrics: When to Treat and When to Refer,” Dr. Marc Muse, who has practiced in Maurepas, Louisiana, and who is now residing in Maryland, and his coauthors provide an algorithm for deciding who, and at what point, should be involved for various conditions. “I enjoyed working with my coauthors,” Mark said, “a pediatrician and a neuropsychologist. I believe in, and practice, integrated services, and so collaborating with adjacent specialties is always a learning opportunity.” Mark has a book in production with John Wiley & Sons, Handbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for Psychologists.
Chapter 2,“Collaboration Between Pharmacologically Trained Psychologists and Pediatricians: History and Professional Issues,” concludes Part I. Part II, begins with Chapter 3 “The Clinical Experience of RxP- Trained Psychologists Working in Non-RxP States.”
Dr. Darlyne Nemeth co-authors Chapter 4, “The Practice of Medical Psychology in an RxP State: New Opportunities for Comprehensive Pediatric Care,” along with physician Dr. Sandra Franz a pediatrician for Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center’s Pediatric Residency Program, Dr. Emma Kruger, physician and founder of the Metabolic Anti-Aging Center in Baton Rouge, and Maydel Schexnayder, MS, certified rehabilitation counselor and Vocational Rehabilitation District Supervisor.
The authors outline the collaborative process from the medical psychologist’s perspective, the pediatrician’s perspective, and from the parent’s perspective, and point out that collaboration greatly reduces the need for pediatric primary care appointments. “It is the responsibility of the medical psychologist to determine if medication is really necessary,” the authors say, by fully analyzing family dynamics, unconscious expectations, comorbidities, developmental problems trauma, concurrent medical conditions, and adverse reactions.
“What I like best about this chapter,” Darlyne told the Times, “is that it emphasizes that a medical psychologist is first and foremost a psychologist […] that all aspects of behavior are analyzed before medication is utilized with children.” […] But, when necessary, the medical psychologist can prescribe, monitor, and titrate the most effective medication for the child and help the family with behavioral change.” She said, “…I truly attempted to gather together authors who represented the real world and who would give meaningful thought/perspective to the project. It was wonderful to work with such talented people.”
Chapter 5 covers “Integrated Care in Rural Settings” followed by “Collaborate Practice with Pediatricians Within the Indian Health Service: Taking Care of Frontier Children,” coauthored by Dr. Kevin McGuinness, is licensed in Louisiana. He currently is a clinical and clinical health psychologist, and medical psychologist working in rural New Mexico.
Louisiana medical psychologist Dr. John Courtney authors Chapter 7, “The Practice of Medical Psychologist in a Pediatric Hospital Setting: A Personal Account from an RxP State.” John describes the inpatient medical psychology consultation, writing, “The hospital setting presents the medical psychologist with a number of unique challenges.” And, “…despite psychology’s long battle to discourage dualism (mind vs. body), this splitting of patients based upon their functional and physical symptoms is more common than not.”
Part III focuses on specific disorders and begins with Chapter 8 by Dr. Kapalka, “Collaborative Treatment of Disruptive and Mood Disorders.” Chapter 9 is “Collaboration Between Pediatricians and Pharmacologically Trained Psychologists in the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders in Pediatric Patients.” The section continues with Chapter 10, “Collaborative Treatment of Eating Disorders,” followed by, “Collaborative Treatment of Medical Disorders: The Management of Diabetes.”
Lindsay Clendaniel, PhD, pediatric psychologist at Children’s Hospital in N.O., who specializes in treating children with gastrointestinal disorders and pain-related illness, coauthors chapter 12, “Collaborating with Pediatricians and Gastroenterologists: A Biopsychosocial Approach to Treatment of Gastrointestinal Disorders,” with Dr. Paul Hyman, physician and Professor of Pediatrics at LSU and Chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology at Children’s, and Dr. John Courtney, Director of Psychology at Children’s are coauthors.
Authors explain GI tract symptoms for youngsters, outlining the complex and sometimes circular ways that the mind and body can trigger problems. “An important aspect of care in pediatric gastrointestinal disorders is the brain-gut interaction,” the authors note. “The connection between physiological and psychological factors can be seen within the GI tract.”
Part IV on begins with “Brain Markers: An Emerging Technology with Potential to Enhance Collaboration Between Pediatricians and Pharmacologically Trained Psychologists.” Chapter 14 follows, “Internships and Fellowship experiences: Preparing Psychology Trainees for Effective Collaboration with Primary Care Physicians.”
Ms. Traci Olivier, doctoral student at Nova Southeastern University Center for Psychological Studies, authors Chapter 15, “The New Face of Psychology Predoctoral Training: Psychopharmacology and Collaborative Care.”
Traci sets out a sample curriculum for students who want to pursue psychopharmacological training and describes core values for training in the practice of consultation and collaboration, highlighting the importance of integrated care.
She explained to the Times that she spoke at an APA symposium because her mentor, Dr. Nemeth urged involvement in professional organizations. “I spoke from a student’s perspective about how prescriptive privileges impact training,” Traci said. “After the presentation, an editor from National Psychologist asked me if I would write an article based on my presentation,” When George Kapalka read the article, he asked her to contribute to Practitioner’s Guide. She emphasizes the important of networking to all other students.
The section and text concludes with “RxP Training Informs the Practice of Supervision of Nonpharmacologically Trained Mental Health Practitioners.”
Practitioner’s Guide provides a wealth of ideas and information for all levels of clinical and collaborating psychologists, for those who treat, consult, or prescribe.

