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MSPP rapport

 

IN MEMORIAM

Harriet Berman

We are sad to announce that after a long battle with cancer, Dr Harriet Berman passed from this earth. Her contributions to MSPP, cancer patients and behavioral health have been extraordinary. She will be truly missed

A publication of the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology

Trustee Garrett Parker Lives His Values

Garrett Parker

When I mentioned MSPP to friends working in mental health, they told me what a sterling reputation it has. They raved.

–Garrett Parker

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here’s a home in Needham unwilling to be an “empty nest.” J. Garrett Parker, Jr., MSPP Trustee, and his wife Helen, have opened their hearts and their home to several young women long after their own biological children have grown and gone. “Since the Vietnam War,” he explains, “refugee children have been taken in by families all over the world.” His modesty belies the couple’s tremendous generosity and commitment to the young people in their care. Beginning with a place at their family Christmas dinner table, the Parkers helped the first young woman they met get an education, including a degree from Brandeis University and the London School of Economics. Today she works on behalf of other refugees in the Sudan. The second child, whose mother died in a refugee camp in northern Kenya, has been with them for 5 years. Now 12, she studies at a small private school by day and then evenings with “mommy” Helen Garrett, finance professor and former Dean of the Boston College Business School.

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Crico, Parker remembers being “blown away” when he first came to MSPP. He recalls the power and charisma of President Nick Covino’s remarks and the overall mission of the school. “I was so impressed by the service delivery going on there,” he says. “And when I mentioned MSPP to friends working in mental health, they told me what a sterling reputation it has. They raved.”

Garrett and Helen Parker, both University of Pennsylvania alumni, understand the importance of giving to one’s alma mater. He wants to focus on engaging more MSPP graduates to stay connected to the school and to contribute philanthropic support. He anticipates that the school will grow substantially in the new location, will strengthen its national visibility and will attract the interest and attention of new volunteer leaders to serve as Trustees. “I’m continually impressed with how Nick draws people in and really listens,” says Parker. “He makes leadership feel they are truly participating. It’s a great place and I believe in what they’re doing.”

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Nicholas Covino

MSPP: Making a Greater Difference

We have just signed a lease to place MSPP in a beautiful new building in Newton. With a move in September, MSPP will be making a greater difference—locally and nationally. The facilities that we have occupied have contained a vibrant learning community for many years, but they no longer reflect the energy, dignity and sophistication that is MSPP; our new facility does. Recruiting quality applicants will be easier, our staff and students will be able to work more effectively and efficiently. Entertaining academic and service leaders will be more comfortable, and our increased visibility will lead to more partnerships as we assume our role among the educational and social leaders of the community. I look forward to proudly hosting people for seminars, discussions and conferences in our bright, open new spaces that will be a more stimulating learning environment for us all. With an exciting new home, there will be time and opportunity for other projects to move MSPP forward even more.

The offices that we have occupied at 1208 VFW Parkway offer us another opportunity to serve the residents of the City of Boston. While still in the early stages, MSPP is looking to advance our initiatives in Social Emotional Learning. Along with experts in delivering clinical care to young people and their families, training school and district leaders and our School Psychology Department, Brenner and Freedman Centers we are looking for ways to increase mental health services to the community while establishing a resource, educational and consulting Initiative on Social Emotional Learning for West Roxbury and districts across the state. We will be talking more about this project and the new building at our MSPP Gala on Friday May 4th. I hope that you will join us.

As MSPP crosses another threshold in its history, increases its visibility and engages stronger partners, much more will be accomplished. A school that has been striving, with your help, to meet the mental health needs of the community with concrete services and by educating socially responsible mental health professionals, will now be “Making a Greater Difference.”

Enjoy this issue of Rapport. I look forward to your comments and concerns.

Gratefully,
Nicholas A Covino, President

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Feedman Center

 

“An open, light-filled 21st century learning environment where every square-foot reflects our mission and creates the best possible experience for our students,” is the way President Nicholas Covino describes MSPP’s new home at One Wells Avenue in Newton.

