David J. Palmiter, Jr., Ph.D., ABPP
(570) 587-2273


Private Practice
Description | Directions | Frequently Asked Questions

Description
I am a generalist with a specialization in childhood, adolescent and family issues. I treat adults, adolescents and children in individual, marital and family therapy. My primary goals are:
• To create a confidential, safe and caring atmosphere for my clients.
• To offer services that are research informed.
• To help my clients to reach their goals as quickly and effectively as possible.

Directions

Directions from Scranton: Get on the Scranton Expressway (i.e., off the Mulberry St. bridge). Follow signs for Clarks Summit, bearing left. You will come out on Northern Boulevard; this later becomes State Street. Proceed straight to the third stop light, getting into the right lane at that light (you will go through a Route 81 underpass just before this light). Bear right at the light, proceeding up the hill and onto South Abington Road. You will soon pass a CVS, which is on your right side. Just past the CVS is Fairview Road; turn right onto Fairview. 1.7 miles later you will hit Maggies Road (a sign for the Applewood Acres Apartments is on the right side); take a left onto Maggies (if you go through another 81 underpass you've gone too far on Fairview). At the first stop sign, take a left. You will now be on Royal Oaks Drive. The address is 304, this is just past the 2nd left on the right. Park in the driveway. Travel on the walkway (pictured in red to the right) to the back of the house , which is the office entrance. If you have an appointment, there is no need to knock. Just enter and have a seat in the waiting area.

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View from the front.

Take the walkway, pictured in red here, to the entrance at the back of the house.

From Route 81: Get off at the Clarks Summit exit. Follow signs for Clarks Summit, staying in the right lane. This will dump you out at a light. Bear right at the light, proceeding up the hill and onto South Abington Road. You will soon pass a CVS, which is on your right side. Just past the CVS is Fairview Road; turn right onto it. 1.7 miles later you will hit Maggies Road (a sign for the Applewood Acres apartments is on the right side); take a left onto Maggies (if you go through another 81 underpass you've gone too far on Fairview). At the first stop sign, take a left. You will now be on Royal Oaks Drive. The address is 304 (pictured above), this is just past the 2nd left on the right. Park in the driveway. Travel on the walkway (pictured above) to the back of the house , which is the office entrance. If you have an appointment, there is no need to knock. Just enter and have a seat in the waiting area.

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Frequently Asked Questions
√ What happens at the first appointment?
√ What does a child or adolescent evaluation consist of?
√ What does a couples evaluation consist of?
√ What does an adult evaluation consist of?
√ How long does therapy last?
√ What happens in counseling?
√ I am concerned that my child my think there is something wrong with him/her if we bring him/her to see you. Can you respond?
√ My child or teenager doesn't want to cooperate with coming in. What good would it do to force him/her?
√ How can I tell if my child or adolescent needs mental health services? (This will take you off this page to a blog article that I wrote on this topic. To return to this page, use your back button on your browser.)
√ What do the letters ABPP signify after your name? |
Can you tell me more about your qualifications?
√ Is therapy really confidential?
√ Does counseling always work?
√ What do you charge?
√ Do you accept insurance?
√ What if I have more questions?
What happens at the first appointment?
Upon arriving clients first read about my office policies. I find it important for people to know as much as they can, up front, about what will happen. Clients then fill out a basic background information form and an agreement for an evaluation. Once the paperwork is completed (it takes 15 to 20 minutes), the evaluation begins. Most of the time I have four goals in mind for an evaluation. First, I try to help my clients to feel comfortable and at peace as we talk. Second, I endeavor to figure out what might be causing the problems at hand. Third, I make sure to understand each person's strengths (this is especially important in child and adolescent evaluations). Fourth, I try to generate ideas for managing or eliminating those problems. Sometimes I end up recommending counseling, but at other times that doesn't seem needed.

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What does a child or adolescent evaluation consist of?
Every evaluation is unique given that each child is distinctive. However, all evaluations consist of a 90 minute family interview (i.e., adults in the home and the child in question), a 50 minute child interview and a 50 minute feedback session. In between these sessions I ask for a battery of rating scales to be completed by adults who know the child or teen well and arrange to review all relevant records (e.g., school, medical, welfare, forensic, etc.); if a child's reading level allows for such, he or she may also be asked to fill out scales also. Taken together, these sources of information generally allow me to reach the goals of the assessment (see the previous question). However, sometimes additional testing or evaluation may be needed.

