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Over the last 15 years the Mental Health Access Improvement Act (S. 828 and H.R. 432) has been introduced in Congress which would codify marriage and family therapists and mental health counselors as approved and recognized providers in the Medicare program in order to receive reimbursement for treating older adults and people who qualify for disability under Medicare with mental health disorders.  Unfortunately, Congress has not passed the legislation although it has received strong consideration in each chamber, but not at the same time.   There has been frustration and impatience as we have seen little movement on our legislation over the last decade, ...
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This is a reminder about the call for proposals for a special issue on of the Journal of Mental Health Counseling on the topic of gender and wellness. Proposals are due May 1; please see below for more information. For question, you can contact the journal Editor at  editorjmhc@amhca.org . We look forward to receiving proposals! The Journal of Mental Health Counseling is seeking manuscripts for a special issue on gender and wellness. We welcome proposal submissions for both empirical and non-empirical (e.g., conceptual, review) manuscripts. Deadlines • Proposal Due (300 to 500 words): May 1, 2022 • Invitation for Full Manuscript: June 1, 2022 • Full ...
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The Advancement for Clinical Practice Committee (ACPC) is looking for AMHCA members with an expertise in the following areas to join subcommittees to develop standards in: Counseling members of the military Counseling couples and families Counseling individuals with developmental and learning disabilities  We are seeking a team of about 4-6 committee members including representation from the ACPC committee and depending on response from the AMHCA membership who have expertise in the one of the three topics.    If this is your area of expertise please fill out the form by Sunday, May 15th: https://airtable.com/shrlu0MDaVL9OBWsa #AMHCANew ...
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With the adoption of the Counseling Compact, Maine has become the 7th state to join. AMHCA thanks the Maine Mental Health Counselors Association for a job well done!  http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?ld=1920&PID=1456&snum=130&sec3 #AdvocacyUpdates #Advocacy
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AARP was among several organizations last November that supported the passage of the Mental Health Access Improvement Act as part of their statement they submitted to the Senate Finance Committee in response to the RFI on behavioral health policy solutions. In a new article appearing in AARP’s Medicare Resource Center on “ Older Adults Struggle to Find Affordable Mental Health Care,” the authors included in their summary section “Time for Change” the following statement: “ And the proposed Mental Health Access Improvement Act of 2021, introduced in the Senate, would widen the pool of providers that can deliver mental and behavioral mental ...
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As proponents of civil rights and social justice for humankind, AMHCA denounces the violence erupting from the invasion in Ukraine. Unfortunately, lives have been lost and many injured or left homeless. Widespread mourning is evident and some people have encountered barriers in seeking safety. Ukrainian families, adults, and children have been displaced at the same time as the world continues to be traumatized during the COVID-19 pandemic.   It is expected that these events will have long-term effects on the people of Ukraine as well as on Russians and many others around the world. The mental health of the Ukrainians undoubtedly has been affected despite ...
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“A study published in  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin  sheds light on the importance of perceived partner responsiveness in promoting affectionate touch within romantic relationships. Across a series of four studies, the researchers found that people who felt more cared for and supported by their partners tended to engage in more affectionate touch.” SOURCE: PsyPost, July 2, 2021, by Beth Ellwood https://www.psypost.org/2021/07/increased-psychological-intimacy-predicts-greater-levels-of-affectionate-touch-in-romantic-relationships-61340 #Counselor'sDigest
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“Findings from the  Journal of Psychiatric Research  point to a negative focus on the past as a fundamental aspect of depression. The study found that childhood trauma was associated with elevated depressive symptoms, but only among those who showed a tendency to focus on the past over the present and future.” SOURCE: PsyPost, July 1, 2021, by Beth Ellwood https://www.psypost.org/2021/07/a-tendency-to-focus-on-the-past-plays-a-key-role-in-increasing-depressive-symptoms-among-individuals-with-childhood-trauma-61336 #Counselor'sDigest #Trauma
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A psychology study offers insight into why psychopathy—a largely “inhuman” personality trait—continues to exist across time and cultures. During a prisoner’s dilemma game, subclinical psychopathy was associated with a strategic social strategy that suggests fitness advantages to the trait. The findings were published in the  Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. SOURCE: PsyPost, June 28, 2021, by Beth Ellwood https://www.psypost.org/2021/06/subclinical-psychopathy-is-associated-with-strategic-social-behavior-and-may-be-an-adaptive-trait-61303 #Counselor'sDigest
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“Men are more likely to make extreme choices and decisions than women, according to new research on economic decision-making, led by an international team of scientists. …The findings show that the more extreme choices and decisions of men can be both positive and negative. … The findings could impact policies aimed at regulating extreme behaviours such as the recent GameStop trading frenzy after retail traders on Reddit heavily shorted the stock. SOURCE: University of Sydney, June 2, 2021 https://www.sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2021/06/02/revealed-men-and-women-do-think-and-act-differently.html   #Counselor'sDigest
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“When people are told to imagine that an event is going to happen to them and to a friend (e.g., winning $100), people prefer that they and their friend experience these events at the same time rather than on different days. The findings, published in  Social Psychological and Personality Science , suggest that this effect stems from a desire for interpersonal connection.”   SOURCE: PsyPost, May 27, 2021, by Beth Ellwood https://www.psypost.org/2021/05/new-study-provides-insight-into-a-psychological-phenomenon-known-as-social-hedonic-editing-60928   #Counselor'sDigest
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People who tend to go to bed and wake up earlier have significantly lower risk of major depression, according to a sweeping new genetic study published May 26 in the  journal JAMA Psychiatry. The study examined data from more than of 840,000 people, and … represents some of the strongest evidence yet that chronotype—a person’s propensity to sleep at a certain time —influences depression risk. It’s also among the first studies to quantify just how much, or little, change might be required to influence mental health.” SOURCE: University of Colorado Boulder, May 27, 2021, by Lisa Marshall https://www.colorado.edu/today/2021/05/27/earlier-sleep-timing-associated-lower-depression-risk ...
