Special Services

Psychological Evaluation & Testing Program

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PREMISE: Our company specializes in providing psychological evaluation and testing services. Our unique commitment to this area of applied psychology has set us apart from other psychologists and individuals in the mental health field. It has always been this organization.s philosophy that any form of psychological service should initiate with a careful and in depth evaluation. Our services place a premium on collecting and utilizing objective data. This ensures that accurate diagnoses can be made and subjective evaluator bias can be eliminated.

COMPONENTS: In keeping with our philosophies regarding testing and evaluation, the clinic has invested significant resources into this program. This includes training of our staff and accumulation of psychological testing resources. An extensive library of testing materials are stored and maintained.

We utilize test technicians to administer various psychological tests when appropriate. The use of technicians helps to reduce costs and improve turn around time for test results. Individuals employed in this capacity have been rigorously trained and are constantly subjected to programs designed to maintain and upgrade their skills.
Each comprehensive evaluation assesses the following areas of function: Intellectual Skills & Abilities, Personality Characteristics & General Psychological Adjustment, Academic Function & Adaptive Function.
We have appropriate materials to test individuals of all ages including infants, pre-school age children, grade school age children, adolescents and adults.

FEEDBACK SESSIONS & NARRATIVE REPORTS: When requested, special narrative reports are generated to illustrate and explain results. In addition, each individual participating in evaluation services is usually offered a feedback session, which is a special face to face meeting with a psychologist to discuss evaluation results. These meetings will also cover diagnostic inferences and information regarding treatment issues.

SPECIFIC TRAINING REQUIREMENTS: Universities typically require several hours of course work with specific practical experience in the area of psychological testing prior to granting degrees in clinical psychology. Most state psychology licensing boards require psychologists to have taken specific graduate courses in psychological testing with associated experience in internship and practicum settings in order to be eligible for licensing. Many companies selling testing equipment only allow psychologists to purchase certain tests. Our program is operated and supervised by a licensed doctoral level psychologist.

USES OF TESTING: There are numerous situations in which psychological test results can be useful. We currently commonly apply these services in scenarios where individuals may be experiencing problems associated with Learning Disorders and Academic Issues, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Bariatric Surgical Issues, ADHD, Anxiety & Depressive Disorders, Custody Evaluations, etc.


Psychotherapy & Counseling Program

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PREMISE: Psychotherapy is a formal treatment process designed to address various forms of psychopathology (psychological/psychiatric illnesses). Typically the term psychotherapy suggests a more in depth approach to dealing with a problem or issue. Associated techniques serve to get to the root and/or underpinnings of the problem as a means of a long term solution or resolution to an issue. Our program also utilizes traditional counseling approaches which tend to be more consultation and support oriented. The type of approach chosen is dependent on the presenting problem.

The treatment process initiates with an in depth interview that addresses the problematic issues as well as a general history. The initial assessments, also referred to as intake evaluations, are typically conducted by a licensed doctoral level psychologist. It is this psychologists. responsibility to assess the individual and refer the client to the proper clinician within the organization.

Our clinic is unique in that we possess a large staff of qualified experts in the mental health field. This allows for the ability to address and treat a wide range of human issues and problems and to provide services to children, adolescents and adults.

INDIVIDUALIZED DEVELOPMENT & TREATMENT PLANS: After the individual has been assigned to the appropriate staff member, he or she will work to develop an individualized development and treatment plan. This plan is designed to guide the treatment process and ensure that specific goals and objectives are met. As indicated above, it is our aim to help any individual to reach their full potential.

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GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY: Most of our development and treatment programs are conducted on an individual basis. The clinic, however, periodically offers group psychotherapy services. If interested in a group meeting, please contact the office to check which groups are being offered.

SPECIFIC TRAINING REQUIREMENTS: Psychotherapy is typically a very intense and potentially difficult undertaking. We believe that it is of the utmost importance to have a staff of qualified individuals who are equal to the task of assisting individuals who are in need of such services. Therefore, it is important for a clinician or therapist to have the proper academic background and history of supervised training to provide psychotherapy services. Our therapists providing this form of treatment are required to have academic exposure in the areas of developmental psychology, personality theory, individual differences, cognitive-affective bases of behavior, ethical issues in treatment and multiple forms of therapeutic intervention (cognitive/behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, insight oriented psychotherapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, etc).

