MN Psychologist Online

MPA's Rural Conference Goes National and Adds Group Webcast Sites, Requests Posters

October 11, 2013, will be the first day MPA presents a conference with national partners!  Advances in Rural Practice: The Fifth Annual Rural Behavioral Health Practice Conference, still has MPA’s Rural and Greater Minnesota (R&GM) Division as its principal partner.  Other partners are joining us this year:  The Committee on Rural Health of the American Psychological Association, the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education, the Illinois Psychological Association, and the University of Minnesota-Morris Psychology Discipline.

The other big enhancement for the 2013 conference is group webcast sites to facilitate interpersonal networking.  The conference will be available in-person to participants in Morris, MN, and to individuals in their homes or offices, as in previous years.  It will also be available to participants who gather for group webcasts, available in St. Cloud, Fargo, and northern and southern Illinois sites (and perhaps other sites TBA).

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New Member Spotlight: CJ Swanlund

1)     What is your background in psychology (e.g., education)?

I am currently a student in the Psy.D. Program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.  In 2009, I received my B.A. in Communication, a related field, from the College of Saint Benedict.

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APA Praises DOMA Decision as Victory for Science, Human Dignity

The American Psychological Association commended the June 26 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

“The U.S. Supreme Court ruling today overturning the Defense of Marriage Act is a triumph for social science and recognition of the basic dignity of all American citizens,” said APA President Donald N. Bersoff, Ph.D., J.D. “The American Psychological Association is gratified that the court found there is no legitimate reason for denying equal treatment under federal law to same-sex couples.”

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From MPA's President-Elect Steven M. Vincent, Ph.D., L.P. - MPA's Progress Serves and Needs All of Us

In October of this year, Minnesota is scheduled to open its on-line insurance exchange, part of the health care reform measures in the Affordable Care Act that passed Congress in 2009.  They have been working their way through the courts and the regulatory process ever since.  In January, Minnesota will begin its Medicaid (known in Minnesota as Medical Assistance) expansion to cover more people, many of whom have no insurance now—another provision of the Affordable Care Act, also frequently referred to as Obama Care.  MPA’s work at the capitol in St. Paul, in collaboration with many others, helped to provide an increase of 5% in Medical Assistance rates that goes into effect on September 1, 2014.

Also, as I reported last month, MPA’s bill passed in this year’s legislative session, and now psychologists are included with psychiatrists and advanced practice psychiatric nurses as mental health professionals who can be paid by Medical Assistance for providing consultation to primary care providers.  At the same time, Minnesota is working its way towards establishing a structure for Behavioral Health Homes, a version of Healthcare Homes that focuses on serving people with serious and persistent mental illnesses.  Integration of primary care and psychological services are a central tenet of such homes.

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From MPA's President Tabitha Grier-Reed, Ph.D., L.P.

Strategic Updates

I love summer in Minnesota—the biking, the walking, the parks, the trails. For MPA it’s a slower time of year. For this reason at the May Governing Council (GC) meeting, we all agreed to recruit one new member to MPA which currently has over 700 members.

In terms of strategic directions, this June the Executive Committee (EC) followed up on the GC recommendation to develop a financial audit policy for MPA. Consequently, the EC proposed the development of an Audit Committee comprising general members as well as governing MPA members. If this interests you, stay tuned; look out for a call for Audit Committee Members. The July  GC focus is on communications, including outlining a process for proposing new projects.

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Sponsor/Exhibit at the Fifth Annual Rural Behavioral Health Practice Conference

Standard Benefits included in all levels:

  • 8-ft. display table and two chairs
  • Organization name and contact information included in the conference program and on a PDF for webcast participants so webcast participants can call with questions.
  • One free admission to the conference
  • Snacks and lunch

Conference Sponsor – $500

  • Standard Benefits plus organization logo prominently displayed before all speaker sessions
  • Recognition as a conference sponsor at the beginning and end of conference

Lunch Sponsor – $400

  • Standard Benefits plus recognition and organization logo prominently displayed during lunch

Morning and Afternoon Break Sponsor – $300

  • Standard Benefits plus recognition and organization logo prominently displayed during the break

Exhibitor – $200

  • Standard Benefits

Sign up now!

