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Resources

Contact

Psychology Department
376 Sierra Hall
CSU Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8255

Hours: M-F (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Phone: (818) 677-2827
Fax: (818) 677-2829

psychology@csun.edu

Clinics

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Monterey Hall Community Services Facility

Program Overview

With the designation of Monterey Hall as a center for the CSUN Community Services Center, faculty in the Psychology Department initiated the development of several on-campus direct service programs. The purpose of these programs was twofold:

1) To contribute to the development of the CSUN Community Services Center by providing direct professional services to individuals in the community.

2) To provide on-campus training of selected undergraduate students and graduate students enrolled in programs involving service delivery.

Currently the Psychology Department sponsors four programs which provide service delivery and training of students enrolled in the Clinical Psychology Graduate Program. The current programs include both diagnostic/evaluation and intervention programs, two of which are specialized for children or adolescents, and two of which are designed for adults. Descriptions of the current programs, together with contact information are listed below.

Child and Adolescent Diagnostic Assessment Program

The Child and Adolescent Assessment Clinic provides diagnostic psychometric assessment and evaluation of children referred for suspected Learning Disability/Dyslexia, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and their associated learning and behavioral issues. Referrals are received from parents and professionals, and include comprehensive psycho-educational evaluations of such areas as attention, cognition, information processing, language, academic achievement, and social-emotional adjustment. Although referrals for preschool and high school age students are considered, children of elementary and middle school age are preferred.

Two general types of assessments are available. Comprehensive psycho-educational assessment of children who have not previously been evaluated is typically required, and involves an interview with parent(s) and child, a full day of assessment, and a return visit for feedback conference, written report, and recommendations. For children who have previously been evaluated and are being seen for follow-up, and/or for a second opinion, specialized assessments are targeted at specific referral questions.

A second, specialized clinic is available for children ages 5-12 with suspected Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) and/or Attention/Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD). Such children often present difficulty with listening comprehension, following verbal directions, and verbal organization. Because of the frequent overlap or co-occurrence of auditory processing and attentional disorders, this specialty clinic was developed to consolidate these specialized assessments. Referred children are initially evaluated under the direction of Ms. Roz Firemark, Audiologist in the Language, Speech, and Hearing Clinics, CSUN Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences.

Children are seen for a ½ day audiometric screening and specialized assessment of auditory processing. Subsequently, the children are scheduled an additional ½ day for a specialized assessment of vigilance, visual and auditory attention span, and impulsivity, and standardized parent and teacher ratings of attention. Children evaluated through the Psychology Department clinics are also typically involved in ongoing studies including: the relationship of phonological and other auditory-language abilities to reading achievement; the co-morbidity of APD and AD/HD.

Additional information about the appropriateness of referrals and/or request for an evaluation should be addressed to:

Professor Gary Katz, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
18111 Nordhoff St.
Northridge, CA  91330-8255
Office (818) 677-2964  Fax (818) 677-2829

 

 

Parent-Child Interaction Program

The parent child interaction clinic offers two programs to the community: Foster Parent Education and PEERS (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills)

PCIP, in conjunction with Mission College, offers continuing education units to both non biological parents and biological relatives who provide foster care for children/adolescents in Los Angeles County. The parent child interaction program promotes an understanding of children who have been separated not only from their parents, but also from their home base: friends, the familiarity of routine, home, school, neighborhood and sometimes from their cultural connectedness. Our program is designed to educate and support foster parents in positive and effective parenting skills in order to minimize the psychological consequences of loss and to assist children in their care in developing positive coping skills and effective behavior for life long success. The PCIP clinic is staffed by graduate students in the clinical MA program at CSUN and are supervised by a licensed clinical psychologist. Parents participate in an eight week, twenty-four hour psycho educational group in which principles of attachment, creating a positive emotional environment in the home and behavior change are presented to parents in modules. Parents are strongly urged to practice these principles at home through the completion of homework assignments. PCIP staff who are trained to become family intervention specialists may also work with families in their homes during this time. Family meetings are to assist parents in understanding the material presented in the modules, to foster homework completion and to provide feedback in implementing various parenting practices in their home. The goals of the PCIP program are:

  • To help parents understand the biological and psychological principles of attachment theory and and the psychological consequences of separation and loss.
  • To present strategies which will create a positive emotional environment in the family.
  • To perform a functional assessment of the problematic behaviors of the child and, based on that data, to design an intervention program using the principles of applied behavior analysis.
  • To offer parents in PCIP groups a safe place to support one another and exchange resources.
  • To train MA clinical students in family dynamics, effective parenting skills and applied behavior analysis techniques. Students will also learn teaching skills and group leadership techniques.

PEERS (Program for the education and enrichment of relational skills) is for teens interested in learning ways to make and keep friends and for parents who want to assist their teens in this goal. It is a comprehensive evidence based social skills intervention program which meets once a week for 12 weeks and is focused on helping teenagers develop an active and fulfilling social life. The program consists of structured activities, homework assignments and a simultaneous parent-education program to assist teens in putting newly learned skills into practice. Parents and teens meet separately, but simultaneously for 90 minutes each week. During each session, teens are taught very specific social skills and are given the opportunity to practice and apply those skills. Coaches (graduate students) give constructive feedback to the teens to improve social skill levels. Parents discuss how these skills can be implemented in their teen’s social situation. Parents are taught how to take on the role of supportive coach for their teen by learning how to give feedback. Parents assist their teen in successfully completing the homework assignments and support them in implementing their skills in a variety of new social settings.

