On This Day … 26 February

People (Births)

People (Deaths)

  • 1930 – Mary Whiton Calkins, American philosopher and psychologist (b. 1863).
  • 1969 – Karl Jaspers, German-Swiss psychiatrist and philosopher (b. 1883).

Emile Coue

Émile Coué de la Châtaigneraie (26 February 1857 to 02 July 1926) was a French psychologist and pharmacist who introduced a popular method of psychotherapy and self-improvement based on optimistic autosuggestion.

Considered by Charles Baudouin to represent a second Nancy School, Coué treated many patients in groups and free of charge.

Sandie Shaw

Sandie Shaw, MBE (born Sandra Ann Goodrich; 26 February 1947) is an English singer. One of the most successful British female singers of the 1960s, she had three UK number one singles with “(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me” (1964), “Long Live Love” (1965) and “Puppet on a String” (1967). With “Puppet on a String”, she became the first British entry to win the Eurovision Song Contest. She returned to the UK top 40, for the first time in 15 years, with her 1984 cover of the Smiths song “Hand in Glove”. Shaw announced her retirement from the music industry in 2013.

Mary Whiton Calkins

Mary Whiton Calkins (30 March 1863 to 26 February 1930) was an American philosopher and psychologist. As a psychologist, she taught at Wellesley College for many years and conducted research on dreams and memory. Calkins was the first woman to become president of the American Psychological Association and the American Philosophical Association.

Karl Jaspers

Karl Theodor Jaspers 23 February 1883 to 26 February 1969) was a German-Swiss psychiatrist and philosopher who had a strong influence on modern theology, psychiatry, and philosophy. After being trained in and practicing psychiatry, Jaspers turned to philosophical inquiry and attempted to discover an innovative philosophical system. He was often viewed as a major exponent of existentialism in Germany, though he did not accept the label.

Book: Doing Psychotherapy

Book Title:

Doing Psychotherapy: A Trauma and Attachment-Informed Approach.

Author(s): Robin Shapiro.

Year: 2020.

Edition: First (1ed).

Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company.

Type(s): Paperback, Audiobook, and Kindle.

Synopsis:

Most books about doing psychotherapy are tied to particular psychotherapeutic practices. Here, seasoned clinical author Robin Shapiro teaches readers the ins and outs of a trauma-and attachment-informed approach that is not tied to any one model or method.

This book teaches assessment, treatment plans, enhancing the therapeutic relationship and ethics and boundary issues, all within a general framework of attachment theory and trauma. Practical chapters talk about working with attachment problems, grief, depression, cultural differences, affect tolerance, anxiety, addiction, trauma, skill- building, suicidal ideation, psychosis, and the beginning and end of therapy. Filled with examples, suggestions for dialogue and questions for a variety of therapeutic situation, Shapiro’s conversational tone makes the book very relatable.

Early-career therapists will refer to it for years to come and veteran practitioners looking for a refresher (or introduction) to the latest in trauma and attachment work will find it especially useful.

On This Day … 04 February

People (Deaths)

  • 1987 – Carl Rogers, American psychologist and academic (b. 1902).

Carl Rogers

Carl Ransom Rogers (08 January 1902 to 04 February 1987) was an American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach (or client-centred approach) to psychology. Rogers is widely considered to be one of the founding fathers of psychotherapy research and was honoured for his pioneering research with the Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1956.

The person-centred approach, his own unique approach to understanding personality and human relationships, found wide application in various domains such as psychotherapy and counselling (client-centred therapy), education (student-centred learning), organisations, and other group settings. For his professional work he was bestowed the Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Psychology by the APA in 1972. In a study by Steven J. Haggbloom and colleagues using six criteria such as citations and recognition, Rogers was found to be the sixth most eminent psychologist of the 20th century and second, among clinicians, only to Sigmund Freud. Based on a 1982 survey among 422 respondents of US and Canadian psychologists, he was considered the first most influential psychotherapist in history (Sigmund Freud was ranked third).

What is Multiple Impact Therapy?

Introduction

Multiple impact therapy (MIT) is a group psychotherapy technique most often used with families in extreme crisis.

It was one of the first group therapy programmes developed in the United States. In multiple impact therapy (MIT), families are seen concurrently by a number of multi-disciplinary medical professionals. The duration of the therapy is short, typically ranging from one to two full treatment days.

The focus of treatment is to find and evaluate structural patterns within the family, evaluate those patterns to see if they are the source of the problem, then modify the structure to alleviate the problem.

Background

MIT as a therapy technique was developed at the University of Texas Medical Branch in the 1950s. At the time, Texas had very few psychoanalysts and those that were available were unaffordable to most families. Because treatment was scarce, there were few specialised programmes for adolescents, many were admitted as patients to psychiatric hospitals. Beginning in 1957, parents began bringing their troubled kids to the University of Texas Medical Branch for treatment.

Dr. Robert MacGregor, the lead researcher of group psychotherapy at the University of Texas Medical Branch, began developing MIT by interviewing entire families together in a single session. MacGregor and his team established their main goal as highlighting and emphasizing the parent’s concern to the disturbed child. Between 1957 and 1958, the team saw 12 families as the procedures were being developed. The initial sessions showed that therapy with individual members, together with group sessions, produced the most effective results. The individual sessions gave members the opportunity to voice their personal resentments while the group sessions gave therapists the opportunity to repair poor communication between family members. The therapy’s short, intensive time frame was originally due to life constraints involving time and travel; however, researchers kept the structure because the momentum created in the two day meetings reduced the overall number of sessions needed for the family to improve.

Procedure

MIT may be prescribed to families as a treatment option for a number of reasons: when conventional therapy fails to show results, as an alternative to hospitalisation, as a final course of action before hospitalisation, or for families who were already in group therapy but were seeing few results.

Treatment occurs in approximately seven steps over a two-day period.

Planning

Because many families participating in MIT are unfamiliar with the treatment and with psychotherapy, the planning phase informs the family about what is to be expected over the two days of treatment. Therapists use this time to review current information about the child and interview the community representative (or inpatient staff member) to gather personal details.

Briefing

After the family arrives, the therapy team and family meet for an initial conference to establish why they are gathered there. Intergroup conflict may be high in this phase. Blaming, criticism and aggressive accusations are commonplace. Therapists typically look for signs of defective communication among the family members and make note for later meetings. At the end of this group meeting, each member meets with an individual therapist.

Pressurised Ventilation

In individual meetings with the parents, parents are under a high degree of stress from the full group meeting. Therapists specifically look for the hardships the parents have faced in dealing with their child’s delinquency.

Initial Interview with the Child

The brief initial interview with the child takes place to match family patterns with the child’s behaviour.

Multiple Therapist Situation

After the initial group meet and individual meetings, therapists meet with any member or any number of members together as they see fit. Notes and other data collected (some studies video recorded the group meetings) are used in this procedure to address behavioural patterns and breakdowns in communication. This phase takes up the majority of the first day.

