Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays

Best wishes to all over the holiday season from PHR. This time of year has much meaning for all. For me it is about Christmas. I would like to share a story from long ago and far away.
My Favorite Christmas Tree
A Family Yuletide Tale
It was the dawn of the 60’s - the space age, where cars emulated rocket ships, dinners were made for TV, and baby formula was thought to outfox mothers’ milk. It was as if the future of the world rested on the shoulders of lab coats with pen pocket protectors. It was the era of better living through chemistry. As if technology would do all and save all. So why not an artificial christmas tree? No messy needles and sap, and at the end of one season it could be boxed and saved for the next. No pine smell: No problem, it could be replaced by a spray- you could have as much or as little as you say.
our tree was bright and shiny as could be. It was made of metal, you see.Its rotating light shined blue, green, red and white. But somehow it just wasn’t right. Perhaps it was how pathetic it looked in broad daylight.For mother, father, brother and I a silent uneasiness grew. Then on the eve of the Christmas celebration came a wondrous revelation.
We needed a real tree.
Mom fretted our opportunity was spent. But dad grabbed the keys, and off we went. There at the lot stood a large dump truck overflowing with tree, with busy men scurrying about, as if they had someplace better to be. To our hope, first the first, then the second harrumphed: “No! No! No!” Mom slumped. Dad was stumped. Then up in the truck among trees, appeared a man with a round belly and a jolly big grin. He pulled up one then another, to the joy of me and my brother.  As dad persisted, mom resisted as she went into a deepening state of embarrassment.
 Don and I watched and wondered, mouths wide enough ajar to catch a falling star. Then came a tree, straight and tall. To us (quite close to the ground) this tree upon trees seemed to reach up without bound. Then there were glances exchanged that rang clear as a bell. That this tree would do quite well.
By persisting in gifting, dad was pleased in the end to have paid twice as much as he planned - for this treasure as grand as all the gold, frankincense and myrrh in the land. Then off we scurried in quite a hurry, to home and to bed, just before the landing of the reindeer and the sled. There on Christmas morn stood the tree in its simple splendor adorned
This was definitely my favorite Christmas tree.
John Heil 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy & Pain

Dr. John Heil presented in-service training on psuchological approaches to pain management, to Carilion Physical Therapy at the Roanoke Athletic Club on December 17.
Training included a review of cognitive behavioral therapy and discussion of sport performance as a metaphor for the treatment of chronic pain and injury.
For more information on psychology and pain management:

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Stewards of Children Training

"The reality is, child sexual abuse is likely the most prevalent health problem children face, with the most serious array of consequences."

What is Stewards of Children?

A program that addresses child sexual abuse in the context of today's issues.
A program that features a combination of survivor stories, expert advice, and practical guidance.
A program that shows you how a simple, 5-step approach can protect the children you love from sexual abuse.

January 21, 2014 - 6:00-9:00 pm @Psychological Health Roanoke
3 Hours - Continuing Education
For information call: 540-772-5140

Thursday, November 7, 2013

FDA Eyes Ban on Trans Fats Due to Heart Disease Risk

The Food and Drug Administration has announced plans to have so-called "partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs)," which are the main source of artificial trans fats in processed foods, to be classified as food additives. That means they won't be allowed to be used in food without authorization of the FDA, which may effectively ban the substances.
FDA commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg told reporters Wednesday that the action is being considered because PHOs are "not generally recognized as safe for use in food."

Monday, November 4, 2013

J&J Will Pay More Than $2.2 Billion to Settle U.S. Cases

Johnson & Johnson will pay more than $2.2 billion to resolve criminal and civil probes into the marketing of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal and other medicines in one of the largest U.S. health-care fraud cases.

J&J’s Janssen unit will plead guilty to a misdemeanor criminal charge over misbranding Risperdal for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, including for elderly patients with dementia. Under the plea deal announced today, Janssen will pay a $334 million fine and forfeit $66 million.

Janssen also settled civil claims that it marketed Risperdal without approval for the elderly, children and mentally disabled, and that it paid kickbacks to physicians and to Omnicare Inc., the largest pharmacy for nursing homes.

Reported by Laurie Asseo, David Voreacos & Margaret Cronin Fisk - Nov 4, 2013 12:28 PM ET


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Treatment for Tourette's & Tics

Psychological Health Roanoke now offers behavioral treatment for tics and Tourette’s.
Dr. Laura Ely provides Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT), which involves education, habit reversal therapy (HRT), and environmental interventions.
Tim Howard - USA Soccer Goal Keeper & Tourette's sufferer
To watch a clip about the treatment:
Info on tics (Tourette’s Syndrome Association):

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Sport Parent

Dr. John Heil presented a seminar of Sport Parenting at the Bucks County Academy of Fencing in Lambertville, NJ on Saturday, Septembder 21.
As in all settings, effective parenting is a challenge.
For a look at 10 rules of effective sport parenting see the link below:

