What’s with the peacock?
This colorful creature just showed up one day at my office, which backs up to the Big Creek Greenway, a federally protected wildlife area. He continued to live in those woods for about eight or nine months but stopped appearing a few years ago. I see deer and other wildlife outside my window every so often, but I still wonder what happened to that impressive visitor.
When I first launched this website, a Georgia Judge sent me an email and wrote, “In olden days, peacocks were used as a form of security for wealthy plantation owners, because they would sound the alarm if someone approached the area where they roosted. I suppose you could say as a part of your practice you are ’sounding the alarm’ about persons with mental health issues.” It’s a nice thought.
What are your fees?
We accept checks, cash and most major credit cards; payment is required at the time of service. I do not accept insurance but am happy to supply you with the information you need to submit a receipt to your insurance company for reimbursement.
Why is Forensic Consultation/Therapy more expensive than Therapy?
Because it’s much more difficult!
How did you develop an interest and expertise in ADHD?
Prior to going to graduate school I served several years as a Young Life leader and later worked on the adolescent units of two Atlanta psychiatric hospitals. So I knew I wanted to work with adolescents and families. In my doctoral program in clinical psychology, I took additional coursework to specialize in child and family psychology. During that time it became abundantly clear that if I was going to work with children, adolescents and families I had better know a ton about ADHD since it is the most common mental health diagnosis of children and adolescents. After years of specializing in ADHD, my children were born and, low and behold, one of my children has ADHD. So now I have to practice what I have been preaching since long before their births. Nothing quite like real-life experience.
How did you get involved with doing forensic (legal) work?
By accident! During my doctoral program, I worked as a masters level therapist. Literally the day before I moved for my doctoral internship in clinical psychology I gave my first deposition. I had been counseling a family where the parents decided to divorce, and they were “at war” with each other. It was an eye-opening experience and afterwards I felt like I had been run over by a dump truck (I know this is hard to imagine, but sometimes attorneys can be, well, rather aggressive).
Because of that experience once on internship I made sure I had as much training and supervision in legal/forensic work as possible. I watched my professors give depositions and testify, and I took seminars and attended lectures whenever anything remotely related to forensics was available.
Then on my first job at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, GA, I was asked to do some evaluations and testify in a really ugly custody case. One of the attorneys you may have heard of: attorney Nathan Deal of Gainesville (he has served in Georgia State Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and is the current Governor of Georgia). I guess I did okay, because attorneys have been calling me ever since. I continue to do a lot of continuing education regarding legal / forensic issues and the practice of forensic psychology.
What's the difference between Clinical Psychology and Forensic Psychology?
Clinical psychology is the practice of psychology applied to assessing and treating emotional, behavioral and relationship problems. For my practice this includes individual psychotherapy, couples therapy, family therapy and psychological evaluations. I am Board Certified in Clinical Psychology by American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). I am is also a Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor (i.e., I train marriage and family therapists) of the American Association for Marital and Family Therapy (AAMFT).
Forensic Psychology is the practice of psychology applied to Court-related issues. Thus, there is usually a Court Order or a pending legal case. In my practice this includes Custody Evaluations, Parental Fitness Evaluations, assessment of children who may have been physically or sexually abused, children and adolescents who refuse visitation with a parent, Mental Competency, Personal Injury, disability, adoption, immigration, and expert witness testimony. In the practice of forensic psychology, I work to provide the Court with objective and accurate information to assist the Court in making a ruling. I am Board Certified as a Forensic Examiner by the American College of Forensic Examiners. I am also a Nationally Certified Custody Evaluator (NCCE) by the Professional Academy of Custody Experts (PACE).