MSPP Readies for Fall 2012 move to Newton

The six-story glittering glass structure, with floor-to-ceiling windows, is currently under renovations but will be ready to welcome students arriving this fall. “This is a very exciting time for us,” says MSPP President Nicholas Covino, who considers the move to a new building as a transformational one that offers a dignified environment to match the quality of the educational and social service work that happens at MSPP every day. “There is nothing more dramatic as giving a new home to a vibrant learning community,” he says.

This move to a permanent home also marks the culmination of a decade of growth that has more than quadrupled the number of students, increased the degree programs from one to nine, and deepened the school’s commitment to social responsibility. Those who have observed the school’s blossoming have also witnessed its increasing attraction for a diverse student body.

To ensure that this new home keeps pace with MSPP’s evolution, its mission and with constantly changing educational technology and trends, the school has enlisted the expertise of Gensler, a global architecture, design and planning firm that specializes in educational and workplace environments.

“We are in the hands of real innovators who understand who we are and who we are becoming,” says Covino, adding that Gensler has won numerous awards for creating enlightened places to work and learn.

“Everyone at MSPP has been involved in the planning process,” says Todd Dundon, Project Architect at Gensler. His design team held focus groups with administrators, students, staff, board members and friends of the school.

“We asked big sky questions like: ‘What do you want the school to look like in 5, 10, 20 years?’ We asked them to think not just quantitatively, but also qualitatively,” says Dundon. From that process, six elements emerged as essential, including: a sense of community; a mix of functional, flexible and technology-rich spaces; a sustainable environment with access to natural light: open and airy workspaces; a connection to nature and the community; and a professional learning environment.

Commenting on the initial designs, MSPP Vice President and CFO Patrick Capobianco said, “The result is spacious and inviting and communal.” Capobianco has been the driving force behind a five-year search for the right place for MSPP.

According to Dundon, “Learning happens in many places on campus, beyond the classroom. That is why we’ve created a mix of open and private spaces that feel like living rooms, cafes, and study areas, all equipped with white boards and other technology interspersed with classrooms. A student can walk out of a classroom and bump into a professor, and if they choose to sit and talk, they’ll have everything they need to maximize the learning and teaching process.”

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Thank you for your service

Beyond: “Thank you for your service
MSPP Opens Its Doors to Vets Home From War

“We have asked a tremendous amount of this generation of veterans. We’ve asked them to return to service 2 or even 3 times. Each time, they come home more vulnerable, more stressed, more traumatized. Beyond a deeply felt ‘thank you’, we must take care of them.”

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Janice Furtado April 17, 1980–April 13, 2012

With great sadness we inform our readers of the sudden and tragic death of our colleague and friend Janice Furtado. Janice was a powerful voice for women in the military and was also deeply committed to bringing mental health services to her comrades through her work at the Brockton Vet Center. Her unusual empathy and compassion allowed her to engage veterans of all ages. Her warmth, her radiant smile and her unwavering dedication to service distinguished her. She will be sorely missed.

Donations are being made in her name to our TVTV program. Please visit www.mspp.edu/furtado for more information

ith these words, Richard Amodio, PhD, concisely states MSPP’s rationale for a new program to train veterans. Amodio, who teaches at MSPP and has been working at the Bedford VA Hospital Mental Health Center for 17 years, is part of the faculty and student team that’s shaping a new program, Train Vets to Treat Vet® (TVTV), made possible by a grant, from the Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services (DVS). Current MSPP student-veterans are actively recruiting veterans on college campuses to become mental health clinicians. A new model curriculum is being developed and on May 18th, MSPP will host a statewide conference in Shrewsbury, MA, “Beyond ‘Thank You for Your Service.’ Meeting the Needs of Returning Veterans and Their Families.” (see www.mspp.edu/vetsconference for details)