sports hypnosis

Sports Hypnosis In Practice Scripts, Strategies and Case Examples


by Joseph Tramontana, PhD
Crown House Publishing, July 2011
“Do just once what others say you can’t do and you will never pay attention to their limitations again.”—James R. Cook
-from Sports Hypnosis, Appendix “Affirmations”

Sports Hypnosis In Practice, by Dr. Joseph Tramontana, is a delightful, candid and enormously useful book for clinicians working with athletes. Licensed clinical psychologist, and one time runner, sprinter and coach, Dr. Tramontana applies his clinical skills and imagination to the mental side of sports. He weaves together hypnotherapy techniques, elements from the culture of competitive athletics, and specific directions for uncovering meaningful personal imagery, to help athletes improve their performance.

Dr. Tramontana accomplishes this within a solid base of classical hypnotherapy technique and multi-level communications for unlocking potential. He writes in a direct, genuine, and first person style that lends itself to an appreciation to this interesting sub-specialty. He includes a variety of ideas in story-telling, interviews, affirmations, quotes, books, and movies that help with the process and enlivens the text for the reader.

“What I especially enjoy about working with athletes, young or older,” Joe explained to the Times, “is their extremely high motivation to improve.” Joe’s enjoyment of sports culture and his concern for the athletes emerge clearly in the text.

“… I find it to be a fun and exciting sub-area of my general psychological practice,” he writes in the Introduction. “Typically athletes are not coming to see me because of psychological disturbance; rather they are seeking self- improvement in their sport.”

“…The progress, gains, and successes are often quick, dramatic, and measurable,” he notes, a situation that makes this work a satisfying, upbeat area of clinical practice.

In Sports Hypnosis Dr. Tramontana provides specific directions and scripts, showing the reader how to modify techniques and suggestions for particular sports or particular athletes.

For instance, he explains the difference in the mental approach of a tennis player, who keeps moving, to that of a competitive golfer who has more than enough time to dwell on a mistake. The golfer “has more time to think between shots. If the previous shot was a bad one, this thinking can involve grappling with self-doubt, anxiety, fear of failure, and tension.”

In another example, Joe presents a case with a young gymnast who had fallen and who finds it impossible to perform the same move unless her coach is near the bar. “Hypno- projection was then utilized to review performing the skills perfectly in the past (age regression),” Joe writes. “…and then seeing herself doing them perfectly in the future (future projection).” Next, he used scripts involving an approach for “rehearsing future performance.” And finally, “…the client was told to ask the coach to move a little further away each day and to practice these

techniques at home.” In a short time the gymnast was back performing comfortably.

The directions and scripts are enhanced by a set of interviews with coaches and athletes, including Brian Kinchen, former LSU football star and NFL tight end and long snapper. Also included is LSU women’s tennis coach Tony Minnis, LSU’s women’s softball coach, Yvette Girouard, and LSU’s equestrian club team coach, Leaf Boswell.

Sports Hypnosis is complete with scientific links and references, successfully blending with the work of other sports psychology experts, information from researchers in human performance, and important techniques from other hypnotherapists.

As a former competitive runner and sprinter, and also a coach for marathoners, Joe demonstrates his insightful knowledge about the challenges and demands that athletes encounter. He brings together his knowledge of normal personality, clinical insight, and his awareness of the emotional demands that arise in a variety of competitive endeavors, to show how the clinician can uncover the cognitive psychology of the athletes’ beliefs.

