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Frequently Asked Questions



This page answers many of the most common questions raised by parents, families and agencies considering professional psychological assessment and/or intervention.

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top of page  What is a psychologist?

A psychologist is a mental health professional trained to apply an understanding of human behavior, emotion, growth and relationships to create change. As a psychologist Dr. Garber is not a physician (i.e., a medical doctor), does not prescribe medication and will not examine your body. You are well advised to complete a thorough medical examination in order to rule our physical causes before seeking clinical psychology services.

A psychiatrist, by contrast, is a physician who is prepared to recommend how certain medications and medical procedures might influence behavior, emotion and relationships.

Mental health services may also be available from clergy, school counselors, Employee Assistance Providers at work, and master's level clinicians, including MSW and LICSW (social work) graduates. 

The quality of the mental health care that you receive can not be differentiated based on the provider's education or the letters after his or her name. Far more important will be the professional's experience and expertise and the quality of the "fit" in the therapeutic, evaluative or forensic service relationship. 

One quick tip... A professional who returns your phone calls promptly and courteously is likely to be more responsible and responsive to your needs than one who does not.











top of page Evaluation OR intervention?

Dr. Garber can typically only provide evaluation or intervention services, not both. For example:

  • Mom and Dad are separating and are concerned about how 5 year old Billy will react. The court has ordered that the family complete a child-centered family evaluation (CCFE Learn
                          more here). Mom and Dad also think that Billy should have a therapist to help him throyugh the family transition. 
In the interest of convenience and thinking that Billy will only need to get to know one professional, Mom asks if Dr. Garber can provide BOTH services.  

Unfortunately, the answer must be no. Mom's reasoning is sound: It would be more convenient and perhaps easier for Billy if one professional were to provide both services, but that's not possible. Dr. Garber can provide either service, but not both.

Because there are many skilled child therapists but fewer child-centered professionals able to provide forensic evaluation services, Dr. Garber is routinely engaged to conduct the court-related evaluation and is glad to work with the child therapist in the process.











top of page What services does Dr. Garber offer?
Dr. Garber is available to provide several distinct psychological services. It will be important to clarify which of these you are seeking from the time of your first call:
Psychotherapy. Psychotherapy (also referred to as “therapy” or “counseling”) is a goal-driven relationship focused on growth and change. Dr. Garber is available to conduct psychotherapy with individual children, teenagers and adults, as well as with couples, families, sibling groups and in group psychotherapy meetings. Each of these interventions will require the time to collect an initial history and background regarding each participant (“client" or "patient”), negotiation of mutually acceptable and reasonable goals, and discussion of the best means and approximate time for accomplishing these goals. 
Dr. Garber will direct the course of the psychotherapy within the limits of his training, expertise and resources. Dr. Garber reserves the right to advise you at any time that other resources may better suit your needs in addition to or instead of the services he offers.
Dr. Garber's responsibility to this therapy will be to be available for all scheduled appointments barring illness and emergency. The patient's responsibility in psychotherapy will be to attend all meetings as scheduled (barring illness and emergency), to be as open and honest as possible, and to reasonably follow through with any outside task or assignment which has been agreed upon.

Learn more about psychotherapy and related clinical services here read more
                                here
Assessment.  Assessment seeks to apply psychological principles to understanding one or more specific question about an individual or group’s behavior, thoughts or emotions. Assessment can include the administration, interpretation and summary of standardized instruments (e.g., IQ tests) and/or a less formal qualitative evaluation process including interview and observation. 

Unless otherwise determined, the assessment process is complete upon delivery of (written or oral) feedback and recommendations. When court-involved (“forensic”) assessment is conducted, specific conditions of payment, confidentiality and procedure are involved. Dr. Garber will alert you to these conditions at the earliest possible time. Learn more here Learn more
                            here

Consultation and mentoring. These services refer to the effort of an individual, group of individuals, or agency to gain professional and impartial insight into an on-going relationship or conflict, process or procedure. For example, Dr. Garber has frequently consulted with school counselors, staff and teachers regarding behavior management issues regarding a specific child or program. Specific conditions of payment, confidentiality and procedure must be agreed upon from the start of these services. Read more here read more here

Mediation, negotiation and arbitration. Disputing parties can mutually elect or be court-ordered to engage with a third party for the purpose of resolving specific issues in the least contentious way possible. Although not certified as a mediator by the state of New Hampshire, Dr. Garber often serves in this capacity in child-centered matters (e.g., custody or visitation) under specific terms and conditions, particularly in the role of Parent Coordinator. 
 Forensic (court-related) services are ordered through the court. Dr. Garber provides a variety of forensic psychology services. Learn more here Learn more
                            here










top of page "How long does therapy take?"
The answer depends on who you are, the nature of the problem that you're facing, how long that problem has been around, and how dedicated you are to change.

