Since opening last October, Drexel’s Psychological Services Center has been breaking down barriers to mental health care by offering cutting-edge treatments at an affordable price to members of the community.
In the past year, the center has offered assessments and therapy to hundreds of clients from the Philadelphia area and New Jersey suburbs. Care is provided by doctoral students in Drexel’s highly competitive clinical psychology PhD program, who are working as trainees under the supervision of licensed professional faculty from the Department of Psychology in Drexel’s College of Arts and Sciences.
These services are not just available to adults. In fact, the center has a special section for children and adolescents, headed up by Brian Daly, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology.
“The center has seen kids with behavior problems such as ADHD, kids with anxiety, kids who have been bullied and as a consequence are struggling with sadness, low self-esteem and depression and kids who have learning challenges such as reading disorders,” said Daly.
They have already seen success stories.
“We saw a client who was struggling to make friends at school because of social anxiety. She worked with one of our doctoral students to confront her worries while also developing better social skills,” he said. “After a couple months of treatment, she was less fearful in social interactions and had started to develop more friendships. Ultimately, her quality of life was significantly improved by the end of treatment.”
Daly is a clinical child and adolescent psychologist specializing in the assessment and treatment of children with behavioral, mood, and/or learning problems, development and evaluation of evidence-based psychosocial evaluations for youth, mental health promotion in schools and evaluation of adolescent health risk behaviors.
He answered some frequently-asked questions about the center’s child and adolescent services:
What child and adolescent concerns/challenges/disorders do you treat at the Center?
Broadly, our clinic treats children with mood problems, behavior problems, social challenges or learning concerns. Common disorders we see include ADHD, depression, anxiety, anger management problems, etc.
What is the assessment/evaluation process like? What are some methods used by the center for treatment?
We complete a comprehensive intake for all children and families that we see for therapy or for assessment. This process is an information-gathering process that helps us better understand presenting concerns, background information and potential goals for treatment. The intake is usually about a 90-minute session. We utilize an evidence-based process whereby we gather information from multiple informants (children, caregivers, teachers) that includes acquiring data from rating scales.
How do I know if my child should be evaluated? What are signs to look for?
While all kids will have some minor problems with behavior, or will worry or be sad at times, children that should be evaluated are those that have these problems occurring frequently and to a degree that results in some level of impairment. Signs include behavior problems to such a degree that there are concerns at home, at school, or both. From an emotional perspective, signs include worries on a daily basis or sadness that seems to persist more than a couple days.
Why should someone come to the center instead of going elsewhere for psychological services?
The foundation of our center is the commitment to using evidence-based assessment and treatment strategies, which the research clearly demonstrates are the best methods for reducing symptoms and improving quality of life. These services are also offered at an offered price. Fees for most services are based on a sliding scale determined by household income, so it is ideal for those who are un- or under-insured.
How does the center help doctoral students learn? Why is this important?
Our graduate psychology program and the faculty working in the center are dedicated to providing the best training to our students since they will become the next generation of practicing psychologists. Our center is unique because all of the supervisors are core faculty members in the department.
For more information about services or to schedule an intake evaluation, call 215.553.7128 or visit www.drexel.edu/psychology/clinic.
Members of the news media who are interested in learning more about the Psychological Services Center or speaking with Brian Daly should contact Alex McKechnie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215.895.2705.