Team-Family Conference

A final group meeting convenes at the end of day one. Family members face each other again for the first time since the initial meeting. The sharing of the revised attitudes the group have towards one another takes place. The shift from conflict in the initial interview to the improved attitudes in the final team conference leads to the creation of a climate of change among the group.

Second Day Procedures

The second day attempts to begin in the same climate that created in the first. Day one often illuminates many of the breakdowns the family has experienced while day two focuses on retention of improved attitudes and application to the family’s unique situation. On day two, logistical considerations are often discussed such as: should the child remain hospitalised, continue schooling, or consider a different method of treatment. A two-month and six month follow up appointment is typically scheduled.

Potential Positive and Negative Outcomes

The use of an interdisciplinary team allows the parents, the child and the group as a whole to be seen from multiple viewpoints and through the lens of professionals with different experience and expertise. A typical interdisciplinary team as used in Macgregor’s studies at the University of Texas consisted of a psychologist, an associate therapist, a social worker, a nurse, and a member of the family’s community or inpatient clinic, however, other researchers have used up to 9 therapists in a single session. By including the community or inpatient staff member in MIT, trust and respect with the child’s parents increases.

Fifty-five additional families were seen between 1958 and 1962 when MacGregor first published his findings on MIT. Within the fifty-five families, only seven were considered unsuccessful cases. Despite the apparent success of MIT, two major drawbacks, the relative efficiency of the programme and conflict between the interdisciplinary team, were noted.

Sibyl (2019)

Introduction

Sibyl is a 2019 French comedy-drama film directed by Justine Triet and starring Virginie Efira, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Gaspard Ulliel.

A jaded psychotherapist returns to her first passion of becoming a writer.

Outline

Sibyl is a psychotherapist who returns to her first passion: writing. Her newest patient, Margot, is a troubled up-and-coming actress, who proves to be too tempting a source of inspiration. Fascinated almost to the point of obsession, Sibyl becomes more and more involved in Margot’s tumultuous life.

Cast

  • Virginie Efira as Sybil.
  • Adèle Exarchopoulos as Margot Vasilis.
  • Gaspard Ulliel as Igor Maleski.
  • Sandra Hüller as Mikaela “Mika” Sanders.
  • Laure Calamy as Édith.
  • Niels Schneider as Gabriel.
  • Paul Hamy as Étienne.

Production

Filming took place in Paris, in studios located in Lyon and on the Italian island of Stromboli.

Release

Sibyl received mixed reviews from critics.

Trivia

  • It was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Justine Triet.
  • Producer(s): David Thion and Philippe Martin.
  • Writer(s): Justine Triet and Arthur Harari.
  • Music:
  • Cinematography: Simon Beaufils.
  • Editor(s): Laurent Senechal.
  • Production: Les Films Pelleas and Scope Films.
  • Distributor(s): Le Pacte.
  • Release Date: 24 May 2019 (Cannes International Film Festival).
  • Running Time: 100 minutes.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Country: France and Belgium.
  • Language: French and English (subtitles).

Video Link

What is a Mental Health Professional?

Introduction

A mental health professional is a health care practitioner or social and human services provider who offers services for the purpose of improving an individual’s mental health or to treat mental disorders.

This broad category was developed as a name for community personnel who worked in the new community mental health agencies begun in the 1970s to assist individuals moving from state hospitals, to prevent admissions, and to provide support in homes, jobs, education, and community. These individuals (i.e. state office personnel, private sector personnel, and non-profit, and now voluntary sector personnel) were the forefront brigade to develop the community programmes, which today may be referred to by names such as supported housing, psychiatric rehabilitation, supported or transitional employment, sheltered workshops, supported education, daily living skills, affirmative industries, dual diagnosis treatment, individual and family psychoeducation, adult day care, foster care, family services and mental health counselling.

Psychiatrists also are working in clinical fields with psychologists including in sociobehavioural, neurological, person-centred and clinical approaches (often office-based), and studies of the “brain disease” (which came from the community fields and community management and are taught at the MA to PhD level in education). For example, Nat Raskin (at Northwestern University Medical School) who worked with the illustrious Carl Rogers, published on person-centred approaches and therapy in 2004. The term counsellors often refers to office-based professionals who offer therapy sessions to their clients, operated by organisations such as pastoral counselling (which may or may not work with long term services clients) and family counsellors. Mental health counsellors may refer to counsellors working in residential services in the field of mental health in community programmes.

As Community Professionals

As Dr. William Anthony, father of psychiatric rehabilitation, described, psychiatric nurses (RNMH, RMN, CPN), clinical psychologists (PsyD or PhD), clinical social workers (MSW or MSSW), mental health counselors (MA or MS), professional counselors, pharmacists, as well as many other professionals are often educated in “psychiatric fields” or conversely, educated in a generic community approach (e.g. human services programmes or health and human services in 2013). However, his primary concern is education that leads to a willingness to work with “long-term services and supports” community support in the community to lead to better life quality for the individual, the families and the community.

The community support framework in the US of the 1970s is taken-for-granted as the base for new treatment developments (e.g. eating disorders, drug addiction programmes) which tend to be free-standing clinics for specific “disorders”. Typically, the term “mental health professional” does not refer to other categorical disability areas, such as intellectual and developmental disability (which trains its own professionals and maintains its own journals, and US state systems and institutions). Psychiatric rehabilitation has also been reintroduced into the transfer to behavioural health care systems.

As Certified and Licensed (Across Institutions and Communities)

These professionals often deal with the same illnesses, disorders, conditions, and issues (though may separate on-site locations, such as hospital or community for the same clientele); however, their scope of practice differs and more particularly, their positions and roles in the fields of mental health services and systems. The most significant difference between mental health professionals are the laws regarding required education and training across the various professions. However, the most significant change has been the Supreme Court Olmstead Decision on the most integrated setting which should further reduce state hospital utilisation; yet with new professionals seeking right for community treatment orders and rights to administer medications (original community programmes, residents taught to self-administer medications, 1970s).

In 2013, new mental health practitioners are licensed or certified in the community (e.g., PhD, education in private clinical practice) by states, degrees and certifications are offered in fields such as psychiatric rehabilitation (MS, PhD), BA psychology (liberal arts, experimental/clinical/existential/community) to MA licensing is now more popular, BA (to PhD) mid-level programme management, qualified civil service professionals, and social workers remain the mainstay of community admissions procedures (licensed by state, often generic training) in the US. Surprisingly, state direction has moved from psychiatry or clinical psychology to community leadership and professionalisation of community services management.

