Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 04-03-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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2 AT HOME / ENTERTAINMENT APRIL 3-9, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER LIVING EDITION No evidence that psychotherapy with children is helpful The Wall Street Journal recently (3/16/2019) printed a letter-to-the-editor in which Upland, Calif., psy- chiatrist/psychoanalyst Charlene Moskovitz pro- motes the alleged benefits of medication and psy- chotherapy for children diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and ADHD (and, presumably, other emotion- al and behavioral issues). According to Moskovitz, children who exhibit the behaviors in question may be dealing with "biochemi- cal abnormalities." She asks, rhetorically, "Would such a child not benefit from having his or her biochemical issues helped with medication and thus build further strengths and coping mechanisms to deal with the other difficult aspects of his life? Does such a child not benefit more fully from the psycho- therapy a skilled therapist provides?" In all fairness to her, Moskovitz is only acting as a spokesperson for the mental health and pharma- ceutical industries that have built up around the practice of diagnosing children as young as 2 with various mental disorders. Said prac- titioners routinely explain the behaviors in question – depression, anxiety, inatten- tion, impulsivity, defiance, frequent and extreme tan- trums, sudden mood swings – in terms of "biochemical imbalances" and prescribe medication as well as vari- ous forms of therapy. In 2009, I published a book on this subject: "The Diseasing of America's Children." My co-author – pediatrician Bose Ravenel of Greensboro, N.C., – and I put forth evidence that these brain-based explana- tions and therapies have no scientific validity. Concerning the oft-refer- enced "biochemical imbal- ance," for example, since no one has ever quantified biochemical "balance" in the human central nervous system, it is nothing short of disingenuous for medical scientists to lead the public to believe they know what they're talking about when they refer to a CNS imbal- ance. A leading psychiatrist, well-known in his profes- sional community, has said that the term biochemical imbalance is "nothing but a useful metaphor." "How is it useful?" one may ask. To sell the public on the unproved notion that psychiatric drugs are the answer to problems of emo- tion and cognition, that's how. After all, it makes sense to assume that a bio- logically based condition requires an intervention that targets the biological fault or dysfunction. The problem is, no one has ever established beyond reasonable doubt that psy- chiatric disorders are bio- logically based. And yes, that includes schizophrenia and manic-depression. The current state of evidence strongly suggests that the term "mental illness" is a misnomer. Furthermore, the medica- tions in question, although approved by the FDA, have not reliably outperformed placebos in double-blind clinical trials. Unlike pla- cebos, however, they have often-dangerous and even life-threatening side effects. In other words, the question of whether these drugs truly "work" is not fully resolved. As for psychotherapy with children, and with all due respect to folks like Moskovitz, no study done by an objective third party has conclusively verified the reliable efficacy of any form of child therapy. Over the course of my 40-plus year career, hundreds of parents have told me that putting their kids in talking or play therapy made matters con- siderably worse. Several psychiatrists have confirmed to me that what I've written in this column concerning medication and child therapy is known by many of their colleagues … yet the band plays on. That just might qualify as a mental illness. Family psychologist John Rosemond:, Traditional Parenting JOHN ROSEMOND Attleboro Arts Museum presents tempera exhibit ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The Attleboro Arts Museum, 86 Park St., will present the exhibit "Tempera: Nature & Narrative" April 6-May 4. Gallery hours are Tuesday- Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. An opening reception will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. An egg tempera painting demonstration by exhibiting artist Eileen Kennedy will be held on Saturday, April 6, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. The event is free and open to all. Reservations are not required, but are appreciated. Call 508-222-2644, ext. 10, or email . The Attleboro Arts Museum, 86 Park St., will present the exhibit "Tempera: Nature & Narrative" April 6-May 4. Gallery hours are Tuesday- Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., including the painting "GIRL WITH ZINNIA," by Jennifer Knaus. Place your classified ad online at Theatre By The Sea to hold teen and children's auditions WAKEFIELD – Theatre By The Sea will hold teen and children's auditions for the 2019 summer season at the Bistro By the Sea, 364 Cards Pond Road, on Friday, April 5. Sign-in begins at 3 p.m. The open call starts at 4 p.m. Those auditioning should bring their headshot and resume stapled together back to back and prepare 16-32 bars of a song that shows off their voice and personality. Some actors/ actresses may be asked to stay and dance – bring appropriate attire. Boys who are able to tap should bring their tap shoes. For more informa- tion and character breakdowns, visit www. . LOOKING FOR WORK? Visit valleybreeze. com Click on 'Jobs'

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