/Counseling
Counseling 2018-02-14T19:33:31+00:00
Counseling
Evaluation & Diagnosis
Testing
Coaching

Counseling

Counseling is a way to talk with a neutral person about your concerns.  A “neutral person” means that I don’t take one side or another – I listen without judgment.  Talking to a counselor, like myself, can be especially helpful when you find that friends or family take sides when you talk to them about your concerns.

Counseling is a way to talk with a neutral person about your concerns.  A “neutral person” means that I don’t take one side or another – I listen without judgment.

I see clients for counseling either individually or as a couple.   My specialty areas are attention deficit disorder, anxiety disorders, and autism spectrum disorder.  I most often work with young adults and their parents regarding transitioning into college and also living independently.  I also work often with adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who would like to be more efficient, productive, and happier at work and home.

I also see children and parents. I believe that parents are an essential part of a child’s counseling visits.  I also help parents become more effective, consistent, and happy.  Parenting a child with special needs can create a great deal of stress, so I work with parents on practicing good self-care too.

Usually counselors help you by using a blend of different counseling approaches.  The two approaches I use most often are Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Solution-Focused Therapy.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

In research, CBT has been found to be effective in helping reduce ADHD, depression, and anxiety symptoms.  Cognitive means how you think.  Behavioral means what you do.  CBT helps you identify your faulty cognitions and negative self-talk.  What you tell yourself makes a big difference in your mood and what you think about yourself and others. You can learn how to gain greater control over your thoughts and self-talk through CBT.  In research studies, CBT has been found to be significantly effective in treating ADHD, depression, and anxiety.

Solution-Focused Counseling 

In Solution-Focused Counseling, instead of focusing on what is wrong, we focus on what is going well.  One of the ideas behind solution-focused therapy is that what you focus on grows.  When things get tough, it can be difficult to remember the things that are going well.  When do you have fewer panic attacks?  Where are you when your ADHD symptoms seem to bother you less?  We’ll focus on increasing those times when you are feeling better, and create a plan together for your wellbeing.

Evaluation and Diagnosis

A good evaluation and diagnosis helps you find the best treatment.  You may suspect or know that you need some support, or you may have some questions you would like answered.   A full evaluation and a diagnosis can get you pointed in the right direction so you can live the most meaningful and productive life possible. 

I provide evaluations for the following issues:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder, including Aspergers
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Chronic Pain
  • Accommodations at School and Work
  • Custody Evaluations
  • Competency to Stand Trial Evaluations

Family History 

Getting a good family history is a very important part of a complete evaluation.  A family history contains information on who in your family has or had mental health or other medical issues, including ADHD anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and seizures. Because many mental health issues are inherited, the more information you have about your family history the better.

Rating Scales

You may be asked to complete rating scales describing how you have been feeling for the last six months, and also what your behavior was like as a child.  These scales can be found at www.stephaniesarkis.com/forms.  If you are a parent, you may be asked to fill out rating scales about your child’s behavior.  This helps give me additional information about your concerns.

Clinical Interview 

I will sit with you and talk about your concerns – starting from when you first noticed your issue to how you are feeling today.  I may ask you about your experiences and concerns at school, at work, with friends, in your relationships, and with your family.  I may also ask you what your life would look like if things were well.

Other Testing

I may have you complete other tests during your evaluation.  For example, I may give you a test of “executive function” if you have symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  There are other tests I may give to you to help discover more about what may be causing your issues.  For more information on testing, see the http://www.stephaniesarkis.com/testing-assessment/ page.

Testing

Testing helps you get the best treatment possible for your concerns.  It’s a way to help you discover more about yourself and your diagnosis.  Testing can also help you learn more about to conquer your issue.  Testing can sometimes get to issues that are hard to verbalize in counseling.

I provide testing for the following:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder, including Asperger’s
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Cognitive Disorders, including Alzheimer’s
  • Intelligence Quotient (IQ)
  • Achievement
  • Depression
  • Executive Function Performance

Testing is usually part of a full evaluation, in order to help find the best treatment strategy especially for you.   After testing is completed, I provide you a report of your results.  This report includes an interpretation of your results.   I review all the results with you, including letting you know what the results might mean as they relate to your work, school, home, and social life.

Coaching

I call coaching “counseling lite”.  We aren’t talking so much about your family or your childhood – we are working on helping you get organized, set up a structured schedule, and establish goals and objectives.  We want to get you on your life path in a way that is easy for you to stick with, and eventually just requires periodic maintenance.

Coaching can help you become more organized, create goals, and have a happier, more efficient, and productive life. I help you find steps to reach your potential at work and at home in sessions either in person, by video teleconferencing, or by phone.

If you feel that overall things are going pretty well and you just need help with setting goals, priorities, and getting organized, coaching might be a good option for you.  In coaching, the focus is on the present and future – instead of the past.  You may find that although you are performing pretty well at work, there is still room for improvement.  You may also find that you have difficulty figuring out which tasks to start first.

Contact Dr. Sarkis by Email
Call Dr. Sarkis