Peter Pruyn, a first year MSPP MA Counseling graduate student assigned to the New England Center for Homeless Veterans (NECHV), is fulfilling his own field placement requirement while expanding the level of direct service MSPP is providing to at-risk and homeless veterans. At the Center, vets’ ages and experiences in America’s many wars over the last 60 years vary greatly. “These people reflect a huge spectrum of issues,” he says. “You could have lunch with many of them and never know they were homeless. It’s a great clinical experience.” Pruyn’s MSPP supervisor and faculty member, Robert Dingman, acknowledges that the vets at the Center are often wary of traditional psychotherapy and must be approached with respect and sensitivity.

“We sit with them, listen to them share their stories, help them deal with their loneliness. Just be there,” says Dingman. “I love the time we spend there. These veterans have lost so much, and are often strikingly alone trying to cope with profound loss and trauma. The resilience of the human spirit I’ve seen at the Center is extraordinary.”

Kristine DiNardo, Vice President for Clinical Services at the Center, shares Dingman’s hopes the Center continues as a regular MSPP training site. She says veterans and staff have benefitted greatly from MSPP’s presence.

Greg Matos

Not long after Navy Ensign Greg Matos, an MSPP 4th year PsyD student returned from active duty as a Marine Corps Sergeant, he felt compelled to write Shattered Glass: The Story of a Marine Embassy Guard. The book is his reflection on the complexities of life in the military. He says, “Intimacy, compassion, empathy—these are devalued in the military. That’s why it’s essential for veterans training to be psychologists to be aware of their own issues and to learn to successfully bridge the military and civilian culture, to make that tough transition to being able to be compassionate, caring and emotional.” Coordinator of the new TVTV Program, Matos speaks honestly and openly about how easy it is to “put your feelings away” and how hard it can be to “learn to be a thinking, feeling civilian again.” Now 29, Matos started basic training shortly after 9/11. Three years later, on December 6, 2004, he was guarding a consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia when it was brutally attacked by al-Qaeda. “I only realized later,” he recalls,” that the experience had affected me much more than I’d realized. It changed my life. Five men were dead on my watch,” he says. “I wasn’t in a combat zone; the war came to me.”

Matos holds strong convictions about America’s debt to its vets. “We must,” he insists, “make a substantial investment in their care.”

Chris King agrees. An Annapolis graduate who served in Iraq and will take the reins of the TVTV Program after Matos graduates this summer says, “I think we have a moral responsibility to help our veterans.”An organizational development teacher at MSPP, King says, “There aren’t enough resources locally or nationally. MSPP is very serious about its commitment to veterans.”

Sandy Dixon, an MSPP faculty member who trained under Richard Amodio at the Bedford VA, teaches a class called Meeting the Needs of Returned Veterans in which students grapple with Hollywood’s glorification of war compared to its stark reality. They learn about what soldiers might actually return with, such as trauma, traumatic brain injuries, sexual trauma, substance abuse, depression and a host of re-integration problems.

Rob Chester, 25, is a second year MSPP PsyD student in the National Guard who looks forward to working exclusively with veterans, probably at a VA Center in the Cleveland area, closer to home. “It shocks me to realize how long it’s taken for the military to look at service people’s emotional side. Resilience and feelings were only recently acknowledged,” he says. Chester says that at a VA facility, there might be a lot of trauma, but it’s not always from battle. He also notes the reluctance of many veterans to seek psychotherapy. Chester is part of the MSPP team researching what treatments are helpful, identifying the approaches that seem most efficacious. He understands the toll military life can take on an individual and on an entire family. According to Dixon,

“The impact on families is enormous.” She says the military is not particularly good at helping families. “They finish with you and discharge you. There’s no recognition that people have to return to engaging their feelings,” she says, adding, “Regardless of how anyone feels about the war, that must be separated from caring about vets.”

