I have specialized in the assessment and treatment of children, after receiving  Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in clinical psychology at the University of North Carolina, and a B.A. in psychology at Kent State University.  I have more than 20 years of experience working with children and adolescents, conducting psychological evaluations on individuals of all ages to determine academic or emotional concerns, providing individual and family therapy, co-facilitating DIR-based interaction groups, and providing parent coaching and consultation regarding their children.  I have attended several DIR training institutes, and am certified as a DIR practitioner.  Prior to starting a private practice, I worked as a Senior Psychologist at The Treatment and Learning Centers for 11 years and at the Reginald S. Lourie Center for children under 7 years old for about two years.  Prior to moving to Maryland, I was a team leader for an outpatient child mental health clinic at Wake County Human Services and was a project coordinator/clinical associate at Duke University. I have also participated on a Child Placement Consultation Team and overseen the development of outcome-oriented research. I have administered more than 150 Rorschach Tests and presented numerous workshops, including talks focused on learning disabilities, ADHD, and anxiety, including leading Area Health Education Center (AHEC) workshops on both the assessment and treatment of aggressive children and building self-esteem in aggressive youth. For six years, I was the reviewer for The Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, and am currently an active member of the American Psychological Association. 

There are a variety of test protocols that can be administered in order to evaluate an individual’s functioning.  A neuropsychological evaluation is typically administered by a neuropsychologist, and will target the identification of areas of the brain that might be compromised, as well as functional implications of these neurological deficits or insults; diagnostic information is gained from this evaluation.  A comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation is similar in that there is an evaluation of a individual’s functioning in a variety of areas, in order to determine what factors may be underlying learning difficulties in the school setting, with diagnostic information obtained in this evaluation as well; there is no linkage to the areas of the brain that might be involved.  A more traditional psychoeducational evaluation evaluates only the intellectual level and academic functioning, with the goal being to determine whether or not a learning disability is present. Within my practice, I typically provide a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation to examine a variety of processing areas, evaluate intellectual functioning, and assess academic functioning broadly in the three main areas.  In this way, the recommendations that are formulated are specific to the individual and take into account the functioning and processing capacities in all areas. 

Please click on the following links to read some articles written for the Washington Parent magazine.

Choosing the right psychologist

When your child is in need of help, or you are not sure if this is the case, it is important to find a psychologist who is a good fit for you and your family.  My years of experience working as part of an interdisciplinary team (speech, OT, psych) has provided me with the capacity to evaluate many factors that could be impacting a child's functioning, and to take these individual differences into account in the creation of a treatment plan.  Recognizing and focusing on all areas of functioning provides a deeper understanding of the individual and allows for more individualized assessment and treatment.