Psypact for SD Psychologists

It is important to note that the Mental Health of First Responders Task Force is putting forth legislation to pass the PsyPact in SD during this legislative session. Part of the driving force is how to best serve our state residents that need mental health services as well as First Responders. This movement also may be especially important during Covid and making sure we are providing mental health care to those who need it. The shortage of mental health providers seems to be the driving force behind the current legislative bills regarding Psypact being proposed.
 Please fill out the short anonymous survey at the bottom to help us gauge what direction is important to follow about advocating for Psypact 
This is a link to the actual December 10, 2020 meeting minutes of the Health of First Responders Task Force, if anyone would like to listen themselves – they address PSYPACT from the start and for the first 50 minutes. 12/10/2020 Health of First Responders Task Force   What isPsypact?  Psypact helps with access to care, continuity of care, and creates a more legal/ ethical way to provide services from one state to another.  Psypact helps at this time with covid due to difficulties with traveling college or other folks (ie military). There is concern about who is providing services to our folks in South Dakota with ie Better Help, Talk Space..etc. Psypact is a way to really track who is practicing in the state. Now, there is no way to track who is providing services and track it or monitor it.   Please see the website for more information about psypact.  https://psypact.org/page/GovernanceDocuments  The psychology board is reviewing Psypact and looking through different options (a regional pact or more of a national pact). The regional one (IE Montana, Nebraska, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Iowa) allows for several states usually surrounding states to make a pact to cross state boundaries and be able to practice psychology through telepsych or also in person if necessary. This regional one would allow for the money accumulated to go more to the states doing it (SD would get more money with a regional pact). The more national one would be making a pact with other states and the money then goes to the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB).   However, it is important to note that the psyche board is continuing to discuss the pros/ cons within the board itself.  Here is a good article outlining the bills likely to drop as a result of the Heath of First Responders most recent meeting: Mental Health of First Responders Task Force to introduce three bills There are currently 15 states who have already passed the PsyPact (National) so Arizona, Utah, Nebraska, Nevada, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Missouri, Georgia, and New Hampshire. I am unsure with the more regional compacts how many? There is12 to 15 states who are re-introducing legislation currently for psypact.  PsyPact went live on July 1 which means that it is operational. This means if I am a psychologist in Nebraska and want to see someone in Colorado I can do this with an e-passport (a certificate you need to provide services under the compact. Most recently there were 3,500 psychologists applying for the passport. The commission is up and running and the delegates from each state (15) run the psypact, they make the rules, etc. There is now a way that the funding gets paid to be involved with psypact, which makes it substantially cheaper. Those that want to participate often do end up paying this fee. Other psychologists that do not want involvement in the Psypac do not have to pay the fee.   There also is more ability to perform our job and service other states without any type of billing issues with the psypact. I have patients in Nebraska and Wyoming that have come to see me over the years and it would make it much easier to serve them. In addition, with the rural areas being underserved this is a way to help out.  Medicine, Nursing, PT, EMT, and Psychology are the only health care professionals to have compacts as I understand now. The military folks like the idea of having the compact due to the transfer of the military folks all over the place. CSG Council on State Government is also behind these compacts due to liking more access to care. To my knowledge, the social worker and also counselors do not have a pact but are working in that direction.    Pros: 
1)  Increased flexibility to individual providers to follow patients longer-term due to a move or vacation out of state.  Provides for better continuity of care.  This would especially be the case if we join Psypact vs. just a regional compact. 
2)  Improved access for mental health services, specifically for certain specialty areas.  This provides benefits to all of our residents, especially those in rural areas. 
3)  Psypact is gaining momentum and will likely continue to add states.  If we do not participate, will be this a disincentive to psychologists to practice here, especially early career psychologists who may want this option.  This could lower our numbers of licensed psychologists in the state which will impact funding for our Board. 
1)  Additional cost to obtain an “e-passport” and maintenance fees for this.
2) Potential liability for our state board, which may result in a need for increased fees to cover potential investigations.  Where you are licensed at, that is the state that does the disciplinary issues if in trouble with the board.  3)  Other practitioners potentially coming into our state, (although via telehealth) to provide services. Of course, this is a concern for us in South Dakota. However, in some way, this is already happening with “Better Help” and other companies like “Talk Space” that already have figured out how to navigate telemedicine and the licensing rules/ regulations.  Would this lead to cherry-picking of individuals with “good insurance?”  Perhaps.  Will there still be plenty of people that will opt for in-person, local services?   Please fill out the short survey to help us gauge what direction is important to follow about advocating for psychology in SD. No matter what the response, I believe it is important to propose a viable solution for the current concerns driving the need for psychological services for our citizens as well as our First Responders in South Dakota.  Sincerely,  Kari Scovel PhDPublic Education Coordinator for SDPAPresident of Division 1
THANK YOU, on behalf of the South Dakota Psychological Association and South Dakota Licensure Board of Examiners