Third year MSPP PsyD student Janice Furtado enjoyed her work at a Veteran’s Center in Brockton. She too was on the TVTV team. After 9 years and 8 months in the Air Force, Furtado said “mental health is not a highly respected discipline in military life. If I went to talk with a counselor, they would have revoked my weapon.” Getting past such negative, discriminatory reactions to military personnel seeking help continues to be among the challenges many vets have to overcome. Furtado worked with veterans coming home, and with their families. She loved what she was doing. “I wanted to provide the best services possible to this population. I know how hard they’ve worked and they deserve the best we can give them.”

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Global Mental Health

MSPP confronts challenge of Global Mental Health

A new initiative at MSPP, Global Mental Health, will provide training to health and mental health practitioners and other humanitarian and human rights workers. This new Master’s will provide culture and science-based theory, knowledge and practice for the care of traumatized persons and communities worldwide.

To shape the two-year Masters of Arts in Counseling Psychology and Global Mental Health scheduled to begin this Fall, 2012, MSPP turned to Richard F. Mollica, MD, a leading psychiatrist in this field who directs The Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma and has spent the last 30 years pioneering psychiatric care for people who have lived through extreme violence. Thirty years ago, Mollica had to convince skeptical colleagues, and policy makers, that traumatized individuals have psychological problems that need to be addressed. He says that in the early 1980’s, when he and James Lavelle, LICSW, began the MGH Indochinese Psychiatry Clinic (IPC) in Brighton, the mental health field was convinced such individuals couldn’t be treated and would never recover. “We have come a long way since then,” he says today, “which is why this Global Mental Health program is so important. What is so obvious now is only a recent realization.”

Jean Bellows, PsyD, is an MSPP faculty member who has also worked with trauma suffers for 35 years all over the world. She has seen extreme violence and brutality in North Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, and the Middle East and now teaches trauma at MSPP, her alma mater. She talks about the importance of understanding the cultural context in which the trauma took place and the effects it has had on the entire family. She is among the group of MSPP faculty and students that has returned repeatedly to the Gulf Coast since Katrina to help train mental health professionals about trauma.

We’re cutting edge. This will be a license to do idealistic work and get paid for it. I call it employable idealism.

—Richard Mollica, MD

Jodie Kliman, PhD, is part of the Global Mental Health team. She recently returned from the West Bank and parts of Israel where she is exploring partnerships between MSPP and Israeli and Palestinian Universities. Kliman works closely with her colleague Yousef AlAjarma, PhD, a Palestinian who grew up in a refugee camp and came to the United States 8 years ago with his family. In the West Bank, he says. “Our students would be able to see both the trauma and the resilience people have. Palestinians are living with trauma every day,” he says. “It is not post. A lot of feelings are repressed. We have to work with people and help them, with their permission, to get access to their trauma.” AlAjarma hopes to expose MSPP students to other cultures and see them work with mental health workers abroad. “They must have exposure to different people and see how other professionals work in this field. There is so much need. It could be a rich experience.”

“Yes, psychology must be translated to the culture around it,” concurs Jill Bloom, PhD, who has taught at MSPP for 25 years. “Suffering means different things in different cultures.” She says it is important not to assume every person with trauma should be treated as a victim who has to get over it. “Some kinds of trauma you actually never get over.” Bloom is also part of the planning committee for the new Global Mental Health program. She sees psychology as a contextual field, meaning that the culture and traditions that are so critical to the individual’s coping and healing cannot be ignored. In the new program, she will teach students to understand a client’s history, story, context and experience. She says, “We need to be conversant in understanding mental health around the world.”

MSPP’s Dean of Programs of Advanced Graduate Studies, Stanley Berman, PhD, understands the world as a global village—interconnected. He approaches the focus of the new program as teaching students how to work with new refugees, do disaster relief work around the world, and not make quick presumptions about what people need. Berman has worked for years on how psychology can inform the promotion of peace and values psychology’s move into settings where it can have an impact on world problems. “We need multiple disciplines to confront the many forms of trauma—domestic violence, starving children, war, etc.” says Berman, who praises Mollica’s multidisciplinary perspective.

