At Lifespan Counseling Center, Andrea treats children from pre-school age through adolescence and young adulthood. Parents are included as an integral part of therapy with any aged child. Issues may include anxiety, depression, behavior disorders, school problems, social skills problems, and various types of family problems. She specializes in treating trauma and assessing ADD/ADHD as well as childhood bi-polar disorder (Currently known as Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder). Child-centered Filial Therapy involves parents in their child’s treatment. The latest Mind-Body Therapy is used to treat trauma and anxiety, and installs positive behaviors and traits.
Dr. Sywulak is a proponent of ongoing neuroscience and well-researched methods that help retrain the brain for optimal functioning. She utilizes the Integrated Listening Program which addresses brain function deficiencies which are usually identified as ADD/ADHD, Auditory Processing, Dyslexia, Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism and learning and mood issues. She has partnered with iLs by performing research on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder involving iLs.
In her trauma work, she has evaluated and treated many children for sexual abuse, and personal injuries due to traumatic loss of a sibling or parent, child abduction, etc. Dr. Sywulak has also served as an expert witness for the effects of trauma on children.
As a forensic psychologist, dealing primarily with family and custody issues, Andrea has performed hundreds of custody evaluations, testified as an expert witness throughout Pennsylvania and has been appointed as Court Ordered therapist. She is familiar with custody and divorce issues, as well as traumatic injuries. Upon recognizing the stress and negative outcomes of many traditional divorces, Dr. Sywulak was trained in Collaborative Law.
Dr. Sywulak is a Divorce coach who embraces the alternative of a non-adversarial divorce process. She is a member of the International Association of Collaborative Professionals, the Bucks County Collaborative Law Group and the Montgomery and Philadelphia County Collaborative Law Groups.She is also available to perform Divorce Coaching services for New Jersey Collaborative Law Groups. As a Divorce Coach, she partners with lawyers, financial consultants, and other professionals who are committed to this process.
Dr. Sywulak is highly trained in the new Mind-Body therapies. Clients are taught the significance of mindfulness and ability of body sensations to give access to the subconscious where negative beliefs about self and repetitive problem behaviors give rise to daily problems in relationships and in the workplace. These very effective therapies are short-term and give clients relief even though they have made little to no progress in traditional talk therapies. In a warm, empathic environment, all treatment is Outcome Oriented, so that positive changes and symptom relief are clearly identifiable.
Karen Sheridan, Ph.D. specializes in therapy for children, pre-school through adolescence, and their families. She also works with a broad spectrum of adult clients and couples. She has over 15 years of clinical experienced and is a Licensed Psychologist in PA, NJ, and NY.
Dr. Sheridan trained and was later a staff Psychologist at Children’s Specialized Hospital, where she helped children heal from the emotional effects of physical traumas. Over the years, she has continued to help youngsters recover from emotional and physical traumas and has expanded this work to help adults heal from current or past traumatic events. She also specializes in grief work with children and adults. Other problems in children may include adjustment to parent separation or divorce, difficulties with mood, problem behaviors at home or school, social challenges, ADD/ADHD, Asperger’s Disorder, and Autism.
Dr. Sheridan integrates complementary therapeutic methods and techniques to offer a highly personalized and solution oriented approach for each client. She works with each individual to help them build on their strengths and attain the personal growth they are committed to accomplishing. This involves partnering with a client or family to understand how the problems that brought them to therapy developed and what they mean so that change and healing can take place.
In addition to traditional talk therapy, Dr. Sheridan relies of the latest mind-body therapies and brain based therapies. In mind-body therapies, clients tune into how emotions or negative beliefs about themselves are felt in their body. Using the non-conscious (or non-thinking) areas of the brain, strong emotions can be more directly and fully processed. This type of therapy can be highly effective in helping clients to overcome trauma and anxieties. It can also help an individual when they feel “stuck” in their talk therapy or that they have “talked forever” about their issue, but still can’t seem to move past it.
Dr. Sheridan’s strong background in neuroscience has led to her incorporation of brain based therapies in her practice. The Integrated Listening System program, grounded in the latest neuroscience research, has helped children and adults gain relief from anxiety and depression, improve memory, increase attention and concentration, improve cognitive sharpness, and have better emotional regulation.
In Dr. Sheridan’s work with children, she uses a combination of child centered therapeutic play, mind-body awareness, and cognitive-behavioral techniques to help children make better sense of their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. With this understanding, children can make healthier choices, have more positive experiences with family, and feel better about themselves.
Dr. Sheridan believes that child therapy must always involve collaboration with the parents. Parents are the experts with regard to their child and family. Regular parent participation is essential for meaningful change in the child’s therapy.
For younger children and their parents, Dr. Sheridan often uses a model of filial therapy. Filial therapy is a tool that empowers parents by teaching them, through therapeutic play with their child, how to better attend and respond to their child. It can end a pattern of negative communication between parent and child and result in a positive behavior change in the child. Often parents who describe their younger children as “defiant” or “oppositional” see good results after a series of filial therapy sessions.
In addition to traditional therapy with children, Dr. Sheridan has also worked in the Early Intervention Program, assessing children, ages 0 – 3 ,for services and training parents to better manage their special needs toddler’s behavior challenges. Over the years, Dr. Sheridan has been a member of an independent Child Study Team where she conducted Psychoeducational Evaluations for youngsters struggling academically. In this role, she partnered with parents to advocate for their child during the IEP process.
Laura is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Pennsylvania. Specializing in issues related to anxiety, depression, relationship conflicts, co-parenting, and self-esteem she provides counseling services to children, adolescents, and adults in both individual and family settings. When working with children Laura believes it is essential to incorporate the parents into their child’s treatment. In doing this parents gain both knowledge and confidence to effectively engage with their child.
Laura enjoys working with college-aged clients as she recognizes this time period in a young adult’s life can be both rewarding and challenging, and at times, difficult to manage. When appropriate she integrates her training in career counseling to provide clients with helpful tools and strategies to best navigate their career paths.
Laura is trained in treating trauma related issues in both children and adults. In her trauma work, she has experience utilizing various treatment modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral techniques and Mind-Body therapies.
When working with her clients, Laura uses a strength-based approach that works to build on existing strengths while developing awareness into various aspects that can be added to a client’s current lifestyle. She focuses on health and wellness as an effort to attain an improved sense of satisfaction and balance. She believes that a trusted environment and strong client-counselor relationship are crucial components that promote growth and change. Laura is dedicated to understanding and tailoring treatment goals to meet the needs of each individual.
Laura holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Counseling Psychology from La Salle University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from West Chester University.
As both a therapist and a former family law attorney, I understand the damage that can occur for all family members when there is conflict, separation or divorce and am aware of the challenges that arise via the legal process. My practice specializes in clinical issues associated with divorce/separation, infidelity, high conflict couples, blended families, coparenting, and children’s adjustment to divorce and custody arrangements. I also offer individual/family counseling for issues that include grief, maintaining healthy relationships, personal development, and premarital counseling.
With my knowledge and background, I am uniquely suited to act as mediator on matters of divorce, custody, support and other domestic relations issues. I am a trained custody evaluator and focus my evaluations on the best interest of the children combined with detailed knowledge of the legal process and court preferences.
As a professional who has seen and experienced family transitions of all shapes and sizes, my goal is to help my clients stay open to their process, heal, and grow into better and healthier individuals, partners, parents, and families.