- Psychotherapeutic Interventions
- Psychoeducation of caregivers of patients with dementia
- Cognitive Training Interventions (Memory, Attention & Other Cognitive Functions)
- Neuropsychological Assessment
- Online Services
Psychotherapeutic interventions may combine various approaches in an individualized way, so as to respond to the needs of the particular individual and the specific circumstances. They aim at the solution of problems, minimization of symptoms, and the achievement of better functioning.
Examples of circumstances that need psychotherapeutic interventions are: (a) reactive conditions of the individual that involve depressive symptoms; (b) reactive conditions of the individual with anxiety symptoms, which influence his functioning and quality of life; (c) panic attacks; (d) difficulties in adjustment and socialization in individuals with developmental disorders, such as Asperger or autism; (e) adjustment disorders and phobic reactions in children and adolescents, who have become victims of school bullying; (f) psychological reactions to somatic illnesses; and (g) stressful life conditions.
Counceling psychology is a branch of psychology aiming at helping the individual to find solutions to various problems, which are connected either with internal psychological conditions of his own, or with external circumstances of his life, or with a combination of both. In addition, it aims at the improvement of quality of life and the capacity for communication with other people, as well as in the management of stressful events, such as separation or divorce, mourning, work difficulties, conflictual relationships inside and outside the family environment, illnesses that involves the individual itself or other people close to him, with whom he has a relationship as a caregiver.
Counceling psychology concerns all periods of life and all ages. The individual at certain moments of his life may find himself at an impasse and even reach feelings of despair. Working with a professional trained to understand psychological functioning and to have an objective “look” at the conditions of life offers the potential to remove obstacles and facilitates the appearance of new solutions and choices, which are built in an environment characterized by mutual respect, acceptance and trust, and not on preexisting recipes or personal views and positions of the specialist professional. These solutions and choices may not be easy and quick, but offer the opportunity for new ways in life and new perspectives.
Psychoeducation of caregivers of patients with dementia
Caretaking of those who are unable to take care of their needs intends to protect, maintain and enhance human dignity, and it is particularly important for human existence itself. Basic components of caretaking are: (a) attention, (b) interest and responsibility, and (c) emotional attachment and devotion.
The caregivers of patients with dementia are under chronic stress and according to research findings they have a greater psychological burden compared to caregivers of patients with other chronic diseases. It is indicative that almost all studies report increased levels of depressive symptoms in the caregivers of patients with dementia compared to the general population.
The aim of psychoeducation in the particular group of caregivers is the development of awareness about the specific problems and to provide to them psychological support, so as to handle with the proper manner their complex daily activities involving diverse demands, roles and needs. Indicative topics of the psychoeducation sessions are:
(a) Dementia, clinical picture and course of the disorder
(b) Planning and Organization of Caring Approaches
(c) Psychological burden of caregivers
(d) Functional adjustments to patients’ environment
(e) Ways by which the daily functioning of the caregivers is affected by the symptoms of dementia and practical advices for proper handling of the situation
Cognitive Training Interventions
With the advancement of age several of us will develop mild or more severe memory difficulties, as well as difficulties of other cognitive functions, such as attention, visuospatial skills, and ability of solving daily problems. In such occasions our ability to meet the requirements of personal, social, and occupational life remains in a good or a satisfactory level, but there is an increased risk, in comparison to the general population, for dementia to appear in the future, most frequently Alzheimer’s disease.
Particularly interesting are recent scientific findings, which show that application of appropriate interventions may improve memory and other cognitive functions as well as reduce the risk or delay the appearance of severe cognitive decline. Indicative of the importance of environmental factors are cases of monozygotic twins, siblings with the same genetic substrate, in which the onset of Alzheimer’s disease does not occur at the same or a similar age, but instead it shows significant differences between the members of the twin pair.
Based on the directions pointed by contemporary research findings, our aim is to apply individualized programs of cognitive training that will reinforce the cognitive functions of the participants and will reduce the risk or delay the appearance of a serious cognitive decline that occurs in cases of dementia, such as in Alzheimer’s disease.
A neuropsychological assessment evaluates the functioning of various mental functions with the use of a set of standardized tests and procedures. Cognitive and behavioral functions that are commonly assessed are the following:
- Problem solving and conceptualization
- Visuospatial skills
- Information Processing Speed
- Planning and organization
- Orientation to time and space
- Emotions, behavior, and personality
A neuropsychological assessment is recommended in cases that cognitive decline or cognitive impairments are suspected. Indicative conditions that a neuropsychological evaluation is carried out are the following:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Cardiac Surgery
- Psychotic Disorder
- Depression or bipolar disease
- Mild Cognitive Impairment
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Asperger Syndrome
Neuropsychological evaluations may:
1. Confirm a diagnosis or provide diagnostic help
2. Assess if any and which cognitive functions are impaired
3. Document changes in functioning since prior examinations
4. Guide decisions related to the everyday, social and occupational life of the individual that is assessed, such as about driving, managing finances and independent living
5. Help the design and implementation of appropriate rehabilitation and cognitive training programs
6. Result in referrals to other specialists, such as neurologists, psychiatrists and occupational therapists
For individuals living in other regions of Greece besides Athens as well as for individuals with health problems, some of the office services can be offered online through Skype. For further information about the availability of specific services in an online environment you can communicate by phone (210 7221900) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).