PACFlorida has a new home!

We are pleased to announce that PACFlorida (Psychological Associates of Central Florida) has a new home. Over this weekend, we will be moving next door, to the suite located at 5424 Strickland Ave. We are very happy about this move, as it will give us twice as much space, including a large room for workshops and groups. For more information about upcoming events, follow us on facebook (, Twitter (@drberney), iTunes (The Mental Breakdown podcast), or our website ( We have a lot of plans for 2015, stay tuned!!

The Ledger column from 3.21.15

Here is my weekly column from the Ledger. Here I talk about the first year of life and the all so important issue of attachment. Early attachment is linked to overall healthy development and long term social and emotional health.

Let me know what you think!

Here is the link:

Texting, Teens, and Driving

There is an interesting summary of a study that reveals that while the number of teens who are texting while driving is decreasing, they are still doing everything else while they are supposed to be driving.  Reading this reminded me of three factoids about teens that I encountered over and over again while researching and writing The Middle School Mind: Growing Pains in Early Adolescent Brains.

1. They don’t believe what adults tell them about focusing only on driving when they are behind the wheel.  They are convinced that they are good enough to do something else while driving.

2. They are convinced they are immortal and nothing bad is going to happen to them.

3. They are convinced that they can multi-task–which they can’t, of course.  There is a mountain of neuroscience research demonstrating that our brains do not multi-task.  It seems like they do because they are so fast. But they don’t.  More on multi-tasking later.

IFL Science article on research with MDMA

Many people are unaware that a lot of the drugs that are abused today were first developed to treat medical and mental disorders. When abused, drugs like MDMA and Methamphetamine can be very dangerous. However, it is interesting to read about researchers looking back at the therapeutic effects of these substances. 

What do you think about this research? If they are effective, should we use them in treatment? Should drugs like MDMA be treated different than marijuana?

Check out the article here: