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Great Parents, Great Kids with Dr. Dana Chidekel
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Dr. Chidekel's Assessment Philosophy
When I am evaluating a child a young adult, my goal goes beyond determining the label(s) for "diagnosis." My goal is to help patients, parents, educators, and treatment providers understand WHY a child or adult is struggling. Things that look like what a child "won't” do may actually be something he or she "can't” do. Or not. In either case, to figure out the interventions and accommodations that will help (and those that won't), it is critical to clarify what is giving rise to the problem(s) to begin with.
A comprehensive neuropsychological assessment of a child or young adult’s neurocognitive, academic and emotional function should do just that. When findings are discussed, parents should feel, "I am really understanding my child." Patients should be thinking, “I am really understanding myself.” The report that is generated describing the findings should be written in plain English, so anyone with whom it is shared will understand as well. The more clearly those involved in a child’s or young adult’s development understand what is driving his or her difficulties, the more confident and empowered all feel in moving forward and implementing treatments, accommodations or services that are recommended.
Dr. Dana Chidekel earned her BA from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. She earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in Alhambra, CA. She completed training in neuropsychology through the Fielding Institute in Santa Barbara, CA.
Dr. Chidekel dedicated the early part of her career to the study and practice of psychoanalytic psychotherapy with children and adults. She has been a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology, and has certified in pediatric neuropsychology by the American Board of Pediatric Neuropsychology since 2001, (www.theaapn.org/). Since 2006, she has been a fellow of the American College of Professional Neuropsychology, and certified in adult and child neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Neuropsychology (www.neuropsychologyboard.com).
Dr. Chidekel specializes in assessing children, adolescents and adults referred for academic, developmental, relational, occupational, and behavioral difficulties. She is known for her knowledge of brain-behavior relationships, and for her ability to illuminate the interplay between neurocognitive, interpersonal and emotional dynamics. This integrated understanding of a patient's cognitive and emotional processes allows him or her to be understood fully, which insures that treatment is addressed specifically, comprehensively, and proactively.
Dr. Chidekel is retained as an expert witness in civil, employment, class action, and (limited) family and criminal matters. She is retained by plaintiff and defense in approximate equal proportions. She serves as a consultant for other professionals, including psychologists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, teachers, social workers, marriage and family counselors, educational advocates, and attorneys. She co-owns Theory in Practice, an educational company that produces seminars to provide professionals and laypeople with the most up to date information about brain-behavior relationships in everyday life.
Dr. Chidekel dedicates a small portion of her practice to providing psychodynamic psychotherapy to individual patients, and to consulting with parents struggling with multiple issues related to raising children.
Dana Chidekel, PhD