PSYCHOTHERAPY

 
Evaluation & Testing

Dr. Jorn provides a full range of psychological evaluations based on standardized assessment tools. In order to arrive at an accurate diagnosis, referral, and treatment plan, psychological testing is often indicated to pinpointing problems and expedite the treatment process.

Goal Oriented Treatment

Dr. Jorn’s philosophy is to develop a treatment plan that meet the patient’s goals, both short-term and long-term.  Most patients are aware of their issues that have brought them to seek therapy.  Often, people start therapy when they have exhausted their options for fixing a problem themselves.  Because the problem continues to grow, they realize it is time to try something different, to talk to a professionally trained, objective third-party instead of their own group of family and friends, who all to often give advice that is well-meaning, but is often lacking in direction and substance.

Dr. Jorn provides patients with a new perspective, another way to see how their views and behavioral patterns toward a situation can be improved.  She opens up new ideas and vantage points, makes pragmatic, constructive, implementable suggestions, and offers her patients hope and direction at a time when they feel overwhelmed and are “losing it.”

It is a common misconception that an individual, couple or family has to be in desperate straits to reach out for the help of a psychologist. A therapeutic setting need not be a last resort.  In fact, a therapeutic setting should not be a last resort.  Handling problems while still in their nascent stages often leads to faster results.  The idiom “nipping it in the bud” is often true; the earlier the intervention, the better.  Likewise, counseling can improve relationships if the parties are open to change.  If a relationship is looking rocky and unstable, it is often best to see if people can change course and agree to some compromises and collective changes in behavior before matters get progressively worse and the parties become more intransigent in their views.  Unfortunately, time does not always heal wounds; it also has a way of solidifying one’s attitudes.

Anxiety

It should come as no surprise that anxiety disorders are on the rise.  Given our increasingly stressful, time-pressured lifestyles and variables beyond our control such as a recessionary, unstable economy and job losses, these are difficult times for everyone.  Throw divorce, family problems, addictive, obsessive, or compulsive behaviors into the mix and it is no exaggeration to say that many are suffering especially if one does not have good coping skills. Anxiety, which is another word for fear, can manifest itself in many ways sometimes making it difficult to identify as a disorder.  Anxiety disorders, which can manifest itself in sleep loss, hypertension, and other medical issues, can be life-threatening.  Anxious responses to certain events can be expected but true anxiety disorders involving chronic and severe responses to some anxiety-provoking event require therapeutic intervention.

We are all familiar with anxiety-provoked “panic attacks” like those we have seen on television or in the movies when the affected person hyperventilates, has heart-racing palpitations, and is debilitated.  Indeed, panic attacks are an unmistakable indication of anxiety.  However, such overt symptoms are not at all characteristic of a wide range of anxiety disorders.  Far more often, anxiety disorders are subtle and largely internalized. Phobias are the most prevalent of the anxiety disorders.  In the case of phobia, the individual fixates their anxious feelings onto a certain situation, activity, thing or person.  This fear is excessive and unreasonable in relation to the stimuli.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is both common and difficult to identify.  With GAD, the individual experiences an overall feeling of nervousness, fear, or dread that are not in response to a specific situation, event or thing.  Another variation of this generalized anxiety is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This occurs when the anxious individual cannot stop thinking about an issue even though all rational steps have been taken to ally the fear from having any genuine danger. In some cases, obsessive thinking results in compulsive actions where the person feels powerless to stop taking some repetitive actions in spite of the fact that these actions are pointless or even destructive in nature.

Anxiety may also be part of an adjustment disorder.  In this case, there is some major precipitating event in a person’s life, such as, a move, a divorce, or death of a loved one, that sets off an anxiety disorder.  Although it may seem appropriate to feel anxious and fearful as a result of such a major change in one’s life, it is the proportion of anxiety that is at issue.  Whenever anxiety immobilizes or interferes significantly with other obligations or creates intense discomfort that may be manifesting itself in physiological ailments, it is should be treated as an anxiety disorder.

Depression

Depression, both clinical and low grade (dysthemia), is one of the most common reasons that individuals seek therapy. The common characteristics of depression in adults is low self esteem, eating disorders (poor appetite or overeating), low energy or fatigue, sleeping disorders (insomnia or hyersomnia), poor concentration or difficulty in making decisions, feelings of hopelessness, and loss of interest in activities that were viewed as pleasurable.  Adolescents and children who are depressed often display agitation, irritation, and acting out behaviors.  Fortunately, there are many treatments through talk and medical therapy that successfully treat depressive disorders.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is brought about by an individual being exposed to an extreme traumatic event or stressor.  Although commonly associated with veterans coming home from war, PTSD can result from any severe stimuli, from witnessing a wrongful death or horrible trauma to being caught in a natural disaster.  The symptoms associated with this disorder are extreme fear, a sense of helplessness, ongoing horror, reliving the event (awake or asleep), a numbing of emotions and affect, and social withdrawal.  This disorder is well treated in talk therapy with the use of eye movement desensitization and cognitive therapy targeted to desensitizing the event.  Relaxation techniques are helpful once taught.  Sleep disorders can be directly addressed through medicines.  Certain anti-depressant medications have also been helpful in treating this problem.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD is a neurobehavioral developmental disorder.  This disorder is the most commonly diagnosed problem in children, affecting 3-5% of the population. It is twice as common in males than females. Those with ADHD demonstrate a persistent pattern of inattention or hyperactivity that is more frequent and more severe than is typical of the population at the same age.  These children generally experience problems in all areas of their life and have difficulty socializing and keeping friendships.  Problems arise at school, at the playground, at home, and at other social activities.  Signs of ADHD generally present by the age of seven. 30-50% of those diagnosed with this disorder in childhood take this disorder with them into adulthood.  A combination of behavior modification and counseling with an emphasis on coping skills and medication have been the most effective strategies for treating this disorder.

Dr. Jorn is experienced in treating ADHD disorders and can administer the appropriate battery of tests to rule out other disorders in order to have a conclusive diagnosis of ADHD (with hyperactivity or inattentive type).  Once a clear diagnosis of ADHD is established, most ADHD children are highly responsive to talk therapy, behavior modification and medications as indicated.

Phobias

We are all familiar with anxiety-provoked “panic attacks” like those we have seen on television or in the movies when the affected person hyperventilates, has heart-racing palpitations, and is debilitated.  Indeed, panic attacks are an unmistakable indication of anxiety.  However, such overt symptoms are not at all characteristic of a wide range of anxiety disorders.  Far more often, anxiety disorders are subtle and largely internalized. Phobias are the most prevalent of the anxiety disorders.  In the case of phobia, the individual fixates their anxious feelings onto a certain situation, activity, thing or person.  This fear is excessive and unreasonable in relation to the stimuli.

Far more often anxiety disorders are subtle and largely internalized. Phobias are the most prevalent of the anxiety disorders.  In the case of phobia the individual fixates their anxious feelings onto a certain situation, activity, thing or person.  This fear is excessive and unreasonable in relation to the stimuli.