In this issue...
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Compassionate Communities #whatyoucando


Dear Subscribers and First-Time Readers, 

Welcome to our May 2020 edition of the New Jersey Psychological Association (NJPA) E-Newsletter. The NJPA E-Newsletter is published 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 offers a looks at just some of the ways psychologists work to fulfill this mission.

This edition is being distributed in difficult and trying times as all New Jersey communities, and the world, struggle with the CoVID-19 crisis. This spring, NJPA launched our 4th annual Mental Health Awareness campaign focusing on New Jersey Compassionate Communities. The CoVid-19 crisis makes very clear the importance of compassionate communities.

I am excited to be the new NJPA E-Newsletter editor, and wish you, your family, and community health and safety during this crisis. If you are in need of a psychologist, please make use of the NJPA referral service for licensed psychologist here.

Note:  We are planning our future editions of the NJPA e-newsletter. I would like to hear from you, our readers. What topics would you like to potentially have covered in an upcoming edition? Share your thoughts here

Nikki Lacherza-Drew, PsyD
NJPA E-Newsletter Editor


Managing Burnout & Compassion Through Self-CareStrategies
By Michael Selbst, PhD & Ashley Zultanky, PsyD

We care about our family members, close friends, our clients, our students, and many others in our lives. We experience their accomplishments and excitement, as well as their struggles and despair. Because we care about others and want to do all that we can in their best interests, this relationship can often contribute to our own emotional distress, including burnout and compassion fatigue.

There are many things that contribute to our burnout and compassion fatigue, including juggling a busy schedule, educating students, working with challenging clients, managing challenging behavior, adhering to best practices in our respective work, keeping up with the paperwork, collaborating and communicating with others, attending to one’s own family, and attending to one’s own needs.  read more...

A Mental Health Prescription for Coping With The Coronavirus Pandemic
By Lorraine Gahles-Kildow, PhD 

1) Take two 5-10 minute doses of Lovingkindness Meditation (LKM) in the am and in the pm.  Lovingkindness meditation has been shown to help us recover from cardiac reactivity produced by stress. It has also been shown to increase oxytocin (sometimes called the love hormone) which suppresses inflammation, and reduces depression and hypertension. It also helps us experience social connectedness and a higher-than-self transcendent mind view. People report feeling more spirituality and more positive emotions, especially awe, gratitude, inspiration, and love.

2) Engage socially a few times a week.
Use social media to positively engage with others. Have a cyber party, watch Netflix together, join a virtual prayer circle, or connect and play boards games together. Or, just virtually get together for a chat. Maybe have a good old fashion conference call with friends. Reach out to those who live alone and engage in some compassionate listening calls. read more...


Rebuilding Lost Hope
By Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD

It has become a common feeling, I believe, as we have watched our heroes falling over the years, that our own small stone of activism, which might not seem to measure up to the rugged boulders of heroism we have so admired, is a paltry offering toward the building of an edifice of hope.  Many who believe this choose to withhold their offerings out of shame. This is the tragedy of the world. For we can do nothing substantial toward changing our course on the planet, a destructive one, without rousing ourselves, individual by individual, and bringing our small, imperfect stones to the pile.
– Alice Walker

Alice Walker’s observation about building a better world one imperfect stone at a time applies equally well to “building” a better self. We are all – each one of us – imperfect. That’s the nature of being human. But too often, people feel pinned down by the weight of their personal flaws or mistakes, feeling too ashamed, demoralized, or dejected to carry on. Or, they simply feel not up to the task at hand. So, they stop trying to bring their best or true selves to each day, which is a tragic loss for them and the world. If you struggle with losing hope, re-infusing yourself with self-compassion, greater inner peace, and even happiness can help you to let yourself hope again. read more... 

View Dr. Becker-Phelps video Reducing Helplessness and Anxiety in a Time of COVID-19 here


Managing COVID-19 Related Stress & Anxiety i Ourselves and in Our Children
By William Walsh, PhD

Introduction: We are in the midst of an unprecedented struggle to cope with the serious health threats posed to all segments of our society by COVID-19, a novel and, for some, potentially lethal coronavirus for which at present we have no preventive vaccine or medicinal treatment. Fortunately, a few behavior changes, if conscientiously practiced by all of us, can help dramatically slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.

These mandated behavior changes include: 1) social distancing, which means keeping a distance of six or more feet from others; 2) group avoidance, which means not joining in gatherings of more than nine others; and 3) hand washing or sanitizing, which means doing so right after coming home from outside, as well as after touching surfaces, doorknobs, shopping cart handles, or money that may be
contaminated with COVID-19.

Anxiety During the COVID-19 Pandemic Health Crisis 
By Janie Feldman, PsyD 

Are you overwhelmed by the frightening and rapidly evolving news about the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19? You are not alone! Many people are feeling alone. The pandemic health crisis has us feeling isolated and longing for connection with community, family and friends. Lost without our routines and our usual contacts and connections, troubling feelings of anxiety and despair are overtaking many people. The New Jersey Psychological Association is here for you with support, resources, and knowledge that will help you survive this public health emergency.
Here are some tips that will help you get through the challenges you are facing. read more...

Find a Psychologist

Looking for someone to talk to?  Our Find a Psychologist search engine will help you locate a psychologist in your area!  Looking for: a psychologist with a specific area of expertise?  One who accepts your insurance?  Has a foreign language proficiency?  Enter your criteria here to find a licensed psychologist near you!.


As the news about the threat and risks of the Coronavirus are spreading, we would like to share some resources with all of you: From the CDC information on the virus, highlights, risks, precautions, etc. | Tips to help with Coronavirus Anxiety: Five Ways to View Coverage of the Coronavirus | Podcast with Baruch Fischhoff, PhD on how to calm the anxiety and the psychological effects of being quarantined. Speaking of Psychology: Coronavirus Anxiety   

Speaking of Psychology: Why is COVID-19 Disproportionately Affecting Black and Latino Americans with Brian Smedley, PhD

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
Amy Mueller, PsyD
Michael Zito, PhD 

Do you need help with coding, billing, and cost-sharing guidelines associated with Telehealth and Telephonic care? If so, Precision Revenue Management can help. We are a medical billing company specializing in Behavioral Health. PRM is certified by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. Please contact Dina Fiore at 973-945-5271 or [email protected] for a free consultation.

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