How Remote Workers Benefit from Staff Retreats

Most love working remotely for the flexibility of having an office anywhere, but have you considered how hosting staff retreats or in-person meetings can influence your virtual work team? Creating monthly, quarterly, or yearly meet-ups together may present a new way for your team to progress all while developing deeper professional relationships. See three benefits of staff retreats for remote workers below:

Blending Strengths

Most know that a team is able to bring a large amount of different strengths. Each individual holds influential skills that can benefit your work team as a whole. Think about how one individual may possess great skills in event planning while another excels at marketing. Together, they are able to organize an upcoming event better than if it was one single worker by using complimentary strengths. Building upon your workers strengths in a group may help your business flourish in a way that it could not virtually.


Remote workers are able to collaborate through online meetings, phone calls or emails, but can be simplified if your team is able to meet up every now and then. Collaborating in person with your work team is a brilliant way to start problem solving, brainstorming, developing employee skills, and much more. Catching up with your fellow coworkers will allow you to join in together to make something great happen!

Focus and Time Management

When groups are able to come together it often improves their focus and time management. With all hands on deck, it becomes easier for your team to fast-track tasks. Collaborating enables deadlines and important projects to be met. Consider delegating specific tasks that are tailored to an individual’s area of expertise to encourage quicker turnover. Working as a team versus individually will boost productivity and give some of the best outcomes your company has seen.


Lewis & Clark Behavioral Health Services (LCBHS) of Yankton, SD is seeking a behavioral health specialist to serve as a key staff member.

Lewis & Clark Behavioral Health Services (LCBHS) is seeking a behavioral health specialist to serve as a key staff member. Open to a Clinical Psychologist with a Ph.D. or Psy.D. The primary role is to provide behavioral health assessment and treatment in an outpatient environment; but may also provide assessment and treatment support on an inpatient substance use treatment unit.

This is a great opportunity to work as a core member of a multidisciplinary collaborative team that includes psychiatrists, psychologists, case managers and substance use specialists. South Dakota Licensure or license eligibility as a Psychologist with previous work experience in a behavioral health setting is required. Experience in the area of substance use treatment is desirable. LCBHS is a progressive not-for-profit provider of comprehensive mental health and substance use treatment services in Southeastern South Dakota and offers a comprehensive employee benefit package. Salary is competitive based on education and experience.

For more information contact Lisa Eilers, Executive Secretary / HR
605-665-4606 ext. 1009


Position Announcement for Director of Clinical Services at Stronghold Counseling Services




Position Description:

Stronghold Counseling Services seeks a Director of Clinical Services. This position requires a person of Christian faith committed to the integration of psychology and Grace-filled theology. He/she must have an excellent set of therapeutic and supervisory skills in managing a team of twenty clinical and support staff in Sioux Falls, and in two additional regional clinics in Yankton and Spearfish. Stronghold is a grace based and clinically sound practice which has an exemplary reputation as evidenced by being voted “Local Best” among clinical services in the Sioux Empire for over a decade.

Clinical leadership:

Stronghold employs a team approach to case management and supervision. Regular bi-weekly professional staff meetings foster collaborative case management and professional development. The Clinical Director will guide therapists in the development of their own practice while helping the whole organization to develop and grow as well as assist with coordination of support staff, monitor budgetary, financial and business decisions in collaboration with the Chief Financial Officer. The CFO has primary responsibility for managing the front office and support staff.

Required Education and Experience:

All applicants must hold a PhD or PsyD in Psychology as well as hold current licensure as a psychologist in South Dakota or be able to be licensed in South Dakota. Additional requirements or eligibility of: LPCMH, LPC, MSW, AAMFT. Applicants possessing certification as Approved Supervisors of LPCMH, MSW, or AAMFT or Psychology are preferred. As Sioux Falls is growing in diversity, experience in cross-cultural activity is beneficial.

Application Materials Required:

All applicants must provide: 1) A letter of application which summarizes their expressed interest in and qualifications for the position. 2) Three confidential letters of recommendation. 3) Documentation of Doctoral degree completion providing the date and name of the accredited conferring institution. 4) Verification of active professional licensure(s) in good standing. 5) A professional resume or vita that documents the most recent five-year period of continued clinical practice.