Entry level recruitment and training remain a primary concern (since the 1970s, then often competing with fast food positions), and the US Direct Support Workforce includes an emphasis on also training of psychiatric aides, behavioural aides, and addictions aides to work in homes and communities. The Centres for Medicaid and Medicare have new provisions for “self-direction” in services and new options are in place for individual plans for better life outcomes. Community programs are increasingly using health care financing, such as Medicaid, and Mental Health Parity is now law in the US.

Professional Distinctions

Comparison of US Mental Health Professionals

OccupationDegreeCommon LicensesPrescription Privilege
PsychiatristMD/DOPsychiatrist.Yes
Psychiatric Rehabilitation CounsellorMaster of Rehabilitation Sciences or PhD.Similar to Related Personnel (Cognitive Sciences), Rehabilitation CounsellorsNo
Clinical PsychologistPhD/PsyD.Psychologist.Yes [1]
School Psychologist1. PhD/EdD/PsyD.
2. Post-master’s terminal degree (not doctoral level).
3. EdS Doctoral degrees.
4. PhD Inclusion educators.
5. Master’s level MA/MS
Certified School Psychology or National Certified School Psychologist.No
Counsellor/Psychotherapist (Doctorate)PhD/EdD/DMFT.Psychologist.No
Counsellor/Psychotherapist/Rehabilitation/Mental Health (Master’s)MA/MS/MC plus two to three years of post-master’s supervised clinical experience.Mental health counsellors/LMFT/LCPC/LPC/LPA/LMHC.No
Clinical or Psychiatric Social WorkerMSW/DSW/PhD plus two to three years of post-master’s supervised clinical experience.LCSW/LMSW/LSW.No
Social Worker (Agency-based Master’s/Doctorate)MSW/DWS/PhD.LMSW/GSW/LSW.No
Social Worker (Bachelor or Diploma)BSW or SSW.RSW, RSSW, SWA, social work assistant.No
Occupational Therapist (Doctorate/Master’s)MOT, MSOT, OTD, ScD, or PhD.Related supervised community personnel in physical, speech and communication, OTR, COTA.No
Licensed Behaviour Therapist (Doctorate/Master’s) [1]PhD/EdD/MS/MEd/MA.1. LBA/LBS/BCBA/BCBA-D.
2. Dual Licensed inclusion educator.
No
Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse PractitionerMSN/DNP/PhD.PMHNP-BC.Yes
Physician’s AssistantMPAS/MHS/MMS/DScPA.PA/PA-C/APA-C/RPA/RPA-C.Yes
Expressive Therapist/Creative Arts TherapistMA/ATR/ATR-BC.ATR-BC/MT-BC/BC-DMT/RDT/CPT.No

Notes:

  1. Currently, psychologists may prescribe in US five states: Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, New Mexico, and Louisiana, as well as in the Public Health Service, the Indian Health Service, the US military, and Guam.
  2. Includes licensed dual inclusion educators, behaviour analyst, substance abuse and behavioural disorders, “inclusion educator”.

Treatment Diversity and Community Mental Health

Mental health professionals exist to improve the mental health of individuals, couples, families and the community-at-large (In this generic use, mental health is available to the entire population, similar to the use by mental health associations). Because mental health covers a wide range of elements, the scope of practice greatly varies between professionals. Some professionals may enhance relationships while others treat specific mental disorders and illness; still, others work on population-based health promotion or prevention activities. Often, as with the case of psychiatrists and psychologists, the scope of practice may overlap often due to common hiring and promotion practices by employers.

As indicated earlier, community mental health professionals have been involved in the beginning and operating community programmes which include ongoing efforts to improve life outcomes, originally through long term services and supports (LTSS). Termed functional or competency-based programmes, this service also stressed decision making and self-determination or empowerment as critical aspects. Community mental health professionals may also serve children who have different needs, as do families, including family therapy, financial assistance and support services. Community mental health professionals serve people of all ages from young children with autism, to children with emotional (or behavioural) needs, to grandma who has Alzheimer’s or dementia and is living at home after dad passes away.

Most qualified mental health professionals will refer a patient or client to another professional if the specific type of treatment needed is outside of their scope of practice. The main community concern is “zero rejection” from community services for individuals who have been termed “hard to serve” in the population (think schizophrenia or dual diagnosis) or who have additional needs such as mobility and sensory impairments. Additionally, many mental health professionals may sometimes work together using a variety of treatment options such as concurrent psychiatric medication and psychotherapy and supported housing. Additionally, specific mental health professionals may be utilised based upon their cultural and religious background or experience, as part of a theory of both alternative medicines and of the nature of helping and ethnicity.

Primary care providers, such as internists, paediatricians, and family physicians, may provide initial components of mental health diagnosis and treatment for children and adults; however, family physicians in some states refuse to even prescribe a psychotropic medication deferring to separately funded “medication management” services. Community programmes in the categorical field of mental health were designed (1970s) to have a personal family physician for every client in their programmes, except for institutional settings and nursing facilities which have only one or two for a large facility.

In particular, family physicians are trained during residency in interviewing and diagnostic skills, and may be quite skilled in managing conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and depression in adults. Likewise, many (but not all) paediatricians may be taught the basic components of ADHD diagnosis and treatment during residency. In many other circumstances, primary care physicians may receive additional training and experience in mental health diagnosis and treatment during their practice years.

Relative Effectiveness

Both primary care physicians/general practitioners (GP’s) and psychiatrist are just as effective (in terms of remission rates) for the treatment of depression. However, treatment resistant depression, suicidal, homicidal ideation, psychosis and catatonia should be handled by mental health specialists. Treatment-resistant depression (or treatment refractory depression) refers to depression which remains at large after at least two antidepressant medications have been trailed on their own.

Peer Workers

Some think that mental health professionals are less credible when they have personal experience of mental health. In fact, the mental health sector goes out of its way to hire people with mental illness experience. Those in the mental health workforce with personal experience of mental health are referred to as ‘peer (support) workers’. The balance of evidence appears to favour their employment: Randomised controlled trials consistently demonstrate peer staff produce outcomes on par with non-peer staff in ancillary roles, but they actually perform better in reducing hospitalisation rates, engaging clients who are difficult to reach, and cutting substance use. There is research that indicates peer workers cultivate a perception among service users that the service is more responsive to non-treatment things, increases their hope, family satisfaction, self-esteem and community belonging.

Psychiatrists

Refer to Psychiatrist and Psychiatry.


Psychiatrists are physicians and one of the few professionals in the mental health industry who specialize and are certified in treating mental illness using the biomedical approach to mental disorders including the use of medications. However, biological, genetic and social processes as part of pre-medicine have been the basis of education in fields such as BA psychology since the 1970s, and in 2013, such academic degrees also may include extensive work on the status of brain, DNA research and its applications. Clinical psychologists were hired by states and served in institutions in the US, and were involved in the transition to community systems.