In addition, our therapists who provide treatment services to children and adolescents are required to have had academic foundational coursework in the area of child & adolescent psychopathology and associated treatment methodology courses. The clinicians are also required to have accumulated substantial professional experience working with children.

We pride ourselves in employing therapists that have the proper educational backgrounds. Our therapists found to have deficiencies in their academic backgrounds undergo our intensive in house training programs in order to upgrade their skills. In addition, all of our clinical staff receives continual supervised training and support that is provided by senior psychological staff within our organization.

USES OF THERAPY: Our therapy and counseling program can typically be adapted to any psychological issue or problem. Generally we treat individuals with depression and anxiety issues, life stress and coping issues, adult ADHD problems, individuals with symptoms of major mental illness, child behavior problems, anger difficulties, pre and post Bariatric surgical issues, divorce and custody issues, etc.

*It should be noted that our program has not adopted an automatic pro-medication stance for all individuals diagnosed with affective disorders. We retain an open philosophy in these matters and each case is evaluated carefully prior to making recommendations regarding psychotropic medications. We also take the individuals or family.s personal philosophies into consideration when providing consultation in these types of matters.


Marital & Family Counseling Program

PREMISE: It is not uncommon that psychological issues and disturbances negatively affect couples and families. Our Marital & Family Counseling Program is designed to address such issues. The goals and objectives of this form of intervention is often to work toward eliminating or reducing discord or conflicts in marriages and/or a family.

COMPONENTS: These services generally initiate with an in depth interview to gain a global perspective regarding the related problematic issues. These interviews are typically conducted by a licensed psychologist or one of the staff members working within this program. In providing marriage counseling sometimes each member of the couple is seen individually prior to meeting together and beginning the treatment process.

It should be pointed out that many times family and marriage therapy services result in referrals for one of the involved parties to attend individual psychotherapy services. These referrals are generally made with the goal of improving the global situation by addressing the individual’s issues that are contributing to the relationship problem.

SPECIALIZED DEVELOPMENT & TREATMENT PLANS: After the initial assessment is complete and the family or couple has been assigned to the appropriate staff member, he or she will work to develop a specialized development and treatment plan. This plan is designed to guide the treatment process and ensure that specific goals and objectives are met

SPECIFIC TRAINING REQUIREMENTS: Individuals working in this program are required to have a masters degree and to have specific training in marriage and family counseling. We also require that they have had academic coursework in the foundational theories of marriage and family therapy.

We pride ourselves in employing therapists that have the proper educational backgrounds. Our therapists found to have deficiencies in their academic backgrounds undergo our intensive in house training programs in order to upgrade their skills. In addition, all of our clinical staff receives continual supervised training and support that is provided by senior psychological staff within our organization.

*Often times third party health insurance companies will not reimburse for “marriage or family services.” Please ask us to assist you if your insurance company provides you with a similar message.


 Psychological Custody Evaluation Program

PREMISE: Old Town Psychological Services maintains that custody disputes involving children are highly sensitive and that custody evaluations must be conducted with a high degree of professionalism and integrity.

OTPS has extensive experience in evaluating children and adults involved in custody disputes and providing objective recommendations for those involved. Our staff conducts all custody evaluations on the premise that recommendations are to be made based on the psychological best interests of the children.

COMPONENTS: OTPS uses multiple sources when gathering data including clinical interviews, behavioral observation, objective psychological testing, child abuse/neglect assessment, substance abuse assessment, and use of 3rd party information. An extensive library is maintained of up-to-date psychological test equipment and inventories commonly used in forensic and clinical settings. The evaluating psychologist engages in a formal process of compiling and reviewing the psychological data, prior to rendering recommendations that are in the best psychological interests of the children. A thorough, narrative report is then generated that clearly outlines all collected psychological data and child custody recommendations, which are formulated using the MICHIGAN CHILD CUSTODY ACT MCL 722.23.

FEEDBACK SESSION: OTPS provides a final session separately with parents of the minor children involved, to present the recommendations and provide feedback. The psychologist often recommends a follow-up mediation session to address co-parenting and adjustment issues regarding the custody agreement.

Our staff is available to provide court testimony and for follow-up issues including on-going co-parenting mediation or psychological treatment of any parties involved.

