Dr. Kieffer offers the following services:
Psychotherapy (sometimes referred to as Counseling) is a form of “Talking Therapy” developed to help people understand themselves–and their relation to others. It can be helpful for reducing emotional pain and developing greater confidence and skill in their personal and professional relationships. It can also help to alleviate depression, anxiety and chronic misuse of behaviors, i.e., substance abuse, eating disorders, and other kinds of addictive patterns.
Dr. Kieffer has been clinically trained to help individuals through Psychotherapy. When medication is indicated as an adjunct to treatment, she refers patients to Psychiatrists and Child Psychiatrists with whom she has an established working relationship.
For help in deciding when to seek help, you may click on the section titled, “When To Seek Help” (see below).
Psychoanalysis is a highly specialized type of Psychotherapy. Dr. Kieffer is a psychoanalyst who is board certified in both Adult and Child/Adolescent Psychoanalysis by the American Psychoanalytic Association. Click here to find out more about how Psychoanalyst can help and when it is indicated.
For more about psychoanalysis, visit: “What is Psychoanalysis”prepared by the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA).
Couples/Marital Counseling Psychotherapy
Dr. Kieffer is trained to provide Couples Therapy, also known as “Marital Counseling”. This type of treatment modality may be effective for partners who find themselves experiencing chronic conflicts that seem to be unresolvable despite repeated attempts at talking it through with one another, or when a long-term relationship seems to have become lacking in vibrancy or “stale”. Couples in a dating relationship also may find it useful to consult with a psychologist when they find themselves unable to decide upon whether or not to move towards a more formal commitment.
Child, Adolescent and Parenting Services
Dr. Kieffer has an additional specialization in Child and Adolescent Treatment. She regards consulting with parents as a vital part of helping children and adolescents develop their optimal potential.
Taking Your Child to a Psychologist
Significant life events — such as the death of a family member, friend, or pet; divorce or a move; abuse; trauma; a parent leaving on military deployment; or a major illness in the family — can cause stress that might lead to problems with behavior, mood, sleep, appetite, and academic or social functioning.
In some cases, it’s not as clear what’s caused a child to suddenly seem withdrawn, worried, stress, sulky, or tearful. But if you feel your child might have an emotional or behavioral problem or needs help coping with a difficult life event, trust your instincts.
Signs that your child may benefit from seeing a psychologist or licensed therapist include:
- developmental delay in speech, language, or toilet training
- learning or attention problems (such as ADHD)
- behavioral problems (such as excessive anger, acting out, bedwetting or eating disorders)
- a significant drop in grades, particularly if your child normally maintains high grades
- episodes of sadness, tearfulness, or depression
- social withdrawal or isolation
- being the victim of bullying or bullying other children
- decreased interest in previously enjoyed activities
- overly aggressive behavior (such as biting, kicking, or hitting)
- sudden changes in appetite (particularly in adolescents)
- insomnia or increased sleepiness
- excessive school absenteeism or tardiness
- mood swings (e.g., happy one minute, upset the next)
- development of or an increase in physical complaints (such as headache, stomachache, or not feeling well) despite a normal physical exam by your doctor
- management of a serious, acute, or chronic illness
- signs of alcohol, drug, or other substance use (such as solvents or prescription drug abuse)
- problems in transitions (following separation, divorce, or relocation)
- bereavement issues
- custody evaluations
- therapy following sexual, physical, or emotional abuse or other traumatic events
Kids who aren’t yet school-age could benefit from seeing a developmental or clinical psychologist if there’s a significant delay in achieving developmental milestones such as walking, talking, and potty training, and if there are concerns regarding autism or other developmental disorders.
When to Seek Help
Psychological treatment (both short and longer term) may be beneficial for many kinds of difficulties. Adults as well as Children and Adolescents can benefit from improving their emotional well being and interpersonal functioning.
Making the decision to seek help can be complex, but listed below are some signs that a visit to a Psychologist may be helpful:
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms that are described below, and they are severe and/or chronic enough to interfere with your ability to function well, then it may be time to seek help from a professional:
- feelings of depression, helplessness, hopelessness
- anxiety or panic attacks (sometimes experiences as things seeming out of control
- separation or divorce; difficulties in being effective as a parent
- poor self-esteem
- decreased energy or enthusiasm for things that used to be satisfying
- emotional “numbness” or social withdrawal
- excessive self-blame or guilt
- changes in sleep patterns (insomnia or sleeping too much)
- crying easily and more often
- decreased tolerance for stresses that were formerly coped with more readily
- loss of pleasure in activities that were formerly enjoyed
- excessive or chronic anger or irritability directed towards others
- co-workers or loved ones telling you that your personality seems to have “changed”
- substance abuse or dependency in yourself or family members
- increased or repeated arguments with family members
- workplace stress
- stress related to life changes or transitions–both positive as well as negative
When Should You Take Your Child or Adolescent to See a Psychologist?
Deciding to find help for your child can be even more complicated than making this kind of decision for yourself, since children and adolescents are more likely than adults to express their emotional distress through behavior rather than talking about it.
While parents may hope that children will “grow out” of worrisome attitudes or behaviors, sometimes children may actually grow into problematic behavioral and personality patterns.
See above for a list of symptoms that may indicate that your child needs help.