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MSPP Abstracts

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

Nick and Kerry

MSPP Founder Dr. Stanley Rosensweig, cuts the ribbon in the lobby at One Wells Avenue in Newton.

Ribbon Cutting a Hit!
Year of Coming Home Begins

On October 19, 2012, MSPP welcomed more than 150 guests for a day of celebrating at its new home at One Wells Avenue in Newton, a beautifully renovated, state-of-the-art campus, where the school moved in August. Among them were MSPP founders, alumni, former faculty, Newton and state officials and the entire MSPP community. Following a Ribbon Cutting in the lobby, guests participated in a symposium titled The Medical Home: A New Frontier for Behavioral Health Care. The day's activities were the first in a series of "Coming Home" events the school plans this year, including designated CE programs. For more information see CE Coming Home Series below. According to Dr. Lisa Fusaro, class of 1986, who was at the opening day's festivities, "It is wonderful to see MSPP finally having a place to settle and put down roots. And the sense of community is reflected in this beautiful building. It is so nice to be here."

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Awards, Presentations, Publications, and Conferences


Media Psychology

MMSPP's Organizational and Leadership Psychology Department Chair, Dr. Erik Gregory and Faculty Director of Media Psychology, Dr. Pamela Rutledge, recently published chapters in the Oxford Handbook of Media Psychology. Dr. Rutledge’s chapter is entitled, Arguing for Media Psychology as a Distinct Field. Dr. Gregory’s chapter is entitled, Children’s Media Use: A Positive Psychology Approach

Robert Kinscherff

Dr. Robert Kinscherff was a presenter-participant during September at the annual conference of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect held in Istanbul, Turkey.

In August, Dr. Robert Kinscherff, vice president of community relations and director of Forensic Psychology, attended the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association in Orlando, FL, where he co-presented a full-day pre-conference workshop with Dr. Stephen Behnke, director of the APA Ethics Office, on "Ethics and Law for the Practicing Psychologist." He also attended the Ethics Office session for past Ethics Committee members and other invited guests.

In early September, Dr. Kinscherff traveled to Istanbul to participate in the XIX International Congress on Child Abuse and Neglect of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN). There, he participated in a panel comparing Turkish and American legal and forensic psychology approaches to child protection, titled "Turkey/USA: Two Systems, One Goal-the Protection of Children," with Judge Margaret Fearey (ret.) and Turkish colleagues Professor Feridun Yenisey (law) and Professor Fatos Erkman (psychology).

Later in September, Dr. Kinscherff presented a full-day training in Massachusetts for the Center for Professional Innovation titled "Youth with Conduct Disorders and Oppositional-Defiant Behaviors: Clinical and Ethical Considerations in Intervention."

During this time period, a monograph that he co-authored with Dr. Craig Latham was published. The monograph, "A Developmental Perspective on the Meaning of Problematic Sexual Behavior in Children and Adolescents" is available through NEARI press.

He also collaborated with Dr. Thomas Grisso of the University of Massachusetts Medical School to produce training materials for the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice for use with states developing innovative juvenile justice projects attending to the mental health needs of court-involved youth and funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

Asuicide-prevention curriculum designed by Dr. Nadja Reilly, associate director of the Freedman Center, is now listed on the National Best Practices Registry of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC). The following is how it is described on the Children's Hospital website. "Break Free from Depression" is a program designed by The Swensrud Depression Prevention Initiative (SDPI), a part of the Department of Psychiatry at Children's Hospital Boston. The program is designed for students in grades 9-12. It includes a guide for using the materials in school, a 35-minute documentary, and four structured modules for student instruction. The goals of the Break Free from Depression program are: to raise awareness of depression and other risk factors associated with mental illnesses in adolescents, promote early identification of youth in distress, and reduce stigma associated with mental illness."

Sexual Alarm SystemThe Sexual Alarm System: Women's Unwanted Response to Sexual Intimacy and How to Overcome It is a new book by Judith P. Leavitt, EdD. The Sexual Alarm System (SAS) is a shield that develops around a women's body to protect her from real and perceived sexual intrusions and dangers. This book describes how the Alarm develops, what triggers it and how it functions. Because the SAS interferes with a woman's ability to be sexual, this book presents specific body exercises for therapists to give to women to work through this Alarm and to develop more ability to enjoy their sexuality.

Wynn Schwartz, PhD, core faculty in the Clinical Psychology Program, presented, "Persons and the Problem of Other Possible People: What Do Bodies Have to Do With It" and "Teaching Fundamental Psychodynamics Using Descriptive Psychology" at The 34th Annual Meeting of The Society for Descriptive Psychology in Golden, Colorado, September 20-23rd. Additional MSPP presenters at the conference included current MSPP student, Anna Berin, MA and alum, Aimee Yermish, PsyD. Anna presented her doctoral project, "Love Across Differences: Study of Interracial Couples," and Aimee presented, "If You're So Smart: Using Descriptive Psychology to Inform Executive Function Coaching." Recent alum, Eben Lasker, PsyD moderated a section of the meeting's presentations.

