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MSPP Abstracts

Abstracts: A digest of monthly news and events from the MSPP community

MSPP Joins with West Roxbury High School Programs
and Clinical Partners to Help Teens

Late in January, Dr. Robert Kinscherff, MSPP's associate vice president for community relations, helped finalize plans among Urban Sciences Academy (USA) and West Roxbury Academy (WRA) and "clinical partners," the Haitian Mental Health Network (HMHN) and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC), to open programs helping teens address issues that undermine their ability to stay in school and complete their education. USA and WRA are two separate high school programs located at the West Roxbury Educational Complex that have joined with the "clinical partners" to establish evidence-based programs to identify and meet the needs of youth struggling to succeed in school.

The WRA and USA high school programs offer different educational approaches but are in the same educational complex, and the student body is quite diverse, including a large proportion of African American, Latino and Haitian youth from across the city of Boston. A majority of the students come from low-income families. USA and WRA have committed to working with the "clinical partners" in building two different programs targeting different problems that put youth at risk of school failure.

For Urban Science Academy under the leadership of Principal Nicole Gittens and her team, collaboration with the "clinical partners" resulted in opening the doors of the Reflection/Reentry Program in late January. According to Kinscherff, the Reflection/Reentry Program is an alternative to traditional multiple-day "at-home" suspension. This program will facilitate a more rapid planned return to school with an individualized plan, referrals as needed following screening (mental health, substance use, trauma), academic supports so students do not fall behind in schoolwork while suspended, and psychoeducation to "help suspended students learn to manage their emotions and to make better decisions in the future."

Dr. Monica Roizner, MSPCC's director of clinical services notes that the program design "recognizes the need to intervene at the youth, family and school-environment levels." She says that, "Engaging youth and engaging families with clinical and school efforts is key. Families need support in helping youth, managing challenging behaviors and responding to educational and social emotional needs of youth." She adds, "We also envision the implementation of increased school-family partnerships for collaborative problem-solving. The combination of in-school as well as in-home and in-the-community interventions is core to this effort."

Dr. Gemima St. Louis, president of the Haitian Mental Health Network, says: "This innovative partnership will enable us to provide coordinated and comprehensive services to the most at-risk students at West Roxbury Educational Complex. Our focus will also be devoted to newly arrived Haitian students who are coping with significant traumas and facing tremendous challenges in adapting to life in the U.S. Through this program, we will offer culturally oriented and linguistically appropriate psychosocial support to ensure that these students achieve their highest academic potential."

MSPP, HMHN and MSPCC are currently collaborating with Principal Rudy Weekes and his team at West Roxbury Academy to address chronic truancy. While still in the planning phase, this program will also provide students with screening for mental health and other needs, referrals as needed to in-school and in-home therapies, family engagement, and academic supports and other interventions to help chronically truant students return and complete their high school education.

Both programs will be located at MSPP's 1208 VFW Parkway space and staffed with licensed clinicians from HMHN and MSPCC providing supervision for two MSPP practicum students and a mental health intern from HMHN.

Look for more information in future issues of the Abstracts as these programs get underway.

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Previews of Coming Attractions

Veterans to be Focus for MSPP Major Events this Spring

MSPP Gala Save the Date

Mental health services for veterans and their families will be MSPP's focus this spring. The MSPP Gala, the Mental Health Matters Symposium and Commencement will all pay tribute to veterans and their families and examine solutions to meet a growing need. The purpose of all these events will be to increase awareness and raise funds for MSPP's Train Vets to Treat Vets® program and its soon-to-be launched Military Veterans Psychology track.

Be sure to save these dates and stay tuned for details:

  • MSPP Gala—Wednesday, May 15, 2013
  • Mental Health Matters— Saturday, June 1, 2013
  • Commencement—Sunday, June 2, 2013

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MFA and MSPP Present Film Series on April 10, 12, 13, and 14

Plan to attend The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, Third Annual Hollywood Scriptures Film Series "Psychology of Human Nature in Cinema: Relationship and Responsibility," April 10, 12, 13, 14, 2013 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA. Tickets and registration available through the MFA ticket line at 1-800-440-6975; for further information please go to www.mfa.org/film.

