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Press Release

Press Release

Noted Anxiety Expert is Speaker at 2004 MSPP Commencement June 6

June 7, 2004

West Roxbury, Massachusetts (June 7) — "Don't lose your idealism and don't forget the real reason your are in this field — to see the look in the eye of someone whose life you have changed." These were some of the messages delivered to the graduates of Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology at Commencement, Sunday, June 6, by keynote speaker, Dr. David Barlow, a renowned psychologist whose work has led to a greater understanding of and new treatments for anxiety disorders.

As he welcomed the new graduates to a field he described as one of the most "rewarding, fulfilling, frustrating, and heartbreaking, Barlow also urged them not to limit themselves as they find their career paths in a changing field, to stay on the edge, to develop a niche, and to look to be part of the health care delivery system.

Barlow, a professor of psychology, a research professor of psychiatry and the director of the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University, was also one of two dignitaries to receive honorary doctorates of Humane Letters that day.

The other honoree, Harry Levinson, PhD, is the chairman of the Levinson Institute, a clinical professor of psychology emeritus at Harvard Medical School, and a pioneer in the application of psychological principles to the workplace, his expertise spanning psychoanalysis, social psychology, organizational development and workplace behavior.

Joining these honored guests were 21 candidates for the doctor of clinical psychology (PsyD) and eight post-doctoral psychologists who received a master of science (MS) degrees in clinical psychopharmacology. The master's degree candidates constituted the second graduating class in the MSPP post-doctoral, psychopharmacology program, which is the only one of its kind in the North East.

"Dr. Barlow and Dr. Levinson are seminal thinkers in their fields and exemplify the range of opportunities and need for the kinds of professionals we are training here at MSPP," said Nicholas Covino, PsyD, president of MSPP, who added, "They have found ways to evolve traditional psychological theories into applications for new environments and patient care. And, both are teachers who have directly and indirectly influenced thousands of mental health professionals."

In addition to degrees in psychopharmacology and clinical psychology, MSPP also offers advanced training in areas that span the evolving field of psychology, including geropsychology, organizational consultation and juvenile forensics, among others.

Covino said that the new MSPP graduates have been well prepared for a world in which the need for psychotherapeutic treatments and mental health medicines is growing.

MSPP clinical psychology graduates have already worked with individuals, families and institutions as clinicians and consultants, have already and will continue to meet some of the staggering mental health needs of children, the elderly and the under-served, as well as "those of means" burdened by depression, anxiety, individual and family conflict, noted Covino, adding that "The psychopharmacology graduates are a group trained and ready to work as partners with primary care physicians and pediatricians to bring accessible, integrated and complex mental health care to children and medical patients."

Also at the ceremonies, Dr. Stephen Hayes was awarded the 2004 Florence Mintz Award, for his outstanding contributions to the field of psychology and in memory of Florence H. Lerman Mintz who earned her doctor of psychology degree from MSPP in 1989. Hayes has been the director of Behavioral Health Care Services at the Lynn Community Health Plan, where he has worked for more than 30 years. The chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Boston University Graduate School of Psychoanalysis, Hayes also has a private practice and is a consultant for the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, where he has been working on the development of a psychological training tool for helping primary care physicians to deal more effectively with trauma.

Founded in 1974, MSPP's innovative clinical teaching program has given rise to generations of professionals who are today's leaders in the field of clinical psychology as well as compassionate healers in their communities. In its 30th year, MSPP continues to build on the innovative legacy of the past, while creating new programs, methods and models for training young professionals to meet the challenges of the 21st century—challenges that will not only test their skills in new ways, but bring psychologists into nearly every facet of modern life.

Updated 10/1/07

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