Delaware Psychological Services opened on Oak Orchard Road this summer, responding, owners Jim and Dr. Katherine Elder say, to the need for family mental health services in the Cape Region.
The Elders, who are themselves licensed mental health professionals – Jim specializes in addiction counseling and Katherine is a licensed therapist for co-occurring disorders – put together a team of counselors, therapists and collaborating psychiatric professionals to treat the family unit.
"Whether you are an adolescent with a substance abuse problem or an adult with mental illness, the idea is that each of these people challenged with these issues is part of a family," Jim said. "So our focus, while obviously on the patient, is in recognition that there is an impact on the family and the whole community."
Delaware Psychological Services operates with a team of counselors whose specialties range from school psychology and early childhood interventions to adult mental health. They also work with a collaborating psychiatrist and psychiatric nurse practitioners for medications.
By July, the team at Delaware Psychological Services included Stephan Kastner, a licensed professional counselor of mental health; family counselor and school psychologist Dr. Matthew Turley; early childhood specialist Alisha Melesky; consulting psychiatric professionals and the Elders.
"Each person in here is an expert in their own way," Katherine said. "The professionals we have here are seasoned providers. Part of our goal is to synthesize these specialties in a clinic so that we can serve the whole family."
They offer parent-child interaction and play therapy for children in an evidence-based practice, she said, as well as psychological assessments, IQ testing and assessments for learning disorders and child development.
Turley said he has built relationships with area school districts as a consulting school psychologist in recent years, and Melesky offers night and weekend hours for the assessment and testing of young children at the clinic. She also owns Child's Play by the Bay, an early childhood development center on Savannah Road.
Kastner said he specializes in the evidence-based practice of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing.
"Usually when something hasn't been processed properly, it comes back as an adverse behavior – an addiction or flashbacks," he said. His work focuses on processing these events, he said, not treating so you forget but so they don't cause the same emotional responses as before.
The new mental health offices offer weekend and evening appointments for services.
For more information about Delaware Psychological Services or to schedule an appointment, call the offices at 302-703-6332.