Individual counseling and psychotherapy
We work with adults who present with a variety of concerns, including:
anxiety (worry, fears, panic)
grief and loss
coping with physical health problems
problems in personal relationships with partners,
friends, family and co-workers
Our approach to counseling is determined by the needs of the particular client. Cognitive-behavioral interventions are appropriate for some, while others may benefit from mindfulness or an interpersonal focus. We enjoy helping clients draw upon spiritual and religious beliefs to increase self-understanding and awareness. Existential themes of personal responsibility along with finding meaning and purpose are often used.
Traditional forms of "talk" therapy are not the best choice for everyone. Alternative treatments are often useful and encouraged. These include things like yoga, meditation, journaling and creative writing or expression.
What to Expect
For the first appointment, you will be asked about the kinds of difficulties you are having now and about any similar problems in the past. We will want to know if you have ever seen a counselor in the past. We may ask about any medication you are taking. If you have problems with memory or think you may be very anxious, you may want to have a trusted friend or family member accompany you the first time.
Sessions are scheduled for 50 minutes and clients are often seen weekly initially, then less often, depending on need.
Psychological assessment, including personality and intellectual functioning, is available. More specialized assessment may be done upon request. Depending on the nature of testing, these evaluations may take 2 or more hours.
Social Security Disability
Dr. Pam Tessnear has many years of experience conducting psychological evaluations for Social Security disability at the request of private attorneys as well as Disability Determination Services. She is familiar with the criteria used to determine if a person is disabled and can provide testing to show what problems, if any, are present and how they limit the ability to work. Referrals for assessment of mental impairments that lead to disability should be made by the claimant's attorney.
Psycho-Educational evaluation is offered for college students who wish to assess possible learning disabilities . This is typically sought when a student is having difficulties learning and would like to know if accommodations could be helpful. This is a comprehensive evaluation that includes testing of intellectual functioning, academic achievement and psychological functioning. It is important to have a thorough history which may include previous reports of academic achievement or need for accommodations. The results of the evaluation are made available to the student as well as the university being attended.
We also provide assessment for diagnostic clarification and treatment recommendations. This may include testing with instruments such as the PAI or projectives to clarify personality factors or psychiatric symptoms. Cognitive and intellectual functioning is assessed using the Wechsler scales, including WAIS-IV and the Wechsler Memory Scale. These evaluations are typically recommended by other treatment providers, such as the person's therapist.