Clinical

A Brief Overview Of Clinical Psychology Services

The field of clinical psychology has been around in various forms for over 200 years, and every year the field looks a little different. There are over 50 different areas of psychological practice and the practice of clinical psychology involves using the findings from research into human development and behavior to help people understand personal and inter-personal problems, overcome them and move forward to a more productive and happier life instead of being stuck in the past with unhelpful and maladaptive emotions, thoughts and behaviors that prevent them from developing and moving forward into better, more helpful and more adaptive thoughts, feelings and behaviors. There are a number of ways to do this by using clinical psychology and a well-trained clinical psychologist knows the ways that may be most helpful to a particular individual, family or organization.

We Provide Psychological Assessments, Clinical Behavioral Care Services and Professional Continuing Education Services to the Legal, Medical and Academic Communities and also to the Children, Adolescents and Families they serve. We focus on positive psychology and the Cognitive and Behavioral approach to diagnosis and treatment of psychological matters, with an emphasis on difficult-to-diagnose and difficult-to-treat psychological disorders. We can provide a wide range of clinical psychological services, including a variety of behavioral & psychological assessments (including School Psychology Assessments, Special Education and Neuropsychological Assessments), clinical and counseling services to children, adolescents, adults and senior citizens and consultations and continuing education services to schools and colleges and organizations. You can find more complete descriptions of these services throughout our website.

Before any psychological treatment or remediation can begin, it’s important to understand the nature of the problem or difficulty. A psychological assessment is the necessary first step in determining the strengths and weaknesses in an individual’s functioning when that functioning has been called into question, either by displaying actions that are unexpected or by not displaying actions that are expected, in a given circumstance or environment.

There are many types of assessments, each one focused on the different requirements of an individual, group and circumstance, but every such assessment is a variation of a psychological assessment. Psychological assessments tend to be understood as falling into two broad categories – Cognitive assessments and Behavioral assessments. 

Cognitive evaluations are psychological assessments which tend to focus more on how an individual’s brain function (that’s the ‘cognitive’ or ‘thinking’ part) interacts with that person’s behavior. Cognitive testing is often also called a Neuropsychological Assessment – and we do that. This type of testing is often called for when there are concerns about someone’s memory, ability to reason rationally or understand others.

Behavioral evaluations are psychological assessments which tend to focus more on how an individual is interacting with his or her environment and how they are functioning in the real world. The emphasis here is on the emotions, attitudes, habits and other “behaviors” that everyone exhibits. In truth, every good psychological assessment focuses on both behavior and cognition to some extent because we are all thinking, feeling and experiential human beings.

How we think, feel and experience is what comprises our psychological makeup. That is, we are all psychological beings and we interact with the world psychologically, not just physically.

There are literally thousands of psychological assessments available and all such assessments must be done by experienced, licensed and credentialed professionals to ensure that such assessments are not accidentally or deliberately misused to provide false or misleading information.

We focus on the appropriate psychological assessment of infants, toddlers, children, adolescents, adults and seniors. We can do this because we have developmental view of individuals over their lifespan.

Common uses of such assessments include “health” behaviors such as smoking, obesity, eating disorders and other maladaptive behaviors which compromise an individual’s health. In general, we are able to assist physicians and staff with evaluation and management of patients with dementia, sleep disorders, ADD, anxiety, panic, depression and the like. We can assess and treat adults as well as children, including very young children, who have serious medical issues, such as diabetes, cardiovascular issues, failure-to-thrive issues and general non-compliance about following the treatment advice from their Primary Care Providers (PCPs). We also treat more common issues such as bed-wetting, encopresis and obesity.

We also assess and treat adolescents, including those with Eating Disorders, cutting disorders and other self-injurious behaviors (SIB), and we also assess and treat adults and senior family members, including seniors, whether living at home with their families or in assisted or skilled-care facilities or rehab setting and who may have emotional or cognitive declines or competency or self-care issues.

We Provide Both Psychological Assessment And Psychological Treatment Services

PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENT OR PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT?

There is often confusion around the terms “PsychologicalTtreatment” and Psychological Assessment.” We treat a wide variety of child and adolescents problems, including the problems of very young children. These include the behavioral or psychological aspects of dealing with medical issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems and chronic pain. We treat children and adolescents with Eating Disorders and Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) and Self-Injurious Behaviors (SIB); and children and adolescents with special needs, including complex mental and emotional syndromes such as Prader-Willi, Autism/PDD, dual diagnosed Mental Retardation and Psychological Problems.

We also have specialized knowledge about Verbal and Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities (LD & NVLD) and Special Education issues and Individualized Education Plans (IEPs & 504s), and the transitional difficulties often faced by adolescents going to college, adults transitioning to assisted living facilities, rehab or other settings or who may have cognitive declines, competency or self-care issues while still living at home with their families.

A solid and effective treatment plan begins with an appropriate diagnostic assessment, but not all assessments involve Psychological or Neuropsychological Testing. Generally speaking, “Psychological Assessments” is a common term that can refer to clinical assessments, Functional Behavioral Observations (FBO), academic or educational assessments, formal Psychological and Neuropsychological Testing and Forensic (impacting legal issues) assessments. Psychological Assessments can often be extremely helpful in the determination of some functional and organic problems, but are not always necessary.

Examples Of How Psychology Is Applied To Academic, School and Law Issues

Academic and School Applications

• ADHD, LD & NLD evaluations.
• Evaluations for 504 and Chapter 766/Special Education.
• Second opinions about parent-school conflicts or behavior issues.
• Developmental Disabilities, such as birth defects, Autism and PDD.
• Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBAs).

Health and Disability Issues

• Evaluations under the Americans with Disability Act.
• Second opinions regarding psychological and psychiatric standard of care.
• Parental or Child Disability and Worker’s Compensation evaluations.
• Consultative Evaluations (CEs) for Social Security Disability Insurance claims.

Family and Law Conflicts

• Delinquency and reckless behavior.
• Guardianship & Competency of minors and seniors.
• Parenting evaluations and consultations.
• Divorce issues, including high conflict and post-divorce disputes.
• Custody/GAL and visitation issues.
• Abuse, neglect and physical maltreatment.
• Foster care and adoption.

Psychological Effects of Physical Violations or Injury

• Direct Trauma Diagnosis and Remediation.
• The effects of indirect (vicarious or bystander) trauma and abuse on children.
• Psychological damage in children caused by medical procedures or toxicity.

All This Information May Be Informative, But it's Not Therapy....

Disclaimer of Clinical Advice and Therapeutic Relationship

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A Few Words About Confidentiality

In virtually ALL cases, information concerning treatment and assessments is considered confidential, requiring written permission of the patient/client/legal guardian before any clinical, health or linked Personally Identifiable Information (PII) can be revealed to third parties, including insurance companies, schools or other health professionals. Suspicions of sexual or physical abuse, suicidal or homicidal or other dangerous intent or behaviors; or the receipt of an appropriate and valid Court Order are traditionally not covered by laws and customs mandating confidentiality and the law requires reporting such events to the appropriate agencies irrespective of client/patient permission. Limits of confidentiality are discussed during the first visit.