All therapy services (individual, group, family) begin with an initial intake. This is a chance for us to sit down and discuss your concern(s) in detail and determine what might be helpful for your particular situation. It is a time for me to learn more about what is bringing you in and for you to learn more about me and my approach. If you are seeking help for your child, I generally meet only with parents/caregivers for the initial intake so that we can speak openly and frankly. For older adolescents, we can decide if it would be best to have the adolescent join us for part of the initial intake. The initial intake is usually a one hour appointment.
After the initial intake, we may decide individual therapy will be helpful. If you are seeking help for your child, I will meet with your child during the session but may also meet with you some of the time (depending upon the age of the child and the nature of the presenting issue). If you are an adult or older adolescent, we will meet together for the entire session. Individual therapy sessions are typically 45 minutes in length.
Some presenting concerns are best addressed in a family therapy setting. Having your family in the room helps me further understand what may be contributing to the presenting problem(s), and I can better assess and improve communication patterns among family members. Family therapy is typically used to address family-based problems, although it may be recommended at other times as well. Family therapy sessions are generally 45 minutes in length.
Group therapy is a very effective approach for certain types of presenting issues. Group can be recommended as the only mode of treatment or in conjunction with other services. Group therapy allows individuals to connect with others with similar struggles and to receive peer feedback, which can be very powerful and effective. Since some issues are difficult to address in individual therapy because the problem has a social component, group provides a safe setting to practice these social skills. Group therapy sessions are generally one hour in length.
I typically run social skills groups for all ages (pre-K through young adult). I have also led groups for children and adolescents experiencing anxiety, and groups addressing difficulties encountered during divorce. In addition, I have provided support groups for neurotypical siblings of children with disabilities. I strive to meet the needs of my clients and am happy to offer groups addressing other topics if there is sufficient interest (3 or more participants).
Psychological testing can prove extremely helpful for many children, adolescents, and young adults. Psychological testing tells us how your child learns, reveals specific strengths and weaknesses, and identifies methods to bolster performance in areas of weakness. Psychological testing can target specific areas such as: ADHD/ADD/executive functioning, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, giftedness, or emotional functioning. Other times, a parent may suspect that something is preventing their child from reaching his or her full potential, and psychological testing can help identify that “something.” Psychological testing reports outline the testing results in detail and explain the results in a way that parents and educators will understand. In addition, useful recommendations and specific next steps are provided, based upon the results of the testing. I personally see the testing through from start to finish. I administer, score, and interpret all of the testing and do not use testing examiners/assistants.
Consultations can involve a variety of services. Sometimes parents or caregivers meet with me for a one-time consultation about a very specific issue (e.g., how to tell their child about a medical diagnosis of a family member) or may discuss parenting issues for several sessions without their child present. Other times, parents or caregivers have me consult with their child's school or daycare to develop interventions for use in that setting. Adults may come in for a few sessions to work through a time-limited decision that must be made. We can structure consultations to fit your particular situation.
If your child is having a particularly difficult time at school (or daycare), it may be helpful for me to observe your child in that setting in order to provide specific feedback to you and the school staff (with your permission). I can help determine what might be triggering certain responses from your child and how you and school staff can best respond. It is ideal for me to observe your child prior to meeting him or her so that my presence in the classroom will have less of an impact on your child, but school observations can prove helpful at any time.
I welcome the opportunity to speak in the community about topics of interest within psychology. I have presented to parents, caregivers, industry groups, and other professionals about a variety of topics. Please contact me if you would like to discuss community speaking further.