Although childhood is often referred to as a “carefree” time in one’s life, many children and adolescents face various stressors that can impact their daily functioning. For example, if a child experiences the loss of a loved one or his parents are in the process of a divorce, this child may act out in an aggressive manner or may become overactive. These types of behaviors may lead to negative social consequences in which a child may experience difficult peer relationships. Additionally, this child may suddenly begin to demonstrate academic difficulties. Other children may cope by withdrawing. Children and adolescents are faced with multiple stressors in their environment and therapy allows them to gain the necessary tools to better cope and adjust to those stressors.
Depending on the client’s needs, an integration of child/adolescent individual therapy with family therapy is provided. In order for therapy to be effective, the family should be involved in developing a plan for treatment and maintaining the interventions. If necessary, parent coaching may be utilized in order to increase effective communication within a family. For specific difficulties such as anxiety, specific phobias, and depression, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is integrated in the work that is done individually and within the family.
Following is a list of common difficulties that children, adolescents, and their families face which can be addressed in therapy.
- Academic Difficulties
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Grief and Loss
- Low Self-Esteem
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Parent Coaching
- Peer Pressure
- Social Skills
- Specific Phobias
- Relationship Stressors
- Coping with Medical Conditions
- Pain Management and Biofeedback
Comprehensive Evaluations for Medicinal Treatments
Dr. James Walker is a Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatrist who specializes in medication management. Medications can be a useful tool for mental health. Many pharmaceuticals have been discovered to have beneficial effects for a wide variety of issues. All medications can have side effects, and the pros and cons of any medication should be carefully weighed when making these decisions. Often, medication paired with therapy and lifestyle changes achieve the best results. Medication management should be personalized and tailored to your needs. Regular, close follow-up is important to monitor effectiveness and side effects.
The following diagnoses may benefit from medication management:
- Bipolar Disorder
- Tic disorder/Tourette Syndrome
- Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
There are no medications that specifically target Autism or developmental disorders, but medications can be useful in some cases to help manage extreme moods and behavioral issues.
Soublis Psychological Associates provides secure telehealth therapy sessions. Telehealth sessions occur via interactive HIPAA compliant video-conferencing and are held remotely.
Teleheath sessions provide more access and flexibility to those seeking therapy in this modern world. Video-conferencing allows access to excellent psychological care without the hassle, time, and expense of travelling to a psychologist’s office. This makes it easier for individuals and families to benefit from therapy sessions despite their juggling busy schedules of work, multiple activities after school, and a rigorous academic schedule. Those living in rural areas can still benefit from working with a licensed psychologist without the worry of repeated travel to a distant office. Telehealth also offers a therapeutic connection and emotional encouragement for those individuals that are traveling, and provides consistent support for young people beginning college and living away from home for the first time.
To begin telehealth sessions, an initial session will be either conducted in the office or through video-conferencing. Telehealth sessions will then be held by clients logging onto a secure video-conferencing platform using their computer, tablet, or phone and engaging with their psychologist. Currently, telehealth sessions are available to Georgia and Michigan residents. However, our psychologists will work with you to abide by your state’s guidelines for offering telehealth sessions across state lines.
Comprehensive Psychoeducational Evaluations for Children and Adolescents
Comprehensive psychoeducational evaluations often occur after a child’s or adolescent’s caregivers, parents, or teachers have noted a concern. Before these types of referrals are conducted, a caregiver or teacher will observe a child exhibiting academic, emotional, and/or behavioral difficulties. Frequently, parents are encouraged by a child’s teacher or tutor to pursue a psychoeducational evaluation. Parents often seek these types of evaluations to determine whether their child has the following:
- Developmental Disability
- Learning Difference
- Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
- Strengths and/or Limitations in certain academic areas
- Social Emotional Difficulty
The comprehensive psychoeducational evaluations include cognitive (intelligence) and academic testing. Additionally, the evaluations have a heavy neuropsychological component that includes assessments of receptive and expressive language, visual spatial, attention, visual and verbal memory, and executive functioning abilities. Self-report questionnaires are given to parents, teachers, and at times the child or adolescent to assess emotional functioning. Each evaluation also includes in-depth clinical interview with parents and the child or adolescent. Depending on the age of the child, a classroom observation may also be conducted at an additional fee.