Sports Hypnosis will be directly and immediately useful for psychologists trained in clinical hypnosis who want to assist athletes, but it will also be valuable to those who want to better understand the specifics of indirect methods and how hypnotherapists engage the subconscious to help clients overcome personal obstacles.

The design of the book begins with a crisp but complete “Introduction,” providing background and scientific context for applications. In Chapter 1, “Overview of Hypnotic Approaches with Athletes,” Joe outlines the techniques he uses for trace induction and deepening, imagery, and techniques for specific suggestions for athletes.

For instance, he describes “The elevator,” “The practice effect and generalization effect,” and “Efficiency and effectiveness.” Also included is “Alert and open eye hypnosis,” a technique essential for athletes. In later chapters he describes techniques such as “World Class Visualizer,” and “Space Travel Meditation.”

He clarifies how self-hypnosis is used for homework and explains the use of story-telling and “Inspirational stories.” He reviews how issues with low self- esteem, self-sabotage, or other emotional issues may need to be discovered in sections on “Uncovering” and “Reframing.”

Chapters 2 through 9 address specific sports, beginning Chapter 2, “Golfers” followed by Chapter 3, “Track and Field Athletes: Sprinters, Distance Runners, and High Jumpers,” and Chapter 4, “Gymnastics and Cheerleaders.”

In Chapter 5, “Equestrians: Show Jumping,” Joe reviews his work with a female equestrian who reported feedback of a “slow motion” effect following hypnotherapy, allowing her to feel as though she had extra time to mentally prepare. “

In “The US Big Three: Football, Baseball, and Basketball,” Chapter 6, Joe interviews Brian Kinchen, tight end for LSU, the Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Raves, and Carolina Panthers. Kinchen became the deep snapper for the New England Patriots and snapped the winning field goal in the team’s Super Bowl victory.

Chapter 7, “Softball (Fast Pitch), Chapter 8 on “Tennis,” and Chapter 9

covering “Volleyball, Soccer, Olympic Shooting, Cycling, and Rugby,” completes the review of specific sports.

Dr. Tramontana shifts gears in Chapter 10 to give a review of “Recovering from Injury and Returning to Training and Competition,” which includes hypnotic techniques to enhance recovery after surgery or injury.

“My work with pain patients–I currently work one day per week in a pain management clinic and am referred to as their ‘pain psychologist’– dovetails nicely with working with athletes who have overuse or injury- related pain,” Joe noted.

Chapter 11, “Substance Abuse and Other Addictive Behaviors,” builds on his clinical expertise of working with additive behaviors.

Sections on “Affirmations” and on “Books and Movies,” are given in the Appendix, and complete this engaging, upbeat and very usable book.

Dr. Joseph Tramontana is in private practice in Baton Rouge, and is also a Psychological Consultant to DDS. Additionally, he serves as the “Pain Psychologist” at Southern Pain & Anesthesia, in Metairie. He also sees clients monthly in Pass Christian, MS. He has served as Director of the North Mississippi Mental Health and Retardation Center. He belongs to the Southern Pain Society and the Mississippi Pain Society, the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (for whom he has served as a faculty member), and the Association of Applied Sports Psychologists. He is a member of APA, the Louisiana and Mississippi Psychological Associations. Dr. Tramontana was recently elected to the Louisiana Psychological Association Executive Council and is Chairperson of the Public Affairs Committee and of the Elections Committee.

He is presenting a workshop in September (2011) at the annual meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, an international organization, held this year in New Orleans.

Sports Hypnosis is his second book. His first is Hypnotically Enhanced Treatment for Addictions, also published by Crown.





Dr. Melinda Sothern’s “Trim Kids” Program


What do Oprah Winfrey, “Good Morning America,” the BBC, New York Times, USA Today and Ladies Home Journal have in common? They have all interviewed Dr. Melinda Sothern about her breakthrough translational research on childhood obesity and her Trim Kids Program. The nationwide media interest keeps growing, with Sanjay Gupta, the Washington Post, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Nicholodeon, and Radio Disney all featuring Dr. Sothern and her book Trim Kids.

Trim Kids: The Proven Plan that has Helped Thousands of Children Achieve a Healthier Weight, is authored by Dr. Sothern, Heidi Schumacher and Dr. T. Kristian Von Almen, and continues to be the gold standard for kids and families, helping any child, any age, anywhere to reach a healthier weight.