Kimberly Larson, JD, PhD, had a busy, productive summer giving invited addresses related to her new publication, co-authored with Dr. Thomas Grisso, titled Developing Statutes for Competence to Stand Trial in Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings: A guide for lawmakers, which was published by the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in Spring 2012 and is also available online.

Her talks were for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the Coalition for Juvenile Justice, Arizona's judiciary, the Massachusetts Bar Association, and her trainings were for Nebraska's and Oklahoma's clinicians, attorneys, judges, and legislators.

Dr. Larson was also invited to write an article for the American Psychology Law Society's "Expert Opinion" column, entitled Juvenile Competence to Stand Trial: Issues in Research, Policy, and Practice (pdf), (starting on p. 18).

This summer, Dr. Larson was chosen to attend and receive full funding for the AAMC Early Career Women Faculty Development Seminar, which is awarded to women identified as future leaders in their field.

As part of the University of Massachusetts Medical School's Ethics Committee, she also helped develop an educational curriculum for the Psychiatry Department on common ethical issues, which will be presented throughout the upcoming academic year.

In September, Dr. Larson was thrilled to be appointed to the Massachusetts Bar Association's Juvenile and Child Welfare Section Council. This council governs the juvenile and child welfare section of the MBA and is charged with analyzing, formulating and recommending policy and legislative positions to the House of Delegates, developing CE programs and production of content for the MBA Library and articles for Section Review and/or Lawyers' Journal.

Larson was also recently chosen by her MSPP colleagues to serve on MSPP's Committee on Research and Scholarship. During her time off last summer, Dr. Larson travelled in Europe and was delighted to attend the 2012 Olympics in London.


Paul J. Letendre, second-year student in the MA in Counseling Psychology program, recently presented part of a solo-authored paper on the final day of the 4th Virtual Conference on Counseling - an annual continuing education event that connects an international audience online. His presentation addressed the historical divide between research and clinical practice, including a section about why some attempts at integrating the two have/can lead to dire consequences in treatment. The sprightly titled full-length paper, "The new dangerous method: The split between evidence-verified and non-objective treatments," will be submitted for potential publication this Winter.

Last summer Miriam Kolko, advanced standing PsyD student, interned for the Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC) with the goal of helping that organization to develop and expand upon their Military Families Support and Stabilization program. Her job was to help them re-configure their original assessment to be more inclusive of all military families (reserve and active duty), at all points in the deployment cycle. Additionally, she was asked to create a training manual for their clinicians to help increase their understanding of military terms, data, and other characteristics that are specific to military families.

Sarah Tannenbaum

Sarah Tannenbaum, a second-year student in the CFAR concentration in the Clinical PsyD program, presented an original poster at the Massachusetts Psychological Association's annual meeting this past October. She presented a case study on incorporating hip-hop music into group work with high-risk youth, based on a therapy group she developed during her first year practicum placement.

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MSPP Responds to Sandy Hook Tragedy

Many members of the MSPP community met to discuss how the school could be helpful in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy and took several steps, including sending out a press statement, offering MSPP expertise to the news media and developing "A Comprehensive Resource Guide for Mental Health Professionals, Educators, and Parents" to guide these three groups in helping children deal with tragedies of this nature. Click here for details. MSPP will also be creating a video for this web page and planning several community and professional events on the issues surrounding such violent events. More information will follow as plans develop.

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Continuig the Celebration!
Coming Home Continuing Education Series

Coming HomeHere are the upcomig CE programs.

The Behavior Code: Practical Strategies for Understanding and Teaching Students with Anxiety-Related and Disruptive Behavior
Saturday, February 9, 2013 | 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Nancy Rappaport, MD and Jessica Minahan, MEd, BCBA
> Learm more and register online

Managing Clients in High-Conflict Divorce for Lawyers and Mental Health Professionals
Friday, March 1, 2013 | 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Robin Deutsch, PhD, Sandy Portnoy, PhD, and Robert Kinscherff, PhD, JD
> Learn more and register online

Integrating Spirituality and Psychotherapy: The Internal Family Systems Model
Saturday, April 6, 2013 | 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Richard C. Schwartz, PhD
> Learm more and register online

Overcoming the Immunity to Change: Opening a New Pathway to Improvement
Friday, May 10, 2013 | 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Robert Kegan, PhD
> Learn more and register online

Meeting the Needs of Veterans and Their Families Mental Health Matters Symposium
June 2013
More details in future Abstracts

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One Wells Avenue Firsts

First Colloguium Presented by Angie Reather

Angie Reaver

Moments before Angie Reaver started her colloquium presentation.

Sept 7th, Angie Reather made the first colloquium presentation at One Wells Avenue. The photo to the right shows her just before her talk began.

