The Psychology Clinic is a Tricare Insurance friendly practice serving the needs of our military, civilians, and their families. Our mission is to provide results-driven psychological services that will create better students, more behaved children, and a brighter future for them all. Child therapy varies dependent upon the age of the child. Psychological testing/evaluations address issues such as ADHD, adjustment disorder, anxiety, autism, depression, learning disabilities, and oppositional defiant disorder. If you entrust your child’s treatment to The Psychology Clinic, we will strive to help them be the best that they can possibly be.
Psychological Testing/Evaluations (children/teens)
Understanding Psychological Testing
Psychological testing or psychological evaluation of children/adolescents refers to administering various tests to evaluate academic, adaptive, behavioral, emotional, and/or intellectual functioning. Children are commonly referred for an assessment by physicians, family members, or schools to assess a wide array of areas ranging from autism to various emotional or behavioral disorders.
Evaluation components can vary dependent upon the specific referral question. Evaluation tools may include instruments such as intellectual and achievement assessments, self-/parent/teacher surveys, and interviews/observations. Testing sessions can be scheduled either during or after the school day dependent upon availability. Dr. Vining can address questions regarding tests selection and their respective functions.
What to tell your child about the session
Children can sometimes become anxious when told they are scheduled for testing. Dr. Vining meets with parents and children during the initial intake session, builds rapport, and discusses parent concerns, if any. Dr. Vining thoroughly explains the testing process in an easy-to-understand manner and resolves any discomfort or anxiety that the child may have about their evaluation. Once inside The Psychology Clinic, most children consider it a pleasant experience. They are treated with the same level of respect as adults: their opinions matter and they are encouraged to voice their thoughts. Expectations are clearly explained any even children with behavioral challenges tend to be successful inside the clinic.
After an initial visit, the evaluation date is scheduled. On the day preceding their child’s evaluation, parents are encouraged to ensure that their child gets a good night of sleep, eats a hearty meal, and dresses comfortably for testing. Brining snacks in not only allowed but encouraged. Breaks are offered as needed as the child will spend much of their time answering questions, working on puzzles, reading, performing math, and discussing both their and/or parents’/teachers’ concerns. We have come to learn that sometimes a child worries over issues that adults may minimize. Assure your child that testing at the clinic does not result in a pass or fail grade and never reflects the quality of their character — these tests do not count towards their grades at school. Instead, it allows adults insight into how we can better help the child succeed.
Testing can take several hours and parents are afforded the option of remaining in The Psychology Clinic lobby or tending to personal matters outside the clinic while their child completes their assessment(s). When parents choose to leave the clinic it is highly recommended that they confirm their contact information to allow the evaluator to contact them as testing begins to conclude. After testing, a follow-up appointment is scheduled in which initial findings are discussed with the parents and the child and any additional concerns or information can be conveyed before a report is written.
The evaluation process can take as little as two weeks from the initial intake to the time Dr. Vining discusses findings with parents and they leave The Psychology Clinic with copies of their child’s psychological evaluation.
Child & Adolescent Therapy
Sometimes children, like adults, can benefit from therapy. Therapy can help children develop problem-solving skills and also teach them the value of seeking help. Therapists can help children and families cope with stress and a variety of emotional and behavioral issues.
Many children need help dealing with school stress, such as homework, test anxiety, bullying, or peer pressure. Others need help to discuss their feelings about family issues, particularly if there’s a major transition, such as a divorce, move, or serious illness.
Significant life events — such as the death of a family member, divorce, a geographical move, 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, stressed, sulky, or tearful. 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 a child may benefit from seeing a psychologist or licensed therapist include:
- learning or attention problems (such as ADHD)
- behavioral problems (such as excessive anger or acting out)
- 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
- insomnia or increased sleepiness
- 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
- problems in transitions (following separation, divorce, or relocation)
Child psychologists refer to noncompliance as a child’s refusal to comply with an adult’s command. Noncompliance is a common concern in the home and school settings. While both parents and educators expect compliance, sometimes children simply choose not to obey instructions. This is believed to stem from the interaction of genetics, learning history, and environmental factors.
Parents often say they have tried every technique imaginable to get their child to listen, but it has been to no avail. Their strategies range from time-outs, groundings, to loss of toys and reduction of playtime. Some have even experimented with spanking as a last resort. As a responsible parent, what are you supposed to do at this point? Continue reading and in the next few minutes we will introduce you to an alternative technique that you may not have heard about until today.