Psychiatrists may also go through significant training to conduct psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy;. The amount of training a psychiatrist holds in providing these types of therapies varies from program to program and also differs greatly based upon region (Cognitive therapy also stems from cognitive rehabilitation techniques, and may involve long-term community clients with brain injuries seeking jobs, education and community housing). In the 1970s, psychiatrists were considered to be hospital-based, assessment, and clinical education personnel which was not involved in establishing community programmes.

Specialties of Psychiatrists

As part of their evaluation of the patient, psychiatrists are one of only a few mental health professionals who may conduct physical examinations, order and interpret laboratory tests and EEGs, and may order brain imaging studies such as CT or CAT, MRI, and PET scanning. A medical professional must evaluate the patient for any medical problems or diseases that may be the cause of the mental illness.

Historically psychiatrists have been the only mental health professional with the power to prescribe medication to treat specific types of mental illness. Currently, physician assistants response to the psychiatrist (in lieu of and supervised) and advanced practice psychiatric nurses may prescribe medications, including psychiatric medications. Clinical psychologists have gained the ability to prescribe psychiatric medications on a limited basis in a few US states after completing additional training and passing an examination.

Educational Requirements for Psychiatrists

Typically the requirements to become a psychiatrist are substantial but differ from country to country. In general there is an initial period of several years of academic and clinical training and supervised work in different areas of medicine, in order to become a licensed medical doctor, followed by several years of supervised work and study in psychiatry, in order to become a licensed psychiatrist.

In the United States and Canada one must first complete a Bachelor’s degree. Students may typically decide any major subject of their choice, however they must enrol in specific courses, usually outlined in a pre-medical programme. One must then apply to and attend 4 years of medical school in order to earn their MD or DO and to complete their medical education. Psychiatrists must then pass three successive rigorous national board exams (United States Medical Licensing Exams “USMLE”, Steps 1, 2, and 3), which draws questions from all fields of medicine and surgery, before gaining an unrestricted license to practice medicine. Following this, the individual must complete a four-year residency in Psychiatry as a psychiatric resident and sit for annual national in-service exams. Psychiatry residents are required to complete at least four post-graduate months of internal medicine (paediatrics may be substituted for some or all of the internal medicine months for those planning to specialise in child and adolescent psychiatry) and two months of neurology, usually during the first year, but some programmes require more. Occasionally, some prospective psychiatry residents will choose to do a transitional year internship in medicine or general surgery, in which case they may complete the two months of neurology later in their residency. After completing their training, psychiatrists take written and then oral specialty board examinations. The total amount of time required to qualify in the field of psychiatry in the United States is typically 4 to 5 years after obtaining the MD or DO (or in total 8 to 9 years minimum). Many psychiatrists pursue an additional 1-2 years in subspecialty fellowships on top of this such as child psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, and psychosomatic medicine.

In the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and most Commonwealth countries, the initial degree is the combined Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, usually a single period of academic and clinical study lasting around five years. This degree is most often abbreviated ‘MBChB’, ‘MB BS’ or other variations, and is the equivalent of the American ‘MD’. Following this the individual must complete a two-year foundation programme that mainly consists of supervised paid work as a Foundation House Officer within different specialties of medicine. Upon completion the individual can apply for “core specialist training” in psychiatry, which mainly involves supervised paid work as a Specialty Registrar in different subspecialties of psychiatry. After three years there is an examination for Membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (abbreviated MRCPsych), with which an individual may then work as a “Staff grade” or “Associate Specialist” psychiatrist, or pursue an academic psychiatry route via a PhD. If, after the MRCPsych, an additional 3 years of specialisation known as “advanced specialist training” are taken (again mainly paid work), and a Certificate of Completion of Training is awarded, the individual can apply for a post taking independent clinical responsibility as a “consultant” psychiatrist.

Clinical Psychologists

A clinical psychologist studies and applies psychology for the purpose of understanding, preventing and relieving psychologically-based distress or dysfunction and to promote subjective well-being and personal development. In many countries it is a regulated profession that addresses moderate to more severe or chronic psychological problems, including diagnosable mental disorders. Clinical psychology includes a wide range of practices, such as research, psychological assessment, teaching, consultation, forensic testimony, and program development and administration. Central to clinical psychology is the practice of psychotherapy, which uses a wide range of techniques to change thoughts, feelings, or behaviours in service to enhancing subjective well-being, mental health, and life functioning. Unlike other mental health professionals, psychologists are trained to conduct psychological assessment. Clinical psychologists can work with individuals, couples, children, older adults, families, small groups, and communities.

Specialties of Clinical Psychologists

Clinical psychologists who focus on treating mental health specialises in evaluating patients and providing psychotherapy. They do not prescribe medication as this is a role of a psychiatrist (physician who specialises in psychiatry). There are a wide variety of therapeutic techniques and perspectives that guide practitioners, although most fall into the major categories of Psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioural, Existential-Humanistic, and Systems Therapy (e.g. family or couples therapy).

In addition to therapy, clinical psychologists are also trained to administer and interpret psychological personality tests such as the MMPI and the Rorschach inkblot test, and various standardised tests of intelligence, memory, and neuropsychological functioning. Common areas of specialization include: specific disorders (e.g. trauma), neuropsychological disorders, child and adolescent, family and relationship counselling. Internationally, psychologists are generally not granted prescription privileges. In the US, prescriptive rights have been granted to appropriately trained psychologists only in the states of New Mexico and Louisiana, with some limited prescriptive rights in Indiana and the US territory of Guam.

Educational Requirements for Clinical Psychologists

Clinical psychologists, having completed an undergraduate degree usually in psychology or other social science, generally undergo specialist postgraduate training lasting at least two years (e.g. Australia), three years (e.g. UK), or four to six years depending how much research activity is included in the course (e.g. US). In countries where the course is of shorter duration, there may be an informal requirement for applicants to have undertaken prior work experience supervised by a clinical psychologist, and a proportion of applicants may also undertake a separate PhD research degree.

Today, in the US, about half of licensed psychologists are trained in the Scientist-Practitioner Model of Clinical Psychology (PhD) – a model that emphasizes both research and clinical practice and is usually housed in universities. The other half are being trained within a Practitioner-Scholar Model of Clinical Psychology (PsyD), which focuses on practice (similar to professional degrees for medicine and law). A third training model called the Clinical Scientist Model emphasizes training in clinical psychology research. Outside of coursework, graduates of both programmes generally are required to have had 2 to 3 years of supervised clinical experience, a certain amount of personal psychotherapy, and the completion of a dissertation (PhD programmes usually require original quantitative empirical research, whereas the PsyD equivalent of dissertation research often consists of literature review and qualitative research, theoretical scholarship, programme evaluation or development, critical literature analysis, or clinical application and analysis).

Continuing Education Requirements for Clinical Psychologists

Most states in the US require clinical psychologists to obtain a certain number of continuing education credits in order to renew their license. This was established to ensure that psychologists stay current with information and practices in their fields. The license renewal cycle varies, but renewal is generally required every two years.