MSPP’s program will include public health, medicine, psychology, ethics, human rights, economic development and community service. “We must not privilege any one discipline,” says Mollica. “Graduates of this program will learn how to build and manage a team, how to integrate local people into their teams and how to build strong partnerships. It is not about Congo or Haiti,” he says, “People can work in clinics in greater Boston. Out graduates will be employable. We will teach them how to think about mental health in new ways. It is the first Masters in Global Mental Health preparing graduates for a counseling license. We are cutting edge. This will be a license to do idealistic work and get paid for it. I call it employable idealism.”

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Alums Perpetuate MSPP’s Legacy and Lesson of Community Service

David Stein

David Stein with Benjamin Allard.

NANCY FRUMER STYRON's youthful looks belie her many years as Harvard Medical School psychology instructor and clinical director in the department of psychosocial oncology and palliative care at Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center. A 1992 MSPP Clinical PsyD graduate, she specializes in treating children with cancer and some hematologic disorders, many of whom are bone marrow transplant patients, and their families. “I feel privileged to be part of and bear witness to people’s most intimate, vulnerable, and sometimes excruciating moments,” she says. Not all Styron’s mental health work is talking therapy. She says she does whatever it takes to help a child get through a painful medical procedure. She also supervises many students and has had an opportunity to give back to the MSPP community through training and sitting on dissertation committees. Dr. Styron trained at Dana-Farber Cancer Center for two years and then stayed.

Her advice to students? “You’ll always be learning. Don’t be afraid of that. Stay open to new ideas. Go to every Grand Rounds and lecture and Continuing Education course you can. Don’t wait for the time when you think ‘now I know everything,’ because it’s not going to happen. MSPP opens doors to a wide variety of opportunities to contribute to society and to the profession.”

Don’t be in a hurry to finish. Do your dissertation on something you care about and that relates to what you’re interested in. And consider an APA internship too.

—David Stein, MSPP PsyD

DAVID STEIN, 2008 MSPP PsyD graduate, concurs. “Be patient,” he advises doctoral students. “Don’t be in a hurry to finish. Do your dissertation on something you care about and that relates to what you’re interested in. And consider an APA internship because it can open a lot of doors.”

At Children’s Hospital’s Developmental Medicine Center, Stein works with young children who have Autism, Down Syndrome, learning disabilities, ADHD and intellectual disabilities. He does neuropsychological testing, behavioral treatment and parent training. In addition, he has administrative, research and supervisory responsibilities. Last August, 31 year-old Stein was lead author, with two physicians, on an article published in Pediatrics, Developmental and Behavioral Disorders Through the Life Span. “It’s wonderful to see a parent’s reaction to watching their child do something they never thought they’d see,” he says. “I love what I do. I love my job.”

MARY LYONS HUNTER, 1999 MSPP PsyD graduate, also loves her job. Like Styron and Stein, she works where she trained before being hired to stay. The Massachusetts General Hospital Community Health Center in Chelsea, she says, “is based in a community of need. This is a low socio-economic slice of society—immigrants, refugees, and many people who’ve experienced severe trauma.” Hunter knows she’s in the right place for her disposition and skills. “MSPP gives students a great chance to try out different options. I like the complicated problems our multi-cultural patients have and really enjoy working hard on how to empower them. Despite the long, difficult journey many of them have experienced getting here, their level of resilience is impressive.” At the end of the day, Hunter says she feels “the satisfaction of making a difference.” Her advice to students is to embrace MSPP’s model of hands-on experience integrated with classroom learning. Lyons knows that she and the demanding mental health work at the MGH Chelsea Center are a great fit. “It’s not for everybody,” she says, “but I love it. I love going to work every day.”

I’m thankful for the honor and privilege of sitting with people, helping them deal with difficulties in their lives. MSPP gave me great training as a clinician.