You may know of parents who medicate their child in hopes of solving their behavioral problems, or to get the child to simply calm down or listen. While there is little doubt that chemical compliance is possible many parents are uncomfortable with the unknown long-term impact of medication on their child’s health. Television is riddled with commercials offering class action law suits again pharmaceutical companies for unintended side effects of these drugs. If you are looking for a more behavioral approach to shaping your child’s behavior, consider the compliance training program offered at The Psychology Clinic in Columbus, Ga. In compliance training our child psychologist works laterally with children/families to ensure behavioral and compliance issues are resolved. The program is led by child & adolescent psychologist Dr. Odell Vining, who was trained under the mentorship of note behavioral psychologists Dan Tingstrom, Joe Olmi, and Ron Edwards. While being indoctrinated into behavioral psychology, Dr. Vining’s personal mentor, Dr. Olmi introduced him to a compliance training model that has changed the lives of hundreds to thousands of children. Specializing in child behavior, Dr. Vining has invested several years building upon his predecessor’s model. Children visiting The Psychology Clinic for compliance training have thus far, when seeing the program through its completion, graduated with 80%+ compliance.
This compliance training model, Creating Compliant Children, is available to families with children ages 3-6 years old. If you are interesting in learning more about this evidenced based approach that has helped many parents elicit increased child compliance without the use of medication, raising their voice, or physically striking their child, then we encourage you to contact The Psychology Clinic at (706) 225-0322.
Couples & Family Therapy
Family therapy is designed to help family members improve communication and resolve conflicts. It may include all family members, or just those able or willing to participate. Frequently, Dr. Turco will work with just you and your spouse to better focus on your family’s concerns. Dr. Turco’s believes that improving the relationship between you and your spouse, the quality of your family’s functioning will be improved and many of your family’s problems will be resolved.
Family therapy and its emphasis on the marital relationship is not easily described in general statements. It varies with the particular problem brought forward and the personalities of the psychologist, you and your spouse. There are many different methods Dr. Turco may use to deal with the problems that you hope to address. However, Dr. Turco, primarily, uses techniques developed by Dr. Susan Johnson, Dr. John Gottman, Gary Chapman, and Dave Carder.
Therapy often leads to better relationships, solutions to specific problems, and significant reductions in feelings of distress. However, there are no guarantees of what you will experience.
During your first few sessions, Dr. Turco will conduct an evaluation of your needs. At the end of the evaluation, he will provide you will a written report and review the results of the assessment. At that time, Dr. Turco will be able to offer you some first impressions of what therapeutic work will include and a treatment plan to follow.
If you decide to continue with therapy, you will meet with Dr. Turco once or twice a week, for approximately 40-60 minutes each session.
Your sessions with Dr. Turco will require a very active effort on your part. In order for the therapy to be most successful, you will have to work on things that were talked about, both, during therapy sessions and at home. Dr. Turco will be facilitating discussions between you and your spouse on important topics and will probably give you activities to practice at home.
Adult Psychological Assessment
Dr. Timothy Turco offers adult psychological assessments/testing for those age 18 years and older. If you are concerned or have questions about behavioral, emotional, or intellectual issues testing may assist in finding the answer. However, knowing that a problem exists is not enough and a clearly defined plan or course of action helps us move from where we are to where we want to be in the future. Dr. Turco provides testing, a written report explaining the findings, and he personally meets with you to explain the results while offering professional recommendations for improving your condition or moving toward your goals.
Adult Therapy and Treatment
In adult therapy, The Psychology Clinic employs a variety of strategies though its principal adult therapists: Hillary Parramore, Crystal Passmore, and Kelly Swinyard. Therapy can either be short- or long-term depending on your treatment needs. Under their care, you will collaborate your therapist on your plan of care. Our therapists have a vast pool of experiences, from working in other private clinics to working in government offices, but they also understand that at times, one’s distress is simply not relieved by familiar coping resources. Our clinicians will work with you to restore the equilibrium of life, while also focusing on how the outcome of the therapeutic interaction can provide lasting functional changes to meet the demands of future stressful events. It is important to consider recovery and growth in this temporary state of upset and disorganization, and our therapists will employ a variety of approaches in the process to facilitate more positive thoughts and adaptive behaviors.