TREATMENT TECHNIQUES

The answer to this question is directly related to several factors: 1) age, 2) presenting problem, 3) current mental status and 4) degree of cooperation/effort. The most effective, evidence based, treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy. This is not always the best choice, however. Some kids are eager to engage in CBT (which almost always requires the child to do some self-reflective exercises in between sessions, to track their symptoms, read psychoeducational materials intended to highlight relevant facts or simply journal). The best treatment is often a mixture of several techniques and multiple interventions.

You can find a quick reference link to Unfold Psychology’s treatment profiles:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/profile/707121

If you have found or been referred to Unfold Psychology and/or Dr. Heafey, then the process is extremely simple. All you need to do is contact us, let us know a good time to call you back and then let us know a little bit about what you are looking for or how we can help you.

You can contact us by:
Phone: 650-993-9321
Email: austin@unfoldpsychology.com
Text: 650-993-9321

First thing to do is try to remain calm.

This topic is discussed in great detail, you can find it by clicking on this link learning disorders

As a self-pay practice, we do not accept insurance. Unfold Psychology is not an in-network provider with any insurance. If you are an individual with a PPO plan, our team can provide you (the client) with a superbill upon request. Clients can submit the superbill to their insurance company to request reimbursement. However, there is no guarantee that your insurance will reimburse you for your treatment. Full disclosure – Insurance companies require superbills to include a formal diagnosis. Insurance companies may ask for your therapy records. Our team will work with you to provide the information you request.

Yes, and much more! Not only do we help identify if your child has a learning disability, but we also provide you with techniques you can apply to work, school, even daily life, in order to improve cognitive function and, most notably, work and long-term memory.

After your clinician has conducted a thorough ‘intake;’ only after understanding the onset, duration, intensity and the degree to which it interferes with the person’s life, will a clinician make a decision about which treatment protocol to use. However, the great variable, and one we have some control over, but not as much as we would like, is the patient’s commitment. How much do they want to get better? For those who sincerely want to get rid of their anxiety, then the answer is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. We can design an 8-10 week treatment plan, provide handouts, homework, and ensure they understand what to do if symptoms return in order to avoid ‘relapse.’

If the patient is not as committed, or struggles with attention, consistently struggles with memory, and has poor executive functioning, then Cognitive Behavioral Therapy would not be appropriate. There are many other options, but all of them lack the efficient time-mediate approach that makes CBT such a great option. However, even if CBT is not indicated, it will inevitably be used, just in a less ‘intense’ way.

See answer provided for “How do you treat anxiety?”

Identifying if your child has ADHD requires both clinical skills and cognitive assessments. While it would be nice if “distractibility” or “cannot sit still” were the only criteria to consider, the reality is it’s a complex diagnosis only a physician, neuropsychologist, or a doctoral level mental health provider can diagnose.

If I do not want to use medications to treat my child’s ADHD, what other options are there?
Tons! To begin with, Unfold Psychology is the only practice in the Bay Area licensed to administer COGMED. COGMED is a computer program that helps improve, enhance and extend an individual’s working memory. Working memory is probably the most crucial “piece” of the “cognition” puzzle. Essentially, it’s the amount of information you can hold in your head for 30 seconds. The average person’s working memory potential is 7, plus or minus 2 (7 items, 7 numbers etc.) People with ADHD have poor working memory, which is why they are often characterized as ‘forgetful’ or ‘spacey.’ Imagine if your working memory was not 7 +/- 2, but 3 or 4 +/- 3? It would be difficult to recall things long enough to write them down, let alone recall things in general.

Many youths with ADHD will appear to be either hyperactive or a bit ‘spacey.’ We do not know if the hyperactivity (the most common presentation of ADHD) is a response (similar to a coping behavior) to not having a very strong working memory, or if it’s just a part of the disorder. If you think about it, it makes sense why a kid would not want to sit down if they were unable to keep up with the instructions coming from the teacher (for example). Conversely, another way to manage this inability to focus is to look inward vs. outward (expressing oneself ‘outward’ being associated with Hyperactive ADHD). Children rarely have the ability to simply ‘manage’ boredom. When a kid is forced to sit in a chair, in a classroom, they don’t have many options if, despite how much they try, they simply can’t keep up with what the teacher is saying. This is why we think kids tend to become overly focused on the external world (hyperactive) or they become overly focused on their internal world (daydreaming, losing themselves in their imagination).

The great news is there are many options to treat ADHD. Just like depression and anxiety, CBT offers the highest treatment success. There are other techniques, such as instituting a schedule, learning how to self-initiate incentive programs, and even interventions as simple as asking the child to dictate, outloud, what it is they want to remember, until they are able to write it down. When there is a process requiring a stepwise process (step 1, step 2, step 3….), we have discovered how much kids love to create clever raps or rhymes to help them recall what to do first, second, etc.

Put simply, no single answer is ever the only solution for a complex, multisensory diagnosis of ADHD. If you would like to ask more questions about these non-pharmacological options, or learn about what psychopharmacological options are available, give us a call!

