Counseling and psychotherapy services offered in three practice areas: Educational assessment, advocacy, and support for learning disabilities, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, special needs and gifted/talented; Individual, family and couples counseling with specialization in the identification, assessment, and treatment of depression, anxiety, and mood disorders; Supportive and compassionate counseling for individuals and families who have experienced or anticipate grief, loss and/or trauma.
Libby, a Black Labrador Retriever, is a trained therapy dog and worked with autistic children for five years prior to becoming a member of my family in 2012. Libby is present in all therapy sessions unless a patient requests that Libby not be present.
Libby and I volunteer at Journeycare Hospice in Barrington, Illinois and we are a Register Animal Therapy Team with Pet Partners.
1. The Introduction of therapy animals to the academic environment: Individual student disability accommodations; as well as special usages for general student population (the reading dog); specific locations or utilization e.g. for critical incident stress management. Clarifi- cation of legal catagories of companion dogs: emotional, psychological, therapeutic, disabled, ADA, etc. will be discussed as well as Risk Management issues.
2. Gifted, Grieving, and Underachieving: An introduction to the multilayered world of the gifted student who often has an undiagnosed and/or untreated mild emotional or mental disorder that could better explain poor and uneven academic performance from an otherwise highly intelligent student. The student can not account for the uneven academic performance and reports being unhappy often feeling powerless to change the situation. Many of these students are underappreciated, misperceived, are considered "odd" and genuinely, often difficult to serve. Strategies for case studies presented to determine the possible source(s) of the difficulties and to provide adequate support and referrals are presented for all, especially school counselors, who frequently encounter this dilemma within the gifted population. Two case studies involving highly gifted students will also be presented.