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Morris County Psychological Association


									                                     Morris County Psychological Association
                                            914 Mt Kemble Ave, Suite 305
                                            Morristown, New Jersey 07960

President                                Treasurer                             Program Chairperson
Rhonda Allen, Ph.D                       Richard Brewster, Psy.D.              Francine Rosenberg, Psy.D.
President-elect                          Secretary                             NJPA Representative
Francine Rosenberg, Psy.D.               Morgan Murray, Ph.D.                  Aaron Welt, Ph.D.

Past President                           Webmaster                             Membership
Roman Lemega, Ph.D.                      Michael Zito, Ph.D.                   Stacie Perdue, Ph.D.

                                      September 2009 Newsletter

                                  Help Your Patients Get Off the Couch:
                             The Impact of Exercise on Emotional Well-Being


                              Rhonda Allen, Ph.D. and Stacie Perdue, Ph.D

Join us at our October meeting for a very timely presentation:

October 14, 2009:
Surviving the Economy: Can Private Practice Endure?
Presented by Barry Helfmann, Psy.D.
Hamilton Park Conference Center, 175 Park Avenue, Florham Park


Special note: see end of this newsletter for announcements of upcoming workshops.


September 9, 2009 – MCPA monthly breakfast meeting:

        Those in attendance were: Rhonda Allen, Francine Rosenberg, Morgan Murray, Aaron Welt, Richard
Brewster, Mike Zito, Stacie Perdue, Joshua Zavin, Carol McCrea, Tamsen Thorpe, Sara Hickman, Lois
Steinberg, Susan Neigher, Rebecca Loomis, Sharon Ryan Montgomery, Richard Dauber, Lauren Becker,
Nanette Sudler, Brendan McLoughlin, Marc A. Gironda
         Francine Rosenberg introduced our two speakers. Rhonda Allen and Stacie Purdue are well
known to MCPA with their service on our executive board. Rhonda is the current board president and
Stacie is the membership chair.
         Rhonda has been in private practice for 19 years. She works with adults both individually and
in couples’ therapy. She treats a broad spectrum of life issues, with a focus on personal wellness. She
is also a divorce coach. Her office is in Harding. When she was younger Rhonda was not an athlete,
but later when she did get more involved, she realized how many of her personal connections were
related to her involvement with sport and exercise. Exercise has become a central aspect of her life.

        Stacie has an office in Warren and in Morristown. She works with children, adolescents and
adults. She addresses a broad range of issues in her psychotherapy practice, with a special emphasis
on health and wellness. She does psycho-educational testing and assessment for all age groups. She
completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Mass General/Harvard Medical School. In addition to this, she
has also worked as a spin instructor for the past eight years.

        The focus of the morning presentation was on the beneficial impact to our patients when we
help them integrate exercise into their lives. Stacie began by reviewing some of the research that
supports the idea that exercise contributes to psychological wellness. From a physical standpoint
research shows exercise increases blood flow to the brain, increases the level of neurotransmitters
involved in mood regulation (increases norepinephrine), and reduces muscle tension. Psychologically,
exercise is linked to an enhanced feeling of control, competency, positive social interactions, and an
improved self-concept. The acute benefit of exercise can be described as the “runner’s high,” while
long term benefits are seen in changes in the actual experience of anxiety and depression. High
intensity aerobic workouts are not the only option to experience the benefits of exercise. Pilates was
given as an example of a lower intensity workout that can be very beneficial. For someone that is
struggling with anxiety and depression, a combination of exercise and psychotherapy is a powerful
combination. For more information, follow the link below to read an article by Stacie on this topic.

         Rhonda spoke about integrating exercise into her work with patients. She incorporates
questions about exercise into her intake interviews with patients. Her questions about exercise include:
how often, what kind, duration, and history. Addressing this topic with patients early in therapy lends
itself to goal setting and provides an action oriented direction. In follow up sessions therapists can
review with their patients what worked, what did not work, and any noticeable change in mood,
anxiety, or stress level. Therapy can focus on overcoming obstacles to incorporating exercise. For
example, choosing the right time of day, type of exercise, increasing duration and intensity gradually,
finding someone such as “a workout buddy,” can all become topics to work through as a patient
progresses in therapy. Rhonda emphasized the social facilitation that exercise can promote. Someone
that has been socially isolated for instance could benefit significantly from social contact at a gym, or
at a park where there is a bike path with other joggers. Rhonda provided three clinical examples for
her own practice. Through her examples she made clear that the process of working with a patient to
incorporate exercise is often a very gradual process. Another important point was that the benefits of
exercise are not that a person’s body necessarily changes in terms of size or shape, but that there is a
greater sense of well-being. An individual may still be overweight, for example, but due to the
beneficial effects of exercise, be less self-conscious about his or her body.

                            Upcoming Workshop Announcements

I. Using Sentence Completion Test to Guide & Refine One’s Therapeutic Practice:

A small group workshop for mental health professional will meet five consecutive weeks (with the
exception of November 27th) beginning Friday afternoon October 30, 2009. Meetings will run from
1:00 – 2:30. Application has been made to grant seven and a half hours of continuing education credits
for social workers. The total cost of the workshop is $500.00 ($100.00 per person per session). The
workshop will be limited to 4 participants so that each member can freely discuss his/her own cases as
well as those of the other group members. Open discussions are the key to the success of this
workshop. The workshops will be held at 18 Forest Road in Madison.

In our therapeutic practices we therapists immediately and continually must understand and respond to
our client’s words and needs. Most of us do not have access to an instrument which allows us to study
and understand the client in a holistic and detached manner. The Sentence Completion Test affords the
therapist a full picture of how the client approaches life and deals with inner conflicts. This test
reveals strengths and weaknesses, captures the nature of interpersonal style and presentation as well as
enables the therapist to assess the level of psychopathology. Because clients can complete the test
outside of the therapeutic hour, the clinician can obtain this data easily without adding a separate
charge for such and assessment. When the test is administered within the first two weeks of treatment,
the therapist will be able to detect problem areas not yet broached by the client. This global
understanding can then be used to plan and adjust treatment strategies as the clinician has been alerted
to the issues needing immediate attention.

Herbert Postash, Ph.D. will lead the workshops. He is a fellow of the Society for Personality
Assessement and Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Fairleigh Dickinson University. He can be
contacted via e-mail, or at 973-377-1644.

II. Experiential Training in Group Therapy:

This workshop will use a demonstration group comprised of workshop participants to go beyond the
usual didactic presentation. After a brief introduction, the presenters, who are experienced group
therapists schooled in group-as-a-whole and relational-dynamic models, will lead a demonstration
group. The experiential portion will be followed by a discussion of group therapy theory and concepts,
using the “live” material of the demonstration group. There will be generous opportunity for
exploration, question and answer and consideration of applications to various work settings. In this
way, participants will experience the power of group therapy, and learn about its therapeutic actions.

The workshop presenters are Jeffrey Axelbank, Psy.D., and Myrna Frank, Ph.D., CGP.

Date: Sunday October 18, 2009
Time: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: The home of Luba Shagawat, 642 Pines Lake Drive, Wayne, NJ 07470
RSVP: Wendy Winograd:
Cost: $40.00

Any questions can be directed to:
Dr. Axelbank
727 Raritan Avenue
Highland Park, NJ 08904
Tel: 732-572-8848


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