A Separation Carnage Kkid with a Bike The Taste of Money

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Save the Date–2nd Annual Conference on Haitian Mental Health

Weathering the Storm Like Bamboo: Rethinking the Concept of "Resilience" in the Haitian Community

Friday & Saturday, May 3-4, 2013
at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP)
One Wells Avenue, Newton, MA

Speakers include:

  • Marjory Clermont Mathieu, PhD, Professor, State University of Haiti
  • Guerda Nicolas, PhD, Chairperson, School of Education, University of Miami
  • Ronald Jean-Jacques, DESS, DEA, President, Haitian Psychological Association
  • Jean B. Tropnas, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, SUNY Medical Center

Pre-Conference Event
A Celebration of "Haitian Resilience"
An Art Exhibition
Presented by the Haitian Artists Assembly of Massachusetts
Thursday, April 25, 2013
5:30 – 8:00 pm at MSPP

For conference information and fees, visit www.hmhnetwork.org, email hmhnetwork@gmail.com or register online at www.mspp.edu/ce.

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NEW ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

Expressive Arts and Couples and Family Therapy
Now Accepting Applicants for Fall 2013

The MA in Counseling Psychology and Couples and Family Therapy prepares students to meet the licensure requirements for a Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) as well as a Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). Learn more here.

The MA in Counseling Psychology and Expressive Arts Therapy is specifically designed to prepare the next generation of mental health professionals in the therapeutic use of expressive arts processes for personal, family and community transformation. Learn more here.

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NEWS ABOUT FACULTY, STUDENTS AND STAFF

Faculty

Dana DenaultIn 2009, Dana De Nault left his network security startup after it was acquired to return to his hometown of Marblehead, Massachusetts to raise his two young children with his wife Nina, an executive at Cisco, and open his own consultancy. A year later he found MSPP's organizational psychology master degree program in which he enrolled. He completed the program, and he hasn't looked back since then. De Nault is one of nine students this year in the pioneering group of Leadership Psychology doctoral students. He also teaches in the Organizational Psychology program as an Adjunct Faculty member.

Dana has partnered as a "think tank" member in Organizational and Leadership Psychology to examine the creation of a Women in Leadership Institute for both the US and Latin America. This Institute is being developed to promote women in leadership roles around the world as there continues to be a large under-representation of women in such roles. The 21st century is ready for a change to this "business as usual."

As part of the department's ongoing quality improvement measures, De Nault secured a grant equivalent to $15K annually with a perpetual license from Salesforce.com to pilot that company's software in the Organizational and Leadership Psychology program. This program allows faculty to be closer to students in advising, grading, and tracking student progress. This program is used at a number of Academic Institutions nationally and internationally and is the next step in bringing faculty and students together in creating learning objectives whether online or onsite.

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In September 2012, Dr. Robert Kinscherff traveled to Istanbul to be part of an invited panel at an international child abuse and neglect panel. In recent months, he has provided training on mental health issues in juvenile justice for the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice at several sites (Detroit, Anchorage, Virginia Beach, Tallahassee, Phoenix).

He also provided training on professional ethics to the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Offenders (Denver) and the Vermont Trauma Institute (Burlington), violence risk assessment (Brattleboro, VT), advanced issues in psychological assessment (Boston), and innovations in divorce child custody evaluation practice and evidence law (University of Texas Law School, Austin).

Kinscherff also had a manuscript accepted for publication that focuses upon implications of international law and the APA Ethics Code for psychologists providing forensic assessments in cases involving potential sentences of life without possibility of parole for juvenile offenders. In addition, he offered testimony before a Massachusetts legislative working committee addressing juvenile life incarceration without possibility of parole in light of the Miller v. Alabama decision by the US Supreme Court in June 2012 that bars imposing mandatory life without possibility of parole for crimes committed by those under age 18.

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Claire FialkovDr. Claire Fialkov, core faculty, is traveling this month with Dr. David Haddad, clinical doctoral faculty, to Nairobi, Kenya to consult with Farm Africa, an UK/African non-profit group that works directly with farmers to help them achieve their potential for lasting rural prosperity. Farm Africa is dedicated to the belief that Africa can feed itself. They will be facilitating a strategic planning retreat for a staff of 40 persons in the Kenya location.