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“For many years, psychiatrists have tried to understand factors involved in response to medications or psychotherapies, in order to personalize their treatment choices. There is now a broad and growing interest in the idea that we can develop models to personalize treatment decisions using new statistical approaches from the field of machine learning and applying them to larger volumes of data. … [M]achine learning is a nascent but important approach to improve the effectiveness of mental health care, and several prospective clinical studies suggest that it may be working already.” SOURCE: World Psychiatry, Vol. 20, No. 2, June 2021, pages 154-170, by Adam ...
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“A new study by researchers at the VA Portland Health Care System in Oregon found that augmenting traditional treatment for traumatic brain injury (TBI) with morning bright light therapy (MBLT) improved physical and mental symptoms for participants. … According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), over 185,000 veterans have been diagnosed with at least one TBI. TBI is both a common and complex injury. Because of the circumstances surrounding the brain injury, TBI frequently coincides with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).” SOURCE: Neuroscience News, May 2, 2021, based on research in the journal Experimental Biology https://neurosciencenews.com/tbi-light-therapy-18331/ ...
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“New research indicates that parental warmth may protect against development of psychopathic traits in troubled adolescents, which may lower the risk of future criminal activity. … The researchers examined data from the Pathways to Desistance study, a longitudinal study of juvenile offenders. The study included 1,354 youths who were charged with serious crimes in Maricopa County, Arizona and Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. The mostly male youth completed various psychological assessments eight times over the course of four and a half years.” SOURCE: PsyPost article, April 14, 2021, by Eric W. Dolan, based on a study in the Journal of Child and Family ...
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Writers are often reminded to “omit needless words.” Designers are told “less is more.” Savvy leaders are increasingly learning to “remove barriers.” And everyone has, at one time or another, been chided to “keep it simple, stupid.” Why do so many fields develop these subtractive reminders? According to an interdisciplinary quartet of current and former University of Virginia researchers, the reminders may be attempts to fight people’s natural inclination to add. … Featured  on the cover  of the April 8 issue of the journal Nature , the quartet’s research shows that people default to thinking of additive change ideas, and that finding subtractive alternatives ...
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“ A pair of studies … demonstrate that electrical stimulation can  address obsessive-compulsive urges  and symptoms of depression with surprising speed and precision. Mapping participants’ brain activity when they experienced certain sensations allowed researchers to personalize the stimulation and modify moods and habits far more directly than is possible through therapy or medication. ” SOURCE: New York Times article, Feb. 24, 2021, by Kim Tingley, based on two studies published in January 2021 in the journal Nature Medicine. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/24/magazine/brain-stimulation-mental-health.html #Counselor'sDigest
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“People diagnosed with Covid-19 in the previous six months were more likely to develop depression, dementia, psychosis and stroke, researchers have found. A third of those with a previous Covid infection went on to develop or have a relapse of a psychological or neurological condition. But those admitted to hospital or in intensive care had an even higher risk.”   SOURCE: BBC article April 7, 2021, by Rachel Schraer, Health reporter, based on a study published in the Lancet Psychiatry journal. https://www.bbc.com/news/health-56650125 #Counselor'sDigest #Pandemic #Coronavirus
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“Trauma memories can suddenly return when survivors are exposed to material that reminds them of the event—a process known as ‘triggering,’ which can be very distressing. Trigger warnings are intended to help mitigate this potential distress. However, ... trigger warnings do not lessen the blow of recalling past trauma. Many websites promoting the use of trigger warnings ... claim that ‘ triggers are more distressing if they come as a surprise.’ ...  However, the  new study published in  Memory   suggests that warning messages may not adequately prepare people to recall a negative experience but may instead prolong bad memories.” SOURCE: Flinders University, ...
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“[A] breakthrough study ... sheds new light on the biological basis of mood disorders, and offers a promising blood test aimed at a precision medicine approach to treatment. … The team’s work describes the development of a blood test, composed of RNA biomarkers, that can distinguish how severe a patient’s depression is, the risk of them developing severe depression in the future, and the risk of future bipolar disorder.” SOURCE: Indiana University School of Medicine, April 7, 2021 https://medicine.iu.edu/news/2021/03/IU-School-of-Medicine-researchers-develop-blood-test-for-depression-and-bipolar-disorder   #Counselor'sDigest
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