SERVICES I OFFER
I use an integrative approach to psychotherapy, where I follow lessons from numerous approaches to therapy, combining them together cohesively according to the needs of my clients. I have been trained in cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT), play therapy, psychodynamic therapy, interpersonal therapy, and family/systems therapy. I use an array of evidence-based interventions in my practice, and I work constantly to stay up-to-date on current trends in evidence-based practice. I do believe it is important to consider what science tells us about what tends to work best with certain conditions and with certain children. At the same time, I also believe that each person is unique, and as a result, it is important to tailor therapy towards the unique needs of each person.
Psychodynamic thinking lends itself best, I think, to individualization of therapy. The psychodynamic tradition was founded on the idea that clinical symptoms arise as a direct result of some unmet psychological need. Although different theories focus on different needs, what is most important in my thinking is trying to identify what specific psychological need seems to be driving your child's current condition. Sometimes, it is easy for clinicians to get over-focused on just "making the symptoms go away," and while symptom reduction is definitely a major goal of any type of clinical work, my approach focuses instead on locating the source of the symptoms and intervening there. For a more detailed description of different theories of psychotherapy, and how these influence my practice, click here.
Although individual therapy involves some 1-on-1 meetings with me and your child, children thrive best when they experience the loving support of a parental guardian. Thus, I always keep parents as closely involved as possible in their children's care. I seek and provide regular updates from parents at each session, and I often meet with parents to provide instructions on what can be done at home to further a child's therapeutic gains.
Psychotherapy sessions are usually covered by insurance. If not using insurance, my fee for psychotherapy is $100 per session.
I believe that a psychological evaluation should do far more than simply give you and/or your child a diagnosis with a few treatment recommendations. I take pride in conducting some of the most comprehensive psychological evaluations in the Chattanooga area, with a focus on conducting tests that help me describe in full detail your child's strengths and weaknesses and what these mean for how he or she is functioning in daily life. My evaluation services consist of three tiers. Each tier includes several similar components: 1) a comprehensive diagnostic intake interview, 2) administration and interpretation of tests, and 3) a 1-hour feedback session with parents or the client. Each tier differs only in part 2 - which assessments are given and the length of time required to give them.
Tier I is the lowest cost and least time consuming evaluation. Tier I evaluations usually consist of 1-2 appointments, coupled with completion of a number of questionnaires. These evaluations are most often valuable when other testing may have already been completed (e.g. by the child's school) or when the referral question can be addressed through a relatively brief evaluation. Tier I evaluations are currently priced at $350, which covers all parts described above. Insurance can be billed when appropriate.
Tier II evaluations are more common than Tier III evals, and most often consist of psychoeducational evaluations conducted to determine a child's appropriateness for special education services (i.e. an Individualized education plan or a 504 plan) at school. Tier II testing is usually designed to assess if your child has a learning disability, is gifted, and/or to differentiate between symptoms of ADHD versus other causes of apparent inattention. Tier II evals usually consist of 2-3 face-to-face appointments, totaling approximately 6-8 hours of professional time. They currently cost $700, which covers all appointments. Insurance may cover some Tier II evaluations.
Tier III evaluations are comprehensive developmental and psychodiagnostic assessments. The most common referral for Tier III evals is to diagnose autism spectrum disorder, which I can test for at any age (even in adults), though I prefer the child be at least 3 years old for a more confident assessment. Other reasons for a Tier III assessment may be to provide a differential diagnosis for children with complex and extensive medical and/or psychiatric histories, or children who present with rare symptoms that other clinicians have not been able to diagnose. Tier III evaluations typically consist of 2-4 testing appointments and 7-10 professional hours. These evaluations cost $1000. Insurance may also provide some coverage for Tier III evals.
Play Therapy is just what it sounds like, where therapeutic interventions are applied to your child through play-based modalities. Play is the native language of all children, and play therapy simply seeks to use that language to help maximize their development and move them healthily through various life challenges. To read more about my approach to play therapy, click the link above to go to my Play Therapy page.
A unique part of my practice is that I offer Pediatric Primary Care Psychology (PPCP) services. PPCP is slightly different from the traditional model of mental health care for children. Because I am integrated inside a pediatric medical practice (Chattanooga Pediatrics), and because I trained through a fellowship in Community Health and Integrated Primary Care, I routinely offer PPCP in my practice. PPCP utilizes shorter-term treatment models and consultation-based services right inside a medical visit. Studies show that the majority of parents seek mental health advice from their primary care doctors first, and a surprising percentage of primary care visits involve some sort of mental or behavioral health component. By integrating directly into Chattanooga Peds, I am able to touch base briefly with patients during their medical visits to assist with a variety of mental and behavioral healthcare needs.
Through PPCP, I offer consultation and intervention for:
Acute and/or Procedural Pain
Chronic Stomach Aches
Habits (such as nail biting, thumb sucking, etc.)
Primary care behavioral health consultations are usually conducted in 15-30 minute increments, though some may last longer, depending on needs. My goal with these consultations is to give families necessary tools to intervene at home and, when necessary, to guide families toward higher level care (more traditional therapy services) as needed.
Currently, these services are offered at no extra out-of-pocket charge for Chattanooga Peds patients. You simply pay your regular co-pay for the doctor's visit. We may bill insurance to try to cover some of my time, but you do not get charged extra if insurance doesn't pay for the consultation.
More information on Primary Care Psychology can be accessed by clicking on the link above.
Prior to beginning my full-time clinical work in Chattanooga, I was a professor at East Tennessee State University, where I fell in love with teaching and training. In Chattanooga, I continue my passion through publications, including my CAPTVRE Imagination Newsletter, and by giving presentations, trainings, and other educational endeavors whenever possible.
I can present on a wide variety of topics, but my specialty areas include child psychopathology, creative interventions in psychotherapy, videogames and digital media in psychology, and general evidence-based practice. If you or your organization would like to consider inviting me to present on any of my specialty areas, or in any other general area relevant to my expertise, please contact me by email or phone. I would be happy to discuss your needs.
For a review of previous presentations I have offered, you can click this item.
Benefit from my professional experience and wide range of psychological services.