December 2020


Dear Readers, 

Welcome to the Winter 2020 edition of the New Jersey Psychological Association (NJPA) E-Newsletter! The NJPA E-Newsletter is published on a quarterly basis to provide the public with information about psychology, the practice of psychology, and the importance of mental health in furtherance of our NJPA mission: The advancement of psychology as a science, as a profession, and as a means of promoting health and human welfare in an atmosphere that supports the diversity of its members and the society at large. 

This edition of the e-newsletter is the first one we decided to forgo a specific theme. You will find a variety of helpful articles and videos in this edition that we hope are of interest to you.  

Given that this is the last newsletter of the year, I would like to personally thank the amazing volunteer editors and authors who submitted pieces for the newsletters in 2020. Without the dedication and time provided by each of you, the newsletter would not be possible.  

If you are in need of a psychologist, please make use of NJPA's referral service for licensed psychologists found here. 

Note: We are always open to new ideas and are already planning future editions of the e-newsletter. If there are specific topics our readers would like to potentially have covered, please let us know.  Share your thoughts here. 

I hope the end of this year is filled with warmth, family, friends, and good health. See you in 2021! 

Nikki Lacherza-Drew, PsyD
NJPA E-Newsletter Editor


Building Resiliency During Challenging Times
By: Laura Falk, MA, LAC, NCC

Saying that this year has not been easy on us is an understatement. Between a global pandemic, economic decline, job loss, financial distress, social isolation, racial injustice, political battles, and children forced to engage in remote learning while parents juggle careers, it is easy to see why so many of us are struggling mentally. Feeling overwhelmed, looking at an uncertain future, and a loss of control can lead to depression, anxiety, or even panic. Left unchecked, anxiety and depression can negatively affect our sleep, our relationships, our work, and our daily functioning.

Coping With Emotional Pain (Video)
By, Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD

Finding the Social Media & Technology Balance
Nicole (Nikki) Lacherza-Drew, PsyD

Stop scrolling, and put your phone down. It sounds easy; however, it is difficult for many of us.  When social media platforms first came out many teens and young adults couldn’t wait to sign up. I remember the days of MySpace, and when Facebook first launched. They were the “thing” to have for teens, and most adults didn’t want anything to do with them. Now? Almost everyone is connected in some way to social media or e-mail.

Social media and technology help us 
connect with others, which is great. However, what are we sacrificing while big companies are benefiting? We are missing out on the face to face interaction from being in the same room with someone and sharing a conversation with them. If there is anything the last 8-9 months have taught me, it is that video and phone calls are great, but they are not the ideal situation. They cannot replace a conversation with another person, in the same room, without a screen separating us. read more...

How Did My Kid Get Like This?
Eric Herschman, PsyD

As parents, we all want what is best for our children. When there are problems, most parents want to address them immediately. This might mean going to a medical specialist, getting a tutor, arranging a meeting with teachers, or seeking psychological help. This is typically instinctual, so many parents appropriately address these concerns as they arise. However, a more insightful parent may consider other aspects of what could be causing a problem. Considering a biopsychosocial conceptual framework where biological, psychological, and social factors influence who we are as a person can be helpful. To take a symbolic/metaphorical ‘step back’ and get the perspective to see the forest from the trees requires some awareness and objectivity.  read more...

Punishment versus Consequences
William MacLaney, PsyD

Strained relationships between parents and children can surface as more and more schools turn to remote learning and families spend more time together over the coming months. More time isolated with family members can magnify issues that crop up on a day-to-day basis.  

Do you, as a parent, find yourself struggling with your child’s negative behaviors? Is your child spending too much time on electronics playing games or social media, not completing school work, or just bickering with family members? Punishment and consequences can be effective in dealing with problem behaviors; however, one should recognize that punishment and consequences are not the same things. read more...

Defeating Self-Doubt with Affirmations (video)
By, Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD

Coronavirus Resources
Articles & Resources



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Editor in Chief:

Nikki Lacherza-Drew, PsyD

Staff Editors:

Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD 
Susanne Breckwoldt, PhD
Marianne Dunn, PhD
Janie Feldman, PsyD
Resa Fogel, PhD
Alison Johnson, PsyD
Amy Mueller, PsyD
Michael Zito, PhD  

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