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Commonly Asked Questions

 

Download Important Forms

Please download, print, read, and sign any necessary forms prior to your intial office visit.  This will help us optimize our time together.

Informed Consent

  Parent Questionnaire

  HIPPA

If you don't have Adobe Acrobat Reader® you can request a Microsoft Word® version or you can download and install Adobe Acrobat Reader by clicking on the image immediately below.

If you have any questions, please eMail or call me and I'll be glad to answer them.

eMail  - drskipper@drskipper.com
Office - 561-200-3381

 

Life is a journey and sometimes we need guidance, someone to help show us the way, or just to help us see the way. The way that is there before us but we just can't quite see...a little nudge here...a little suggestion there. 

Some guidance...to make it become clear, to make it easier, to make it better. Guidance to help us be better to our friends, to our family, to ourselves, and most importantly...to our children.

Skipper L Harvey, PsyD   

Information and What to Expect

Your First Therapy Session
Your first therapy session will be a time for Dr. Skipper to gather information about your child, family, and discuss the reason/s you are seeking therapy services. It will be helpful if you can fill out the questionnaire located on this website before the initial session so Dr. Skipper has that information readily available. If not, the first session will need to be spent gathering family history and information. This is basically a get to know each other session and discuss the presenting problem. This is also an opportunity for you to interview Dr. Skipper to see if her approach and personality are going to work for you and your family. Please do not hesitate to ask questions at any time during your appointment.  If you don’t feel comfortable with Dr. Skipper, please do not give up on therapy but instead try to find another professional. Dr. Skipper will provide you with referrals if necessary. Having a good fit with your therapist is vital for psychotherapy to be effective.

Psychotherapy Process
For most types of psychotherapy, Dr. Skipper will encourage the client to talk about their thoughts and feelings. While this can seem a little scary at first, clients typically gain confidence and open up more as therapy sessions progress. You may be asked to do “homework” which will involve building on what was discussed during the session. Therapy is often most effective when strategies are tried in the home and feedback is brought in for discussion. Your feedback is very important so please don’t hesitate to let Dr. Skipper know if you tried a particular intervention and it was not successful.

Getting the Most Out of Psychotherapy
Psychotherapy may not always cure a condition or make an unpleasant situation go away, but it can give an individual the power to cope in a healthy way while improving self-esteem and outlook on life. Of utmost importance for success is making sure you feel comfortable with Dr. Skipper. Therapy really is a partnership and should be viewed as such. You will be asked to be an active participant and take a part in decision making. After all, no one knows your children or your family situation better than you. Being open and honest are key ingredients to a successful outcome so please try to attend all scheduled sessions and adhere to the treatment plan. Goals can be modified as therapy sessions progress. Also, please do your homework between sessions. This is the only way to know if interventions are going to be effective. The goal of homework assignments is to give you an opportunity to apply what you’ve learned in therapy to your day to day life.

Length of Psychotherapy
The number of psychotherapy sessions you need and the frequency of those sessions may depend on the following:

- Particular mental illness or situation
- Severity of symptoms
- Duration of symptoms or situation
- How quickly a client is making progress
- Level of experienced stress
- How much presenting problem is interfering with daily functioning
 


Some clients can cope with a short-term situation in a matter of weeks while others may need longer, particularly if they are dealing with a long-term mental illness or other long-term concerns.

Types of Psychotherapy
There are numerous types of psychotherapy that have all proven to be effective. Dr. Skipper often uses a variety of techniques to meet the needs of the client and condition. She will always consider your particular situation and preferences to determine which approach may be best.

Here are some of the psychotherapy techniques proven to be effective:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – Client and therapist work together to identify unhealthy, negative beliefs and behaviors and replace them with healthy, positive behaviors. Basically, thoughts lead to feelings which then lead to behavior. If a client can change their thoughts about a situation they will naturally change their feelings which will then change their behavior.

Behavior Therapy – Behavior therapy helps a client change their behavior by unlearning problem behaviors while learning new and more adaptive behaviors to improve overall functioning. This type of therapy often includes a parent training component to help parents successfully manage and shape their child’s behavior in the home. Parents learn skills that will help them encourage and maintain positive behaviors, determine which behaviors can be actively ignored, and know when and how to set and enforce rules.

Family TherapyThis type of therapy focuses on helping the family function in more positive and constructive ways by exploring patterns of communication while also providing support and education. Sessions often include the child or adolescent along with parent/s and siblings. Couples therapy is a specific type of family therapy that typically focuses on parental communication and interactions.

Group Therapy - This is a form of psychotherapy where there are multiple clients led by one or more therapists. It uses the power of group dynamics and peer interactions to increase understanding and/or improve social skills. The group setting is often beneficial in parent education as parents realize that they are not the only one dealing with a particular issue.

Play Therapy – Through the use of toys, puppets, games, drawing, and other activities Dr. Skipper will work with your child to help him/her express themselves through play. Play is a child’s natural way of managing and acting out life stressors while often engaging in relationship building if playing with another. Many younger children have not yet developed the abstract reasoning abilities and verbal skills needed to adequately articulate their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors; therefore, play is their primary mode of communication. For those who are a little older, the combination of talk and play teaches a child to better understand and manage their conflicts, feelings, and behavior.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy – In this type of therapy emphasis is placed on understanding the issues that motivate and influence a child’s behavior, thoughts, and feelings. It can help identify a child’s typical behavior patterns, defenses, and responses to inner conflict and struggles. The idea is that many surface behaviors and relationship problems are rooted in conscious or unconscious emotional difficulties.

Preparing Your Child for an Evaluation

Talk to your child about testing and ensure him/her that nothing is “wrong” with them because they are being evaluated. Letting them know why they are being tested ahead of time can help them ask questions and relieve anxiety. With adolescents, it may be helpful to encourage them to ask any questions of their own to Dr. Skipper prior to the evaluation.

Please avoid telling your child that they will be “playing games” or “having fun.” While children often find some of the tasks in an evaluation fun, they may find other tasks to be challenging or boring at times. A child may be disappointed or upset when they learn that all of the tasks are not what they thought they would be and this can impact the test data. Instead,
let your child know that they will likely be asked to answer questions and complete tasks, some that they may find easy and some that may be more difficult. Encourage them to do their best on all items presented.

When possible, schedule testing dates with care. It is often best if your child can be tested at the first of day as this eliminates late day fatigue, provided they had a good night of sleep the day before the evaluation. Testing later in the day can allow for additional stressors which can have a negative impact on the evaluation session. Also, if your child wakes up the morning of testing and does not feel well please call to reschedule as this can also effect test data. Please ensure that your child will not be missing a field trip, sports game, or other special activity when testing as this can impact their attitude toward the test.

Make sure your child gets a good night of sleep before testing. This is important to make sure that your child is able to perform their best at testing time. Your child’s ability to pay attention and their level of effort can all be affected by a lack of sleep.

Make sure your child has eaten before testing. Food is an essential component to your child’s ability to think and pay attention. Please bring a drink or a snack for your child to have during the evaluation if they need.

Confidentiality

Except where required by law, conversations with Dr. Skipper are kept confidential unless a Release of Information is signed by the client to allow others access to treatment information. Situations where confidentiality will be breached according to the law include:

A threat to harm oneself or commit suicide that is considered to be serious by Dr. Skipper

A threat to harm or take the life of someone else that is considered to be serious by Dr. Skipper

Where there is reasonable suspicion of abuse of a child or vulnerable adult (someone older than age 18 who is hospitalized or made vulnerable by a disability)

If the issue of psychological treatment is raised during the course of a lawsuit, Dr. Skipper may be forced by the court to reveal the details of a client’s treatment