FEES: Custody evaluation fees are dependent upon the number of adults and children involved. The fee is determined based on basic custody components and additional fees are added for mediation services and court testimony. Please contact the office for an estimate of fees for a specific case. It is our policy to require that fees be paid prior to the beginning of services.

SPECIFIC TRAINING REQUIREMENTS: This program is operated by a licensed doctoral level psychologist.

Old Town Psychological Services conducts all child custody evaluations based on the guidelines set forth by the American Psychological Association.


 

Psychological Custody & Co-parenting Mediation Program

PREMISE: Most divorces involving custody disputes are highly acrimonious and present many challenges to the parents following separation and divorce. Old Town Psychological Services offers a custody & co-parenting mediation service as a component to the custody evaluation service. It is our philosophy that a more humanistic and potentially logical solution can surface through a mediation process that involves the participation of both parents as opposed to a court imposed decision. We also strongly believe that a process that improves the environment for effective co-parenting is clearly in the best interests of the involved children.

COMPONENTS: The initial phases of this service center on comprehensive evaluation. The mediator must be apprised of all extenuating circumstances including the psychological status of both parents and the general condition of the respective home settings. The evaluator must also be familiar with the children involved including their psychological status and their personal views on the custody dispute and what they would like to see occur in the immediate and long range future.

The mediator will typically meet individually with the co-parents prior to meeting together. Each parent will be required to establish goals and outcomes for this process. In most cases spouses and/or significant others of the parents are not to be included in the initial phases of this service.
Court and attorneys are the typical referral resources for this program. However, we welcome referrals directly from motivated parents.

SPECIFIC TRAINING REQUIREMENTS: This program is operated by a licensed, doctoral level psychologist. It is critical for staff members of this program to be aware of a unique and vast range of information. Knowledge and familiarity of childhood development, divorce issues, co-parenting challenges in two home settings, conflict resolution, etc. are a just a few of the critical areas of expertise needed to provide an effective form of this mediation service.

OTPS staff takes pride in our vast experience in this area. Our clinic has been providing this type of service for over a ten year period. Our lead clinician in this program is a licensed doctoral level psychologist who specializes in helping to improve environments that involve high conflict divorce/custody dispute issues.


 

ADHD Evaluation & Treatment Program

PREMISE: ADHD is a complex disorder that has dramatically increased in prevalence in recent years. Those meeting diagnostic criteria for the disorder have many challenges to overcome. Our program provides services to both children and adults. Research results have indicated that many individuals continue to experience symptoms of the disorder from childhood through adulthood. The prevailing thought in the past was that children would eventually “out grow” the disorder.

Our philosophy regarding ADHD dictates that a careful and thorough evaluation is required to identify the disorder. ADHD is often misdiagnosed. For example, some clinicians mistake anxiety or depression symptoms for those of ADHD. Our detailed evaluations are also a guard against quick or snap diagnoses that are often made in some settings. Our program is also predicated on utilizing objective evaluation material.

Our program also includes consultation and treatment services for individuals who do meet diagnostic criteria for ADHD. The consultation process includes discussion regarding prevalent treatments based on the most up to date research. Such consultations also include detailed information regarding medications used to treat ADHD. Counseling and behavioral interventions can also be helpful in some cases for individuals diagnosed with ADHD. Such individuals would be identified in the evaluation process and relative recommendations would follow with development of an appropriate treatment plan.

COMPONENTS: Our ADHD psychological evaluation is based on prevalent research. The basic evaluation specifically consists of history and interview session, behavioral observation and administration a personality inventory and ADHD rating scales. In some cases we recommend additional testing of intellectual functions and academic achievement abilities. The results of the evaluation are then given to the adult individual or parents of the child in a feedback session.

Typically the feedback session is devoted also to establishing an appropriate plan of action whether the diagnosis was made or ruled out.

SPECIFIC TRAINING REQUIREMENTS: The ADHD Evaluation and Treatment Program is operated by a licensed doctoral level psychologist. This psychologist has extensive training and years of experience with involvement with ADHD. Our clinicians and test technicians who work in this program work under the supervision of this individual.

*It should be noted that our program has not adopted an automatic pro-medication stance for all individuals diagnosed with ADHD. We retain an open philosophy in these matters and each case is evaluated carefully prior to making recommendations regarding psychotropic medications. We also take the individual’s or family’s personal philosophies into consideration when providing consultation in these types of matters.