—Phil Laidlaw, MSPP PsyD

PHILLIP LAIDLAW, 1998 MSPP PsyD graduate, spends half of his professional time at the Brookline Mental Health Center (BMHC), treating kids, families and couples. He also has a private practice in the Framingham area. At the Brookline Center, Laidlaw is the coordinator of the Couple’s and Family team. He is also the coordinator of the Diversity Initiative at the Center, helping staff and interns gain multi-cultural sensitivity and awareness in their clinical work.

Over the past five years, Laidlaw developed a program called “Brotherhood Toward Success” with young men of color entering Brookline High School. “We’re working to inoculate against racism for African American and Hispanic young people by highlighting resources within themselves and their families that contribute to a positive racial identity. Such positive identification has been shown to aide in attaining successful futures.”

Jamaican-American and the only black student in his grade growing up, Laidlaw knows well the isolation and loneliness that can result when there is no real mentor, and no peers who look like you. A self-described workaholic, he enjoys training and supervising students and interns at BMHC, some of whom are from MSPP. “At MSPP,” he says, “I learned how complex psychological issues play out in therapy. The placements, coupled with classroom learning, made it real for me.” His great affection and appreciation for the school is reflected in his ongoing connections, including talks at MSPP on diversity, race and parenting. “I’m thankful,” he says, “for the honor and privilege of sitting with people, and helping them deal with difficulties in their lives. MSPP gave me great training as a clinician.”

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Lucero Latino Mental Health Program Blossoms

LMHP

Historically, the Dr. Cynthia Lucero Mental Health Program (LMHP) sent 6 to 12 students to first-year summer immersion training, primarily in a language school in Costa Rica. This year, 21 students from MSPP will be trained in a new program managed by the psychology department of Unibe University in Costa Rica, thanks to the leadership of Dr. Stacey Lambert, MSPP Director of Diversity Education and Inclusion. While students will continue with language training and live with host families, their expanded training includes shadowing Costa Rican mental health providers while observing patient testing and therapy sessions in Spanish, visiting a state hospital and also observing a “wrap-around program,” a cohesive healthcare system that combines outpatient and school efforts in treating a child, plus addressing family issues and working with the child’s school.

“Thanks to the larger number of MSPP students the second year summer immersion in Ecuador may require more than one training option,” says Lambert, “and for our third year immersion, we will replace training in Latin America with a free credit tuition for a directed study in a local immersion experience of students’ choice.”

MSPP Launches Annual Latino Conference for Healthcare Providers

A Conference on motivational interviewing to engage Latino clients in community mental health settings held at MSPP on Friday, April 20 hosted by Drs. Nicholas Covino and Stacey Lambert, with presenters, Drs. Luis Anez and Michelle Silva, from the Psychiatry Department of Yale University.

Motivational interviewing techniques are the focus of the conference that emphasizes clients’ cultural backgrounds. Lambert explains, “Latinos are warm people, so building a personal connection before addressing their mental health issues is important. Many professionals get no motivational interviewing training in graduate school; this conference makes it explicit and also builds on MSPP’s national reputation as the place that specializes in Latino mental health.”

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MSPP Students Donate Vacation Time to Katrina’s Trauma Victims

Katrina

Students have been changed by their volunteer experience. With the Gulf oil spill, the need for volunteers will continue for a long time.

—Amanda Jones

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e’ve worked in soup kitchens, animal shelters and with a number of New Orleans volunteer organizations,” but Amanda Jones was greatly impressed with the St. Bernard project in St. Bernard Parish which does renovation work on people’s houses destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. “However, now that the crucial, basic needs of housing and food are being addressed, is the realization of the trauma experienced by citizens due to Katrina. Free of charge, the St. Bernard project established a counseling center for Katrina survivors,” says Jones, administrative assistant for several MSPP programs and leader of the upcoming CARE/New Orleans trip that includes eleven MSPP students. CARE/New Orleans (Community Assisting Relief Efforts) was initiated in 2008 by MSPP counseling program alumnus, Taylor Scull, and has continued annually as an MSPP student volunteer activity. Students contribute their one-week winter/spring vacation to assist New Orleans residents. Each year, MSPP students contact volunteer organizations in the area in order to be most useful. Before to the trip, students raise money, mostly from the MSPP community. Any additional costs are borne directly by the student volunteers. “We’ve stayed in churches, and shared showers with 20 other volunteers,” says Amanda. But the time working with CARE seems well worth any inconveniences.