The number of continuing education credits required for clinical psychologists varies between states. In Nebraska, psychologists are required to obtain 24 hours of approved continuing education credits in the 24 months before their license renewal. In California, the requirement is for 36 hours of credits. New York State does not have any continuing education requirements for license renewal at this time (2014).

Activities that count towards continuing education credits generally include completing courses, publishing research papers, teaching classes, home study, and attending workshops. Some states require that a certain number of the education credits be in ethics. Most states allow psychologists to self-report their credits but randomly audit individual psychologists to ensure compliance.

Counselling Psychologist or Psychotherapist

Counselling generally involves helping people with what might be considered “normal” or “moderate” psychological problems, such as the feelings of anxiety or sadness resulting from major life changes or events. As such, counselling psychologists often help people adjust to or cope with their environment or major events, although many also work with more serious problems as well.

One may practice as a counselling psychologist with a PhD or EdD, and as a counselling psychotherapist with a master’s degree. Compared with clinical psychology, there are fewer counselling psychology graduate programs (which are commonly housed in departments of education), counsellors tend to conduct more vocational assessment and less projective or objective assessment, and they are more likely to work in public service or university clinics (rather than hospitals or private practice). Despite these differences, there is considerable overlap between the two fields and distinctions between them continue to fade.

Mental health counsellors and residential counsellors are also the name for another class of counsellors or mental health professionals who may work with long-term services and supports (LTSS) clients in the community. Such counsellors may be advanced or senior staff members in a community program, and may be involved in developing skill teaching, active listening (and similar psychological and educational methods), and community participation programmes. They also are often skilled in on-site intervention, redirection and emergency techniques. Supervisory personnel often advance from this class of workers in community programmes.

Behaviour Analysts and Community/Institutional Roles

Behaviour analysts are licensed in five states to provide services for clients with substance abuse, developmental disabilities, and mental illness. This profession draws on the evidence base of applied behaviour analysis, behaviour therapy, and the philosophy of radical behaviourism. Behaviour analysts have at least a master’s degree in behaviour analysis or in a mental health related discipline as well as at least five core courses in applied behaviour analysis (narrow focus in psychological education). Many behaviour analysts have a doctorate. Most programmes have a formalised internship programme and several programmes are offered online. Most practitioners have passed the examination offered by the behaviour analysis certification board or the examination in clinical behaviour therapy by the World Association for Behaviour Analysis. The model licensing act for behaviour analysts can be found at the Association for Behaviour Analysis International’s website.

Behaviour analysts (who grew from the definition of mental health as a behavioural problem) often use community situational activities, life events, functional teaching, community “reinforcers”, family and community staff as intervenors, and structured interventions as the base in which they may be called upon to provide skilled professional assistance. Approaches that are based upon person-centred approaches have been used to update the stricter, hospital based interventions used by behaviour analysts for applicability to community environments. Behavioural approaches have often been infused with efforts at client self-determination, have been aligned with community lifestyle planning, and have been criticised as “aversive technology” which was “outlawed” in the field of severe disabilities in the 1990s.

Certified Mental Health Professional

The Certified Mental Health Professional (CMHP) certification is designed to measure an individual’s competency in performing the following job tasks. The job tasks are a sampling of job tasks with a clinical emphasis, and represents a level of line staff in community programmes reporting to a community supervisor in a small site based programme. Personnel in community housing, nursing facilities, and institutional programmes may be covered by these kinds of certifications.

  • Maintain confidentiality of records relating to clients’ treatment (and daily affairs as desired by the person).
  • Encourage clients to express their feelings, discuss what is happening in their lives, and help them to develop insight into themselves and their relationships.
  • Guide clients in the development of skills and strategies for dealing with their problems (and desired life outcomes).
  • Prepare and maintain all required treatment (and/or community service) records and reports.
  • Counsel clients and patients, individually and in group sessions, to assist in overcoming dependencies (seeking new relationships), adjusting to life, and making changes.
  • Collect information about clients through interviews, observations, and tests (and most importantly, speaking with and planning with the person).
  • Act as the client’s advocate in order to coordinate required services or to resolve emergency problems in crisis situations (often first line of emergency response).
  • Develop and implement treatment (or “person-centred”) plans based on clinical (and community) experience and knowledge.
  • Collaborate with other staff members to perform clinical assessments (and health may be contracted for specific consultations) and develop treatment (service) plans.
  • Evaluate client’s physical or mental condition (plan, not condition) based on review of client information (Evaluate outcomes as planned with the client on a “quarterly basis”).

However, these position levels have undergone decades of academic field testing and recommendations with new competencies in development in 2011-2013 by the Centres for Medicaid and Medicare (at the categorical aide levels). New professionals were recommended with a community services coordinator (commonly known as “hands on” case management), together with services and personnel management, and community development and liaison roles for community participation.

School Psychologist and Inclusion Educators

School psychologists’ primary concern is with the academic, social, and emotional well-being of children within a scholastic environment. Unlike clinical psychologists, they receive much more training in education, child development and behaviour, and the psychology of learning, often graduating with a post-master’s educational specialist degree (EdS), EdD or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree. Besides offering individual and group therapy with children and their families, school psychologists also evaluate school programmes, provide cognitive assessment, help design prevention programmes (e.g. reducing drops outs), and work with teachers and administrators to help maximise teaching efficacy, both in the classroom and systemically.

In today’s world, the school psychologist remains the responsible party in “mental health” regarding children with emotional and behavioural needs, and have not always met these needs in the regular school environment. Inclusion (special) educators support participation in local school programmes and after school programmes, including new initiatives such as Achieve my Plan by the Research and Training Centre on Family Support and Children’s Mental Health at Portland State University. Referrals to residential schools and certification of the personnel involved in the residential schools and campuses have been a multi-decade concern with counties often involved in national efforts to better support these children and youth in local schools, families, homes and communities.

Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Psychiatric rehabilitation, similar to cognitive rehabilitation, is a designated field in the rehabilitation often academically prepared in either Schools of Allied Health and Sciences (near the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) and as rehabilitation counselling in the School of Education. Both have been developed specifically as preparing community personnel (at the MA and PHD levels) and to aid in the transition to professionally competent and integrated community services. Psychiatric rehabilitation personnel have a community integration-related base, support recovery and skills-based model of mental health, and may be involved with community programmes based upon normalisation and social role valourisation throughout the US. Psychiatric rehabilitation personnel have been involved in upgrading the skills of staff in institutions in order to move clients into community settings. Most common in international fields are community rehabilitation personnel which traditionally come from the rehabilitation counselling or community fields. In the new “rehabilitation centres” (new campus buildings), designed similar to hospital “rehab” (physical and occupational therapy, sports medicine), often no designated personnel in the fields of mental health (now “senior behavioural services” or “residential treatment units”). Psychiatric rehabilitation textbooks are currently on the market describing the community services their personnel were involved within community development (commonly known as deinstitutionalisation).

