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Maine Psychologist Today

Spring 2021 News

Letter from the

Thomas Cooper, PsyD.


In the last newsletter, I wrote about my reluctance to enter the political fray so, of course, I need to start this newsletter by (kind of) entering the political fray. As I wrote on the listserv earlier this month, MePA recently added the Voter Voice tool to our website. If you have not looked at it, please do. We are very excited about having new means and opportunities to advance policies that are in the best interests of psychologists, psychology as a discipline, and the needs of the people we serve. I strongly believe this will allow us to more readily mobilize our resources and to connect with both state and federal representation on issues that matter to Maine Psychologists.   

Voter Voice is just one of the ways MePA committees have been advocating for you.  Members of the Executive Committee recently met with staffers from Rep Pingree’s, Rep Golden’s, and Senator King’s office, and even met virtually with Sen Collins’ office to advocate for federal legislation to make many of the temporary Telehealth provisions permanent. The Legislative Committee has worked closely with our lobbyist and state representatives on a number of important issues, most notably the PSYPACT bill. The Finance Committee has been working very hard behind the scenes to correct reimbursement failures with major insurance providers. The Ethics Committee continues to provide consults to MePA members. Finally, the Continuing Education Committee has been working tirelessly to provide CEU opportunities that are relevant to the current environment. I am excited to announce that we have two new conferences scheduled: 

We continue to look for additional participation from our membership and would welcome volunteers to any of our committees.  Please reach out to the chairs or to Amy at if you are interested in joining. 

And now for something completely different… 

Q: If April showers bring May Flowers, what do May Flowers bring? 

A: Pilgrims! 

Thomas Cooper, PsyD 

PO Box 82
Saco, Maine 04072
(207) 621-0732

APA Stress in America
CDC In-person Guidelines
SAGE Hails Biden Admin
APA Gun Violence Prevent
Fair Reimbursement Rates
Maine State of Emergency
MPR: Licensing Wait Times
Telehealth Guidance
So Portland Response
Interview: Prescott, PhD
A Student's Perspective
MePA Webinars
Book Release: Leonards
History Matters: Matranga
Bulletin Board Job Postings

Stress in America:
Unhealthy weight gains, increased drinking reported by Americans coping with pandemic stress 

APA’s survey of U.S. adults, conducted in late February 2021 by The Harris Poll, shows that a majority of adults (61%) experienced undesired weight changes—weight gain or loss—since the pandemic started, with 42% reporting they gained more weight than they intended.   

Read More on Stress in America

Now that People are Getting Vaccinated, is it okay to Provide In-person Services? 

Millions of providers and their patients have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Here are some factors to consider before cutting back on telehealth and offering more in-person sessions. 

Read More on In-person Services

MePA Submits Bill for PSYPACT
MePA has introduced legislation for Maine to join other states who are part of the  interstate compact. This compact allows licensed psychologists to practice telehealth and conduct temporary in-person practice of psychology across state boundaries legally and ethically without necessitating that psychologists be licensed separately in every state to practice. Our lobbyist, Robert Howe assisted by drafting the language for the bill to make it specific to Maine. The legislation is LD863 - An Act To Have Maine Join the Interstate Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact To Improve Telehealth Options for Psychologists and Their Patients

We will have more updates soon and if you are interested in assisting with this process please email Amy Safford at

National Updates on PSYPACT

SAGE Hails Biden Administration Rescission of Ban on Speech about Systemic Racism, Sexism, and Implicit Bias  

On day one of the Biden-Harris administration, one of President Biden's first actions was to rescind the Trump administration’s executive order that attempted to prohibit workplace diversity trainings and grant-funded work that explicitly confronts the existence of structural racism and sexism in our society. In November, SAGE, along with eight other plaintiffs and represented by Lambda Legal, sued the Trump administration

Read Press Release

APA: Preventing Gun violence 

Psychology is instrumental in furthering our understanding of gun violence as well as supporting evidence-based programs and policies that can reduce the occurrence and impact of firearm-related violence in the United States. 
Read Facts and Recommendations


APA Gun Reform Advocacy 

Following the tragic shootings in Atlanta and Boulder, APA reaffirmed its longstanding support for common sense reforms to our nation’s gun laws in testimony submitted to the U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Committee (PDF, 156KB)
Read More

Fair Health Consumer for Reimbursement Rates 

At Fair Health Consumer, you can look up the Typical Provider Charge (Fair Health’s term for UCR) for psychotherapy: 

  1. Enter the Zip code of your therapist. 

  1. Enter the procedure code; 90834 is the procedure code for individual outpatient psychotherapy, 45 minutes. 

  1. Click “See Out-of-Network Reimbursement”. 

  1. Scroll down to “Cost Breakdown” (ignore the first few rows you see on the page — those includes other charges like hospitalization). 

