Psychology Articles

This page features articles published by PAA Members.

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By Gina Wong, Ph.D
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Maternal filicide – the killing of a child by the mother – is not a new phenomenon. Evidence of mothers killing their infants dates back to at least 2000 b.c.e. and the ancient Chaldean civilization. When a mother kills her children, it breaks a cardinal rule that violates the natural course of life-that is, the maternal instinct to safeguard the survival of her young. Andrea Yates captured public attention when she drowned her five children in 2001.[expander_maker id=”1″ more=”Read more” less=”Read less”] Initially met with public shock and outrage, the Yates case also spotlighted postpartum psychosis and the intersection of maternal mental illness and the criminal justice system. Coedited by George Parnham, the attorney who successfully defended Yates, this book includes his narrative account of how he first heard about the case and was ultimately hired to represent her. It also features more than 30 experts in the field representing eight countries and provides real case examples. In addition, the book includes a chapter on paternal filicide, an important subject that receives far too little attention in the literature. Firmly rooted in research, thorough in its description of the theory, and packed with practical applications, this collection highlights the necessary competency areas for those involved in maternal mental health forensics, whether psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, or lawyers. The book is organized along with the four foundations of maternal mental health forensics: * The legal aspects surrounding maternal infanticide and filicide* The impact of perinatal psychiatric complications in maternal filicide* The role of the expert witness in infanticide and filicide cases* Sociocultural considerations and feminist approaches to prevention and treatment Each chapter culminates in a summary of main clinical/legal and cultural points and a section of practice questions and discussion prompts. A glossary at the end of the book provides key terms and use as an educational and training resource for those involved in maternal infanticide and filicide cases-either on the defense or prosecution-or those simply interested in the field, this guide offers a comprehensive understanding of the legal outcomes, greater understanding of the multiple motivations for these crimes, their potential psychiatric underpinnings, the social and global contexts, and advanced understanding from a biopsychosocial perspective. This volume also illuminates the consequences of untreated or poorly treated perinatal mental illness and further establishes maternal mental health forensics as a subspecialty field in its own right, even as it acknowledges differences in opinion, theory, and conceptualizations. In doing so, this book serves as an important and necessary step toward canonizing the field of maternal mental health forensics and continued understanding beyond filicide and infanticide-which involves child custody disputes, other homicide cases, assault charges, criminal negligence causing bodily harm, and other offenses in which maternal mental disturbance may have played a key role. [/expander_maker]

By Janet Miller
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If you’re gearing up for university, you probably have a few fears and concerns. Am I smart enough? How do I know which major is a good choice? How can I make friends and contacts, get good grades, and still get enough sleep?

Whether you’re making the transition to university straight out of high school or have taken a gap year (or a few!), this guided tour will help you 

  • register for class
  • make the most of orientation
  • connect with new people
  • work through imposter syndrome
  • reduce fear and embrace uncertainty
  • recover from setbacks
  • steer through the sharp corners of academic life
  • know when to pull an all-nighter
  • and prepare for final exams.

University is supposed to be challenging, but, as Janet Miller promises, it doesn’t need to be stressful or overwhelming. As a university counsellor and registered psychologist with a behind-closed-doors view of university life, she understands that when students have guidance and support – when they know what to expect – they thrive.

With wit and wisdom, she shares what she’s learned from thousands of students who have walked the campus hallways before you. This book doesn’t tell you what you should do. It tells you what you need to know so you can follow in their footsteps and hit your own stride.

This book is a must-read for anyone heading to university for the first time and for parents, counsellors, and teachers who want to help them make the transition. 

Substances and Addictive Behaviors

By Kevin G. Alderson
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Winner of the 2020 Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) Counselling Book Award

Enlightening and practical, Addictions Counseling Today invites students into the heart of addictive thinking, offering first-person accounts of what it is like to experience different addictions. The text covers the range of addictions from alcohol, drug abuse, and nicotine to various process addictions, including sex, the internet, gaming, social media, and gambling.  Also included are the various theories and models of addiction, with a unique chapter on the neuroscience of addiction. Focusing on the new DSM-V classifications for addiction with an emphasis on CACREP and treatment, this provocative, contemporary text is an essential reference for both students and practitioners wanting to gain a deeper understanding of those with addiction. 

By Kevin G. Alderson & Samuel T. Gladding
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This brief, evidence-based guide is ideal for busy mental health professionals helping clients with opioid use disorders (OUDs). It examines the devastating global impact caused by opioids and is replete with information and resources that can be immediately applied to addiction work. The authors’ pragmatic, strengths-based approach to treatment is based on a collaborative counselor-client working alliance to achieve client readiness for change, moderation, and abstinence.   Topics discussed include current research on risk and protective factors, OUD assessment and diagnosis, the ethical and legal issues particular to addiction work, medication-assisted treatment, physical and psychological interventions for pain management, and the necessity of interdisciplinary care.

In addition, Drs. Alderson and Gladding provide a number of counseling approaches and treatment options that consider work with women, youth, people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, veterans, older adults, people with disabilities, individuals in the criminal justice system, and rural residents. Five useful appendices conclude the book, including a listing of 20 opioid drugs in descending order of potency; common ICD-10ICD-10-CM, and ICD-11 codes; and a glossary of terms and abbreviations.