Psychiatric rehabilitation professionals (and psychosocial services) are the mainstay of community programs in the US, and the national service providers association itself may certify mental health staff in these areas. Psychiatric interventions which vary from behavioural ones are described in a review on their use in “residential, vocational, social or educational role functioning” as a “preferred methods for helping individuals with serious psychiatric disabilities”. Other competencies in education may involve working with families, user-directed planning methods and financing, housing and support, personal assistance services, transitional or supported employment, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), supported housing, integrated approaches (e.g. substance use, or intellectual disabilities), and psychosocial interventions, among others. In addition, rehabilitation counsellors (PhD, MS) may also be educated “generically” (breadth and depth) or for all diagnostic groups, and can work in these fields; other personnel may have certifications in areas such as supported employment which has been verified for use in psychiatric, neurological, traumatic brain injury, and intellectual disabilities, among others.

Social Worker

Social workers in the area of mental health may assess, treat, develop treatment plans, provide case management and/or rights advocacy to individuals with mental health problems. They can work independently or within clinics/service agencies, usually in collaboration with other health care professionals.

In the US, they are often referred to as clinical social workers; each state specifies the responsibilities and limitations of this profession. State licensing boards and national certification boards require clinical social workers to have a master’s or doctoral degree (MSW or DSW/PhD) from a university. The doctorate in social work requires submission of a major original contribution to the field in order to be awarded the degree.

In the UK there is a now a standardised three-year undergraduate social work degree, or two-year postgraduate masters for those who already have an undergraduate social sciences degree or others and relevant work experience. These courses include mandatory supervised work experience in social work, which may include mental health services. Successful completion allows an individual to register and work as a qualified social worker. There are various additional optional courses for gaining qualifications specific to mental health, for example training in psychotherapy or, in England and Wales, for the role of Approved Mental Health Professional (two years’ training for a legal role in the assessment and detention of eligible mentally disordered people under the Mental Health Act (1983) as amended in 2007).

Social workers in England and Wales are now able to become Approved Clinicians under the Mental Health Act 2007 following a period of further training (likely at postgraduate degree/diploma or doctoral level). Historically, this role was reserved for psychiatrist medical doctors, but has now extended to registered mental health professionals, such as social workers, psychologists and mental health nurses.

In general, it is the psycho-social model rather than, or in addition to, the dominant medical model, that is the underlying rationale for mental health social work. This may include a focus on social causation, labelling, critical theory and social constructiveness. Many argue social workers need to work with medical and health colleagues to provide an effective service but they also need to be at the forefront of processes that include and empower service users.

Social workers also prepare social work administration and may hold positions in human services systems as administration or Executives to Administration in the US. Social workers, similar to psychiatric rehabilitation, updates its professional education programmes based upon current developments in the fields (e.g. support services) and serve a multicultural client base.

Educational Requirements for Social Workers

In the United States, the minimum requirement for social workers is generally a bachelor’s degree in social work, though a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as sociology or psychology may qualify an applicant for certain jobs. Higher-level jobs typically require a master’s degree in social work. Master’s programs in social work usually last two years and consist of at least 900 hours of supervised instruction in the field. Regulatory boards generally require that degrees be obtained from programmes that are accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) or another nationally recognised accrediting agency for promotion and future collaboration.

Before social workers can practice, they are required to meet the licensing, certification, or registration requirements of the state. The requirements vary depending on the state but usually involve a minimum number of supervised hours in the field and passing of an exam. All states, except California, also require pre-licensure from the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB).

The ASWB offers four categories of social work license. The lowest level is a Bachelors, for which a bachelor’s degree in social work is required. The next level up is a Masters and a master’s degree in social work is required. The Advanced Generalist category of social worker requires a master’s degree in social work and two years of supervised post-degree experience. The highest ASWB category is a Clinical Social Worker which requires a master’s degree in social work along with two years of post-master’s direct experience in social work.

Continuing Education Requirements for Social Workers

Most states require social workers to acquire a minimum number of continuing education credits per license, certification, or registration renewal period. The purpose of these requirements is to ensure that social workers stay up-to-date with information and practices in their professions. In most states, the renewal process occurs every two or three years. The number of continuing education credits that is required varies between states but is generally 20 to 45 hours during the two- or three-year period prior to renewal.

Courses and programs that are approved as continuing education for social workers generally must be relevant to the profession and contribute to the advancement of professional competence. They often include continuing education courses, seminars, training programs, community service, research, publishing articles, or serving on a panel. Many states enforce that a minimum amount of the credits be on topics such as ethics, HIV/AIDs, or domestic violence.

Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse

Psychiatric Nurses or Mental Health Nurse Practitioners work with people with a large variety of mental health problems, often at the time of highest distress, and usually within hospital settings. These professionals work in primary care facilities, outpatient mental health clinics, as well as in hospitals and community health centres. MHNPs evaluate and provide care for patients who have anything from psychiatric disorders, medical mental conditions, to substance abuse problems. They are licensed to provide emergency psychiatric services, assess the psycho-social and physical state of their patients, create treatment plans, and continually manage their care. They may also serve as consultants or as educators for families and staff; however, the MHNP has a greater focus on psychiatric diagnosis (typically the province of the MD or PhD), including the differential diagnosis of medical disorders with psychiatric symptoms and on medication treatment for psychiatric disorders.

Educational Requirements for Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurses

Psychiatric and mental health nurses receive specialist education to work in this area. In some countries, it is required that a full course of general nurse training be completed prior to specialising as a psychiatric nurse. In other countries, such as the UK, an individual completes a specific nurse training course that determines their area of work. As with other areas of nursing, it is becoming usual for psychiatric nurses to be educated to degree level and beyond. Psychiatric aides, now being trained by educational psychology in 2014, are part of the entry-level workforce which is projected to be needed in communities in the US in the next decades.

In order to become a nurse practitioner in the US, at least six years of college education must be obtained. After earning the bachelor’s degree (usually in nursing, although there are master’s entry level nursing graduate programs intended for individuals with a bachelor’s degree outside of nursing) the test for a license as a registered nurse (the NCLEX-RN) must be passed. Next, the candidate must complete a state-approved master’s degree advanced nursing education program which includes at least 600 clinical hours. Several schools are now also offering further education and awarding a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice).

Individuals who choose a master’s entry level pathway will spend an extra year at the start of the programme taking classes necessary to pass the NCLEX-RN. Some schools will issue a BSN, others will issue a certificate. The student then continues with the normal MSN programme.

