While research shows light therapy is effective for seasonal affective disorder (SAD), there's a lack of knowledgeable providers to administer it, says SAD researcher Michael Terman, PhD, director of New York-Presbyterian Hospital's Center for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms.

In fact, the area is a natural for psychologists, notes Illinois Institute of Technology psychologist Michael Young, PhD, president of the Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms. After all, bright light therapy is a safe, effective treatment in which the biggest challenge is behavioral.

Several resources can help practitioners who want to learn more:

  • An up-to-date review of research on light therapy for SAD and nonseasonal depression in the August 2005 CNS Spectrums (Vol. 10, No. 8, pages 647-663). The material also is available via webcast at www.docguide.com/news/content.nsf/webcast.

  • The Center for Environmental Therapeutics (www.cet.org), a nonprofit organization of multidisciplinary SAD researchers and clinicians.

  • "Winter Blues: Seasonal Affective Disorder: What It Is and How to Overcome It" (Guilford Press, 2005), by SAD researcher Norman Rosenthal, MD, who first named and studied the disorder.

  • The Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms (www.sltbr.org), a nonprofit international association. Their next meeting is July 13-15, 2006, in Quebec City.

-T. DeAngelis