IMPORTANT: Electronic Records

Guidance for Understanding the Minnesota 2015 Interoperable EHR Mandate.

Click to find out more.

MPA's Progress Prepares for Health Care Reform

By Steven M. Vincent, Ph.D., President Elect

For at least two decades we have heard nearly constant discussion about health care reform, to the point that many people have come to doubt that anything substantive is going to happen.   However, among policy makers, pundits and progressive thinkers, health care reform is now seen as inevitable.  In March I wrote about the APA State Leadership Conference which took place in Washington, D.C. from March 9-12 with the theme of “Countdown to Health Care Reform.”  Seventy-five State, Provincial and Territorial Associations, and APA divisions, focused their attention on preparing psychology for reform, with an emphasis on ensuring that our profession will have an important and powerful role in this process.  MPA’s own annual convention on April 5 and 6 took a similar theme, “Surviving and Thriving:  Psychology in the Era of Health Care Reform.”  With the conclusion of the Minnesota State Legislature’s 2013 session on Monday, May 20, MPA can claim real progress preparing the way for psychology’s place in health care reform.

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New Member Spotlight: Miriam Gerber, Psy.D., L.P.

1)    What is your background in psychology (e.g., education)?

I received my M.A. in Personality Psychology from American University in Washington DC in 2004 and completed my Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore in 2009.

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Psychotherapy code changes confuse providers, payers

By Paula E. Hartman-Stein, Ph.D.

January brought changes in the business of psychotherapy with a new family of Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes that are wreaking havoc, and APA underestimated the confusion that would ensue. A Sept. 13 email to members said, “The changes are minimal.”

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The Disaster Response Network

The Disaster Response Network (DRN) is a group of licensed mental health professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to fulfill the mission of the American Red Cross to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.

The DRN was formed in 1992, the result of an agreement between the American Psychological Association and the American Red Cross, with the goal to develop a multi-disciplinary approach to disaster response that included management of traumatic stress.  Today, there are Stress Teams in most states, comprised of an array of mental health professionals who are deployed by the Red Cross as needed.  In general, local teams respond to local crises such as fires and floods, but may be called into service on a national level in the event of a large scale disaster that overwhelms the resources of local or regional chapters.  In addition, the American Psychological Association leadership provides and/or critiques brochures and other materials going to disaster sites.

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My Experience as a Prescribing Psychologist

It was a frigid February day in Grand Marais in 2006 when I received a flyer with a picture of Fort Lauderdale and the Nova Southeastern campus. The flyer was advertising a master’s degree in psychopharmacology created for doctoral level psychologists. It required the students come to  Fort Lauderdale for a 6-day weekend every other month, for two years. It must have been psychologists who thought of sending this flyer to me in Northern Minnesota in the dead of winter.

While the palm trees caught my attention, what kept my interest was gaining further training in psychopharmacology. Due to the remote location of my practice, it was difficult to get psychiatric care for my patients. Instead, I worked with the five local family doctors to obtain psychotropics for my patients. The doctors, by their own reports, did not have advanced training in mental health disorders nor in psychotropic medications. The idea behind obtaining this advanced training was to return back to my community and share the knowledge obtained.

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What is Industrial/Organizational Psychology?

This was the topic of the May 3, 2013 First Friday Forum panel discussion with Harry Brull, M.S., Kraig King, Psy.D, MBA, and Jane Coffey, Psy.D., LP.   Industrial/Organizational Psychology (I/O) applies to individuals and organizational units and involves defining, measuring, and developing the components required to help employees and organizations achieve success.  Although I/O psychology may draw from traditional counseling and clinical practice, the majority of its tools come from other, less well known areas of psychology.   For example, I/O psychology draws heavily from testing and measurement, learning theory, and statistics. However, there are several close parallels between I/O psychology and clinical or counseling psychology.  For example, I/O psychologists occupy positions in academia, within organizations, or as external consultants. While they may be involved in research, or clinical-type activities, much of their focus is on assisting organizations with the human side of their operations – ensuring that personnel are well placed, trained, and motivated to perform capably.