Maine State of Emergency Extended to May 

Governor Janet Mills extended the State of Civil Emergency (PDF) through May 13, 2021. The Governor’s decision to extend the emergency is in line with nearly every other state in the nation which have ongoing emergency declarations, according to the National Governors Association. 

Read Press Release

Maine Public Radio: Long Licensing Wait Times 

Fifty mental health professionals have sent a letter to the Maine attorney general’s office citing concerns about how long it takes to become licensed, saying applications often take months to be processed.

Listen to the Story

Autism Awareness: Information and Resources  

On World Autism Awareness Day (April 2nd), many neurotypical people show support and spread “autism awareness” for their autistic family members and friends by displaying the puzzle piece ribbon, wearing puzzle piece pins, and put puzzle piece stickers and decals on their car bumpers and windows. But one question is commonly forgotten; what do autistic people themselves think of the puzzle piece symbol?
More from In the Look about Neurodiversity

Read MePA Listserv post by Mary D. Donahue, PhD 4/3/21  

Telehealth Guidance by State During COVID-19 

While many states already had laws in place requiring commercial health plans and state Medicaid programs to cover telehealth services, the requirements were not universal and varied in the levels of service covered. 
Look Up Guidance by State

Telemedicine can be a Game Changer with Good Internet 

When appropriate for the health issue, communicating over a computer or phone is safer and can be easier than leaving home to drive to an appointment. But only for those with reliable, high-speed internet. 
Read Article

South Portland Tapping Social Services to Prevent Escalations with Police during Mental Health Calls 

A group reviewing how South Portland police handle mental health-related situations wants the city to use social services to prevent tensions between police and people of color. The advisory group was formed in the wake of protests and calls nationwide for review of police department policies after the death of George Floyd, a Black man, while in the custody of white police officers in Minneapolis. The 10-person group included public officials and residents, including Police Chief Timothy Sheehan, City Councilor April Caricchio and Pedro Vazquez, chairman of the South Portland Civil Rights Commission. 

Read Article

Interview with Diana Prescott, PhD, Candidate for President of the APA 

Watch Video

Q. Can you tell me a little bit about your current practice and how long you've been a psychologist?  

A. I graduated from the University of Nebraska with specialty training in rural psychology in 1992. Today, I have a rural consulting practice, Hampden Psychological Consultation, in Hampden, Maine where I primarily treat women and children. I have been a practicing psychologist for 28 years. 

Read Abbreviated Transcript

A Student’s Perspective: Reflecting on MePA Membership  
By Amanda Nalls, USM Doctoral Candidate 

"During this past month, I completed my comprehensive exam for the school psychology Psy.D. program at the University of Southern Maine. Like many end-of-program requirements, the exam provided an opportunity to bring together knowledge accumulated over years of study, to reflect on salient learning experiences, and to seriously question one’s life choices..."

Read More. 

Recorded Webinars Now Available for Purchase and CE Credits: 
2 hours (2 CEUs) 
$20 Members 
$40 Non-members 

Visit MePA Continuing Education

MePA is now offering timely webinars you can view from your computer when it’s convenience for you to earn Continuing Education credits. 

Contact Amy Safford at for a short quiz to earn CEUs. 

Fraulein: Struggle for Identity
New Book Release by Jeffrey T. Leonards, PhD

Long-time Maine psychologist and MePA member, Jeffrey T. Leonards, Ph.D., has released a novel about a young woman who defies the norms of 1930s Berlin by pursuing medical training in a venue traditionally dominated by men. Facing contempt from her counterparts is minor compared to the massive upheaval in a city transitioning to dictatorship while brutally persecuting its enemies.

Available on Amazon

History Matters: 
Psychology’s First Licensing Law ~ The Shoulders We Stand On 

By Jeff Matranga, Ph.D., ABPP 

Some of you may not believe this, but there was a time when psychologists were not allowed to practice independently and when they tried to pass laws allowing them to do so, the American Medical Association argued that it would endanger the public to allow psychologists to practice psychotherapy independently – they would kill people. Of course, the AMA’s stance seems silly looking in the rear-view mirror, looking back some 50+ years, but that was the territory back in the 1960s. Since then, Maine Psychologists have helped countless individuals and groups over those decades.  

Read more about Chuck Rothstein, PhD 

Available Now: Maine Psychological Association 70th Anniversary Publication 
An Unauthorized History of the Maine Psychological Association  
By Ron Breazeale, PhD and Jeff Matranga, PhD  

Members $24.50 (includes shipping and handling) 
Nonmembers $29.50 (includes shipping and handling) 
Order from MePA by: 

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The Psychological Services Center (PSC)

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of chronic stress, depression and/or anxiety, the Psychological Service Center at the University of Maine may be able to help you learn skills to manage stress and its symptoms

More Information

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