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Jill Bloom“Family Matters” An MSPP–MFA Collaboration of Psychology and Cinema

MSPP’s Jill Bloom, PhD, has spent many years studying families, cultures and context. Her scholarship moved into the silver screen when she became involved in the MSPP-MFA collaboration around issues she knows well. “We’re looking at different family issues and how they are worked through not only within families, but cross-culturally,” explains Bloom, committee member for the second annual psychology and film series collaboration between MSPP and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA).

Four films regarding family dynamics and behaviors were selected for viewing at the MFA: “The Squid and the Whale,” “Viva Cuba” (Cuban), “We Need To Talk About Kevin” and “Circumstances” (Iranian).

Following each film, panelists lead the audience in discussions in order to expand the understanding of family dynamics and issues represented in the films. Maryam Keshavarz, film director of “Circumstances,” received the Hugo Munsterberg Award for excellence in using film as a pathway to understanding human nature. Now living in France and unable to return to her native Iran in fear for her life, Keshavarz’s work is about a teen-age lesbian from a wealthy Iranian family that struggles to contain their daughter’s sexuality in the face of Islamic fundamentalism. Says Bloom, “It’s important for audiences to view the different ways that family issues are experienced and handled within families and across cultures.”

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Michele VittiInternational Certification, New Design Enhance Coaching Program

Last fall, MSPP’s Executive Coaching Program, GCEC, received approval from the International Coach Federation (ICF), and a curriculum overhaul designed for the working professional.

“Now our students will have ICF approved coach training hours as well as a Graduate Certificate, making them marketable as executive coaches anywhere in the country,” says Program Director Michele Vitti. The ICF is a coalition of 18,000 life and executive coaches that sets professional standards, provides independent certification, and builds a network of credentialed coaches worldwide.

The new design will allow students to complete the program in seven months, with one weekend a month onsite and the rest online, making it even more attractive to busy professionals than the original, which required onsite coursework.

“In MSPP’s coaching program, students are guided by and embrace principles of psychology, organizational dynamics and adult learning as they develop as coaches,” says Vitti, who adds that the role of executive coaches is “to support leaders, and at the same time, challenge them to make positive, and sometimes dramatic changes in their leadership behavior and style.”

Part of MSPP’s Leadership and Organizational Psychology department, the coaching program can be a first step in a Master’s degree in organizational psychology.

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Fran MervynDr. Fran Mervyn—Award Winning Inspiration to MSPP Students

Dr. Diana Collins, an MSPP alumna who was taught and mentored in the 1970’s by Dr. Frances Mervyn, now MSPP’s Dean of Students, thought immediately of her much-admired teacher when she saw the call for nominations for the 2011 Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award, a private award that each year goes to teachers who have inspired students to create organizations that have lasting benefit for the community. Mervyn won.

Under Mervyn’s guidance, Collins co-authored a grant with the NH Crime Commission to create a pilot program known as the Victim/Witness Service of Hillsborough County in New Hampshire, a bridge between psychology and law. In the program, Collins interviewed children and other victims and crime witnesses, paying particular attention to cases where “the potential for trauma was the greatest. By helping victims deal with the trauma, we were able to lessen their fears of court appearance and to win many cases because of it.” She adds, “Fran was there supporting and mentoring me every step of the way.”