The Trim Kids Program continues to be acknowledged and replicated. It is considered a research-tested intervention program by the National Cancer Institute and received the 2007 US Surgeon General Award for community dissemination into YMCA centers. This was only one of a long list of awards and citations, the most recent of which was the Oded Bar Or Award for Excellence in Pediatric Obesity Research, The Obesity Society, Pediatric Obesity Section, awarded October 25, 2009.

Dr. Melinda Sothern is tenured Professor in the LSU Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) School of Public Health’s Behavioral and Community Health Science Program. She has worked diligently for decades to develop the program that successfully addresses childhood obesity and diabetes. The media attention may be astonishing, but it is definitely well deserved.

She has come to much of her wisdom about what children need for change through her own experiences. Melinda recalls her childhood as “A tomboy–climbing trees, throwing footballs, always outdoors. All that energy was a challenge to harness during school time,” she said. But, with the help of the good nuns in Houma, Louisiana, she learned to direct her boundless energy and focus on studies throughout the school year.

During summers, she found another outlet, swimming. She was a lifeguard by age 13, a teacher by 14, and a coach of competitive and synchronized swimming by 19. Convinced to major in physical education by her father, she engaged in an extended field experience, “Six years in the Virgin Islands,” she explained. “There were all of these kids on an island, and they didn’t know how to swim.”

She became founder, president and director of the St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Swimming Association. Her swimmers swam in island-wide championships in Puerto Rico, Granada and the Dominican Republic. Next she moved to St. Croix to become the Research and Training Assistant for the MALO Institute with exercise physiologist, Dr. Orjan Madson of Norway and Michael Lohberg of Germany. Their team of swimmers included gold medalists Peter Bergen and Michael Gross among other sports luminaries.

But it wasn’t the superstar athletes who captured Melinda’s heart. It was a group of students whom she met while working during the same period as Athletic, PE and Aquatic Director for Good Hope School in St. Croix.

It was then that Melinda found herself involved in helping her first group of overweight youngsters, developing ideas that were destined to evolve later into a program of national recognition.

While coaching the cheerleading team, several overweight girls tried out at Melinda’s invitation. “Not only didn’t they make the squad,” Melinda related, “people made fun of them – the kids, the judges, even the teachers.”

The next year, Melinda put all the girls into four teams, and arranged the groups so that the top team, the A team, were big sisters to the B team, and they were big sisters to the C team, and so on, 48 girls in all. “These girls were accepted by the group, got individual attention and were learning how to make meaningful change through exercise. They trimmed down, and it was great to see.”

In 1989 after Hurricane Hugo hit, destroying everything in the island, Melinda returned to Nicholls State University to finish her studies. Focused on her academic pursuits, she finished a B.S. in Arts and Sciences in 1990 at the University of New York Regents College and a M.Ed. in Exercise Physiology in 1991 at the University of New Orleans.

She had a “great job as Corporate Health and Fitness Director for Pan American Life Insurance Company,” when she was approached by Dr. Robert Suskind of LSUHSC Pediatrics. Asked if she would work with “overweight kids,” Dr. Sothern immediately took the position of Research Associate in Gastrointestinal Nutrition of the LSU School of Medicine. Becoming an Instructor the next year, she worked with that group until 1997.

“There were doctors from LSUHSC and Children’s Hospital working on the project along with dietitians and psychologists. But none of them were professionals in exercise or the physiology of movement,” she recalls.

“The study that was in place before I joined the team had kids walking two hours a day, trying to burn 500 calories a day – 80% of the participants left that first cohort. These kids weren’t lazy, they were sick.”

She introduced a progressive program of exercise involving 15 overweight children and their families. Beginning with chair aerobics, to help the children gradually build to achieve a healthy state, the groups’ exercise regimens were stratified by obesity level. Red was for severely obese; Yellow for obese; Green for overweight; and Blue for ideal. It took 12 to 24 weeks for the children to move to the next level. The goal for everyone was the Blue level, not unlike the A-Team in St. Croix.

“The nutritional component was initially more restrictive,” Melinda explained. “Low carbohydrate diets could put the students into ketosis, so we modified them to what is similar to the South Beach diet.” From that beginning, the “Trim Kids Pediatric Weight Management Program” would be born.

“In those early days, people just weren’t focused on obesity. Eventually there was an explosion of interest in obesity among children,” Dr. Sothern recalls. “We were leading the pack.”

Having completed her Ph.D. in 1997, Dr. Sothern was appointed Assistant Professor of Research and Director of the Section of Pediatric Obesity Clinical Research at the LSUHSC School of Medicine and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge. She then moved her primary appointment to the Pennington Center, under the direction of Dr. Eric Ravussin, Director of the Health and Human Performance Division.

