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Psychotherapy Services 

Psychotherapy services are provided in a comfortable and compassionate clinic setting by two clinical psychologists.  We treat individuals and couples with an age range from adolescence through adult life. 

These are examples of the problems we treat:

Mood disorders

We diagnose and treat a group of disorders that have in common disturbance to emotion, or mood.  These include depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder. Cognitive and behavioral interventions are commonly employed for treatment of these disorders.  Family members are sometimes invited to participate in treatment.

Adjustment disorders

All of us experience ups and downs as we go through life. Often times, when many changes or stressors accumulate in a short period of time, we find ourselves overwhelmed and struggling to find a way through. Psychotherapy in either short- or long-term format can help individuals to identify ways to cope with stressors and aid adjustment to the changing demands of life.

Phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder

These disorders require specialized treatment called exposure with response prevention. 

Trauma- and/or stress-related disorders

Many individuals will experience some form of trauma or acute stress event during their lifetime. Some individuals experience difficulty coping with this and continue to experience prolonged reminders of the event afterwards. Evidence-based trauma-focused psychotherapy helps individuals to develop ways to calm their body following the stress exposure, as well as to identify ways of coping with any continued stress symptoms.

Sexual dysfunctions

These problems are common, but because of the personal nature of sexuality, they often go untreated.  Common problems include low desire (or desire discrepancy), erectile disorder and orgasmic disorder.  We also work with patients that have sexual problems caused by spinal cord and brain injury.  Treatment is provided in individual and couples formats.

Marriage, relationship and interpersonal issues

At the core of what it means to be human is our strong attraction to be in relationship with others.  We surround ourselves with friends, and we seek to love and be loved by one special person.  Therapy can help people break old patterns that hurt relationships and develop new healthy patterns that build strong intimacy. 

Developmental Issues

We face new challenges with each stage of life.  For example, young adults are faced with establishing a career and finding a mate.  Middle years involve launching children and renewing the primary relationship with one’s mate.  In later years of life, we face loss and grief and our own mortality.  All of these issues, and more, give us opportunity to grow on our pathway in life.

Central nervous system disease or trauma

Persons that have suffered a traumatic brain injury or disease or a spinal cord injury may benefit from psychotherapy.  Therapy may help the patient and members of the family to adjust to the new normal and to find new ways of interacting in life that are meaningful within the limitations imposed by the injury or illness. 

Other conditions treated by psychology include the following:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Acute stress disorder
  • Illness anxiety disorder
  • Vaginismus (genital pain disorder)
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Gender dysphoria
  • Impulse control disorders (anger problems)

Treatment of Psychological Problems

The first session with a therapist is dedicated to forming a relationship and gathering information about the nature of the problems.  This process leads to a treatment plan that leads from the problem and the suffering that goes with it, to new behavior, solutions to problems, and hopefully improved contentment with self and with life.  

We seek to create an atmosphere of respect and compassion that lays the foundation for growth.  The therapist works in a collaborative relationship with the client to address problems.  For some problems, specific treatment protocols are required to achieve improvement.  For other problems treatment is less specific, but still requires a collaborative relationship with the therapist.  

Therapy is often challenging and sometimes difficult.  That said, the reward involves moving forward to claim competence, strength and the discovery of human potential.

The Neuropsychology Process

Neuropsychological tests are often incorporated as part of the evaluation process to assess intellectual ability, language skills, visual-spatial skills, learning and memory, academic functioning, motor skills, and personality and behavior.

Consultation

We evaluate and assess by listening to the patient and understanding the current symptoms being experienced.

During an initial consultation, Dr. Swenson or Dr. Meidinger will talk about the symptoms that are concerning to the patient and/or family. Any patient who is having difficulty describing symptoms or providing medical history and mental health history is encouraged to bring along a family member or friend who can share information that may be important for the doctor to know. 

Children and adolescents (under the age of 18) must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Once the provider has a better understanding of problems and what has been done to try to address these problems in the past, the provider will determine if neuropsychological tests are needed to better understand and treat the presenting symptoms.

Assessment

After assessment, we are able to understand the best path to diagnosis for creating an individualized treatment plan.

If testing is recommended and the patient (or parents, in the case of a child) would like to move forward with evaluation, the patient is then scheduled with a technician trained in administering neuropsychological tests. Tests are typically question and answer or paper and pencil based measures. 

Testing can take anywhere from 2 to 6 hours, depending on the age of the patient. For longer testing sessions, breaks are taken periodically to get up and move around and have a snack or meal. This can be adjusted depending on the needs of the patient. In order to take full advantage of the testing session, the following suggestions are offered.

  • Get plenty of rest the night before.
  • On the day of testing, eat breakfast and dress comfortably in layers in the event you find the testing room warm or cool.
  • Since you will be completing tasks that include reading, writing, and drawing it is important that you bring any necessary reading or eyeglasses, hearing aid, or other adaptive equipment.
  • Be aware that there is no “pass” or “fail” on these tests.  Our goal is to get a picture of what skills are strong and what skills may be weaker. The most important thing is to try your best.
  • Children can typically relate to testing being somewhat like school in which they have a “teacher” for the day, and they can expect to spend as much time testing as they usually do at school.
  • Minors must be accompanied by an adult who remains in the building while the child is testing.

Treatment Planning

A treatment plan establishes appropriate methods for improving life and providing solutions to a specific problem.

Results of testing will not be available right away. You will be scheduled to return to the clinic 1-3 weeks after testing to sit down and talk with your doctor about the testing, what the results mean, and any recommendations for care. 

We make every effort to allow enough time to answer any questions the patient and family members have. In order to make best use of this time, you are welcome to bring questions along with you and take notes.