Group Behavior:  It has long been recognized that individuals behave differently in groups than they do alone or in one-on-one situations.  Much of the work done by social psychologists revolve around this fact.  Additionally, being a member of an organization adds another level of complexity:  you now have individuals, groups, and the organization itself.  This aspect of I/O psychology is seen in tasks such as team building (which hopefully helps a group of individuals work more smoothly together), as well as consultation dealing with interpersonal communications.  Often, the skills I/O psychologists draw upon when working with groups closely align with the skills in family or marital counseling.

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Book Review: Getting the Most Out of Clinical Training and Supervision - A Guide for Practicum Students and Interns by Carol A. Falender & Edward P. Shafranske, APA Books

Reviewed by Gary R. Schoener, M.Eq., Licensed Psychologist

This new book from the American Psychological Association is a unique resource. It is, I believe, the first book to instruct trainees on how to get the most out of their supervised experience.

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The Clinical Utility of a Dimensional Classification of BPD - A Literature Review

With the upcoming release of DSM-5, many personality disorder experts have posited the potential success of a dimensional classification system. Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is often at the forefront of discussion because it is the most prevalent personality disorder (Skodol et al., 2002) and individuals with BPD have a notoriously low quality of life (Masthoff et al., 2007). While many propositions for specific dimensional models have been introduced, few have examined the clinical utility of such models, which is a continuing concern of many psychologists and psychiatrists. Through a review of existing literature, with consideration for the major aspects of clinical utility, it is evident that a dimensional model of BPD would improve clinical utility and improve the validity of diagnoses.

The BPD construct has caused significant disagreement among researchers and clinicians. These disagreements include not only the clinical utility of the classification of the disorder but also conceptual issues regarding its classification (Griffiths, 2011). Many researchers assert that any taxonomy of psychological disorders is only practical if appropriate for the clinical settings in which patients’ improvement depends upon the quality of their assessment (First et al., 2004; Verheul, 2005).

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From MPA's President Tabitha Grier-Reed, Ph.D., L.P.: Strategic Directions and Annual Convention Highlights

As promised, I am writing to keep you up-to-date on the strategic directions of MPA. In March, the Governing Council (GC) focused on leadership and governance. This May, the focus was on finances. Shoring up MPA’s financial situation has been a long time coming.

Financial Background

In 2011 MPA was on the brink of insolvency.  The organization went from a sound financial base at the close of 2005 to a dire financial situation by October 2011. An informal audit of MPA records was requisitioned in July of 2011 and highlighted that a continuation of existing Association practices would result in a projected year-end 2012 deficit approaching $165,000.  The 2011 Executive Committee took swift, decisive action and started us on the road to recovery. This included the development of a three-year plan.

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From MPA's President Tabitha Grier-Reed, Ph.D., L.P.: Introductions

It is with humility and enthusiasm that I introduce myself to you as President of MPA. Ever since I took my very first psychology class in high school, I have been passionate about and intrigued with the field of psychology. Over the years, my passion and interest have not waned. To serve as the 2013 President of the Minnesota state psychological association is an honor and privilege.

I come to this position with a good deal of optimism which is warranted by the talent MPA is able to attract. Case in point: I introduce you to the new editor of the Minnesota Psychologist, Beth Lewis. Dr. Lewis is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota. Trained as a clinical psychologist, Dr. Lewis completed her doctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at Brown University, where she specialized in health psychology and behavioral medicine. Her vitae list over 40 refereed publications, and she has served as a reviewer for a score of academic journals including the Journal of Health Psychology, the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine—to name a few. What’s more, she has taken on the role of editor of the Minnesota Psychologist with energy and enthusiasm! MPA’s ability to attract such an accomplished psychologist bodes well for our future.