Senior researchers at Pennington “told me I was a researcher, but that I wouldn’t be a scientist until I had been awarded an NIH RO1 grant,” Dr. Sothern grins. “So, I got two of them.”

While working at the Pennington Center as the Director of the Prevention of Childhood Obesity Laboratory, Dr. Sothern joined Dr. Larry Weber with Tulane University as Co-Primary Investigator and interventionist in his Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls Study with the NIH. She also continued her work as Director of the Pediatric Obesity Clinical Research Section at LSUHSC, splitting her time between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

During this time there was a huge demand for materials from childhood obesity programs. In response, Dr. Melinda Sothern, along with Heidi Schumacher and Dr. T. Kristian Von Almen began writing the text Trim Kids: The Proven Plan that has Helped Thousands of Children Achieve a Healthier Weight. The book came out in 2001, and amid glowing reviews, Trim Kids became the gold standard. “It isn’t a diet book,” she emphasized. “We instruct the reader to work with a nutritionist on a dietary plan that complements the program.”

In 2004 she was asked to come to LSUHSC School of Public Health. “I was delighted to get the call in 2004 from Terry [Dean Elizabeth T.H. Fontham] asking me to join the School of Public Health Faculty,” said Dr. Sothern.

Professor Sothern brings to the school the mentoring experience she has gained from her work as principal and co-principal investigator on 22 grants and contracts totaling well over $20 million. Perhaps as importantly, she brings the patience and insight she gained with her cheerleaders in St. Croix.

“I challenge my students by showing them what they can be in 20 years. I like to raise their curiosity, and give them pieces of the puzzle to work with,” she explained.

As the author of 34 manuscripts in peer reviewed journals, three books, and 28 chapters in texts and peer-reviewed journals, Dr. Melinda Sothern emphasizes thorough review of previous research. “My students begin by exploring the needs of the community and reviewing the literature thoroughly before thinking about an intervention,” she said. “This opens their eyes; they become aware and learn what experts have done in the area.”

“After they know a problem front, back and sideways, then they need to think out of the box – using the theories, but arriving at ideas of interventions that have never been done before.”

“Only then can they clearly define a solution, very specifically thinking about the means they will use to solve the problem, and how to monitor and evaluate an intervention.”

Dr. Melinda Sothern concludes with a smile, “I love teaching – watching the students’ faces when the light bulbs go off on top of their heads.”

For more information about Dr. Sothern’s extensive research, see her CV at:


Your Practicum in Psychology A Guide for Maximizing Knowledge and Competence


Edited by Janet R. Matthews, PhD, ABPP

and C. Eugene Walker, PhD

2006 APA

In Your Practicum in Psychology, Loyola Professor and licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Janet Matthews, along with Oklahoma colleague and coauthor Dr. C. Eugene Walker, provide practical guidance for students in their first mental health field setting. In a conversational, straightforward style, the authors address both theoretical and practical concerns encountered by the novice as he or she enters the applied setting for clinical psychology.

The authors decided to write Your Practicum in Psychology because they found that a wide range of experiences were being offered to psychology students and there was a need for a complete review of both basic information and larger issues impacting this “fundamental and formative educational experience.”

The authors explain in their introduction that students find themselves in all types of service positions in their mental health practicums, yet most instructors were still using a collection of assigned readings and journal reprints, making it difficult to fill gaps and cover information effectively. So, the authors note, “We therefore decided to look at our previous book and then develop one that would be an even better match for the variety of undergraduate courses in this area.”

In eleven chapters, the authors neatly and attractively lay out a complete set of ideas for the practicum student. The writing tone and approach demonstrates empathy and understanding of the students’ perspective that could only come from the authors’ years of supervision of young professionals. Likely situations encountered by students are explained in case examples, helping the student to anticipate, avoid, and resolve the issues.

The chapters are “…analogous to having a guest lecture for each topic,” note the authors. The tone of the work is consistent throughout. The text avoids overloading the neophyte with too much scientific background, but includes a wide array of essential topics in theory, methods, special populations, ethics, and legal.

The topics range from the simple to complex issues encountered by the novice as he or she begins to formulate and build their identity in a helping role. While some of the topics might seem basic, e.g., what to wear, the text is full of nuggets of information and wisdom masquerading as simple concerns. (I remember a practicum of my own where all of us somehow started wearing black, until someone asked, “Where’s the funeral?”) Topics unlikely to be covered elsewhere will be appreciated in this volume, facilitating the student’s transition from classroom to field setting. “Psychology departments train students to become psychologists,” write the authors. This supportive text can help smooth that beginning and allow the student to gain the broadest understanding of their developing role, identity, and the contributions they will eventually make in society.