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What does a couples evaluation consist of?
My goals are to figure out what works in the relationship, what got the relationship off track and what interventions might fix things. It usually takes two visits to get a sense for this. The majority of the first appointment is spent interviewing a couple about their current lives and history. At the end of the appointment I give out rating scales that cover important relationship and individual issues. The second session is then usually devoted to sharing feedback; among the issues discussed, I offer an opinion about whether or not couples counseling seems advisable.

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What does an adult evaluation consist of?
Of course, each of us are a unique person with a one-of-a kind story to tell. For this reason, each evaluation is tailored. However, evaluations usually involve 2.5 hours of interviews (spread over two visits), the completion of questionnaires and a review of relevant records (e.g., previous treatment records, medical records, etc.). I find that I can usually accomplish the evaluation goals (see the first question) with these procedures. However, sometimes additional testing or evaluation may be needed.

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How long does therapy last?
This varies tremendously. However, I can offer three thoughts. First, my orientation is to help my clients reach their goals as quickly possible. In other words, I try to promote healing and make my services obsolete in as short of a period as is practical. Second, I can often get a sense for how long treatment might take after a few sessions. Indeed, some of the treatments I offer are structured programs with a set number of sessions. Third, whatever I do with clients is done with informed consent. My clients can count on an open exchange of ideas and thinking about what counseling might consist of. I never start counseling without reaching an agreement about both the goals and the methods.

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What happens in counseling?
The answer to this question really depends upon the type of counseling and whether it is offered in an individual, family, or couple therapy format. In some types of counseling I serve as a guide in my client's search for insight and meaning. In other types of counseling I provide a significant amount of structure and am active in making suggestions for solving here-and-now problems. My style is to choose an approach, in consultation with my client(s), that is best equipped to solve the problems of concern.

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I am concerned that my child my think there is something wrong with him/her if we bring him/her to see you. Can you respond?
I find that this is the number one concern parents have when they are considering giving their child or adolescent access to mental health services. So, if you are worried about this you have lots of company.

I have procedures in place for minimizing the likelihood that this will happen. That said, some children and teens will inevitably turn new experiences into something to feel bad about (e.g., joining a new club, meeting a new friend, getting an A- on a test, etc.). To combat this I have several techniques I use to support a child's or teen's self-esteem through the course of an evaluation. As just one example, I always make sure to develop a list of the child's strengths that is at least three as long as any problems that are described. I then use this list to reflect back to the child that he or she has talent and is a valuable person. I know how I want my children treated by clinicians and teachers; I try not to fall short of that mark with other people's children.

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My child or teenager doesn't want to cooperate with coming in. What good would it do to force him/her?
I find that most children and teenagers are either neutral or opposed to coming in, sometimes vehemently so. Many children and teens, who need help, would not get it if their parents did not force the issue. This said, most of my child and adolescent clients, who were actively opposed to coming in at the start, typically have a change of heart after a couple of visits.

No treatment works unless all the players get something out of it, including the child or teen; kids eventually figure out that I have this perspective and it helps them to sign on. Also, parents don't have to worry about getting their child or teen to participate once they arrive. That's my job.

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What do the letters ABPP signify after your name?
They stand for American Board of Professional Psychology. This board examines psychologists for the purpose of granting certification. At the point that I applied for board certification a doctoral level clinical psychologist was required to be licensed for five years (i.e., 15 years of relevant, full time education and experience, past high school). To qualify for the credential I had to submit a paper application that consisted of transcripts, position statements, and detailed records on both an assessment case and a treatment case. I was then examined for a full day by four board certified psychologists; this included a review of a video and an audio tape of my clinical work. The ABPP is the only peer reviewed credential of clinical competence available to doctoral level psychologists that is endorsed by the American Psychological Association. Since earning this credential I have also served as an examiner for the Board.

