Here is a general description of the services we offer:
(also called psychological evaluation or assessment) involves the use of standardized
psychological tests to understand a persons abilities and personality. It can
clarify a clients emotional state, behavioral patterns, coping style, and
motivational factors. Testing also is used to measure a clients intellectual
abilities, academic potential and achievement, memory, and attention.
Psychological testing is a complex procedure that requires considerable
training and experience to do well. Only a licensed psychologist can provide the full
range of psychological testing. The skilled psychologist tailors psychological testing to
the questions at hand and the individual needs of the client.
strategies depend on the questions that must be answered:
Often, testing involves
several of these strategies, since they tend to interact and affect each other. For
example, to establish a diagnosis of ADHD, you also must rule out other conditions (such
as depression) that can mimic ADHD.
A diagnosis is simply a
label for a problem, based on the defining symptoms of that problem. It can be useful to
Establishing a sound
diagnosis can be difficult. Often, there is considerable overlap among the symptoms you
see in different disorders, and one must be careful and thorough in making the
differential diagnosis. In some instances, psychological testing can be an essential tool
in arriving at an accurate diagnosis.
By law, only licensed
psychologists and physicians can make diagnoses of mental disorders independently (without
someone else supervising and approving their work).
psychologists tend to be experts at making diagnoses, we prefer to focus on the individual
and how the problem affects his or her life, rather than on the label alone.
Psychotherapy with Children
with children takes a variety of forms. Sometimes the focus is mostly on the child --
teaching new skills for handling problems. Often, treatment involves working with parents
to improve the parent-child relationship and enhance parenting skills. Teachers and
schools might also be enlisted to help modify a problem behavior or help the child deal
with a difficult situation.
Some of the goals of psychotherapy with
- helping the child feel more secure, happy, and self-confident
- reducing problem behaviors at home and school
- teaching ways to handle conflicts and problems
- developing the child's ability to express their feelings and obtain support
- improving peer relationships
- finding ways to manage problems with attention or learning
Psychotherapy with Adolescents,
Adults, and Elders
Psychotherapy is the
process of personal exploration and change. Personal exploration helps you understand
where the problems are coming from, what makes them such a powerful force in your life,
and what you can do to resolve them.
But insight is not
enough. You also need to make changes in the way you think, feel, and act. That is not
easy sometimes, but it is the key to reaching your goals. The psychologist is there to
help guide your self-exploration and to help you pursue the changes that you need to make.
Some of the goals people pursue in
- feeling happier
- feeling more accepting and satisfied with themselves
- building new skills for communication, problem solving, and conflict resolution
- improving their ability to handle stress and bounce back from negative life events
- having better relationships
- reducing problem behaviors
- recovery from alcohol and other drug abuse
- reducing the impact of anxiety, sadness, guilt, and anger
There are a variety of
methods used by psychologists in psychotherapy. Usually, the method selected in each case
reflects the particular problems to be addressed, the goals of the client, and the
experience/expertise of the psychologist. It is common for a session of psychotherapy to
include some talking, some feeling, and some attention to specific behaviors.
Psychotherapy most often
is done with individuals, couples, and families. Another treatment modality, group
psychotherapy, brings together the psychologist and a group of unrelated people who share
a common problem. Some problems, such as assertiveness, can be worked on effectively in
group settings, and often this is a more cost-effective treatment approach than individual