A time for change
March 28, 2017
Nearly 39 years ago, R. Bob Smith, III, PhD, and his wife Cathy began publishing two psychological instruments out of their home. Bob was a practicing psychologist and saw a need in the market for scoring keys and supplemental profile forms for the MMPI, assessments he was using in his own practice. Today, the table where Bob started PAR sits in the break room of PAR’s distribution center. “I never envisioned that PAR would become the company it is today,” said Cathy. Over the next nearly four decades, PAR has grown to be a leading publisher of psychological assessment materials. As of Friday, March 31, Bob will begin the next step of his career with PAR when he assumes a new position as Executive Chairman and Founder. In this new position, he will be involved in broad strategic leadership, governance, and consultation to the company. Cathy will transition from Vice President of Community Relations to Vice President of Community Relations Emeritus. She will continue to consult on the philanthropic and community activities that are pivotal to the core values of the company. Kristin Greco, MBA, Bob and Cathy’s oldest daughter, will be stepping into the role of CEO, and continuing the Smith family vision for PAR. Kristin has spent the last 6 years working at PAR, learning the core values, culture, and commitment to excellence you have come to expect from PAR. This is an exciting time of transition for the whole PAR family. “I grew up with them packing all of the orders in our carport, surrounded by boxes,” said Kristin. “I grew up seeing PAR grow. It’s a blessing to be able to work with your family; it’s an honor to continue the tradition developed by your parents.” Bob and Cathy have devoted the last 39 years to building an extraordinary company that publishes quality assessment products, provides exceptional Customer Service, and treats employees like family. We look forward to the next chapter in the PAR story.
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Observe, pinpoint, intervene: An interview with DBR Connect authors
[embed]https://youtu.be/gXWtY9aZHpM[/embed] The concept of direct behavior rating (DBR) began in the late 1960s with school psychologist Calvin Edlund. He posited a program whereby teachers first explained to students what acceptable behavior was and then rated them at the end of each lesson. Unlike rating scale assessments, which ask teachers and parents to recall a child’s behavior during a 30-day period or so, direct behavior rating relies on real-time observation. DBR combines the strength of a rating scale and the benefit of direct observation. Using this system, teachers can not only identify specific behaviors in real time, but they can also rate those behaviors. From this idea, DBR Connect was created. PAR recently spoke with DBR Connect coauthors Sandra M. Chafouleaus, PhD, and T. Chris Riley-Tillman, PhD, to learn more about how this product can help students and teachers to succeed. Q: Direct behavior rating has been around for quite some time. Historically, what changes have taken place to get us to where we are today? Drs. Chafouleas and Riley-Tillman: Yes, direct behavior ratings were developed from daily behavior report cards, home–school notes, and other tools that educators and parents have used ...
Psychiatric Community Considers Name Change for PTSD
What’s in a name? For young veterans and others coping with post-traumatic stress disorder, a name could mean the difference between seeking treatment and suffering alone. Psychiatrists and military officers are now considering the implications of a name change for PTSD in an effort to reduce the stigma associated with this diagnosis. The new name under consideration? Post-traumatic stress injury, or PTSI. “No 19-year-old kid wants to be told he’s got a disorder,” said General Peter Chiarelli, in a May 5 interview with the Washington Post. Until his retirement in February of this year, Chiarelli was the nation’s second-highest ranking Army officer, and he led the effort to reduce the suicide rate among military personnel. He and other supporters of the name change believe that using the word “injury” instead of “disorder” will reduce the stigma that stops soldiers and others from seeking treatment. According to Chiarelli, “disorder” suggests a pre-existing condition that “makes the person seem weak.” “Injury,” on the other hand, is appropriate because the condition is caused by the experience of specific trauma, according to supporters of ...
So Many Decisions, So Little Time…
Yes or no, this or that… sometimes, having a lot of options isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. While you may think that you are just making decisions based on the options in front of you, according to new research, your decision-making abilities may fluctuate throughout the day. The well-thought-out choice you thought you were making? Well, it may just be a reflection of your mental state. According to research from social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister (link to http://www.psy.fsu.edu/faculty/baumeister.dp.html), there is a finite amount of energy allotted for self-control, meaning that the more decisions you make, the quicker you deplete this store. Decision-making saps willpower, making it easier and easier to give up on tasks as you go along. Think about the last time you had to make many decisions fairly quickly – after some time, most people begin to feel exhausted even though they aren’t doing much physical work. According to a recent study by Shai Danziger, Jonathan Levav, and Liora Avnaim-Pesso, even people whose jobs are based on their decision-making abilities can fall victim to decision-making exhaustion. This ...
Are Insurance Companies Wasting Your Time?
A million hours a year are being spent waiting for approval from insurance companies before doctors can hospitalize suicidal or mentally ill patients, according to the Annals of Emergency Medicine. Unlike medical emergencies, psychiatric emergencies require permission from a patient’s insurance company before an individual can be admitted. Dr. Amy Funkenstein, a child and adolescent psychiatry resident at Brown University, coauthored the study that produced this number after becoming increasingly frustrated with the amount of time she was spending on the insurance approval process. The study found that the approval process takes 38 minutes per patient on average – meaning that the 1.6 million psychiatric admissions per year translate into 1 million hours of time described by Dr. Funkenstein as “wasted.” Although half of the insurance approvals were obtained in less than 20 minutes, 10 percent of authorizations took longer than one hour, and one authorization took five hours. The patients in need of admittance most commonly presented with suicidal ideation, though a few were diagnosed as being homicidal. Despite the amount of time spent on the authorization process, very few ...
New “children’s book” illustrates bedtime frustration with a dose of humor
The recent electronic release of Adam Mansbach’s “Go the F--- to Sleep” has taken the Web by storm. The book, which features as narrator a tired parent attempting to put his child to sleep for the night, combines mock-sweet prose with bursts of exasperation and annoyance. If you’re a parent, and you remember the sleepless nights—and you have a sense of humor—this amalgamation of genuine parental love with the eye-rolling that goes along with nighttime routines will probably strike a chord with you. The book and its release bring up several interesting issues, including the frustration experienced by all parents of young children. Ranging from mild annoyance to real anger, the feeling can be surprisingly overwhelming. Parenthood is generally advertised as a joyous walk through a meadow, and, for some, discovering that the meadow is filled with divots, bumblebees, and sharp branches is a shock. Though it could be said that the book uses strong language for shock value, for most readers, the use of expletives serves to highlight just how intense the aggravation can be. The book’s message goes a ...
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