The textbook benefits from the contributions of three other Louisiana psychologists: Dr. Theresa Wozencraft of the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, Dr. Bruce McCormick of Shreveport, and Dr. Lee Matthews, Janet’s husband also from New Orleans.

In Chapter 1, “How to Maximize Your Training Experience,” Dr. Wozencraft provides the reader practical information on “Discerning Your Training Needs,” and “Major Types of Practice Sites.” Theresa builds on her own research and supervisory experience with students to guide the reader along in sections on “Establishing Yourself in the Practicum,” providing advice on “Taking on New Roles,” where she describes the professional role and the practitioner role in terms young students can understand. She also covers work environments, work relationships, diversity, and the student-supervisor relationship.

Chapter 2, “Characteristics of a Helping Relationship,” is a delightful little chapter about the nature of helping behavior, drawing on the basics of Carl Rogers and Robert Carkhuff. With concise and interesting examples the author quickly makes the distinction between helping communications and those that are less than useful, beautifully illustrating the core skill needed by students and expanding it in “Helping Applied to All Stages of Life.”

Drs. Janet and Lee Matthews coauthor Chapter 3, “Getting Started and Developing Rapport.” In this chapter they provide a frame of reference for entering the applied setting, explaining some of the issues that arise that students can find challenging and confusing. Basic information as in “What Should I Wear,” to more complex problems of “How Do I Build Rapport,” “Being a Participant-Observer,” and “How to Foster Acceptance,” balance the chapter with a knowledgeable view of field settings and the realworld problems that can arise for students.

Chapter 4, “Confidentially and Other Ethical Issues,” provides essentials for new students with descriptive vignettes such as “Deciding Not To Great A Former Patient,” “Duty to Warn or Protect Third Parties,” and sections on multiple roles, boundaries, informed consent, and competence.

Chapter 5, “History of Treatment of People with Mental Illness,” and Chapter 6, “A Review of Psychopathology,” outlines the basic knowledge for students that may be needed in mental health settings.

Louisiana psychologist Dr. Lee Matthews again contributes by authoring Chapter 7, “Psychological Assessment.” In this clear-cut review Lee describes the basics of tests and measurement theory, then looks at the importance, use, and differences between screening and full battery assessments. He provides a review of the most commonly used clinical psychology tests, then moves into a thorough section on psychological screening methods, including mental status exams, attention and concentration tests, intellectual and cognitive tests, achievement tests, mood and personality tests, visual spatial tests, language tests, memory tests, neuropsychological tests, and behavioral tests. He reviews full assessment batteries in the final section.

In a straightforward and well-documented overview authors of Chapter 8, “Interventions: Empirically Supported Treatments,” provide the student with the major diagnostic categories encountered in most field settings and outline treatments that are empirically based and proven to be effective.

Louisiana medical psychologist, Dr. Bruce McCormick, authors Chapter 9, “The Use of Medicine in the Treatment of Mental Disorders.” Bruce lays out the basics and background in the use of psychotropic medicines, noting that these are commonly included in mental health treatment plans. He includes sections on “How Do Medicines Work to Treat Mental Disorders?” and “How Do Medications Affect Nerve Transmissions?” In “What Medications Are Commonly Prescribed for Mental Disorders?” he describes the most common antidepressant, antianxiety, antipsychotic medications, mood stabilizers, and psychostimulants in clear and meaningful terms for the practicum student. A section on the issues regarding the choice of medicine, psychotherapy, or both, completes the chapter.

In Chapter 10, “Special Issues in Working with Children,” highlights important issues for those students who will be placed in field settings with preschool and schoolage youngsters and the complex issues sometimes encountered.

In the final chapter, “Mental Health Professions,” Drs. Janet Matthews and Eugene Walker provide an interesting and positive look at the types and contributions of different mental health professionals. While Your Practicum is aimed for students who will eventually be trained as psychologists, the information about the training and professional activities of psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, psychiatric nurses, creative arts therapists, occupational therapists, and recreational therapists is both interesting and important for those seeking a career in today’s mental and behavioral health services.

Your Practicum in Psychology can be purchased from APA or online booksellers. (Note the correction card that comes with the text on MAOIs.)