Saul Rosenthal, PhD

HEALTH PSYCHOLOGIST

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16 Sep 2018: Gaming Disorder is a new diagnosis added to the diagnostic “bible” used by health care providers around the world. Here are some of my thoughts on the issue.

23 Jul 2018: I’ve just started a YouTube channel and uploaded my first video. This was a talk I gave last week to the Boston chapter of the Biohackers Collective, a group interested in optimizing human performance. The 40 minute talk focuses on the basics of neurofeedback and applying it to peak performance.

July 2018: Summer has been a busy time for me! I’ve given some talks to both professional organizations and to the general public. I was also interviewed for two articles about technology overuse. With health.com, I discussed Tristan Harris’s ideas about switching your phone from color to grayscale in order to make it less interesting and reduce use. I also was interviewed (along with well-published experts on the psychosocial impact of technology overuse) by Morning Consult about smart phone addiction and personal responsibility.

18 Mar 2018: I was interviewed about Internet Addiction on WBZ’s local topic radio show Boston Sunday Review with Mat Schaffer. We talked about many of the issues that worry parents and others who aren’t sure where technology is taking us.

 

25 Jan 2018: Dr. Perri Klass wrote an interesting article in the New York Times about creating some device-free spaces for families. It got me thinking about parent roles in helping our kids learn how to engage in old fashioned face-to-face interactions.

09 Jan 2018: I was privileged to take part in the WCVB news magazine program Chronicle. I was interviewed about starting the New Year off with healthy technology use.

27 March 2017: I was interviewed for the NPR station WCAI show Living Lab on the Point about Internet Addiction and Technology Overuse. Dr. Judson Brewer, Director of Research at the Center for Mindfulness at UMass Medical School was also interviewed. Find out more about Mind Over Social Media: Tips for Combatting Technology Overuse.

21 March 2017: My response to a very interesting article in the Atlantic about using “objective” measures in psychotherapy. There is some evidence that individuals will respond more honestly to a questionnaire than a clinician. To me this opens up questions about best care and what exactly “evidence-based treatment” even is.

1 February 2017: I’ve written a blog post responding to a New York Times article criticizing a link between Betsy DeVos and a neurofeedback company in which she is a major investor. In the attempts to justify the criticisms of DeVos, these articles are trying to delegitimize neurofeedback treatment. While I try to stay away from politics, I felt I need to take a closer look at an article published in the New York Times.

May 2017: I have recently joined the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford. I am embedded in Primary Care as a member of the behavioral health service. In addition to working directly with Veterans I am developing treatment protocols for chronic pain, anxiety and PTSD. I also supervise and teach a broad range of trainees including psychology interns and postdoctoral fellows, social work interns, nurse practitioner fellows and family medicine and psychiatry residents. As a complement to my private practice, the opportunity to work improving the health of our veterans and to train the next generation of practitioners is a great privilege.

1 March 2016: Presented the talk Internet Addiction or the New Normal? Technology Overuse and How to Treat it to the Massachusetts Neuropsychological Society. Neuropsychologists provide IQ, achievement and other sorts of testing to individuals who are experiencing difficulties in school, work or other settings. They can help uncover neurological conditions including Attention Deficit Disorder, Autism, Depression and Anxiety. A number of audience members commented on seeing more young people seemingly addicted to the Internet and technology. They are seeing an impact on attention, achievement in school and work, sleep and family relationships.

2016: Completed a several-month Certificate of Intensive Training in Motivational Interviewing at the Center for Integrated Primary Care at UMass Medical School. Motivational Interviewing is an approach designed to strengthen an individual’s commitment to changing behavior. I particularly appreciate Motivational Interviewing’s collaborative, goal oriented approach. I’ve used bits and pieces of MI for years when I work with clients who have chronic health conditions. I’m also finding it very useful for my Internet Addiction work, so I figured it was time to get some real training.

25 June 2015: Presented a Grand Rounds talk about Internet addiction and related issues to the psychiatry department of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. Audience members reported growing numbers of patients showing addictive behaviors, leading to discussions about how to help individuals manage Internet addiction in conjunction with other psychiatric diagnoses.

10 April 2015: Ran a seminar for fellow psychologists of the Massachusetts Psychological Association entitled Compulsive Technology Use: Is It An Addiction And How Do We Treat It?

Recently, I started a new venture focused on Internet safety and helping individuals suffering from compulsive technology overuse and Internet Addiction. With millions of connected devices used everyday in the United States, the problems of inappropriate use and overuse are growing. Research and clinical experience show that many people who overuse the Internet display features of addicts. As more of my clients present with issues related to problematic technology use, I am digging into the issues and working on approaches to managing the problem. I completed a Certification in Internet Addiction and the Psychology of the Web and have made treatment a priority in my practice. I am focusing my efforts at Digital Media Health, which is developing into a hub of ideas and solutions. Explore the site to learn more about my approach to helping individuals, families and organizations make the most of their digital lives.