Mental Health Care Navigator

A mental health care navigator is an individual who assists patients and families to find appropriate mental health caregivers, facilities and services. Individuals who are care navigators are often also trained therapists and doctors. The need for mental health care navigators arises from the fragmentation of the mental health industry, which can often leave those in need with more questions than answers. Care navigators work closely with patients through discussion and collaboration to provide information on options and referrals to healthcare professionals, facilities, and organisations specialising in the patients’ needs. The difference between other mental health professionals and a care navigator is that a care navigator provides information and directs a patient to the best help rather than offering diagnosis, prescription of medications or treatment.

Many mental health organisations use “navigator” and “navigation” to describe the service of providing guidance through the health care industry. Care navigators are also sometimes referred to as “system navigators”. One type of care navigator is an “educational consultant.”

Workforce Shortage

Behavioural health disorders are prevalent in the United States, but accessing treatment can be challenging. Nearly 1 in 5 adults experience a mental health condition for which approximately only 43% received treatment. When asked about access to mental health treatment, two-thirds of primary care physicians reported that they were unable to secure outpatient mental health treatment for their patients. This is due, in part, to the workforce shortage in behavioural health. In rural areas, 55% of US counties have no practicing psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker. Overall, 77% of counties have a severe shortage of mental health workers and 96% of counties had some unmet need. Some of the reasons for the workforce shortage include high turnover rates, high levels of work-related stress, and inadequate compensation. Annual turnover rate is 33% for clinicians and 23% for clinical supervisors. This is compared to an annual PCP turnover rate of 7.1%. Compensation in behavioural health field is notably low. The average licensed clinical social worker, a position that requires a master’s degree and 2,000 hours of post-graduate experience, earns $45,000/year. As a point of reference, the average physical therapist earns $75,000/year. Substance abuse counsellor earnings are even lower, with an average salary of $34,000/year. Job stress is another factor that may lead to the high turnover rates and workforce shortage. It is estimated that 21-67% of mental health workers experience high levels of burnout including symptoms of emotional exhaustion, high levels of depersonalisation and a reduced sense of personal accomplishment. Researchers have offered various recommendations to reduce the critical workforce gaps in behavioural health. Some of these recommendations include the following: expanding loan repayment programmes to incentivise mental health providers to work in underserved (often rural) areas, integrating mental health into primary care, and increasing reimbursement to health care professionals.

Social workers also tend to experience competing for work and family demands, which negatively affects their job well-being and subsequently their job satisfaction, resulting in high turnover in the profession.

On This Day … 12 January

People (Births)

  • 1896 – David Wechsler, Romanian-American psychologist and author (d. 1981).
  • 1914 – Mieko Kamiya, Japanese psychiatrist and psychologist (d. 1979).
  • 1941 – Fiona Caldicott, English psychiatrist and psychotherapist.

David Wechsler

David Wechsler (12 January 1896 to 02 May 1981) was a Romanian-American psychologist. He developed well-known intelligence scales, such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC). A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Wechsler as the 51st most cited psychologist of the 20th century.

Biography

Wechsler was born in a Jewish family in Lespezi, Romania, and emigrated with his parents to the United States as a child. He studied at the City College of New York and Columbia University, where he earned his master’s degree in 1917 and his Ph.D. in 1925 under the direction of Robert S. Woodworth. During World War I, he worked with the United States Army to develop psychological tests to screen new draftees while studying under Charles Spearman and Karl Pearson.

After short stints at various locations (including five years in private practice), Wechsler became chief psychologist at Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital in 1932, where he stayed until 1967. He died on 02 May 1981.

Intelligence Scales

Wechsler is best known for his intelligence tests. He was one of the most influential advocates of the role of non-intellective factors in testing. He emphasized that factors other than intellectual ability are involved in intelligent behaviour. Wechsler objected to the single score offered by the 1937 Binet scale. Although his test did not directly measure non-intellective factors, it took these factors into careful account in its underlying theory. The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) was developed first in 1939 and then called the Wechsler-Bellevue Intelligence Test. From these he derived the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) in 1949 and the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI) in 1967. Wechsler originally created these tests to find out more about his patients at the Bellevue clinic and he found the then-current Binet IQ test unsatisfactory. The tests are still based on his philosophy that intelligence is “the global capacity to act purposefully, to think rationally, and to deal effectively with [one’s] environment” (cited in Kaplan & Saccuzzo, p. 256).

The Wechsler scales introduced many novel concepts and breakthroughs to the intelligence testing movement. First, he did away with the quotient scores of older intelligence tests (the Q in “I.Q.”). Instead, he assigned an arbitrary value of 100 to the mean intelligence and added or subtracted another 15 points for each standard deviation above or below the mean the subject was. While not rejecting the concept of general intelligence (as conceptualised by his teacher Charles Spearman), he divided the concept of intelligence into two main areas: verbal and performance (non-verbal) scales, each evaluated with different subtests.

Mieko Kamiya

Mieko Kamiya (神谷 美恵子, Kamiya Mieko, 12 January 1914 to 22 October 1979) was a Japanese psychiatrist who treated leprosy patients at Nagashima Aiseien Sanatorium. She was known for translating books on philosophy. She worked as a medical doctor in the Department of Psychiatry at Tokyo University following World War II. She was said to have greatly helped the Ministry of Education and the General Headquarters, where the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers stayed, in her role as an English-speaking secretary, and served as an adviser to Empress Michiko. She wrote many books as a highly educated, multi-lingual person; one of her books, titled On the Meaning of Life (Ikigai Ni Tsuite in Japanese), based on her experiences with leprosy patients, attracted many readers.

Fiona Caldicott

Dame Fiona Caldicott, DBE, FMedSci (12 January 1941 to Present) is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist and, previously, Principal of Somerville College, Oxford. She is the present National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care in England.

Caldicott was born on 12 January 1941 in Troon, daughter of barrister Joseph Maurice Soesan and civil servant Elizabeth Jane (née Ransley). Her paternal grandparents were greengrocers who were unenthusiastic about education; her father left school in his mid-teens, but subsequently completed a chemistry degree at night school and a law degree by correspondence. Caldicott was educated at City of London School for Girls, then studied medicine at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, qualifying BM BCh in 1966.

Career

She was a Pro Vice-Chancellor, Personnel and Equal Opportunities, of the University of Oxford and chaired its Personnel Committee. She retired from her 10-year term as Chair at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust in March 2019, and was a past President of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. She was the first woman to be President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (1993–96) and its first woman Dean (1990-1993). From 2011 to 2013 she was Chair of the National Information Governance Board for Health and Social Care.

Caldicott Committee

A review was commissioned by the Chief Medical Officer of England and Wales owing to increasing concern about the ways in which patient information is used in the NHS of England and Wales and the need to ensure that confidentiality is not undermined. Such concern was largely due to the development of information technology in the service, and its capacity to disseminate information about patients rapidly and extensively. In 1996, guidance on “the protection and use of patient information” was promulgated and there was a need to promote awareness of it at all levels in the NHS. It did not affect Scotland originally but they have recently adopted it. A main committee was set up under Caldicott’s Chair and there were four separate working groups; the committee was known as the Caldicott Committee.