Some behaviors can be changed rapidly and efficiently by changing the conditions that create or sustain it. Other change goals -longstanding and powerful emotions or relationships, for example- can require a much more sustained and intense effort.

Dr. Garber seeks to balance efficiency and meaning. The time and effort and costs of engaging in psychological services must be well-spent, but the process must never be assembly-line generic and impersonal.

In most instances, Dr. Garber will recommend a specific time course or duration of services based on negotiated goals, resources and schedule availability. The recommended time course is most often set in terms of a number of meetings. Upon completion of the estimated number of meetings, Dr. Garber will recommend a review of status and progress in order to evaluate (a) the need for further services, (b) revision of goals and/or the methods of approaching these goals, (c) inclusion of new ancillary resources to facilitate progress (e.g., referral for medication consultation, occupational therapy or a support group)  or (d) that services be discontinued or transferred to a different provider.











top of page Who is the "patient" or "client"?

"Patient" is a term inherited from medicine. The word pathologizes the consumer by making him or appear to have an illness. "Client" or "consumer" are the more politically correct terms, accurately reflecting the fact that many people who seek psychological services are suffering at the hands of people, relationships or organizations that are pathological.

For clinical purposes, the "client" or "patient" is the individual whose thinking, feelings and/or behaviors are the target of the service. Legally, however, the "client" or "patient" must be distinguished as that person who has the discretion to start or stop a service and/or has access to records of the service.

 Children. When a child is the patient, Dr. Garber's clinical responsibility is to the child and to the child's best interests. However, Dr. Garber's legal responsibility is to the child's legal guardian(s), usually the parent(s). 

There are important exceptions to this standard. These include teenager's protections under federal law and New Hampshire's commitment to value children's confidentiality over and above the wishes of parents in some specific instances.

 Separated and Divorced Parents or Guardians. When a child is the clinical patient and his or her legal guardians are separated but share legal custody, Dr. Garber's legal responsibility is to both caregivers, although the clinical responsibility and primary focus remain on the child. 

 Teenagers. The law guarantees teenagers certain adult-like protections in matters of reproductive health, substance use and physical illness (e.g., AIDS). In every instance possible, Dr. Garber's interest is in respecting a teenager's maturity and independent functioning. 

 Court Ordered Services. If you have been ordered to participate in psychological services by a court, in most instances the court itself is the legal “client.” This means that the court can determine the goals, frequency and duration of services and may have access to the records of that service, subject to Dr. Garber's agreement and recommendations. Beware that in some unique circumstances, the clinical client may not have access to records of care because the legal client prohibits such access.

Dr. Garber will provide you with a Service Agreement detailing the nature of the particular service. Read more here Read more here











top
                    of page When and how can I schedule appointments?

Dr. Garber schedules his own appointments. Reach him any time via email or phone to discuss scheduling contact Dr. Garber

  • Most clinical appointments are scheduled on the hour for 50-minutes. Court-related (forensic) services are scheduled specific to the needs of the services and billed on a 60-minute-hour basis.
  • Dr. Garber is typically available to schedule appointments in his Nashua, New Hampshire office Tuesday through Friday 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
  • Unless otherwise specified, the full fee of the intended service will be charged for missed appointments. Please call or email at least 24 hours in advance of an anticipated absence to cancel an appointment to avoid this charge. No such charge is incurred in case of extreme weather or medical emergency.
  • Dr. Garber will reach you promptly if his schedule changes. His voice mail at 603-879-9100 will often announce his anticipated absences. In the winter months, Dr. Garber's office will typically close if Nashua High School North is closed for extreme weather.










 top of
                  page Physical AND mental health

Your body and your mind work together to make you who you are. Both must be nurtured and are relevant to understanding and evaluating your well-being. Dr. Garber will inquire about your physical health, medications, medical history, eating, sleeping, toileting, exercise habits and substance use to the extent that these and related physical health variables may be relevant to the contracted service.

Dr. Garber recommends that you complete a routine physical health exam with a credentialed provider annually.










"The Healthy Parent's ABCs"
"Keeping Kids Out Of The MIddle"
"Holding Tight/Letting Go"
"Developmental Psychology For Family
                        Law Professionals"




"Roadmap to the Parenting Plan Workbook"



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