Bariatric Evaluation & Treatment Program

PREMISE: The number of individuals undergoing Bariatric surgeries have increased dramatically in recent years. Insurance companies and surgeons have maintained requirements for prospective Bariatric surgical candidates to undergo psychological screenings prior to being approved for the surgery.

Our program includes both evaluation and treatment services for individuals involved with Bariatric surgery. The treatment program was created for individuals who have encountered psychological difficulties prior to or post surgery. Some of these individuals experience marital difficulties, problems with adjusting to a new self image, difficulties adjusting to the sudden absence of comfort foods in their lives, etc. The counseling program is also designed for individuals who did not meet full psychological criteria for the surgery and are required to undergo a counseling program prior to receiving the surgery.

COMPONENTS: Our psychological evaluations are carefully tailored to the needs of individuals who are considering the surgery. Evaluation procedures include a session to discuss general history and background as well as specific information regarding the individual’s history of weight related issues. In addition, we require a personality inventory. Currently, we utilize the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) to fulfill this need. The results of the interview and personality inventory are then combined and utilized to determine a recommendation regarding the surgery. The results of the evaluation and recommendations are placed into a narrative report and then forwarded to the surgeon’s office.

We accept referrals from physician’s offices for the counseling program and welcome individuals to refer themselves. (Please see the Psychotherapy and Counseling Program Methodology for detailed descriptions regarding the treatment process.)

We also provide a monthly support group for individuals who are or have participated in Bariatric surgery. The group is operated by the office manager from Dr. Scholten’s office in Grand Rapids, MI. If interested, please contact our office.

SPECIFIC TRAINING REQUIREMENTS: The insurance companies require that a licensed doctoral level psychologist or a psychiatrist perform the required evaluations. This program is operated by and supervised by a licensed doctoral level psychologist. This psychologist has been involved with providing services to Bariatric clients for a ten year period. The clinic has long prided itself with its dedication to individuals involved with the Bariatric surgical process.


Veteran PTSD Evaluation & Treatment Program

PREMISE: Michigan has one of the highest concentrations of veterans in its population as compared to all other states. Veterans who have been exposed to traumatic events either in combat zones or other settings are at high risk for experiencing symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. The Veterans Administration began officially recognizing PTSD as a functional disorder starting in the early 1980.s. Subsequently, the VA provides funding for qualified individuals to participate in readjustment counseling. The Vet Center in Grand Rapids administers this program. Old Town Psychological Services has held a contract with the VA to provide these services in northern Michigan for approximately ten years.

Individuals who are veterans and feel that they may be experiencing symptoms of PTSD can contact our office for information and referral services. A veteran experiencing symptoms of PTSD will be given the number of the director of the Vet Center in Grand Rapids. This individual is responsible for approving the referral to our office and required funding.

COMPONENTS: The PTSD program includes both individual and group counseling services. The program is designed to last for up to two years. The veteran is required to undergo a three session initial evaluation prior to officially entering the program. During the initial evaluation process the veteran may be asked to complete psychological tests that include a personality inventory and PTSD diagnostic survey. After the evaluation process is completed the veteran is then assigned to an individual therapist and a group program.

SPECIFIC TRAINING REQUIREMENTS: The PTSD program is supervised by a licensed psychologist. This psychologist has overseen the program since its inception and supervises all other clinicians who work with the veterans. Therapists working in the program are required to have a masters. degree in psychology, counseling or clinical social work. In addition, the clinicians are required to have significant experience working with individuals with PTSD.

*OTPS staff takes significant pride in maintaining the privilege of serving our country’s veterans.


Child Behavioral Disorders Evaluation & Treatment Program

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PREMISE: Old Town Psychological Services has become well known for providing services to children and adolescents. Children with Oppositional behavior patterns have seemed to increase in prevalence. These children generally present a significant challenge to parents and can be highly disruptive to any family setting. Some of the signs and symptoms of Oppositional Defiant Disorder include frequent temper tantrums, arguing with adults, refusing to comply or listen to directions, appearing angry and resentful, are easily annoyed or deliberately annoy others, etc. Children with these types of presentations are at risk for being diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Typically early therapeutic intervention is best for these children. The treatment process can be highly effective and at times significant changes are observed in a relatively short span of time. It should be pointed out that children who have been diagnosed with ADHD are often times more prone to being diagnosed with O.D.D. as well.

