The Wisconsin Psychiatric Association

By Dr. Kimberly Frank

The Wisconsin Psychiatric Association (WPA) is a branch of the American Psychiatric Association, a nonprofit professional organization based in Kimberly, Wisconsin. Established in 1974, the WPA mission is to coordinate the science, research, and practice of psychiatrists in the state; educate the public about mental disorders and disease; and advocate for practicing psychiatrists in the Wisconsin legislature. Representing more than 400 members, the WPA organizes regular conferences and Webinars on issues specific to psychiatric clinics and private practices, including prescription medications, drug monitoring, administrative matters, best practices, and more. The WPA lobby works with state legislators to support favorable working conditions for psychiatrists in Wisconsin and to ensure compliance with changes in state codes and regulations specific to the field. The public education arm of the WPA is responsible for disseminating the latest information on mental health to the general public and the news media, and the WPA publishes a quarterly news bulletin, The Wisconsin Psychiatrist. Membership in the WPA is open to all certified and licensed psychiatrists in the state, and the next annual meeting is slated for March 2013 on the future of the psychiatric practice.

About the Author:

Dr. Kimberly Frank is a child and adolescent psychologist in Racine, Wisconsin, who sees clients in her private practice. As an expert in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry, Kimberly Frank is a member of the Wisconsin Psychiatric Association, contributing more than 20 years of expertise in the field.


Cognitive Differences between Children and Adults

By Dr. Kimberly Frank

Most psychologists understand cognitive development as a series of stages through which a person progresses as he or she ages. Thus, an adult may possess more advanced cognitive skills in areas such as problem solving, attention, and memory than a child, but both are continually learning and changing. Some psychologists argue that children actually have a greater cognitive capacity than adults, because they are often able to absorb larger amounts of information more quickly, such as a new language.

Cognitive functioning in children can be so different from that of adults that adults may have difficulty understanding the experiences and thought patterns of young children. For example, children may use transductive logic, which is the belief that if two things share a common characteristic, they must have other similarities as well. Children may also confuse the cause and effect relationship between two events or things, such as believing that a fire truck causes fires.

About the author: Dr. Kimberly Hammes Frank has been a practicing child and adolescent psychiatrist for over fifteen years. She has worked in both inpatient and outpatient mental health clinics and received the Outstanding Fellow Award in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from the University of Nebraska in 1995. In part because of the cognitive changes that occur with aging, Dr. Kimberly Frank emphasizes an integrated approach to the psychiatric treatment of children and adolescents that incorporates biological, social, and psychological factors.