Friday, September 13, 2013

Laura Ely joins PHR

Laura Ely, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist, has joined Psychological Health Roanoke. Her specialties include Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Acceptance Enhanced Behavior Therapy (for hair pulling & skin picking), and Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics.
 For more information on these treatments and disorders, check out the following sites:
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): http://contextualscience.org/act_for_the_public
 Hair Pulling (Trichotillomania) & Excoriation Disorder (Skin Picking): http://www.trich.org/
Tic Disorders and Tourette’s Disorder: http://tsa-usa.org/



Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ron Salzbach & Roanoke Chapter of VSCSW

Ron Salzbach, LCSW, helped to found the Roanoke Chapter of the Virginia Society of Clinical Social Workers in the early 1990’s. Between 1994-2013, he has served as Secretary, Treasurer, Chairman, Vice Chairman, Guild Chairman and Education/Conference Chairman.

Other PHR clinicians that have served in leadsership roles include:

Barbara Horton, LCSW, who is currently serving as Treasurer and has previously held the role of Vice-Chair

June Allder, PHD, LCSW, who was Vice-Chair with Barbara Horton

Alison Allsbrook, LCSW, is the current Conference Chairperson.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Humans Hardwired to Feel Others' Pain

Empathy is the ability to understand another person's feelings. "With familiarity, other people become part of ourselves," study author James Coan, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia, said in a university news release.

He and his colleagues used functional MRI to monitor the brain activity of 22 young adults while they, a friend or a stranger were under the threat of receiving a mild electrical shock. They saw that the same brain regions were activated when the participants were threatened with a shock or when a friend was under threat.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

SARA Board of Directors

Barbara Horton is beginning service as a board member of SARA - Sexual Assault Response and Awareness - in Roanoke. She joins John Heil, also of PHR who is an inaugural board member.

Monday, September 2, 2013

FDA & "Gluten Free" Labeling Standards

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a final rule that defines what characteristics a food has to have to bear a label that proclaims it "gluten- free." The rule also holds foods labeled "without gluten," "free of gluten," and "no gluten" to the same standard.

For more info:http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm363069.htm

Monday, August 12, 2013

Dr. John Heil

Dr. Heil, a licensed clinical psychologist and certified sport psychologist is beginning a 3-year period of service in the presidents track of the American Pychological Association, Division of Exercise and Sport Psychology.
This group includes those working in research, teaching and applied practice.  The Division sponsors workshops at the APA convention and publishes the Exercise and Sport Psychology Newsletter.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The GenY Boom'er Riddle

The Gen Y’er in a 3rd cycle of seasonal work took the intiative to cut back his hours, eliminating an inactive period and thus saving the employer money (unwisely -- thinking that this being a good idea would be enough). The Boomer terminated the GenY’er without explanation (unwisely -- thinking that this being a clear and well documented infraction would be good enough).  The GenY’er protests and is left wondering about loyalty and commitment. The Boomer shrugs it off as another unfit GenY’er.

… and the same story echoes back and forth across the age gap from one place to another from one situation to another, till the prophecy becomes  self-fulfilling and no one knows how it came to be.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Rachel Emma Silverman of The Wall Street Journal reports:
In what is described as a rather disheartening study, a team of researchers led by Darren Treadway of the University at Buffalo School of Management, found that many workplace bullies receive positive evaluations from their supervisors and achieve high levels of career success, despite organizational efforts to curtail bullying.
From a study published in the  Journal of Managerial Psychology


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Adolescent Girls Therapy Group

Led by Dorene Fick, LCSW.

Beginning July 2013
Expressive Arts, Psychodrama and other forms of therapy
will be used to help teen girls share experiences and create
positive and healing peer interactions in a psychotherapy
group setting.
This group is intended for girls 14-18 years old. There will
be a maximum of 12 participants. Most insurance will cover
group treatment. Group will be in addition to individual
This group will address the many challenges teenage girls
endure: Depression, Anxiety, Self-esteem, Body image,
Peer relationships and more…

Wednesday evenings at
Psychological Health Roanoke
Colonnade One
2840 Electric Road, Suite 200
Roanoke, VA 24018
Please call 772-5140 to schedule an intake assessment.



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

An Artist's Brush Reveals Tales Of Struggle And Survival

Most health policy meetings are a dull gray snooze of business suits talking data. They seem a million miles removed from making sick people healthy. But this week in Washington, D.C., some of those meetings was enlivened by a sudden flash of color.
The back of one woman's suit jacket bore a painting, a Renoir-like portrait of a mother and child. A man's blazer showed him reborn after years of despair. Another woman's jacket portrayed a young man holding his organ donor card. A petite redhead's jacket blazed with a scarlet letter "A."
It was an insurrection of sorts, the latest incarnation of something called the Walking Gallery. The paintings on the back of jackets tell tale about the wearers' odysseys through the labyrinth of the American health care system.
The paintings speak of struggle, frustration and loss. But there's also perseverance, great love and triumph in the face of tragedy.