Fiscal Responsibilities and Functions:

The Clinical Director works collaboratively with the CFO and must have an understanding of the business aspects of a practice and the ability to work within a budget. The Director will help prepare the Annual Report for the Board of Directors

and provide recommendations regarding programmatic adjustments or innovations which are responsive to market needs and opportunities.

Professional Standards & Ethical and Legal Practice

The Clinical Director will develop and organize a comprehensive continuing education and supervision plan for staff development that is anchored in changes in legal and ethical professional licensure in South Dakota. The professional standards plan includes regular biweekly staffing and will include individual case management for staff members seeking licensure, as well as supervision for staff members seeking case management consultation for other reasons. The supervision plan will include other members of the Stronghold Staff who hold supervision credentials.

Collaborative Program Development and Marketing

The Clinical Director will collaboratively develop a working staff group to identify, respond to, and propose marketing opportunities, which fit the programmatic and unique gifts of Stronghold team members. This group and its members will utilize all means of media and marketing to actively market Stronghold Counseling Services.

Responsibility for Direct Service Delivery

The Clinical Director will be expected to provide direct therapy services to clients between 10-15 hours per week at their discretion. Following the Directors first annual evaluation, in collaboration with the Board, the Director may assume responsibility for an additional client load as advised.

Governance and Evaluations

The Clinical Director is hired and evaluated by the Stronghold Executive Board. The annual evaluation takes place during the first quarter of each year. Evaluation components include those described in the job description.

Salary Package

Negotiable and based on experience. Medical and dental insurance, Simple IRA, continuing education allowance.

Application deadline: October 1st, 2018

Reply to: Stronghold Counseling Services

4300 S Louise Ave Ste 201 Sioux Falls, SD 57106

Email: info@strongholdcounseling.com

Website: www.strongholdcounseling.com


SDPA is CEU Approved!


Attention Social Workers!
The South Dakota Psychological Association’s Annual Conference has been approved for 6 Continuing Education Units/Contact Hours by the South Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners.
Join us in Sioux Falls on September 21-22 for our Annual Conference to continue your education. Registration information can be found on our 2018 Annual Conference page.
We hope to see you there!

Position Opening for Licensed Therapist in Yankton, SD

Heartland Psychological Services (HPS) in Yankton has expanded and is seeking a full-time licensed therapist.

HPS offers a guaranteed minimum salary for the first year, generous pension, great administrative support, low overhead expenses, lengthy waiting list, strong supervision, and a supportive, collaborative team.

If you are a highly qualified, self-motivated therapist who makes strong connections with clients, we would encourage you to contact Danelle Pennock, Psy.D, at danellep@hpsyankton.com or 605-665-0841 ext 7807.

Heartland Psychological Services provides counseling and psychological services with encouragement, compassion, and respect with a highly qualified staff. We also provide psychiatric services and evaluations. Services include counseling for: Individual, Family, Group, and Couples as well as psychiatric services and evaluations for ADHD, OCD, Depression, Anxiety, Anger management, Stress management, Parenting issues, Sexuality issues, and Grief or loss.

Screen Shot 2018-08-20 at 12.25.29 PM


Dr. Mark Garry of Rapid City Receives 2018 Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award

Article Published by Association of American Medical Colleges

2018 Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award

Mark T. Garry, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine

Garry headshot

Students and patients alike know Mark T. Garry, MD, for his dedication to going the extra mile to ensure that the person in front of him is heard, respected, and well cared for.

A few years back, Dr. Garry noticed that his next patient, a shy boy who had been bullied extensively in school, had tucked his pants into his socks. Before inviting the boy into his office, Dr. Garry tucked his pants into his socks in a similar fashion, as did the medical student who was training with him. When the boy saw what they had done, his face lit up and he opened up to the pediatric psychiatrist in ways he had never done before, his mother later recalled. Dr. Garry’s innate ability to see each patient as a unique individual enables him to connect with the most vulnerable and underserved while modeling for learners a patient-centered approach that exemplifies the very best qualities of the profession.

Now head of psychiatric education at the Rapid City Regional Behavioral Health Center and assistant professor at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine (USDSSOM), Dr. Garry encourages learners to harness empathy as the best way to achieve their highest potential as physicians. His life and clinical lessons have staying power, and the USDSSOM Class of 2016 awarded Dr. Garry the Anton Hyden Distinguished Professor Award for being the physician who most inspires and assists medical students during the clinical years.

Previously, Dr. Garry spent nine years at the Sioux San Indian Hospital in Rapid City, providing critically needed mental health services to Native Americans. As a key member of the Suicide Prevention Committee for Rapid City and the Governor’s Task Force for State Suicide Prevention, he helped develop protocols for reducing the suicide rate among indigenous populations. He has also worked nationally to enhance access to child and adolescent psychiatry through telemedicine, for which he received the Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2006.