First, do not panic. Children are highly sensitive to their parent’s mood and behavior. Subtle changes are often noticed and responded to, which can then make it difficult to ascertain if your children are telling you the truth or if they are simply trying to put your mind at ease. That said, we suggest parents consider doing the following:

1. Speak with a licensed mental health provider about your concern and ask if they think you should make an appointment.

2. Proactively get the info any provider will inevitably ask: ‘why do you think your child has a decreased or excessively heightened mood?’ In a safe place (the margins of your calendar, a discrete notepad, etc) write down as many simple notes about the traits which lead you to worry your child may be depressed. If you are not sure which behaviors to focus on, then simply keep track of how many times your child is happy throughout the day or write down the behaviors you do not consider to be consistent with your child’s baseline mood (when they did not appear to change). For further help, you are welcome to give Unfold Psychology a call and ask which behaviors you should focus on.

3. Ask yourself if your child is the same one you knew 1, 3, 6, 12 months ago. It’s difficult to determine subtle changes when the time frame is brief, which is why it’s always useful to consider what things were like a couple months or a year ago – this will give you a much better idea of whether your concerns have merit.

4. Make an appointment with your child’s primary care provider and ask for them to run a full blood panel (draw blood and have it sent to a lab for testing). Specially, you should request a “CBC,” or complete blood count, with an emphasis on thyroid functioning. Depending on your child’s age, you might also consider asking your doctor to have the lab check for 1) the presence of illicit drugs and 2) the COVID antibodies. No harm comes from checking.

*You can apply the answer to this question to almost any behavioral or psychological problem you are unsure about.

As a general rule of thumb: Children under 2 years old – NO SCREEN TIME

   Age     Non-Educationally Based Screen Time Recommendations (# of hours / day) Unfold Psychology’s Recommendation (# of hours / day)
0-2 0 0
2-7 <1 1 hour, 1 movie, 1 show etc.
7-12 1 1-1.5 hours school night, 1-2 non-school nights
12-18 1-2 1-2 school nights, 1-3 on weekends (avoid consecutive 3 hour nights)

No. Some studies indicate they lower a child empathy, but these studies are mixed. Many games do include highly graphic and disturbing images, and are not appropriate for children at certain ages.

Nonviolent video games, and ones deemed age appropriate are preferable. You can find which age is appropriate using the ratings system clearly identified on all new video games.

College and University e-sport teams are most commonly associated with the following titles: League of Legends, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Hearthstone, and Overwatch. Many of these video games are not appropriate for a younger age range. These games are emphasized above others because they foster teamwork, coordinated actions and intricate strategy. There are additional titles, but they are not as commonly used in “intercollegiate competitions.” They include: Fortnite, Dota2, Call of Duty, and Rocket League. Some schools also integrate Minecraft.

Yes! If you give Unfold Psychology a call, we can help you find new motivation techniques, organizational strategies and cognitive supports to ensure you child does not lose greater interest in their learning. Education half online and half at school is tough, but it is not impossible!

Unfold Psychology offers Concierge Therapy and Executive Functioning services. Concierge services are ideal for adults, children, and families who are seeking an exclusive, responsive, and personalized approach to psychotherapy.

The doctor is available to see clients 7 days a week between 7am-10pm PST. The Unfold Psychology Care Team is available 24/7. We typically respond to text messages and calls within 3 hours and emails within 24 hours.

The process is rather simple. We are available 24/7 to respond to your request. The best way to begin is by reaching out to us at careteam@unfoldpsychology.com or by calling or texting . We look forward to meeting you!

Unfold Psychology provides individualized services based on the needs of clients and their families, serving adults, families, and children. Our concierge model builds a treatment plan that includes a variety of modalities and services, including but not limited to individual therapy, couples therapy, and family therapy, as well as performance coaching for executives and athletes and executive functioning support for adults and children with ADHD, learning disabilities, low motivation, and poor time management. Whether you’re a busy mother, entrepreneur, college student, or teen, our care model will put your needs first, ensuring you are supported every step of the way.

Unfold Psychology is a concierge practice that tailors services to meet the needs of your family and child(ren). If your child is nervous or scared about meeting a new doctor, we would happily meet your child at your home. Yes, we make HOUSE CALLS. If your child is reluctant to be seen at one of our offices, we provide in-home behavioral support services.

*Travel fees apply.

Unfold Psychology provides educational advocacy services for children and their families. Throughout the challenging process of obtaining services for your child, Dr. Heafey remains committed to fighting for the services your child needs. Dr. Heafey administers psychoeducational assessments, provides comprehensive and detailed reports, and attends school meetings to advocate on behalf of you and your child.

The UP Kids division of Unfold Psychology offers complete wrap-around services in conjunction with therapeutic services. Our educational services team provides engaging and motivating support for all ages. We specialize in helping students with low motivation, poor time management, testing anxiety, and disorganization to develop productive habits and skills. Even the most reluctant students have experienced positive growth and made long-lasting changes through their participation in the UP Kids program.

We are empathetic to the reality that life changes rather rapidly. Kids forget. They get sick. And, sometimes they just don’t feel like it. At Unfold Psychology, we do not think it is appropriate to penalize your family. Clients are allowed two missed appointments (with no notice or less than 24-hour notice) per 90-day period WITHOUT cancellation fees and penalties. We do recommend you try to make the session up within the week, so the tempo of the therapeutic treatment remains intact. If you are unable to keep an appointment, please let us know with as much advance notice as possible by calling or texting .