So much of our lives revolve around relationships, as they can be the source of our deepest wounds and oldest feelings. Relational psychotherapy provides a place to safely explore, understand, and process the layers of our experience. The nature of therapy is not to give advice. It is a collaborative endeavor where with time and effort, we can look deeper into our lives and gain not only understanding, but also find solutions. Long lasting change, healing, and growth comes when we are able to locate the answers within us. Therapy can be a guide to the places where past impacts present, and can nurture new layers of strength, agency, and clarity.
The teenage years can be frightening and stressful. So much intense emotion is experienced, often before coping strategies are developed and mastered. Navigating their lives during this time, teenagers may test limits, pull away, and act out. The struggle of this time can put a strain on family dynamics, and caregivers may feel worried, devalued, and exasperated. In my work with teenagers, cultivating trust is crucial. Before they can be honest and share their experiences, they need to feel safe from embarrassment, shame, or exposure. Establishing safety and trust in session, serves as a starting point for navigating the issues they face and finding healthy ways to improve the quality of their lives and relationship. Typically, I meet with caregivers separately from the client as needed, and there may be times when it will be beneficial to meet with the family as well.
It can be very challenging for children to communicate their feelings in words, and play therapy gives them an opportunity to express themselves through various forms of play. It is a unique relationship with an objective and accepting adult who is not involved in their daily life, and exists outside the typical environments of home and school. The safe space to explore and express unpleasant emotions through play provides significant relief and allows kids to unpack and work out their messier, more complicated feelings. Meeting with caregivers separately to hear their perspective of the child’s behavior aids me in relating what comes up in session with the child’s outside experiences. I also am able to meet with teachers or other specialists involved, as needed or requested by parents.
Comprehensive Psychological Evaluation
WHAT IS A PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION?
While psychotherapy aims to identify the particular nature of the emotional challenges experienced by the client, in some cases, it may require more intensive inquiry because the full nature of the problem may not be immediately evident. In these instances, a diagnostic assessment may be appropriate to obtain a clearer idea of the source of distress. A comprehensive psychological assessment includes structured interviews, behavioral observation, self-report measures, and projective measures, and can be an extremely useful tool in understanding how intellectual, academic, attentional, executive functioning, memory, language, socio-emotional functioning interact.
I specialize in assessing the impact of attentional and executive functioning deficits on academic or employment performance. The interdependent nature of attention, executive function, and anxiety can make it challenging to isolate the root of the problem, and I utilize recently developed measures that offer a deeper look into performance, specifically around reading, writing, and math.
At the conclusion of testing, in addition to a diagnosis, I provide customized treatment plans which contain both clinical and practical recommendations to clients. Tailoring plans to the specific strengths and areas of deficit is the foundation for creating a structure and game plan for success.