For more info: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/06/04/188679224/an-artists-brush-reveals-tales-of-struggle-and-survival?ft=1&f=1002&sc=igg2

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Stewards of Children Training

Enrolling Now!!
Unlike other child sexual abuse prevention programs that focus on educating children, Stewards of Children focuses on adult training because ultimately, it is ADULTS’ responsibility to keep children safe. Bottom line: kids shouldn’t be saddled with the responsibility to protect themselves from predators.

Training Dates:

Thursday, July 25th 9am-12pm &  Thursday, August 15th 1pm-4pm

Location: Roanoke City Police Academy (5401B Barns Avenue)

Roanoke, VA 24019)

Register online at roact.org, or by contacting:

 Erica East (erica.east@roact.org) 540-344-3579 ex 13
Corinne McKinney (Corinne.McKinney@roanokeva.gov)

                                          For more information visit d2l.org**

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Head Injury in Adolescents

One in five adolescents surveyed in Ontario, Canada  said they have suffered a traumatic brain injury that left them unconscious for five minutes or required them to be hospitalized overnight -
 a statistic researchers in Toronto say is much higher than previously thought.
Sports such as ice hockey and soccer accounted for more than half the injuries.

Friday, June 7, 2013


According to a news brief from The Association for Addiction Professionals: 'Smoking' alcohol is a highly dangerous trend among the calorie-conscious

In an effort to gain a greater buzz for fewer calories, some young drinkers are inhaling their liquor — either pouring it over dry ice or "freebasing" it and sucking up the vapors. Either way, going around the stomach and liver is incredibly risky, doctors say.


Thursday, May 30, 2013


Dr. John Heil is a candidate for President-Elect of APA Division 47- "Exercise & Sport Psychology"
Dr. Heil has been practicing sport psychology and clinical psychology for the 25 years he has been affiliated with the partners and practitioners of Psychological Health * Roanoke.
The Candidate Statement is at:

Monday, March 18, 2013

2012 Well-Being Index

Gallup and Healthways produce an annual report on the Well-Being of each of the 50 U.S. states, their respective communities and each of the 435 U.S. congressional districts.

Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index (WBI) is an average of six indicators: Life Evaluation, Physical Health, Emotional Health, Healthy Behavior, Work Environment and Basic Access.

To view the rankings for Virginia:



Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Recognizing and Treating Anxiety

If you’re like most people, chances are you have a hard time not worrying, at least some of the time.   But when it comes to being anxious about things in life, there’s a difference between having a bit of a worrywart streak to having full blown anxiety. There is evidence that the US has the highest proportion of chronically anxious people out of any other nation in the world.  Anxiety can be difficult to recognize, tricky to diagnose, and hard to come to terms with. But despite this, once it’s been diagnosed, anxiety is one of the easiest mental disorders to treat.



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Opioid Medication Controversy

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) wants greater restrictions on prescribing the most commonly used opioid drugs: those containing  hydrocodone, of which the most well-known is probably Vicodin.

The change would stop doctors from writing prescriptions for more than one month's supply at a time or calling in new prescriptions without seeing their patients.

Kolodney, who leads Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing.wants the Food and Drug Administration to rewrite the labels on all opioids to say that doctors should write prescriptions only for severe pain and at much lower doses, and that patients should be kept on the medications for no longer than 90 days at a time.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Hair Pulling - Skin Picking

Take Back Your Power from Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors

Joan Kaylor, MSEd, NCC, LPC, DCEP

March 2, 2013
For anyone who has ever been touched by pulling or picking has experienced the pain and devastation of not being able to stop, or of not being able to help a child, spouse, partner or loved one suffering with these problems.

For more information

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Our Health Magazine Bedside Manner Awards

Congratulations to

All Award Winners



Steve Strosnider - 1st Place

Emily DeFrance - 2nd Place tie

23 PHR Clinicians - Honorable Mention


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Religion & Football

Beneath Touchdown Jesus, who towers over the Notre Dame football stadium, there is a longstanding yet evolving set of religious practices unique in the world of high profile sport.
In the Wall Street Journal (Jan. 3, 2013), Kevin Helliker reports:
Notre Dame is so nonpromotional that players of other faiths feel welcome on the team, never receiving so much as an invitation to convert, let alone pressure to do so. As a result, many feel comfortable participating in distinctly Catholic rituals. As a Notre Dame football captain during the 2002 season, Gerome Sapp had no qualms about leading theteam in the Hail Mary, a prayer utterly alien to his Southern Baptist upbringing. "That prayer was just one tradition in a school rich with tradition," says Sapp, now a retired NFL player."

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Why Me? Explaining Anxiety in the Brain
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
7:00 pm EST / 6:00 pm CST / 5:00 pm MST / 4:00 pm PST
The speaker will be Catherine Pittman, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist and an associate professor of psychology at Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana.  
She is a co-author of the book Extinguishing Anxiety: Whole Brain Strategies to Relieve Fear and Stress, which offers tactics to control anxiety.
A live 35-minute PowerPoint presentation with an expert will be followed by a brief Q&A session.
Sign up now: Send an e-mail for the login details; please type Attend Webinar in the subject line and include your first and last names.
There are no fees.