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From the Editor

Hello! My name is Beth Lewis and as the new editor of the Minnesota Psychologist, I would like to take a moment to introduce myself.  I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as editor.  As Tabitha mentions, I am currently an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota.  I received my Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of North Dakota in 2001.  I completed a postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral medicine at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and have been a licensed psychologist since 2003.  My research examines the effect of exercise on mental health.  My most recent research grant is a randomized trial examining the efficacy of home-based exercise vs. telephone-based counseling for preventing postpartum depression.   My hope is that this research will help inform clinicians about the importance of exercise during pregnancy and postpartum.

I had the opportunity to attend the Society of Behavioral Medicine conference in San Francisco this past week.  The focus of this year’s conference was the use of technology to promote healthy living.  I attended a presentation by Dr. David Mohr who discussed the efficacy of using the telephone to counsel individuals with depression.  He found that telephone-based cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT) was just as effective as in-person CBT for treating depression.   Furthermore, participants in the telephone-based CBT were more likely to adhere to the treatment than participants in the in-person CBT.  I found this information timely given the recent movement to allow for reimbursement for telephone-based services (see Dr. Sandra Sanger’s column in this issue).  Telephone-based interventions could never replace in-person therapy.  However, it could be an important adjunct to therapy or may be especially helpful for populations who have barriers to in-person visits such as individuals with young children or individuals living in rural areas where access to in-person care is low.

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New Psychologist Network at Lyon's Pub, January 9, 2013

Ever heard of a Zombie Pub Crawl? Throngs of masterfully dressed “zombies” make their way through popular watering holes yelling “BRAINS!” and swapping imaginary apocalypse stories, drawing shrieks, giggles, and stares from all of the living people trying to have an after-work cocktail in peace. Though MPA does not specialize in the undead, on January 9, 2013, more than 30 early-career psychologists gathered at Lyon’s Pub to help with the organization’s own return to life of the New Psychologist Network. Thankfully, psychologists have significantly more decorum and pleasantry than zombies, so the other bar patrons and wait-staff were happy to welcome this talkative and excited group! NPN co-chairs Julia Kidwell and Miriam Gerber were pleased to welcome professionals from a wide variety of practice settings who were eager to meet other new psychologists and talk shop. Thanks to the MPA Governing Council’s personal donations, the crowd enjoyed delicious appetizers.  A quick audio scan of the group revealed conversations ranging from EPPP strategies and licensure questions to client referrals and job openings. Even without apocalypse stories, this event was full of energy and curiosity about MPA and benefits of being part of the New Psychologist Network. Everyone was hopeful about future events being even more jam-packed with people and early-career discussions.

Julia and Miriam will be working on another networking event that will occur in May and hope to see more activity on the NPN listserve, available to current members by emailing Katie Hunt ([email protected]). The NPN is also hoping to be active on the MPA Facebook page, so be sure to “like” MPA to get real-time updates on social and networking events, CEU opportunities, legislature information, and other goodies. Please feel free to contact Julia ([email protected]) or Miriam ([email protected]) with any NPN questions!

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Diversity Committee

The Diversity Committee gave out the 2013 Outstanding Career Achievement in Black Psychology on February 1, 2013.  The award went to Iris Cornelius, Ph.D., L.P.  Dr. Cornelius is the President of Cornelius & Associates and a business consultant with 30 years experience working with businesses, community leaders and family organizations. Dr. Cornelius specializes in Collaborative Consulting, working with clients and their existing advisors to develop their values, goals and vision. She focuses on clear communications and interpersonal relationships. It is from this base that clients can best reach their strategic goals. She received her undergraduate degree from Brown University, her Ph.D. from the University of Washington and post-graduate training in mediation and management. Dr. Cornelius is a former faculty member of the University of Minnesota and Macalester College. She is a Trustee of the College of St. Benedict and a Board member of Catholic Charities and Jeremiah Place. She was formerly a Regent of St. John’s University, the St. Paul Foundation and the Minnesota Board of Law Examiners. She is affiliated with the A.K. Rice Institute for Study of Authority, Leadership and Group Process; American Psychological Association; Minnesota Psychological Association; Family Business Alliance; and Metro Independent Business Alliance.  Congratulations Dr. Cornelius!

 G. Zachariah White, Psy.D. and Thomas Carrillo, Ph.D., L.P., Co-Chairs