Meet Dr. HellerHello Everyone:
Welcome to my blog!
Since this is my first blog post for MyMCMedia.org, I wanted to introduce myself and discuss the types of services that I perform and issues that I regularly work with. I will then talk briefly about the issues that I will be covering in future posts on this blog.
As a clinical psychologist and partner with The Heller Psychology Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, I work primarily with children, adolescents, and young adults.
I have provided detailed explanations below of the main services that I provide to illustrate the wide variety of resources that psychologists can provide in helping your child, adolescent, or young adult. In addition, I wanted to give everyone a clear sense of how I work with children, adolescents, young adults, and their families.
The two primary components of my practice are psychotherapy and assessment.
Psychotherapy involves meeting with patients usually once to twice per week to work on on-going issues. My psychotherapy specializations include: ADHD, Autism, anger management, and family conflict. I conduct play therapy with young children, which involves using toys to assist children in expressing their feelings and difficulties that are occurring. For older children, adolescents, and young adults, I provide individual therapy, and use games and other activities as needed to help patients feel comfortable with the process and open up. Some of the more common games used are Uno, other card games, and Jenga. In addition, I will play catch, floor hockey, or other variations of sports games with individuals who need an active activity to participate in while we talk about things that are going on. With children and adolescents, I involve parents in their child’s treatment. I meet with parents individually to keep up to date on what has been going on and to support them with strategies to assist their child/adolescent at home. Furthermore, I run groups on different topics such as coping with ADHD and bullying, which provide children and adolescents with the ability to work through difficulties in a small group environment.
Assessment involves a formal evaluation to determine what issues are occurring and why. I specialize in evaluations for ADHD, learning disabilities, mood, and behavioral disorders. A full assessment includes an in-depth interview with parents, the patient, and other relevant professionals such as a psychologist, teacher, or speech and language therapist. Testing is also performed with a variety of standardized instruments to assess intellectual functioning, level of academic achievement, emotional functioning, behavioral issues, ability to sustain attention, visual-motor functioning, and other domains. For evaluations, the process is as follows: Patients/parents come in for an initial interview and then I meet with the patient for several hours (often broken up into two to three sessions on different days) to complete formal testing. Parents and the patient can then come in about a week after testing is completed to receive the preliminary results and I start helping them implement recommendations for treatment at this time. Once the formal report is completed, the parents and patient come in to go over the report and we continue discussing recommendations and I assist with the implementation of these.
In addition, I provide a few other services, though this list is not exhaustive:
Assistance with Individualized Education Program (IEP)/504 Plan Process: An IEP is the document that dictates which special education services a child or adolescent will receive in school. A 504 Plan is similar, but provides less services and is easier to obtain than an IEP. When I conduct an evaluation, I am happy to attend a school meeting to present the results and assist with updating or implementing a 504 Plan or IEP. If I am working with someone in therapy, I can also assist the family with updating or obtaining a 504 plan/IEP. In addition, I am happy to meet with teachers and provide them with strategies tailored to the individual student to help them more effectively work with them in the classroom.
Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs): Formal BIPs are used in schools to assist with managing problematic behaviors. I have experience creating these for students in the public school system and am happy to assist individuals with modifying existing ones at school similarly to how I assist families with a 504 plan/IEP. In addition, I help parents create behavior plans for the home in order to better manage problematic behavior. For older children and adolescents, if interested, I assist with setting up an electronic point management system for incentives and consequences.
Parent Training: I work with parents who are struggling to parent effectively based on the individual needs of their child or adolescent. I help them develop a united front and provide training on strategies to make them more effective in adequately handling the individual needs of their child or adolescent.
I hope that these explanations of services have enabled you to get a better understanding of the different ways that I work with individuals and families.
In future blog posts I will talk about a wide variety of issues related to parenting and working with children and adolescents with difficulties. I will also provide practical strategies that all of you can easily implement at home. A special emphasis will be placed on addressing topics related to ADHD, learning disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and family conflict. Furthermore, I will showcase different resources available in the community that may be beneficial for you or your child or adolescent.
*Disclaimer: The previous information is intended as general guidance based on my professional opinion, does not constitute an established professional relationship, and should not replace the recommendations of a psychologist or other licensed professional with whom you initiate or maintain a professional relationship*