Cognitive behavioral therapy effective for treating depression in older veterans.

A new study shows that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for depression among older veterans, as well as younger veterans. CBT is also known to be an effective treatment for anxiety and panic attacks.

See excerpt below:

For veterans seeking mental health treatment, a lot of emphasis has been placed on developing therapies post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition characterized by frequent flashbacks and nightmares that are triggered by a terrifying event.

But according to Dr. Bradley Karlin, the national mental health director for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs VA, another serious mental health condition affecting veterans often goes unnoticed: clinical depression.

If not addressed properly, depression can have very significant health implications for older generations – including poor quality of life, increased mortality, increased suicide rates, and delay in recovery from mental illness.

via Cognitive behavioral therapy shown to be effective for treating depression in older veterans | Fox News.

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Stress as an Influencing Factor in Psoriasis. Boston Stress Management Therapists Can Help.

Emotional stress may influence the development and exacerbation of psoriasis. The proportion of psoriasis patients who believe stress affects their skin condition i.e., “stress responders” is considerably high, ranging from 37% to 78%. Stress may worsen psoriasis severity and may even lengthen the time to disease clearance.

Dysregulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal and sympathetic adrenomedullary systems has been proposed as one possible underlying cause of stress-induced flares of psoriasis. While stress may be an exacerbating factor, psoriasis itself may contribute to significant adverse psychological sequelae. Breaking this stress cycle may be an important part of any therapeutic approach. Thus, stress reduction through psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy may be useful in treating psoriatic patients who are stress responders.

Health psychologists can also offer specialized training to help clients with stress management and coping with medical conditions and illnesses.

If you would like information about psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy and/or health psychology, contact Commonwealth Psychology Associates. 


via Stress as an Influencing Factor in Psoriasis: Abstract and Introduction.

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10 Organizational Tips for Managing ADHD: Boston ADHD Testing Available

Need help getting organized? Check out these tips that can help those with ADHD or anyone looking to be more organized. Start the New Year off right!

And, if you’d like to know whether you have ADHD or need ADHD treatment, ADHD and ADD testing can help. Commonwealth Psychology Associates offers ADD and ADHD testing and treatment in Boston and Newton, MA.

Organizational skills are a vital component to a happy and successful life. Many people with ADHD have added difficulties with organization, often because they fear they wont become perfectly organized. If you are someone in need of support to become more organized, the following tips may help:

1. Limit Your Lists.

Compiling lists with endless projects tends to lead to jumping around between tasks without ever finishing any one of them. Keep no more than five tasks on your to-do list at a time. Once those five tasks are finished, start a new list. You will feel more productive, less overwhelmed and manage your time better. Worried youll forget something if you dont write it down? If it is really important, you will remember the task and can add it to your next list once your current list is finished.

2. Reward Yourself.

Making changes to organize your life wont happen overnight. And just the same with any project, ADHD causes many people to lose motivation while endeavoring to make new organizational practices a habit. To avoid pitfalls, set up a reward system to keep yourself motivated. For example, every day you wash the dishes after dinner — instead of letting them sit in the sink for days — you earn a point. Once 10 points are earned, you treat yourself to a manicure or that fancy cup of coffee you reserve only for special occasions.

via George Sachs, Psy.D.: 10 Organizational Tips for Managing ADHD.

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219-pound boy shows growing problem of extreme obesity. Nutrition counseling can help.

Obesity is fast becoming an epidemic in the US. Excess weight and obesity are known to be associated with numerous health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and dementia in later life. But, we can all learn to eat healthier by working with a registered dietitian who offers nutrition counseling services.

With modern, processed foods, sugar-laden soda and beverages and endless access to fast food, it can be very difficult to know what and how to eat to be healthier. Working with a registered dietitian who offers nutrition counseling can be a very helpful way to start learning how to eat healthier and avoid some common pitfalls in our eating habits.

To learn more about nutrition counseling or to find a nutritionist in Boston or Newton, MA, call Commonwealth Psychology Associates. Or, you can simply complete their quick and easy on-line intake form and their staff will promptly give you a call.


The case of a 219-pound 8-year-old boy taken from his mother for health reasons spotlights a problem that has almost tripled in the U.S. in the last 30 years — cases of extreme child obesity.

“Not only do we have a higher percentage of kids who are obese but a higher percentage of children who are severely obese,” said Dr. Garry Sigman, director of adolescent medicine and associate professor of pediatrics at Loyola University Medical Center near Chicago, in an interview with Reuters.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 17 percent or 12.5 million of children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years are obese, as opposed to merely overweight.

Obesity in children is defined by the CDC as having a body mass index BMI at or above the 95th percentile for children of the same age and sex. “Overweight” is defined as a BMI at or above the 85th percentile.

About 2 million U.S. children have a BMI at or beyond the 99th percentile, according to a July article on childhood obesity in the Journal of the American Medical Association, co-authored by Harvard University child obesity expert Dr. David S. Ludwig. The article ignited controversy by saying that in some cases, removing a child from a home may be justified.

