I provide individual, group and couples psychotherapy. As an Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse, I am also trained, experienced and licensed to provide medication management services when indicated. When first meeting a new client a comprehensive assessment is completed. This process is a time to gather information about the client’s background, health history, family history, and current stressors. This evaluation provides an opportunity to identify areas for change and to articulate goals for treatment. After completing the comprehensive evaluation, goals for treatment are developed.
Psychotherapy can be used as a vehicle to create change and to restore fulfillment. Individual psychotherapy provides an opportunity to enhance and improve an individual’s sense of self and well-being. Individual therapy also offers each client a chance to explore obstacles that are interfering with their relationships and their ability to be content and satisfied with their lives.
Through the psychotherapy process couples can learn to improve communication, to identify healthy ways to resolve conflict, to talk about difficult subjects, develop trust, strengthen intimacy and even learn how to have more fun. Couples psychotherapy can benefit couples planning to live together, who become engaged or plan to marry. Couples therapy may also benefit couples who are married or partnered, and couples who are contemplating separation or divorce.
As a certified group psychotherapist, I also offer opportunities for individuals to participate in structured group psychotherapy. Group psychotherapy is a good treatment option for individuals seeking to improve interpersonal relationships, to learn more about themselves, and to explore new ways to solve problems in a group setting.
I also prescribe and monitor medication. Medication may be an option for some clients engaged in psychotherapy. After careful evaluation and discussion with a client, medication may be offered as an adjunctive treatment option used in combination with psychotherapy, and other healthy life style changes.
Grief and Traumatic Loss
Experiencing loss is a normal part of life, but the adjustment period following the loss can be painful, difficult and lonely. This adjustment or transition period varies in length and intensity, depending on one’s attachment to the lost relationship or individual.
Often people who experience grief may also experience a host of physical, social, emotional and spiritual changes.
Seeking out professional support can be a positive choice for people. Some people have found that talking about the loss with a mental health professional can be helpful. Counseling can assist individuals to learn about grief and to develop new skills that can ease the adjustment after loss.
Interventions are available for:
- Grief related to the death of a loved one or friend.
- Bereavement related to homicide & suicide.
- Death of newborn, infant or a child.
- Divorce or separation.
- Coping with a life threatening or chronic illness.
- Missing or lost children.
- Retirement, relocation, losing or changing jobs
- Death of a pet
I offer EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) to assist clients addressing grief and traumatic loss issues. EMDR is a highly effective form of psychotherapy that provides individuals with a means of reducing symptoms and creating an opportunity to transform negative experiences while optimizing function.
Another option for grieving individuals is Induced After Death Communication (IADC). I completed advanced training with Dr. Al Botkin. This intervention is highly effective for those who have experienced the death of a loved one. IADC provides grieving individuals with the opportunity to reconnect with those who have died. IADC been shown to provide a deep sense of healing and can improve grief-related symptoms.
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues
When seeking mental health services, you shouldn’t have to worry if your therapist understands the coming-out process, same-sex relationships, same-sex sexuality, or other GLBT issues. Clients will find I provide a safe, accepting and understanding environment in which to explore and identify feelings, as well as improve, strengthen and heal yourself relative to your sexual identity.
Psychotherapy can help GLBT individuals through:
- Exploring ways to strengthen self-acceptance, self-esteem, and self-worth.
- Identify tools that improve self-image and that augment self-respect.
- Address ways to heal and decrease self-homophobia.
- Improve and increase satisfaction around same-sex relationships & same-sex sexual expression.
- Providing support and guidance during the coming out process and learning to self-identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.
- Learn to strengthen intimacy & improve communication within same-sex coupling.
- Addressing depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.
For those struggling with addictions, psychotherapy can be a positive means of maintaining recovery while addressing the maladaptive behaviors, negative thought patterns, and ineffective coping skills. An addiction can siphon energy from your relationships, your productivity, and your ability to function effectively in your life. Dr. Pessagno has extensive experience working with individuals struggling with a variety of addictions. Providing a non-judgmental environment, Dr. Pessagno provides individuals facing an addiction the opportunity to develop effective strategies that promote successful recovery.