The Caldicott Committee … was [responsible] to review all patient-identifiable information, which passes from NHS organisations to other NHS or non-NHS bodies for purposes other than direct care, medical research, or where there is a statutory requirement for information. The committee was to consider each flow of patient-identifiable information and was to advise the NHS Executive whether patient identification was justified by the purpose and whether action to minimise risks of breach of confidentiality was desirable – for example, reduction, elimination, or separate storage of items of information.

The Caldicott Report was published in December 1997. Today, every NHS trust has a ‘Caldicott Guardian’, to make sure standards of patient confidentiality and the Caldicott principles are upheld.

National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care

Caldicott became the UK’s first National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care in November 2014. In December 2018 the Health and Social Care (National Data Guardian) Act 2018 passed into law, and in April 2019 she was appointed as the first statutory position holder by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

Awards and Honours

  • Honorary fellow at Somerville College, Oxford.
  • Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, 15 June 1996..
  • Lifetime Achievement Award from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, November 2018.

On This Day … 03 December

People (Births)

  • 1895 – Anna Freud, Austrian-English psychologist and psychoanalyst (d. 1982)
  • 1943 – J. Philippe Rushton, English-Canadian psychologist and academic (d. 2012).

People (Deaths)

  • 2008 – Robert Zajonc, Polish-American psychologist and author (b. 1923).
  • 2014 – Nathaniel Branden, Canadian-American psychotherapist and author (b. 1930).

Anna Freud

Anna Freud (03 December 1895 to 09 October 1982) was an Austrian-British psychoanalyst. She was born in Vienna, the sixth and youngest child of Sigmund Freud and Martha Bernays. She followed the path of her father and contributed to the field of psychoanalysis. Alongside Melanie Klein, she may be considered the founder of psychoanalytic child psychology.

Compared to her father, her work emphasized the importance of the ego and its normal “developmental lines” as well as incorporating a distinctive emphasis on collaborative work across a range of analytical and observational contexts.

After the Freud family were forced to leave Vienna in 1938 with the advent of the Nazi regime in Austria, she resumed her psychoanalytic practice and her pioneering work in child psychology in London, establishing the Hampstead Child Therapy Course and Clinic in 1952 (now the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families) as a centre for therapy, training and research work.

J. Philippe Rushton

John Philippe Rushton (03 December 1943 to 02 October 2012) was a Canadian psychologist and author. He taught at the University of Western Ontario and became known to the general public during the 1980s and 1990s for research on race and intelligence, race and crime, and other apparent racial variations. His book Race, Evolution, and Behaviour (1995) is about the application of r/K selection theory to humans.

Rushton’s work was heavily criticised by the scientific community for the questionable quality of its research, with many alleging that it was conducted under a racist agenda. From 2002 until his death, he served as the head of the Pioneer Fund, an organization founded in 1937 to promote Eugenics, which worked actively with the Nazi party to promote theories of racial superiority and inferiority, and has been described as racist and white supremacist and designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Centre. Rushton was a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association and a onetime Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Robert Zajonc

Robert Bolesław Zajonc (23 November 1923 to 03 December 2008) was a Polish-born American social psychologist who is known for his decades of work on a wide range of social and cognitive processes. One of his most important contributions to social psychology is the mere-exposure effect. Zajonc also conducted research in the areas of social facilitation, and theories of emotion, such as the affective neuroscience hypothesis.

He also made contributions to comparative psychology. He argued that studying the social behaviour of humans alongside the behaviour of other species, is essential to our understanding of the general laws of social behaviour. An example of his viewpoint is his work with cockroaches that demonstrated social facilitation, evidence that this phenomenon is displayed regardless of species.

A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Zajonc as the 35th most cited psychologist of the 20th century.

He died of pancreatic cancer on 03 December 2008 in Palo Alto, California, and is survived by his wife Hazel Rose Markus and his four children.

Nathaniel Branden

Nathaniel Branden (born Nathan Blumenthal; 09 April 1930 to 03 December 2014) was a Canadian–American psychotherapist and writer known for his work in the psychology of self-esteem.

A former associate and romantic partner of Ayn Rand, Branden also played a prominent role in the 1960s in promoting Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism.

Rand and Branden split acrimoniously in 1968, after which Branden focused on developing his own psychological theories and modes of therapy.

On This Day … 14 October

People (Births)

  • 1936 – Jürg Schubiger, Swiss psychotherapist and author (d. 2014).

Jürg Schubiger

Jürg Schubiger (14 October 1936 to 15 September 2014) was a Swiss psychotherapist and writer of children’s books.

Schubiger was born in Zürich and raised in Winterthur, Switzerland. He graduated from the University of Zürich in German Studies, Psychology and Philosophy. He wrote his PhD thesis on Franz Kafka.

He won the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (German Youth Literature Award) in 1996 for Als die Welt noch jung war. For his ‘lasting contribution’ as a children’s writer Schubiger received the biennial Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 2008. The award conferred by the International Board on Books for Young People is the highest recognition available to a writer or illustrator of children’s books.

Schubiger died in 2014, aged 77, four weeks and one day before his 78th birthday.

On This Day … 01 October

People (Births)

  • 1940 – Phyllis Chesler, American feminist psychologist, and author of the best-seller, Women and Madness (1972).
  • 1950 – Susan Greenfield, Baroness Greenfield, English neuroscientist, academic, and politician.

Phyllis Chesler

Phyllis Chesler is an American writer, psychotherapist, and professor emerita of psychology and women’s studies at the College of Staten Island (CUNY).

She is known as a feminist psychologist, and is the author of 18 books, including the best-seller Women and Madness (1972), With Child: A Story of Motherhood (1979) and An American Bride in Kabul: A Memoir (2013). Chesler has written on topics such as gender, mental illness, divorce and child custody, surrogacy, second-wave feminism, pornography, prostitution, incest, and violence against women.

In more recent years, Chesler has written several works on such subjects as anti-Semitism, Islam, and honor killings. Chesler argues that many western intellectuals, including leftists and feminists, have abandoned Western values in the name of multicultural relativism, and that this has led to an alliance with Islamists, an increase in anti-Semitism, and to the abandonment of Muslim women and religious minorities in Muslim-majority countries.

Susan Greenfield

Susan Adele Greenfield, Baroness Greenfield, CBE, FRCP is an English scientist, writer, broadcaster, and member of the House of Lords. Her research has focused on the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. She is also interested in the neuroscience of consciousness and the impact of technology on the brain.

Greenfield is a senior research fellow at Lincoln College, Oxford, and was a professor of Synaptic Pharmacology.

She was chancellor of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh between 2005 and 2013. From 1998 to 2010, she was director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain. In September 2013, she co-founded the biotech company Neuro-bio Ltd, where she is Chief Executive Officer.