Here are some of the details:

Her project: The Trend of Underdiagnosis of Psychotic Disorders at College Counseling Centers

Her Committee: Ronald E. Cobb, chair; Modesto J. Hevia, second member, MSPP core faculty; MSPP Christine Williams, third member (Christine is full-time staff psychologist at the Salem State University Counseling Center); Dr. Evan Waldheter, discussant (he is a full-time staff psychologist at the MIT Mental Health and Counseling Service)

Let us know about other "Firsts" as they happen in your new home. Send them to

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Freedman Center News

New mural

New mural at entrace to the Freedman Center.

New play room

Play time in the new play room at the Freedman Center.

The Freedman Center's New Home

"You probably have already seen the Freedman Center's new home, but if you haven't, stop by this semester." That's what everyone who has visited the space on the ground floor is saying. The light-drenched play room, two way mirrors, a colorful entryway mural and semi-private cubicles for the MSPP INTERFACE℠ Helpline are all ideal for the mission of the center, which is focused on meeting the mental health and wellness needs of children and families. The Freedman Center provides direct service to the community while also serving as a field site for MSPP students.. "We are re-energized by our beautiful new surroundings and by finally joining the whole MSPP family in one location,says Margaret Hannah, and invites everyone "to take a walk and take a look."

Changing the Name of INTERFACE℠

This Fall, MSPP renamed a service it has operated since 2007 that helps families connect with needed mental health services in towns across Massachusetts. Formerly known as Project Interface℠, it is now MSPP INTERFACE℠ Referral Service. The renaming to MSPP INTERFACE℠ aligns the service with MSPP's commitment to meeting community needs and reflects MSPP's support of the service through staffing and placement of doctoral and master's psychology trainees to work with the service, which is part of the Freedman Center.

Survey confirms need for access and value of MSPP INTERFACE℠ Helpline

MSPP recently received funding from the Klarman Family Foundation to do an independent survey of the MSPP INTERFACE℠ Referral Service, which matches, through its Helpline, families and children in 28 towns in Massachusetts, in need of mental health services. To conduct the survey, MSPP INTERFACE℠ enlisted Social Science Research and Evaluation, Inc. (SSRE)

The SSRE researchers reviewed 413 case records from a nine-month (September 2011- May 2012) period. They found that:

  • 58 percent of those contacting the line tried to find a mental health provider unsuccessfully on their own.
  • 94 percent said the helpline was important for helping them address their mental health concern
  • 86 percent said that the match was a good fit overall
  • 99 percent felt that the Helpline counselors were knowledgeable about their mental health service

For more details about the study and its results, contact Margaret Hannah in the Freedman Center for Child and Family Development or go to

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Remembering Cynthia and Raising Funds for LMHP

The 11th Annual Lucero 5K Run/Walk Follows the Path of the Marathon

On Sunday, September 23, 2012, 82 runners from three different states set off from Newton City Hall, alongside the route of the Boston Marathon, to honor the memory of Dr. Cynthia Lucero and raise funds for MSPP's Lucero Latino Mental Health Program (LMHP). In all, between registrations, community support and a successful raffle, over $6,000 was raised--funds that will help cover the costs of LMHP student immersion program travel to Ecuador and Costa Rica.

New mural

Start of the Lucero Run on Sunday, September 23, 2012.

A big thanks to all who donated, volunteered and ran! (and thank you to the City of Newton for accommodating us!)

Click here for more photos and here for information on the Lucero Program. Keep an eye out for information on next year's race.

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MSPP in the News Media

In recent months, MSPP has been featured in a number of news media stories. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • The Newton Tab did a front page article and photo spread on MSPP’s move on September 6, 2012. See it here.
  • The Newton Patch did a piece on the move and the new building, along with a slide show to go with after fundamentals week in September 2012. See it here.
  • On December 10, 2012, NPR’s Marketplace did a story on jobs for veterans in psychology, which featured MSPP’s Train Vets to Treat Vets® program. See it here.
  • A Report from MSPP on the need for Latino Mental Health was featured in the Huffington Post under Latino Voices on December 17, 2012. See it here.
  • Robin Deutsch was featured in the Wellesley Townsman when she was selected for the Governor's Working Group on Child-Centered Family Laws. See it here.
  • The Organizational Leadership and Psychology Department is excited to announce their new Twitter account. Follow them today @mspporgpsych and learn about the MSPP Organizational and Leadership Psychology Living Newsletter.
  • And don’t forget to follow our main MSPP Twitter account @MSPPNews or “like” us on Facebook. If you have any information you would like us to post, please email

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Angie Reaver

A mild-mannered super hero
and a phantom friend.

Community Building at One Wells Avenue

Staff and faculty gathered in the new Faculty and Staff Lounge (room 213) for a little Halloween cheer at noon on October 31. About 30 showed up, bringing an assortment of cookies, candy, cake and entrees. The event was coordinated by the new Community Building committee. The group hopes to hold formal and informal events during the next several months. Any ideas, get in touch with Fran Mervyn, Patti Jacobs, Marice Nichols, Gretchen Nash, or Ellen Collins.

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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
  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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