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April 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Reactive Attachment Disorder and the Evergreen Model

APA In her review of Rachael Stryker's The Road to Evergreen: Adoption, Attachment Therapy, and the Promise of Family, Susan Regas indicates that the book is based on the author's participant observation in an attachment clinic in Evergreen, Colorado, where "the Evergreen Model" is used. She describes the model as a mixture of confrontation therapy and therapeutic-parent training for families with children diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder (RAD). Regas indicates that the model emphasizes control and compliance; that the children are only allowed to "breath, think, and feel" on their own and must ask permission to do anything else. She describes the approach as "radical and unconventional" that "some people view as life saving and others view as exploitive."

Is reactive attachment disorder a valid and reliable diagnosis? Is there adequate evidence justifying the use of the Evergreen model as a treatment strategy? Are superior methods available? Are techniques such as age regression and over-controlling tactics effective for resolving attachment-related problems?

Read the Review
ReviewFor Better or Worse: On the Road to Evergreen
By Susan Regas
      PsycCRITIQUES, 2011 Vol 56(11)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How Should Childhood Schizophrenia Be Treated?

APA Linda Caterino, in her review of Identifying, Assessing, and Treating Early Onset Schizophrenia at School, cites Asarnow, Thompson, and McGrath (2004), who indicated that there are "no published randomized controlled trials evaluating psychosocial treatments for schizophrenia in youth" (p. 184). She goes on to note that the authors of Identifying, Assessing, and Treating Early Onset Schizophrenia at School did not emphasize this point enough and recommended psychosocial treatments that have not been validated on children. Although the reviewer does not raise this issue in the context of this book, some have questioned the strength of the evidence base for pharmacologic treatment of early onset childhood schizophrenia.

Given the Cochrane Review (Kennedy, Kumar, & Datta, 2007), are Li, Pearrow, and Jimerson cautious enough about the evidence-base for pharmacologic interventions? Is this an issue of equal concern to that raised by the reviewer when referring to psychosocial treatments?


Kennedy, E., Kumar, A., & Datta, S. S. (2007). Antipsychotic medication for childhood-onset schizophrenia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007 (Issue 3, Art. No. CD004027). Retrieved April 19, 2011, from doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004027.pub2

Read the Review
ReviewEarly Onset Schizophrenia: Resources for School Psychologists
By Linda C. Caterino
      PsycCRITIQUES, 2011 Vol 56(14)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Should Psychology Look to Medicine for Ethics Guidance?

APA In his review of Carrie H. Kennedy and Thomas J. Williams's Ethical Practice in Operational Psychology: Military and National Intelligence Applications, Stephen Truhon states:

[An] emphasis on mental health within the APA has led to an ethical code similar to those in other health care professions. Some psychologists have complained that psychologists should not look to medicine for its identity.
Are there major differences between our profession and medicine that we as psychologists should consider in modifying our ethics code? Are there other professions that are similar to ours that have an ethics code we might draw from in updating our code? Are there aspects of the medical profession’s code that most psychologists would consider incorrect?

Read the Review
ReviewA Significant Trend in Psychological Military Work
By Stephen A. Truhon
      PsycCRITIQUES, 2011 Vol 56(7)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Psychology's Saints

APA If psychology had saints, surely Elliot Aronson would be one of them. John Chibnall's review of Aronson's autobiography Not by Chance Alone: My Life as a Social Psychologist shows a man whose highly significant scholarly and applied contributions are combined with humility, generosity, and a commitment to justice. We can generate lists of "great" psychologists defined by their eminence in our science and practice, but I wonder how many of these also have the unusual qualities of character that would put them in Aronson's class. If you asked members of APA Division 2 (Teaching), I bet Bill McKeachie would head the list. And I would nominate Edward Tolman, the prominent learning theorist of the 1940s and 1950s who refused to sign the University of California loyalty pledge and lost his job. Who are your candidates?

Read the Review
ReviewElliot Aronson and the Life of Becoming
By John T. Chibnall
      PsycCRITIQUES, 2011 Vol 56(6)

Editor of PsycCRITIQUES

Danny Wedding, PhD

Chair of Behavioral Sciences,
College of Medicine,
American University of Antigua

Associate Editors of PsycCRITIQUES

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