In addition to modeling for students the qualities of humanism in medicine, Dr. Garry models the importance of living a full and balanced life. He moonlights as a professional DJ (DJ Mental) and volunteers at his wife’s yoga studio and holistic healing clinic.

Dr. Garry earned his MD from the Emory University School of Medicine, where he was also a Robert W. Woodruff Fellow in Medicine. He completed his residency in psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine. He was also a Laughlin Fellow of the American College of Psychiatry, and he represented psychiatry residents on the administrative board of the AAMC’s Organization of Resident Representatives.


Brain Scans Reveal Why People Become Aggressive After Drinking Alcohol

Through the utilization of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans, researchers are able to measure blood flow in the brain to better understand why people become aggressive and violent after consuming alcohol. Research notes significant changes in the working of the prefrontal cortex of the brain after two drinks – a part of the brain that tempers an individual’s aggression levels. This study was conducted by Thomas Denson of the University of New South Wales in Australia, and was published in the journal of Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience. 

Fifty healthy young men participated in the study. They were either given two drinks containing vodka, or placebo drinks without any alcohol. Participants then had to compete in a task which has regularly been used over the past decade to observe levels of aggression in response to provocation, whilst lying in an MRI scanner.

The functional magnetic resonance imaging allowed Denson and his team to identify which areas of the brain were triggered when the task was performed. They were also able to compare the difference in scans between participants who had and had not consumed alcohol. Being provoked was found to have no influence on participants’ neural responses. However, when behaving aggressively, there was a dip in activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brains of those who had consumed alcoholic beverages.

“Although there was an overall dampening effect of alcohol on the prefrontal cortex, even at a low dose of alcohol we observed a significant positive relationship between dorsomedial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity and alcohol-related aggression,” states Denson. “These regions may support different behaviors, such as peace versus aggression, depending on whether a person is sober or intoxicated.”

The results are vastly consistent with a growing body of research about the neural basis of aggression, and how it is triggered by changes in the way that the prefrontal cortex, the limbic system and reward-related regions of the brain function. The results of the current study are also consistent with several psychological theories of alcohol-related aggression.



Loneliness Could Be a Bigger Public Health Threat Than Obesity

Loneliness and social isolation seem to be a much more impending health problem than obesity. According to research presented by the American Psychological Association, approximately 42.6 million adults over age 45 in the United States are suffering from chronic loneliness, in addition to more than one quarter of the population living alone. More than half of the population are also unmarried, and marriage rates and the number of children per household have declined. “These trends suggest that Americans are becoming less socially connected and experiencing more loneliness,” said Holt-Lunstad.

“Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need – crucial to both well-being and survival. An extreme example to indicate this are infants in custodial care who lack human contact fail to thrive and often die, and indeed, social isolation or solitary confinement has been used as a form of punishment,” said Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, professor of psychology at Brigham Young University.

Holt-Lunstad conducted two studies, with the first finding that greater social connection is associated with a 50 percent reduced risk of early death. The second study examined the role that social isolation, loneliness or living alone might have on mortality. It was found that all three had a significant and equal effect on the risk of premature death, one that was equal to or exceeded the effect of other well-accepted risk factors such as obesity.

“There is robust evidence that social isolation and loneliness significantly increase risk for premature mortality, and the magnitude of the risk exceeds that of many leading health indicators,” said Holt-Lunstad. “With an increasing aging population, the effect on public health is only anticipated to increase. Indeed, many nations around the world now suggest we are facing a ‘loneliness epidemic.’ The challenge we face now is what can be done about it.”

5 Ways To Fight Loneliness

  1. Get out and about
    Even if you aren’t directly engaging with someone, make the effort to be surrounded by people – whether it’s walking around the grocery store or working out at the gym.

  2. Meet with people in person
    Whether it’s being in contact with someone via email, phone calls or social media, that’s not enough. Social networks can offer real connections, there’s no substitute for face-to-face interaction. Have confidence in yourself and reach out to people.
  3. Walk interactively
    Don’t just walk to your next destination. Travel with purpose and notice what is around you. Say hi and good morning to those that pass by you. You will be surprise at how much position connection you will receive in return.
  4. Sign up for a class
    Pursue a hobby that brings joy and adds value to your life. Participate in organized activities that provide creative outlets for social experience in which you and others can share common ground.
  5. Seek professional help if deemed necessary
    Utilize the tools and resources available to you in order to process your feelings and receive constructive feedback. For some this may be a therapist, and for others this may be seminars or events at local health/medical clinics. 

Become involved with SDPA and visit our website for helpful resources related to this topic.