Teens will learn how to handle issues such as:

  • Choosing and keeping appropriate friends
  • Trading information and finding common interests
  • Slipping in and out of conversations
  • Using humor appropriately
  • Planning get-togethers and being a good host
  • Being a good sport
  • Coping with teasing, bullying, gossip and rejection
  • Handling arguments and disagreements
  • Changing a bad reputation

 

Professor Dee Shepherd-Look, Ph.D.

Department of Psychology

18111 Nordhoff Street Northridge, CA 91330

Office: (818) 677-3429 Fax: (818) 677-2829 Top

 

Anxiety and Mood Disorders Clinic

The Anxiety and Mood Disorders Clinic at Monterey Hall is designed to provide psychotherapeutic treatment to adults in the community who suffer from specific forms of anxiety and depression. We do not presume to treat all anxiety or mood disorders, but focus specifically on the following disorders:

  • Specific phobias
  • Panic Disorder
  • Agoraphobia
  • Generalized Anxiety
  • Major Depression
  • Dysthymia

Prospective clients first complete a two-hour screening interview in order to determine the nature of their psychological problems, appropriateness of treatment at this particular clinic, any co morbid conditions, motivation for treatment, and complicating or positive factors for treatment success. If appropriate for treatment at this clinic, a treatment plan is developed for the client and weekly, one-hour individual psychotherapy sessions are scheduled. Graduate interns, who are earning their Master's Degrees in Clinical Psychology at California State University, Northridge, provide the therapeutic services. A California licensed clinical psychologist supervises all of the interns.

The specific types of treatment and therapeutic techniques that are employed vary depending on the client's disorder and his/her individual needs. In general, the Cognitive-Behavioral model of treatment is implemented, in which the client is provided with psycho-educational information and the focus of treatment is on changing maladaptive cognitions and behaviors.

Fees are about a third of those charged in private practice and are affordable for most clients. In certain circumstances, a sliding-scale fee schedule may be used. While we strive to make this clinic as affordable as possible, we believe that paying is an important part of motivation for improvement and participation in treatment.

Additional information about the appropriateness of referrals and/or request for an evaluation should be addressed to:

Assistant Professor Jill Razani, Ph.D.

Department of Psychology

18111 Nordhoff Street Northridge, CA 91330

Office: (818) 677-4623 Fax: (818) 677-2829

 

 

Neuropsychology Diagnostic Lab

The problem of differential diagnosis of cognitive decline associated with normal aging, reversible dementias and Dementia of Alzheimer's Type (DAT) becomes a burgeoning issue for neuroscientists and clinicians due to a considerable increase in the proportion of the elderly population. Behavioral data alone do not provide sufficient information for early diagnosis of cognitive decline in the elderly. Evoked potentials, as physiological markers of neural processes, promise to be sensitive tools in differential diagnosis of DAT. However, they are not yet fully understood. The study conducted in Monterey Hall Neuropsychology Diagnostic Laboratory addresses age-related and disease-related changes in amplitude, latency, and topographical specificity of N200 and P300 evoked potentials and their relationship to cognitive, sensory, and social competence.

Psychology faculty and students in collaboration with UCLA researchers are working with patients who have memory and cognitive deficits suggestive of early stages of dementia. The patients as well as intact elderly (to provide for a comparison group) are subjected to a 5-component diagnostic workup, which includes recording of visual event-related brain potentials, a battery of neuropsychological tests, a test of olfaction, a measure of social cognition, and tests of actual ability to carry out their daily activities. The entire workup takes about seven hours and is spread over several days for each participant. The scheduling of testing sessions is flexible, considering the fragile condition of the participants. The EEG component of the diagnostic workup is equipment-intensive and involves use of the Neuroscan, a stimulus delivery and data acquisition system. Analysis of the data obtained to date provided some meaningful insights into the physiological markers of DAT and their relation to behavioral changes, which were presented at professional forums.

The goal of this project is to contribute to better understanding of neurocognitive mechanisms of DAT and other dementias, and to improve differential diagnosis of dementia. Early differentiation of DAT vs. normal aging and other conditions could provide a timely opportunity for therapeutic intervention in case of the treatable dementias (i.e. affective, metabolic, toxic, etc.). In addition, early identification of DAT will result in more effective behavioral and pharmacological intervention at a time when the patient is less functionally impaired, and will promote realistic appraisal of patient's behavior by significant others, which will have positive effect on the quality of life of patients and reduce caregiver burden.

This work is done in collaboration with the local chapter of Alzheimer's Association and with the CARE program of the Granada Hills Hospital. Clinical participants and their caregivers are provided with written feedback regarding their neuropsychological functioning, which they can keep for their medical records and/or share with their healthcare professionals. Information on participant's cognitive competence might be helpful in refining his/her diagnosis, in understanding the nature of his/her behavioral problems and in treatment planning.

Professor Maura Mitrushina, Ph.D.

Department of Psychology

18111 Nordhoff Street Northridge, CA 91330

Office: (818) 677-4736 Fax: (818) 677-2829

 

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