Says Mervyn, a community mental health expert, “I am so honored and grateful to Diana. Receiving this award enhances my sense of pride regarding how we, as teachers at MSPP, can have a lasting impact on students who listen carefully, take in what we teach and apply it in the community. This is my, and our, greatest reward.”

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Geriatric Psychology

Geriatric Psychology: Rosowsky Wins ASA Award Amidst Unprecedented Tsunami of Older Americans

BY 2020, THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE OVER 85 will be double what it is now. More of us will be over 65 than under 5. As the greatest demographic wave in history approaches, more and more older Americans will seek mental health care from well-trained practitioners. Unfortunately, these savvy consumers, once called baby boomers, will find a staggering shortage of geriatric mental health therapists. According to Erlene Rosowsky, PsyD, “Access to qualified therapists is already a severe problem.”

Educated consumers accustomed to seeing specialists will create a great demand for gero-psychologists, but there won’t be enough. Access to qualified therapists is already a severe problem. For some, the therapist is the last good listener.

—Erlene Rosowsky, PsyD

Dr. Rosowsky, a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America (FGSA) understands this issue far better than most. Winner of the American Society on Aging’s 2012 Award presented annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the field of aging, she has trained, taught, treated and done research in geriatric psychology since she graduated from MSPP in 1988. Her many professional positions, awards, publications, presentations, major committee assignments and appointments comprise a list too long to detail here and her energy and drive to continue working long, demanding hours belie the fact that she is also a mother of three adult children and grandmother of six.

In addition to three books and her many articles in professional publications, for more than a decade, Rosowsky wrote a regular column, “Speaking of Aging,” in the Journal of Retirement Planning. She serves on several editorial boards and teaches a clinical seminar in Gero-Psychology at MSPP.

Rosowsky loves her work. Whether it’s a Holocaust survivor battling horrific childhood memories or a recently retired senior executive having difficulties living with less status, stature and responsibility, she finds the challenges rewarding. Rosowsky helps individuals and couples cope with loss, changing relationships, chronic illness and, always, the need to be valued. “People need to feel that they matter,” she says. “For some, the therapist is the last good listener.” Having won a Fulbright Specialist Award, she recently returned to the Netherlands to continue her consultation and teaching work on resilience and personality disorders in old age. She is looking at how difficult personalities accommodate to transitions in their care, from hospitals to rehabilitation facilities, assisted living residences and up and back between these. If high energy, flexibility, an eagerness to keep learning and a warm, engaging personality can help an individual age well, Erlene Rosowsky will do it gracefully and with dignity.

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Former Surgeon General to Speak at MSPP Commencement

Dr. David SatcherDAVID SATCHER, MD, ardent advocate of reducing disparities in mental health care, will be MSPP’s commencement speaker on June 3rd at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, and recipient of the school’s highest award, the MSPP Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree. Appointed by President Bill Clinton to be the 16th Surgeon General of the United States in 1998, Dr. Satcher is also known for his role in calling attention to the critical need for more child psychotherapists and school psychologists. His commitment to social justice, his expertise in areas of mental health care, and his ongoing sense of community service make him an extraordinary choice to be MSPP’s graduation speaker.

Growing up in rural Alabama before the civil rights era, Satcher was dangerously ill with whooping cough at age two. His father persuaded the only local black doctor to walk several miles to their home to treat his young son, thereby saving his life. By age six, Satcher was determined to follow in the doctor’s footsteps and in 1970 became the first African American to earn both an MD and PhD at Case Western University in Ohio.

During his lengthy and distinguished career, Dr. Satcher has held many leadership positions in education and health. In 2006 his interest in improving public health and diversity inspired him to develop the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

His lifelong work focused on eliminating disparities in healthcare for all citizens is summarized by his statement during a PBS television interview, “By responding to the health needs of the most vulnerable in the country, we do the most in promoting the health of the nation.”

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Look for our next issue of the MSPPrapport in the Fall.

If there are topics you would like to read about, please contact Katie O'Hare at katie_ohare@mspp.edu.

Updated 6/10/14

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