COMPONENTS: Generally a two tiered treatment approach is utilized when intervening with children with O.D.D. After the initial diagnosis has been made a formalized behavioral treatment program is established by the therapist for use and implementation by a parent. These behavior treatment programs are beneficial to both the parents and children in these cases. The program often helps restore balance and equilibrium to the family setting by helping to increase parental consistency and direct the proper use of disciplinary approaches and required level of firmness. In addition, the program helps to return a mutual sense of positive regard between the parent and child.

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The second part of the approach includes individual counseling for the diagnosed child. This is crucial for serving to reinforce the implemented behavioral treatment program and address the underlying issues that the child may have that have contributed to the diagnosis of O.D.D.

SPECIFIC TRAINING REQUIREMENTS: The Child Behavioral Disorder Evaluation and Treatment Program is operated by a licensed doctoral level psychologist. This psychologist has extensive training in the area of O.D.D. and years of experience working with children diagnosed with this disorder. The clinician’s and test technicians who work in this program work under the supervision of this individual. Therapists working in the program are required to have a masters’ degree in psychology, counseling or clinical social work. In addition, the clinicians are required to have significant experience working with children diagnosed with O.D.D.


 

Academic Deficiency, Dyslexia & Learning Disorder Program

PREMISE: This program is designed to address academic issues that any child, adolescent or adult may be encountering. We often receive referrals from parents of children who feel that their child has “fallen in the cracks” in terms of attention from their respective educational system. Psychological testing and consultation are helpful modes of intervention in these cases. Some adolescents and adults request verification or documentation of their learning disorder or cognitive impairments that may be associated with a diagnosis of ADHD for the purpose of receiving special disability accomodations. Such accomodations may be implemented in classrooms or during objective testing sessions for the ACT, SAT, L-SAT, GRE, etc. Common accomodations include increased time for testing sessions, tests to be taken in quiet atmospheres and someone to read the test items aloud. We also receive many requests for evaluation and diagnosis of dyslexia. Dyslexia is a unique and complex condition that requires careful evaluation. The program is also designed to assist individuals who would like assistance in career or educational planning.

COMPONENTS: This process begins with a consultation session designed to gather information and create a plan to address the existing problem. The psychologist may then order the appropriate psychological tests some of which will be administered by our test technicians. After all of the appropriate data has been gathered the psychologist will typically conduct a feedback session with the involved individual(s) to discuss results of the testing and provide valuable consultation. Our staff has the capability of consulting directly with school personnel and in school settings if necessary. Detailed narrative reports of the evaluations and testing can also be generated upon request. Narrative reports are generally required by various educational institutes to document the presence of learning deficits and are needed to help develop remediation plans. In addition, narrative reports are required by testing companies that administer the ACT, SAT, GRE, L-SAT’s, etc.

SPECIFIC TRAINING REQUIREMENTS: This program is supervised by a licensed doctoral level psychologist with extensive training in psychological testing and provision of consultation services in academic settings. Other clinicians and test technicians who work in this program work under the supervision of this individual.


Substance Abuse Evaluation and Treatment Program

PREMISE: The devastating effects of substance abuse in our society are well documented. Our culture has become increasingly aware of these problems and the need for a successful form of treatment. Our clinic has long provided evaluation and treatment services for individuals with substance abuse disorders. We have specifically provided evaluations for local courts and individuals who are interested in pursuing having their driver’s license restored. Our counseling philosphy is somewhat unique in that we endeavor to help the individual uncover and address deep rooted reasons for the obsessive/compulsive behavior pattern. In addition, counseling approaches include developing methods for the individual to achieve and maintain sobriety.

COMPONENTS: The program initiates with a comprehensive intake meeting with the purpose of designing an appropriate plan. For evaluations, narrative feedback is provided to the appropriate organization as per request of the client. The evaluation program has access to many objective psychological tests to aid in the process, if needed.

SPECIFIC TRAINING REQUIREMENTS: This program is operated by a licensed doctoral level psychologist. This psychologist has extensive training in the area of substance abuse and years of experience working with individuals diagnosed with this disorder. The clinicians and test technicians who work in this program work under the supervision of this individual. Therapists working in the program are required to have a masters’ degree in psychology, counseling or clinical social work. In addition, the clinicians are required to have significant experience working with individuals diagnosed with substance abuse problems.

 

 

 

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