Psychotherapy

 

Individual Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy services are available for individuals from ages eighteen to eighty. Details about my therapeutic approach and philosophy can be found under the Why Therapy? tab.

Couple Psychotherapy

I offer psychotherapy services for couples who are married or unmarried, as well as premarital counseling. I work with straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender couples. Additionally, I consult with couples who are experiencing breakups or divorce, in some cases helping them navigate the difficulties associated with co-parenting from two separate households.

Group Work

Clinical services provided include group work in the form of support groups, psychotherapy groups, and workshops. Opportunities for this type of work depend on scheduling and availability of interested parties, as well as other time commitments. Please call the office for information about current group openings or to be placed on a group waiting list.I offer a full range of psychological assessment services. Some of the most common are described below. If you have other assessment needs, please do not hesitate to inquire about testing in those areas.

 

Assessment

 

MMPI-2 and MMPI-A

The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory for adults (MMPI-2) or adolescents (MMPI-A) are tests that measure personality characteristics and psychological symptoms, as well as general styles of relating with others. The MMPI provides research-based evidence of personality characteristics that clients sometimes have difficulty articulating or acknowledging, and therefore, can bring valuable issues to the table in therapy.

Therapists who are not trained in this type of assessment often request MMPIs to facilitate their work with their clients. The results of this test are quite helpful for therapists attempting to define core issues in their work with new clients or looking for fresh ways to clarify existing psychological concerns for ongoing clients. MMPI results can also be useful in diagnosis and treatment planning. When both members of a couple in therapy are given MMPIs, the ways in which their personality dynamics interact become more apparent, as well, and this can provide an excellent venue for discussing difficult tendencies and issues with objective, external evidence (rather than only the partner’s opinion). Test results give clients something concrete to consider, and provide validation for a therapist’s intuitive sense about a client’s personality dynamics and issues. Even the process of reviewing test results with the client represents an important intervention by bringing core concerns to the forefront for processing. Reports generated from these tests are based entirely on research evidence, and suggestions for therapeutic interventions are included.

Intelligence and Achievement Testing

Intelligence testing may be used as part of a larger battery of tests to indicate cognitive strengths and weaknesses in an individual. More often, however, intelligence and achievement testing are requested together to help assess school-related concerns. The discrepancy between basic intelligence or aptitude and achievement can provide important information about learning styles, school placement, and interventions to address academic difficulties. School systems or parents are sometimes interested in learning more about a child’s verbal and nonverbal abilities and how these compare with his or her performance in school, as well as whether the child is working at the appropriate grade level. College students may also benefit from this type of testing as part of assessing for learning disabilities so that academic accommodations may be put in place. Intelligence and achievement testing can provide concrete evidence that accommodations would be helpful to maximize academic potential, or may encourage placement in gifted programs.

Mental Status Exams and Clinical Interviews

Mental Status Exams and Clinical Interviews are semi-structured interview-style forms of assessment that reveal information about psychological symptoms and provide some basic screening for difficulties with cognitive processes. This type of assessment is most often used as part of a larger battery or in cases where consultation and recommendations for further assessment are required.

Projective Testing

Projective tests (such as the Rorschach Inkblot Test and the Thematic Apperception Test) are most useful as part of a larger battery to provide information about the ways in which particular psychological difficulties may manifest. The intentions of these tests are less obvious to the client than some objective tests, and they encourage more open-ended expression of psychological concerns. Some projective test results are based on research evidence, and others are based on symbolic interpretation by the examiner. When included as part of a battery, results from projectives are not considered in isolation, but are used to add richness and depth to the psychological profile of the client that is being developed. When clients or therapists request projective testing alone as a tool to use in therapy, the content results may be interpreted in a manner similar to dream interpretation, in addition to a more research-based approach to interpretation.

Full Psychological Batteries

Full psychological batteries are the most thorough form of assessment available. They provide a wealth of information about an individual’s history, cognition, personality dynamics, interpersonal strengths and weaknesses, and psychological symptoms. They include many of the above referenced tests, as well as some others. The specific tests chosen for a battery are dependent upon the reasons for referral. Full batteries are often requested in cases of child custody disputes, particularly when there is some concern about an individual’s ability to parent. They are also extremely helpful in cases of emotional or behavioral disturbances in a child, as they provide a means for discerning core issues that the child is not able to verbalize.

Bariatric Assessment

As the obesity crisis in the United States reaches a peak and bariatric surgery grows in popularity, bariatric assessment has become an important part of psychological testing. Bariatric assessments include both formal testing and semi-structured interview-style assessment to screen for psychological difficulties that might compromise the success of follow-up after surgery. They are often requested by physicians who perform such surgeries, and may be seen by surgery candidates as just another hoop to jump through prior to surgery. However, a well-performed bariatric assessment opens the door for exploration of concerns about surgery, as well as about life after surgery, and begins the process of setting reasonable expectations about what may result from surgery not only physically, but also emotionally and interpersonally.

 

Other professional services

 

Supervision

Clinical supervision is available for masters and doctoral level students in the fields of clinical and counseling psychology, marriage and family therapy, and social work. In addition, I provide post-doctoral supervision to psychologists for hours towards licensure. I require supervisees to provide notes of all sessions, in addition to video or audio tapes of sessions in some cases.

Consultation

Consultation services are available for other mental health professionals, health care providers, parents, and other individuals seeking advice regarding how to handle a particular individual who is in need of psychological services. Consultation may also be helpful for those dealing with a loved one who is currently pursuing a course of therapy for a particularly difficult problem.