An average 8-year-old boy is about 55 pounds, making the boy in question approximately 165 pounds overweight or four times more than average, according to the CDC.

via 219-pound boy shows growing problem of extreme obesity | Reuters.

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Diet Rich in Antioxidants May Cut Stroke Risk. Boston Nutrition Counseling Can Help.

Eating healthier can lower your risk of stroke and heart disease. Simple changes in your diet can help you feel better and live a healthier life.

Many people aren’t sure how to go about changing their eating habits or what foods they should eat. But, working with a nutritionist and registered dietitian can make the process easy. Nutrition counseling can help people learn how to eat healthier and change some bad eating habits. Nutrition counseling is often covered by health insurance plans also.

To learn more about nutrition counseling or to find a Boston Nutritionist, visit Commonwealth Psychology Associates or call today at 617-259-1895.

Excerpts from recent article:

Women who eat an antioxidant-rich diet may significantly cut their stroke risk, particularly those without a history of cardiovascular disease CVD, new research suggests.

The prospective study found that women with no history of CVD who consumed the highest amount of antioxidants in foods such as fruit, vegetables, tea, whole grains, and chocolate had a 17% lower risk for strokes than those who ate the least amount. Among women with a history of CVD, those who consumed the most antioxidants had a 45% lower risk for hemorrhagic strokes.

“This study suggests that eating a diet rich in antioxidants, especially from fruits and vegetables, may be of importance for stroke prevention,” lead author Susanne Rautiainen, MSc, a PhD student at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, told Medscape Medical News.

The study was published online December 1 in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

via Diet Rich in Antioxidants May Cut Stroke Risk.

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Americas Use of Psychiatric Medications Rising. More Therapy and Counseling Needed.

There has been a significant increase in the number of Americans using psychiatric medications such as anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications. Approximately 20% of American’s used a psychiatric medication last year. And, 25% of women used psychiatric medication last year.

Other research has indicated that medication use is rising while participation in psychotherapy and counseling has been declining. This is a concerning pattern as many people might benefit from psychotherapy and learn skills to last a lifetime. Use of medication, while clearly often helpful, will not help clients learn new skills for managing their mood, anxiety and emotional lives. Additionally, many medications come with negative side effects. Anxiety medications in particular can negatively impact cognitive functions such as attention and memory.

If you are experiencing depression, anxiety or other psychological issues, consider working with a psychologist to develop more effective ways to feel better. And, often the most effective approach to treating these difficulties is to utilize both psychotherapy and psychopharmacology together.

For more information about psychotherapy and psychopharmacological treatments, contact Commonwealth Psychology Associates via their website or by calling them at 617-259-189. Help is available.



A new report shows that 1 in 5 adult Americans took at least 1 psychiatric medication in 2010. In women, the statistic was 1 in 4.

The report, issued by Medco Health Solutions, which conducted the study, analyzed trends in mental health medication usage among approximately 2.5 million insured Americans, comparing use of antidepressants, antipsychotics, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder ADHD drugs, and antianxiety treatments from 2001 to 2010.

“Over the past decade, there has been a significant uptick in the use of medications to treat a variety of mental health problems; what is not as clear is if more people — especially women, are actually developing psychological disorders that require treatment, or if they are more willing to seek out help and clinicians are better at diagnosing these conditions than they once were,” David Muzina, MD, a psychiatrist and national practice leader of the Medco Neuroscience Therapeutic Resource Center, said in a release.

“Women are generally more frequent users of healthcare, but they may also be bearing the emotional brunt of a decade that started with the horror of 9/11 and since has seen several wars and economic turmoil,” he added.

Antidepressants were the most commonly used medications, with more than 20% of women receiving them. Antianxiolytics were also widely used by women, at almost twice the rate of men. The greatest use was in women aged 45 to 65 years, 11% of whom were taking an antianxiety medication in 2010.

via Americas Use of Psychotropic Medications on the Rise.

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Losing Weight by Midlife Reduces Cardio-vascular Risk: Boston Nutrition Counseling Can Help.

A recent study shows that while obesity early in life is associated with risk of coronary vascular disease and related death. However, the good news is that the risk declines significantly for those who achieve a healthier weight by the time they reach their mid-forties.

If you struggle with weight and diet issues, the help of a nutritionist or registered dietitian can help. Nutrition counseling and coaching can help clients learn to eat healthier everyday, increasing the likelihood of reaching a healthier, safer weight. Coupling nutrition counseling with psychological treatments may be especially helpful.

To learn more about nutrition counseling services in Boston or Newton, MA, call Commonwealth Psychology Associates at 617-259-1895 or visit their website.

Excerpt from study:

A study of Harvard alumni shows that obesity early in life does not portend a coronary disease death in people who reach a healthier weight by their mid-40s [1].

The National Institutes of Health–sponsored Harvard Alumni Health Study has followed nearly 19 000 men who began regular medical examinations during their undergraduate years at Harvard University between 1916 and 1950. The median follow-up period was 56.4 years and the maximum was 82.5 years. The authors report their findings in the October 24, 2011 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

via Losing Weight by Midlife Reduces CVD Risk.

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