Working in a collaborative capacity, we initially establish a treatment plan that encompasses your needs. We then define more clearly what you hope to accomplish, and how I may help you achieve your goals. The work of therapy follows, during which time we explore your issues, feelings, behaviors, thoughts, relationships – whatever we need to address to help you reach your goals. Once you achieve your goals and determine that the changes you experience are not transient but truly lasting, we explore options regarding treatment termination, the process of ending your therapy.
Whether parents initiate therapy for their children or children request therapy on their own, the parents play a pivotal role in their children’s treatment. From the start, parents provide critical background information and insights in the Intake session. During this introductory session the psychologist will formulate a working treatment plan. The initial phase of treatment may include a classroom observation, consultation with teachers or other professionals involved with the child, a few individual sessions with the child, family sessions including the child, completion of psychological surveys by parents and/or teachers, or formal assessment using standardized test materials. Following the initial phase of treatment, the parents meet with the psychologist to discuss her impressions and recommendations. If the psychologist recommends therapy, she will discuss goal(s) of therapy and methods of attaining these goals. If the psychologist does not recommend therapy, she may propose alternative modalities of treatment such as a neurological consultation, and she may recommend following up with the psychologist in a proscribed period of time, such as four to eight weeks. Ongoing and regular contact with parents remains crucial to successful treatment outcome, as parents provide important support for therapeutic endeavors and interventions.
Young people between puberty and roughly 20 or more years of age constitute the adolescent phase of development. This exciting but often very stressful life phase presents unique challenges to the individual … and also to his/her psychologist. Cast somewhere in the vast wasteland between childhood and adulthood, the teenager vacillates between dependence and independence in the quest of his/her own unique identity. Adolescents frequently have difficulty understanding themselves, and so do their parents! Therapy can play a vital role in this crucial time in development by fostering an environment in which a young person can safely explore personal issues without fear of judgment or condemnation by parents. Parental involvement in therapy shifts from full involvement for younger children, to minimal involvement with older adolescents. Guided by the psychologist, the adolescent in therapy can grow to become more self-aware, mature, confident, insightful and communicative with parents, peers, and others.
An exciting alternative to individual psychotherapy, group therapy introduces a safe therapeutic setting to a unique set of individuals who have similar treatment goals. Working together in a group, participants benefit from the therapeutic interventions and recommendations of the psychologist, but participants also benefit from the insights and life experience available from other group members. Being in a group can be more powerful than individual therapy and can also be more lively and mutually supportive, allowing for group members to connect with one another in a close therapeutic bond.
Sometimes a person’s emotional issues interfere with the life of the family, not just the individual. One person may be the “identified patient” within the family, or the whole family system may require therapeutic intervention. Family therapy provides the vehicle for the family to address its issues among family members. Working together as one unit, family members can challenge each other, and can also support one another when appropriate.
When the relationship existing for a couple becomes strained, couples’ therapy offers solutions to the individuals who make up that couple. In couples’ therapy, it is not two individuals seeking therapy that defines treatment; rather it is the relationship itself that is the subject of the therapy. Matters such as communication, respect, boundaries, control, and independence are frequent topics in couples’ therapy. Other issues might include effective expression of anger, working through infidelity, co-parenting children, and contemplating separation and divorce.