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Can you tell me more about your qualifications?
This can be a tough question to ask face-to-face. For this reason, I have my resume posted on-line. You can view it by clicking on this link. Let me offer some high points here:
• My doctoral degree, earned in 1989, is from George Washington University (an APA accredited program).
• I possess a Diplomate in Clinical Psychology (see the previous question) and am licensed as a psychologist in Pennsylvania.
• I am currently a tenured, full professor of Psychology at Marywood University where I mostly teach in the doctoral program.
• I currently am the Director of the Psychological Services Center at Marywood University, an outpatient mental health clinic. One of my principal responsibilities is to train Masters and Doctoral level graduate students how to do assessments and conduct psychotherapy.
• I am on the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association and the Pennsylvania Psychological Foundation.
• I regularly offer workshops to licensed mental health professionals.
• I produce and host a monthly television program on mental health issues entitled Mental Health Matters nine months out of the year; it appears on Comcast Channel 62.
• I have won a national award for my writing (from the American Psychological Association), state award for my media work (from the Pennsylvania Psychological Association), a regional award for my research (co-awarded from the Eastern Psychological Association) and an award from Marywood University for my work within psychology.
• I have written a parenting book published by Sunrise River Press. To learn more about it, click here. I also have over 30 professional publications.
• Several times a year I serve as a consultant to print and electronic media on a variety of mental health issues. In the past I have worked with outlets such as O Magazine, US News and World Report, Women's Day, Men's Health, Parenting and The Los Angelos Times.
• I publish a blog and am active on Twitter. To learn more about these, click here.
• My previous job experiences are diverse in that I have worked in, or consulted to, inpatient, outpatient, university, residential, school, forensic, foster care and wrap-around settings.
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Is therapy really confidential?
Yes, it really is. My office is in a private location. I have also made sure that my office is soundproofed.

If you decide that you want to use your insurance to cover my services, your carrier will often require some information. How much they require various tremendously. However, I will tell you what they want to know before I submit it so that you can have final say.

If a client tells me something that suggests that someone is in serious danger, then I would have to take steps to try to ensure that person's safety; however, this has been a very rare occurrence in my practice. Also, if a client is involved in a lawsuit where his or her psychological issues are being considered, and the court knows about my involvement, a subpoena for records could be issued.

I review these exceptions to confidentiality in my office paperwork. However, the vast majority of my clients never have to think about these issues. Effective counseling begins with confidentiality. I know this and do every reasonable thing in my power to preserve it.

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Does therapy always work?
No, of course not. What does? However, I do not allow the same type of treatment to go on, at length, without progress. Part of what helps is to set up measurable goals for treatment. If progress is not forthcoming I usually suggest either a change in approach, stopping the treatment or making a referral to another therapist.

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What do you charge?
Please call me to get an answer (570-587-2273). Here I can tell you that I keep my fees in line what other doctoral level psychologists charge in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

In factoring cost issues please also consider what it would be worth to be free of the problems that are having you consider getting care. What would it be worth to be free of depression, to have your child stop acting defiantly or be free of anxiety, to have your marriage healed? Imagine life with troubling mental health burdens either eliminated or controlled; then ask yourself what that would be worth?

I would like to offer two additional thoughts. First, I have written an article that outlines seven common myths about counseling. You can view it by clicking here. Second, I am more than willing to be a referral source. Hence, if either you or I decide that there is some reason why we cannot work together, I'd be happy to help you to find a better fit.

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Do you accept insurance?
As I am a university professor, my practice hours are part-time. Hence, I do not maintain an office staff to do billing for me. Because of this I ask my clients to pay me as we go. I then provide a statement which can be submitted to an insurance company for reimbursement. Since coverage varies widely, I recommend that you check with your insurance company to see what sort of reimbursement you can expect. If this arrangement is not practical for you, you might want to try the Psychological Services Center at Marywood at (570) 348-6269. (I am the Director of this clinic.)

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What if I have more questions?
That's easy. Just give me a call at (570) 587-2273.

If this is an emergency, and I do not respond immediately, proceed to your local emergency room or call 911.

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Updated 1/5/11

© 2003 David J. Palmiter, Jr.