Q: How do I make an appointment?
A: Call my office and leave a detailed message. My assistant Rhonda checks messages hourly and can answer most new patient caller questions.
Click Patient Forms for the New Family Paperwork Packet. Please print out and complete those forms. Bring them with you to the first appointment.
Q: How do I know when it's time to bring my child for help?
A: It may be a good time if:
• caregivers have tried many things but the problem keeps getting worse;
• caregivers are starting to worry about safety of the child as well as others;
• the child does not seem to be enjoying “being a child”
• the problem is hampering school, friendships, and family life
• the child is having far more “bad” days than good and self-esteem is starting to suffer.
Q: May I contact you via email?
A: Yes, at DrBethKids@gmail.com. However, please remember -- like all Internet transmissions, privacy of email content cannot be guaranteed. Please omit names (or use your child's initials) or provide only general information to protect your family's private information. Do not email any information you deem confidential.
Q: Do you go to schools/day care?
A. Yes. Upon request and with permission, I visit classrooms, observe children and interact with teachers. I suggest ideas for parents and staff. When invited, I attend parent-staff or IEP meetings in a spirit of collaboration. I help parents navigate the IEP process and understand reports and results of testing. (School visits & meetings
typically are not covered by insurance benefits.)
Q: Do you give diagnoses? I don't want my child labeled.
A: When families pay for care privately, diagnoses are completely confidential and are not reported anywhere. But for insurance billing (or superbill), diagnoses & dates of service must be reported to insurance companies to pay for or reimburse care.
A diagnosis may be considered as a "label" or a gateway to services, such as special education or state benefits. The real function of a diagnosis is to point the provider & family in a helpful treatment direction. I choose the mildest diagnosis that describes the problem, rather than place "big terms" on "little people."
Q: Do you prescribe medication?
A: No. A psychologist (Ph.D., Psy.D.) provides psychotherapy services. Medicine is prescribed by a psychiatrist (M.D or D.O.), psychiatric nurse practitioner (PsyNP), or a physician's assistant (PA-C). Some pediatricians prescribe mental health medications. Each pediatrician or practice follows their own policies about this.
Many children who enter into my care already take medication. For others, adding medication to therapy plus may produce the most improvement. I provide parents my best clinical opinion and support each family's choice. As a rule, if medication is prescribed, I closely coordinate care with medical providers so we are all on the "same page.
Q: So, what do you do when you're not in the office?
A: I love taking out my camera for a photography shoot and editing pics, playing piano (Chopin to ragtime), doing yoga to unwind, making soup, listening to music, reading, and taking good walks. I enjoy traveling all around this world. And I am crazy about cats.
Q: Do you treat sexual abuse issues?
A: I do not conduct sexual abuse/ maltreatment evaluation or treatment.
For these concerns, I refer to ChildHelp.
Q: Do you see children in difficult divorce/custody conflict situations?
I am not a custody evaluator. I do not provide child services when parents are
(a) in the process or aftermath of high-conflict divorce or (b) in custody conflict with court involvement. These cases require a specialty in Forensic Psychology. I refer parents in such circumstances to Parenting Coordinators and providers listed with the AzAFCC (AZ Chapter of the Assoc. for Family & Conciliation Courts, AzAFCC.org).
Q. What happens on the 1st session?
A. Parents meet with me alone to discuss their concerns, experience my style and setting, and decide if this will be a "good fit."
On a second session, I greet a child and parent in my private waiting room where we "hang out" together until the child relaxes into being here. When the child is ready, I invite him or her to my play room for some 1:1 time. Parents join us again to wrap up before saying goodbye.
After a few sessions of observation and assessment, parents and I meet alone again to review standardized diagnostic inventories and create a treatment plan.
Q. Will sessions be held with my child alone? Will I be involved?
A: Close parent involvement is a hallmark of my work. I often help young ones by giving their caregivers new ideas. Typically, I alternate between sessions with the child alone, child & parents together, and parents alone. At times siblings accompany us. Some visits are "half and half." Visits are flexibly adapted for the needs of the family and the specifics of the day.