Dr. Gary P. Monkarsh, Ph D
Accepting new clients: Yes
9 therapeutic factors in the treatment of ADHD
- Achieve healthy, daily, stable nutritious eating pattern; sleep schedule, and consistent aerobic exercise, in which one sleeps a minimum of 7-8 hours a night, eats protein breakfast and lunch meals, and exercises aerobically at least 20-30 minutes a day. For teens and adults, it is critical to be aware of tendencies to self-soothe with alcohol, drugs, or other distractors such as video gaming, social media, and excessive spending as a way to avoid facing one’s challenges in life. ...
- Increase level of structure completing basic activities of daily living at home, school, and work. Examples of increasing structure in one’s life include utilizing calendars, alarms, and check-lists to ensure that tasks are completed in a thorough and successful manner, as well as employing tutors, study buddies, spouses, siblings, or parents to provide needed structure. ...
Assessment and treatment of ADHD in kids, teens, and college students
I am passionate about my work with ADHD kids, teens, and adults because ADHD can have devastating effects on one's home life, academic performance, occupational functioning, and overall physical health. For example, individuals suffering from ADHD have significantly lower socioeconomic status, higher rates of unemployment, increased medical problems, substance abuse, motor vehicle accidents, and unplanned pregnancies than the non-ADHD population. ... (see full article linked below)Read more: Treatment of ADHD
My therapy philosophy
My therapy philosophy involves a holistic approach to treatment that takes into account a person's mental, physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs. I developed a strong interest in the mind-body health connection while studying for my Bachelor's degree in Psychobiology. I expanded my knowledge of the mind-body connection when I attended medical school for one year, prior to entering graduate training in clinical and counseling psychology. During my Master's degree program in Counseling Psychology, I developed extensive training in family systems therapy, and developed the skills to build strong therapeutic alliances while establishing trusting, empathic connections to all my clients, whether in the capacity of individual, family, group or couple's therapist. In my work with couples and families, my philosophy includes the belief that each member of the family is doing the best he or she can in any given moment in time, given all his or her past and present issues in their lives. Even in my evaluation of a Death Row inmate, or in my work with a racist individual, I found compassion for them both, in spite of their obvious weaknesses. This is the message I impart, especially in familiy and couple's therapy- the importance of having compassion for the individual you are having your greatest challenges with. From this place of compassion, true healing occurs.
During my doctoral training in Clinical Psychology, I developed extensive expertise utilizing cognitive-behavioral strategies to effectively treat a wide variety of anxiety and depressive disorders. In addition, I mastered a solution focused approach to treatment, that emphasizes providing tools and easy to use strategies for clients to practice between sessions to reduce their depression, anxiety, impulse control problems, communication challenges, or anger control difficulties. As a psychologist, I pride myself in my ability to remain neutral in my work with families and couples. I provide an equal level of empathy for all family members, regardless of the content of the sessions. My work with couples emphasizes creating ways to strengthen and heal relationships.
My focus in couple's treatment is to provide couples with the communication tools to heal their wounds, and develop the skills to create loving, meaningful, and healthy connections between partners and their children. If relationships cannot be healed, then I provide therapy to help families limit the damage to children and adults when their family must split up. My couple's treatment philosophy combines a cognitive-behavioral approach based on Dr. Gottman's seminal research that led to his book "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work" with an empathy based communication approach found in Dr. Daniel Wile's book "After the Honeymoon." My couple's therapy approach combines helping couples develop the cognitive and behavioral changes that can improve their relationships. In addition, my couple's therapy assists couples as they attempt to improve their ability to demonstrate compassion for each other. I also add a focus on acceptance work, and learning how to focus less on controlling one's environment or partner, and focusing more on learning how to be more accepting of one's circumstances in life, while at the same time being aware of where one has the ability to create positive changes in one's life.
Over the course of my 25 years as a Licensed Psychologist, I have developed a specialty in both the assessment and treatment of ADHD and learning difficulties in children and adults. I served as an expert witness in a successful wrongful termination case in Federal Court regarding a client suffering from ADHD.
I have also provided expert reports/testimony that led clients to successfully obtain long-term disability benefits as a result of their disabilities due to their mental disorder(s).
In addition, I have completed extensive training and coursework in Self-Hypnosis, Mindfulness Meditation, Progressive Relaxation, and Visualization strategies to treat severe ADHD, depression, and anxiety disorders. I have completed years of study in Theravada Mindfulness Psychology, that emphasizes learning how to eliminate suffering by letting go of our attachments. In particular, I teach individuals how to let go of the need to control others, their environment, or the need to be accepted by others in order to feel happy or content. My meditation instruction improves concentration, attention abilities, and reduces our reactivity to negative experiences. Substantial research out of Harvard University and other research institutions have proven the efficacy of meditation in the treatment of numerous psychological and physical disorders, and I am excited to teach clients how to benefit from adding meditation to their healthy lifestyle. In addition, I offer Theravada Mindfulness exercises to help individuals reduce their suffering by learning how to accept having things that we don't want, and by learning how to accept not having things that we do want.
Moreover, my Theravada Psychology approach helps individuals cope with the losses that come with the aging process. These losses include the loss of our physical abilities as we age, and the loss of our loved ones either when they move away or when they pass away. Further, I help individuals who have recently retired by helping them find meaning in their lives, in spite of the end of their professional careers. I have a strong focus on helping clients develop balance in their lives, whether it be their relationships with family and friends, career goals, level of exercise, dietary habits, sleep patterns, spiritual needs, development of hobbies, and volunteer activities that give individuals a sense of giving back to their communities.
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