I provide a variety of services related to educational testing, psychological testing, psychological evaluation, diagnosis, psychotherapy, and mental health treatment for children and families.
Mental Health Treatment, Including Psychotherapy
I work with children and families experiencing a wide variety of mental health issues, including anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), fears and phobias, depression, behavior problems, frequent arguments or power struggles, and difficulty coping with or adjusting to life events or ongoing problems.
Primarily, I use cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques (CBT). CBT is a practical, active, solution-focused style of therapy which focuses on relieving symptoms by changing thoughts and behaviors. I sometimes work with teenagers one-on-one in psychotherapy, but generally my approach to work with parents and children together. For example, when treating a child for anxiety I will also teach the parent strategies to use when anxiety occurs at home.
A full evaluation is designed to answer complex questions about a child’s psychological and educational functioning. Full evaluations are appropriate for families who are concerned that their child might have a learning disability, ADHD, or an emotional or psychological issue that significantly affects their learning.
What it involves: A full evaluation begins with an interview with one or both parents. The child will complete a series of psychological tests. The specific tests used will be chosen based on the presenting problem, but will usually include tests of intellectual ability and academic achievement, as well as specific mental functions (such as attention, memory, or language) related to the problem area. Parents will be asked to fill out some questionnaires about their child. It is usually helpful for me to understand how your child learns in context and responds to teaching, so if you are homeschooling I may ask to observe while you teach a lesson.If your child attends school, whenever possible I will do an in-school observation session and talk to his or her teacher.
In a full evaluation, the series of tests will be divided into at least two separate sessions so as not to fatigue your child. A full evaluation finishes with a face-to-face interpretive session to discuss the results, answer your questions, and outline next steps for your child. You will also receive a full written report, including recommendations customized to your family’s situation and needs. If your child attends school, then with your permission I can also communicate my findings to the school and assist with intervention planning there.
Not every family needs a complex evaluation to answer their questions. A brief evaluation is designed to answer basic questions about a child’s abilities or achievement. For example, a family might wonder whether their child is gifted, or whether the child is performing at grade level in various subjects.
What it involves: A brief evaluation is usually completed in a single session. It begins with an interview with one or both parents. Then the child will complete an IQ test or standardized achievement test. You will receive a full written testing report, with the opportunity to follow up with me in person or by telephone if you wish.
Consultation and Follow-Up
I provide a wide range of consultation and follow-up services. Consultation services are ideal when parents are seeking advice about a behavioral or emotional issue which does not involve a need for extensive testing. Families who are making changes to their homeschooling based on the results of an evaluation may wish to schedule periodic “check-ups” to review their progress and address any problems they are having. If your child has been evaluated elsewhere (for example, in public school), you may wish to seek consultation services to translate classroom-based recommendations into a practical homeschooling plan. Finally, you may wish to seek an initial consultation if you are not sure whether your child needs testing or not.
What it involves: Consultation services are scheduled on an hourly basis. Frequency and content will vary widely depending on the needs and wishes of the family.
There are some services I do not provide. I do not provide evaluations or testimony for legal disputes. If you are seeking psychological services related to a legal issue, such as a child custody evaluation, I strongly recommend that you choose a provider who specializes in forensic psychology. In addition, because Minds in Focus is a part-time solo practice, I am not a good choice for someone who is likely to need intensive therapy or emergency services. If our consultation reveals that your child needs more services than I can provide, I will assist you in finding a provider who is a better fit.