As a psychologist I appreciate the opportunity to work with families and individuals to help them reduce feelings of fear and learn coping skills to help them in their daily life. I spend time asking about thoughts, feelings as well as behaviors, as I believe those three areas are critical in causing people to respond the way they do. I spend time providing psychoeducation to clients about the nature of anxiety regarding sources of their worries, triggers to fear based responses, identify what the maintaining factors are, and steps to reduce symptoms using a cognitive-behavioral framework.
One key method to help individuals face their fears is through exposure therapy. I help embolden my patients to make their own choices about facing their fears in a methodological and stepwise fashion and by doing things that are “challenging but doable.” My role as a clinician is to help clients navigate the balance between challenging themselves with specific therapeutic goals but not becoming too ambitious that such goals are unrealistic and unobtainable, resulting in frustration.
In addition to exposure based treatment, I also utilize and provide psychoeducation about various relaxation strategies, mindfulness as a calming or refocusing technique, cognitive restructuring, and strength-based or solution-focused strategies. My goal is to provide individuals the knowledge, skills and support to feel empowered and improve the quality of their lives.
In my work with children, I frequently involve caregivers in the psychoeducation component of sessions. While maintaining confidentiality with minors, I feel it is important for caregivers to know broadly about treatment goals and provide practical strategies to help their children. With parent release I also may be in touch with teachers or other providers to better understand the child and help with generalization of skills across multiple settings.
I look forward to working with you and your families as I join the team at Portsmouth Neuropsychology Center. If you are interested in scheduling a consult appointment with me please call (603) 433-0800.
Carrie Chiasson, Psy.D.