New DHS Benefit, Psych Consults to PMPs – Not Quite Ready for Prime Time

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is promoting coordination of care between primary medical providers (PMP) and behavioral providers. In the past, DHS had a benefit that covered psychiatric consultations provided to primary medical providers. According to DHS staff, no psychiatrists ever billed for this service, so obviously it was not being provided to primary medical providers even though it was a potentially helpful concept. DHS recently expanded this benefit to cover consultations to PMPs by licensed psychologists, as long as the psychologist is working within the scope of their license. 

Update on sleep research and learning: advice for teens – and the rest of us

The New York Times published  “Want to Ace That Test?  Get the Right Kind of Sleep” on 10-16-14.  The article provides an update about the current research on sleep and learning, with a focus on what it means for teens but the benefits of this information certainly are not limited to teens.  The author, who is one of the paper’s science reporters, summarizes the current thinking about sleep: “Sleep is learning, of a very specific kind. Scientists now argue that a primary purpose of sleep is learning consolidation, separating the single from the noise and flagging what is most valuable.”

Ronald Siegal and colleagues on the benefits of integrating mindfulness into mental health therapy

The online newsletter from Mindful.org on 10-14-14 featured an article about potential benefits of mindfulness practice mental health therapists. The article, “3 Ways to Bring Mindfulness into Therapy,” is by Susan Pollak, Ronald Siegal and Thomas Pedulla. Ronald Seigal is a psychologist who is on the faculty of Harvard University and has written several books about integrating mindfulness practice into mental health therapy, and this article is adapted from Sitting Together: Essential Skills for Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy, by the three authors of the article.

Integrating behavioral and medical services: preventing postpartum depression

Integrating behavioral and medical services:  preventing postpartum depression

The New York Times published a commentary on 10-19-14 about preventing postpartum depression. The article, “Treating Depression Before It’s Postpartum,” was written by David Borenstein, who is not a mental health professional but is a journalist who appears to have thoroughly researched the issues related to postpartum depression.

Therapy resources: problems with “the power of positive thinking”

The New York Times published an interesting commentary about research on positive thinking on 10-26-14. The author, Gabriele Oettingen, is a professor of psychology at New York University and the University of Hamburg. Her commentary, “The Problem With Positive Thinking,” reviews are cultural patterns and myths about positive thinking, and what research actually tells us about this common coping patterns. It turns out that the actual research about it finds it to be strikingly unhelpful. She cites several research examples in support of this. Her take: it feels good in the short run, but saps the energy and probably distracts