We offer a variety of individually-based therapies that help patients make meaningful gains in their lives. With our emphasis on science, we base our recommendations for therapy (individual or group) upon what is likely to result in the most improvement. When individual therapy is recommended, we most often use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy given the wealth of scientific evidence that supports it as a very effective treatment for a variety of problems. Not all persons are good candidates for individual therapy due to several factors including the nature of the problem (i.e. adult with an intellectual disability), age of patient, and severity of symptoms.
Neuropsychological assessments are very useful when a patient has a complicated history and presentation. For example, a neuropsychological assessment is often indicated when a person is suspected of having a brain injury (e.g. head injury, concussion) or brain disease (e.g. tumor, infection, dementia). Many times, we conduct neuropsychological assessments when there is a history of significant prenatal or delivery complications (e.g. significant premature birth; very low birth weight; lack of oxygen; exposures to cigarettes, alcohol, prescription medications, or alcohol during pregnancy) that could have resulted in brain damage or injury. The goal of a neuropsychological evaluation is to identify any deficits in major areas of brain functioning including attention, memory, language, motor, and executive abilities, as well as aid in differential diagnosis and treatment planning. In short, the more we know about a patient’s brain functioning, the better we are able to arrive at diagnostic conclusions and develop effective treatment plans. Neuropsychological assessments are also useful in documenting any problems that may require supports and accommodations in work and school settings.
Once all testing is completed, the patient will schedule a review with the clinician to discuss the findings (e.g., individual’s strengths and weaknesses), recommendations and make plans for treatment, if necessary.
We are proud to employ the most rigorous and scientifically-sound assessment methods in all of our evaluations. We utilize a multi-method, multi-informant, multi-time series approach for all of our assessments.
- The multi-method component means that we gather information through several different methods including but not limited to clinical observation, clinical interviews, collection of standardized rating forms, administration of standardized psychological tests, and review of records. The use of multiple types of assessment methods allows us to arrive at the most valid diagnoses by not relying on only one type of assessment.
- The multi-informant process means that we gather information from all important sources in a patient’s life, such as parents/caregivers, teachers, physicians and other professionals. By gathering information from multiple sources, we can ensure that we get the most accurate picture of a patient’s functioning.
- Lastly, we utilize a multi-time series approach. This means that we do not simply collect information at one appointment. We all have good and bad days and would certainly not want an entire diagnostic impression to be based upon one day. Thus, we include several appointments in the evaluation process so that we get a more valid overall picture of how a patient typically functions in his/her everyday life.
Understanding any neurodevelopmental or mental health disorder is often a confusing and difficult task. The good news is that although difficult, accurate diagnosis can be achieved and can lay the foundation for improving your life!The goal of any diagnostic process should be to facilitate the development of appropriate and effective treatments to improve a person’s life.
Our diagnostic assessment process is well-aligned with major professionals’ groups. We are proud that our diagnostic evaluation process is based upon the most scientifically-sound practices. We take very seriously the privilege and responsibility of helping you, and we hope that you will find your process with us to be valuable and informative.
We take a broad and thorough approach to neurodevelopmental disorders. That is, we understand that adults with neurodevelopmental disorders often have many additional symptoms and impairments that result in multiple diagnoses. Thus, our diagnostic assessments are individually tailored to answer two primary questions: "What is it?" and "What isn’t it?" as it relates to diagnosis. This is the basis of good differential diagnosis. From this broad approach, we routinely conduct the assessments to diagnose the following concerns:
- Intellectual Disabilities
- Dyslexia and other learning disorders
- Emotional, behavioral, and social problems associated with medical conditions
- Anxiety Disorders
- Depressive Disorders
- Mood disorders
- Cognitive impairments related to stroke, dementia, traumatic brain injury, etc.
- Tourette's Disorder
We also conduct specialized assessments to help clarify the need for medication and whether a patient’s current medication is effective.
A significant portion of persons with developmental and mental health problems require both psychological and medication treatments. The state-of-the-science indicates that the combination of psychological and medication treatments often results in greater improvement in patient symptoms compared to either treatment alone. The pressure for primary care physicians (PCPs) to prescribe psychotropic medications is increasing. However, PCPs often report that prescription of psychotropic medication can be complex and they welcome assistance in the decision-making process.
We utilize scientifically-based protocols to help patients and PCPs make well-informed decisions about medication. Our protocols include brief objective tests, a collection of ratings of symptoms and side effects, and clinical observations. Once we collect this data, we provide a summary report to PCPs and patients to aid them in efficiently arriving at the most effective medication regimen.
Our clinical staff is trained to monitor patients’ responses to, and progress with, medication. Since we typically see patients on a weekly basis, we are able to provide ongoing information to PCPs about medication effectiveness. We are also able to gauge the effectiveness of the combination of medication and psychological treatment. This is a critical component since psychological treatment can often lead to reduced need for medication.