An adult may seek therapy to address concerns including overwhelming sadness or anxiety, unstable moods, conflict in relationships, problems at work, addiction challenges, and identity issues. Unlike many other approaches to therapy, I adhere to a therapeutic approach that assumes the goodness of the individual and respects the influence of the past as it emphasizes the experience of the "here and now." I believe that a person encounters difficulties when he or she engages once sensible patterns of behaving that are ineffective or unhealthy in the present. Concerns can be overcome with therapy’s focus on developing enhanced awareness, healthy self-regard and self-acceptance, improved contact with others, and access to more healthy choices.
An adolescent is typically referred to therapy by adults because he or she is experiencing problems with self-control, deficient attention and concentration skills, excessive worrying, poor self-esteem, underdeveloped social skills, or learning issues. Unlike many other approaches to therapy, I adhere to a therapeutic approach that assumes the goodness of the individual and respects the influence of the past as it emphasizes the experience of the here and now. The goal of psychotherapy with an adolescent is to increase awareness and acceptance of his or her own needs and to develop skills to get those needs met. I believe in the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and I consider myself an integral part of that village for adolescents who require therapeutic support.
Assessment using standardized tests is a means of identifying a person’s strengths and weaknesses and is geared toward remediation of deficits. I developed solid assessment skills in my pre-doctoral training days at New York University and at King’s County Hospital/SUNY - Brooklyn Health Science Center; then, I obtained advanced postdoctoral training in assessment at the Learning Disabilities Unit at SUNY - College of Optometry. Today, I regularly assess children and adults and my evaluations are used by mental health professionals, physicians, schools and courts.
Since 1997, I have completed several hundred evaluations and have presented comprehensive written reports to parents and educators as well as child welfare and court professionals. My written evaluation reports include presentation of scores, interpretation of results, diagnostic formulations, and pragmatic recommendations. In addition, I regularly evaluate individuals to assess their need for accommodations for the SATs, GREs, MCATs, and other standardized tests used for college admissions.
Expert Witness Assessment and Testimony
I was trained as an “expert witness” at Rutgers University School of Social Work through New Jersey’s Division of Youth and Family Services. In the role of expert witness, I am responsible for assessing children and parents involved in the child welfare system and for providing findings and recommendations to the court. I have given testimony on child protection and permanency matters in the Family Division of New Jersey’s Superior Court. In addition, I have given testimony on educational matters in New Jersey’s Office of Administrative Law and on immigration matters in United States Immigration Court. My goal for testimony is to give a clear and comprehensive formulation that clarifies the Court’s understanding and informs its judgment.
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