What We Do
Comprehensive Assessment of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
The Bend Anxiety Clinic offers comprehensive assessment of neurodevelopmental disorders, including ADHD and learning disability evaluations for children, adolescents, and adults.
We offer comprehensive assessment for children and adults for learning disorders, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD), and diagnostic clarification. Assessment and testing is particularly helpful for children with academic struggles, college students having difficulties keeping up with multiple demands, adults who suspect underlying attentional deficits as they experience more problems coping as life becomes more demanding and complicated, as well as people dealing with a variety of emotional difficulties. Information regarding cognitive abilities (e.g. verbal, spatial, processing speed, and working memory), academic functioning (achievement testing), cognitive impairment (e.g. memory), and objective personality/emotion assessment is provided.
Diagnostic clarification can include assessment for bipolar disorder versus ADHD, anxiety versus depression versus ADHD, high functioning autism spectrum disorder (Asperger’s), factors related to substance use, and problematic personality/character traits.
Recommendations are individualized and inform treatment planning. Reports meet industry standards for test measures, diagnosis, and academic accommodations. Assessment involves a clinical interview and cognitive and personality/emotional testing and results in a comprehensive report.
We specialize in using evidence-based treatments for anxiety and depression. This means that the work we do is based on science and what has been shown to be most effective in current research.
Not all mental health treatments are equally effective. It is imperative that people looking for a treatment provider become informed as some therapy interventions may work better than others.
Evidence Based Practices (EBP) are treatment interventions that are based on scientific evidence and research. Many EBPs have been studied in numerous large-scale clinical trials comparing EBPs to other psychological interventions. Numerous studies suggest that EBPs can significantly reduce psychological symptoms for many years after psychological treatment ends while similar evidence for other types of therapy is not available.
EBP therapies are listed as the ‘preferred’ and ‘Best Practice’ interventions for psychological treatment by the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association. The most commonly used EBP approach for the treatment of anxiety and depression involves cognitive behavior therapy. CBT has been proven effective in treating symptoms in children, adolescents and adults.
Exposure and Response Prevention
The Portland & Bend Anxiety Clinics are one of few practices in the region who actively practice exposure therapy outside of the office to help individuals overcome specific fears. Exposure and Response Prevention (E/RP) is a behavioral method that is very effective for treating a number of Anxiety Spectrum Disorders including OCD, Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorders. E/RP involves exposure to both imagined or real feared stimuli and response prevention (i.e., stopping escape or avoidance behaviors).
The goal of E/RP is habituation to anxiety provoking stimuli and extinction of maladaptive responses. The responses may be cognitive, emotional and/or overt behavior. Habituation and extinction refer to the behavioral processes that allow people to become used to anxiety provoking thoughts or experiences without experiencing discomfort.
The providers at the Portland & Bend Anxiety Clinics have extensive specialty training on how to provide E/RP.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Many people have an inaccurate perception of what therapy is. To many people, psychotherapy may seem to involve dream interpretation, lying on a couch, or elaborate discussions of childhood experiences. In reality, very few mental health providers including psychologists, social workers, or psychiatrists, use this type of treatment because is it outdated and is not based on scientific evidence. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a group of psychological treatments that are based on scientific evidence.
- CBT therapies are usually short-term treatments (i.e., between 8-25 sessions). Focus is on the ways a person’s cognitions (i.e. thoughts), emotions and behaviors are connected and affect each other.
- Treatment is goal-oriented to resolve current, present-day symptoms. Patients actively participate in treatment both in and outside of sessions. Homework assignments are often included throughout the treatment process. The clinician and patient work collaboratively with the understanding that the patient is the expert on themself and the clinician has technical and theoretical expertise.
- The patient and clinician collaboratively develop treatment goals and track treatment progress.
By helping clients learn how their own thoughts, beliefs and behaviors can increase or decrease feelings of anxiety or depression, psychologists and other mental health providers can help clients begin to change their thought patterns and their behaviors in ways that can reduce or alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Providers at the Portland & Bend Anxiety Clinics have advanced training in CBT. If you would like to learn more about CBT or how one of our practitioners can help you, please call our office for more information.
Youth Social Anxiety Group
All children and teens experience social discomfort at some point in development; however, for many, social situations result in significant distress. Parents and teachers may identify youth with social anxiety by observing excessive fear of “evaluation” situations – public speaking, performing, and even meeting new people. Children may show physical signs of anxiety – such as blushing, trembling, a shaky or cracking voice, freezing, or stuttering. They may hold negative beliefs or predictions about others perception of them. These children often avoid situations where they risk being labelled as weird, boring, or inadequate that could result in social rejection.
Group therapy is a cost-effective way for youth to gain skills and experience effectively interacting with others. Group settings give individuals the opportunity to see how their peers approach social situations and allow each person to both observe and model successful social skills.
Groups are open to children ages 8-12 and 13-17. Weekly sessions are planned to begin in February of 2019 once minimum enrollment has been reached. Please contact Dr. Amber Valenkamph for more information or to reserve your spot.
Adult Cognitive Behavioral Skills Group
This group serves as an introduction to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Through rotating skills modules, participants will receive exposure to cognitive-behavioral therapy approaches aimed at recognizing stress, learning healthier thinking and relaxation skills, and improving problem-solving and communication.
This group is open to adults 18 years and older. Weekly sessions are planned to begin in February of 2019 once minimum enrollment has been reached. Please contact Dr. Amber Valenkamph for more information or to reserve your spot.