She and Haddad have recently published an article in the APA journal Training and Education in Professional Psychology (2012, Vol. 6, No. 4, 204–210). The research, titled "Appreciative Clinical Practice", presents a training model that encourages beginning supervisors to identify their character strengths, refocus their attention and memory on the origin of these strengths, and cultivate their character strengths in the service of the supervision relationship. They present qualitative data that reveals the following themes: the power of focusing on one's strengths, the value of a strength-based approach, the complexity of strength-based work, and the notion of strengths born from challenge. Read it here.

The two researchers have been invited to present this paper at the Taos Institute conference, Social Constructivist Ideas and Practices, in Taos, New Mexico in April 2013. They will offer a workshop on Cultivating Strengths through Appreciative Inquiry on June 7-8, 2013 in Boston at MSPP.

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Students

In February, Vincenzo G. Teran, MA, a fifth-year student in the Clinical PsyD program, presented a poster on the field experience of English-Spanish bilingual clinicians in professional psychology at the Winter Roundtable at Teachers College-Columbia University. Vincenzo was also elected as Secretary and Section Editor of the American Psychological Association, Clinical Psychology of Ethnic Minorities (APA, Division 12, Section VI) and has started his appointment as of January 2013.

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Freedman Center News

MSPP Recognized at State House for Suicide Prevention

MSPP was represented by Margaret Hannah, executive director of the Freedman Center, at the Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Coalition State House Event on Feb 11. At this event, both MSPP INTERFACE℠ Referral Service and Dr. Nadja Reilly's "Break Free from Depression" curriculum were recognized.

The Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Program provides funding for both the MSPP INTERFACE℠ Referral Service and to the scholarly development of the MSPP Why Wellness Hub within the virtual world of Whyville.

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Littleton Comes on Board

As of February 1, 2013, the town of Littleton became the latest and the 23rd town to contract for MSPP INTERFACE℠ services, which provides mental health resources and referral to communities throughout the state.

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Children CelebrateMSPP Students with Young Children Celebrate at the Freedman Center

The Office of the Dean of Students and the Freedman Center for Child and Family Development want to thank those who attended a Social for Students with Young Children and Expecting Parents on Sunday January 27. It was great success! With adults and children ranging from six months to five years, all had fun. Great connections were made with representation from four different programs.

Margaret Hannah, executive director of the MSPP Freedman Center for Child and Family Development, gave students and their families information on programming for new parents, children's play groups and educational programming, while the children played, colored masks, read stories and sang songs, led by third-year Clinical PsyD student, Ember Cook.

Missed out on the fun? Want to learn more about the Freedman Center? Click here or contact Gretchen Nash, Director of Multicultural Affairs and Community Service at gretchen_nash@mspp.edu.

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MSPP in the News Media

On January 19, 2013, the Boston Globe Magazine published a full feature on MSPP's " Train Vets to Treat Vets®" program. Student veterans Trey Tippens and Evan Bick were highlighted, along with faculty members Dr. Robert Dingnam and Dr. Sandy Dixon. Read it here (PDF).

Also in January, the Train Vets to Treat Vets®" program was featured in Mental Health Weekly. Read it here.

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Guidelines for Submission to Abstracts

  1. Items for the Abstracts should be sent by the last day of the month to Patti Jacobs at patti_jacobs@mspp.edu.
  2. Submissions should be print-ready articles or short-write ups rather than brochures or other documents and they should be no more than 100 words, preferably shorter.
  3. To make them print-ready, please proof all submissions and make sure you include names, titles and degrees of the people mentioned in the articles.
  4. Also, please submit the entire link information. Embedded links do not transfer to the newsletter format.
  5. Finally, if you submit a photo, please include one-line captions identifying people in the photo and the event with them.
  6. The articles will be slightly edited, but will not go back to you for review.
  7. If you do not make the deadline, it is possible that your article will be bumped to the next month.

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Updated 6/10/14

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