Common Questions

What is a psychologist?

Psychologists are social scientists and professional health care providers with training and expertise in the areas of human behavior and psychological health. They are trained to provide assessment, therapy, consultation, and other supportive services.

What causes mental health problems?

We know a lot more about the brain than we used to and are learning more all the time. What scientists have found out is that most people with mental health issues have a predisposition to those problems, just as many people have a predisposition to diabetes or asthma. These predispositions are not a personal weakness. They may be a random difference in how your brain developed, or it may be genetic. We know that many people with depression, thought disorders, anxiety, and learning difficulties (among others) have other family members with the same problems. So we don't know what triggers this predisposition in most people but we do know that most mental illnesses are rooted in how the brain works and not in whether you are a good person.

What is Neuropsychological and Psychological Testing?
Also called a neuropsychological or psychological evaluation, it is a processes that uses interviews, behavioral observations, medical history, and a series of neurocognitive an personality tests to assess a client’s abilities and overall functioning, including areas that need special attention and areas of great potential. At the Center for Personal Growth, each evaluation is a collaborative process between the client and the examiner designed to gather information to plan for developmental, educational, vocational, social or emotional needs, and to assess a client’s overall functioning and make recommendations.

Why should someone be tested?
An evaluation can:

· Provide a measure of intellectual functioning and potential

· Assess for areas of brain damage due to multiple causes, such as traumatic brain injury and dementia;

· Identify learning styles and/or learning disorders

· Clarify diagnosis when complex symptoms and behaviors are present

· Assess for giftedness, developmental delays or Autism Spectrum Disorder

· Identify underlying factors that may be impacting one’s interpersonal relationships, motivation, functioning at school or work, social-emotional functioning or challenges managing impulses and behavior

· Provide evidence to support disability requests and school or work accommodations

Who benefits from therapy?

Anyone, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, or reason for seeking treatment can benefit from therapy. Therapy can provide a safe space for someone to process his/her thoughts and emotions, seek understanding, increase self-esteem, and develop coping strategies to reduce psychological symptoms or manage life and relationship challenges more effectively. At the Center for Personal Growth, progress is defined by the individual, not the provider, and thus treatment is approached in a person-centered, collaborative manner.

Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) doesn’t seem much different than playing. How will CCPT help my child?

Children do not always express their thoughts and feelings in the same manner as adults. Play is one of the primary ways that children express themselves. Child Centered Play Therapy provides a safe and accepting environment in which children can express themselves freely. Play therapy has been shown to improve social functioning, promote greater self-worth, and aid in emotional regulation. An added benefit is that children enjoy it, making them more engaged than in traditional talk therapy.

How is life coaching different from traditional therapy?

Life coaching and therapy can often be similar because both services promote growth or the self-actualization process. However, while therapy can focus on the past, present and future, life coaching typically has a greater focus on current and future goals. Also, the range of individuals who seek life coaching tends to vary more widely. Life coaching can be those who want to make major life changes, but it can also help those who are highly satisfied with life, but perhaps want some support in managing daily tasks more efficiently.

What is the benefit of divorce mediation vs. going to court?

There numerous advantages to divorce mediation. Foremost, mediation allows you and your spouse to control the outcome of the divorce. The mediator is present to aid in communication, but she will not exert any influence over the outcome and is a completely objective and neutral party. Also, mediation often costs less and is faster because you’re not paying for lengthy court battles, motion papers, and constant attorney fees to communicate. A final advantage is that mediation results in less contentious relationships in the future, which benefits both spouses, their children, and even future partners. For more info, visit

What is a career counselor?

Career counselors serve as teachers, confidants, and advisors to their clients. They help people examine their interests, styles, and their abilities to find and enter the profession that best suits them. They can be helpful to people who have yet to choose a career and people who are unhappy with their choice.