The intelligence testing typically includes one of the following tests, based on your child’s or adolescent’s age:
- Wechsler Preschool and Primary School Intelligence-Fourth Edition (WPPSI-IV)
- Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fifth Edition (WISC-V)
- Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV)
The academic testing can include one or a combination of the following:
- Woodcock Johnson IV, Tests of Achievement (WJ-IV-Ach)
- Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-Fourth Edition (WIAT-IV)
- Nelson-Denny Reading Test (NDRT)
- Gray Oral Reading Tests-Fifth Edition (GORT-5)
- Comprehensive Mathematical Abilities Test (CMAT)
- Feifer Assessment of Mathematics (FAM)
- Test of Word Reading Efficiency, Second Edition (TOWRE-2)
A variety of neuropsychological tests can be administered based on your child’s or adolescent’s age and specific needs. The following list is a sampling of tests that can be administered:
- Expressive Vocabulary Test-Third Edition (EVT-3)
- Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Fifth Edition (PPVT-5)
- Woodcock Johnson IV, Tests of Oral Language (WJ-IV-Oral Language)
- Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing, Second Edition (CTOPP-2)
MEMORY, LEARNING, ATTENTION, and EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING:
- A Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment-Second Edition (NEPSY-II)
- California Verbal Learning Test, Second Edition (CVLT-3)
- Conners Continuous Performance Test, Third Edition (CPT3)
- Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS)
- Rey Complex Figure & Recognition Memory Test (RCFT)
- Wechsler Memory Scale, Fourth Edition (WMS-IV)
The results of these types of evaluations help identify the child’s strengths and limitations.
Depending on the results of the evaluation, a diagnosis could be provided if the results support a significant discrepancy in scores. After the evaluation is conducted (approximately 6-8 hours of testing over two days) and the self-report questionnaires have been collected, a two-hour feedback session is held in which the parents are provided with a detailed explanation of the results and how the diagnosis was determined. Detailed recommendations and referrals to other professionals are provided at the time of the feedback session. A comprehensive report is provided to the parents after the feedback session has been conducted. Once parents obtain the report, they at times chose to share the information with their child’s teacher, school, pediatrician, therapist, and/or other health care providers.
Many times parents request that a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation be conducted so that their child can receive accommodations in school or on standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT. Although a psychologist may provide a diagnosis or specific recommendations, the public school system and the SAT and ACT have their own guidelines of what they consider significant and may not be willing to provide lengthy accommodations. The evaluations that are conducted by Soublis Psychological Associates are comprehensive in nature and meet all of the requirements of which specific tests the SAT and ACT want in an evaluation.
The cost of the evaluation will be determined during the first telephone consultation. Many factors are taken into consideration when deciding what type of testing will be conducted. Therefore, this decision will impact the amount of time your child will spend being evaluated.
Comprehensive Psychoeducational Evaluations for Adults
At times, adults will seek psychoeducational evaluations to obtain accommodations at the undergraduate or graduate level or for standardized tests required for graduate school entry. Typically, adults have been evaluated previously and are seeking confirmation of a previous diagnosis so they can continue to receive accommodations for a learning difference or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Adults spend approximately 6-8 hours being evaluated.
Evaluations for Gifted and Talented
Many parents believe their child or adolescent may be gifted. They can be identified as children who spoke very early, learned to read very early, have a high vocabulary, remember a large amount of material, etc. These children also tend to be under-stimulated in a regular classroom setting and at times can be disruptive.
Soublis Psychological Associates offers comprehensive assessments for students and professionals who are seeking assistance with academic and career direction. Our process begins with a one-hour intake to discuss the goals of the assessment. The intake also includes a structured interview to ascertain relevant educational and vocational histories, as well as a values assessment. Based on results of the intake interview, specific tests will then be administered, such as the Career Assessment Inventory and 16PF. The tests we use have been developed and refined over decades, with hundreds of studies attesting to their validity and reliability. These tests help individuals learn their interests and personality traits that are important when making educational and career choices. They are particularly useful for students seeking input on types of colleges and majors, as well as professionals considering a career change or adults entering the job market after a period of unemployment. Our standard process concludes with a one-hour feedback session that involves interpretation of the results, recommendations, and time for questions. Our entire process is available in a convenient, efficient, online format with live video conferencing and electronic test administration wherever the client has access.
For students applying to college, additional counseling and assistance is available if desired, including advice on different types of colleges that best fit the results of the assessment, assistance with writing application essays that showcase unique strengths and characteristics, and scholarship interview preparations. Throughout the entire process clients work directly with Dr. John Carton (see full bio here), a former university professor and licensed psychologist who has significant experience advising students on educational and vocational decisions.