phone 512-940-7311
email dr.merrill@evemerrill.com
Helping parents survive childhood
icon Child, Adolescent and Family Therapy

Nobody ever said raising children is easy. Luckily, you don't have to do it alone. It is my passion to work with families to help children and adolescents reach their potential for happy, productive and successful lives. Whether your child is having school problems, behavioral problems or emotional problems, I can help.

A doctorate degree in clinical child and school psychology as well as my varied professional experience with inpatient state hospitals, residential treatment centers and outpatient care has provided the understanding and skill that I bring to private practice. I specialize in all childhood emotional problems including:

  • School problems due to ADHD, low motivation, or disorganization
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Social problems with peers
  • Family change and stress
  • Behavioral problems



icon Services

Just as a variety of issues may bring a family into treatment, I use a wide range of techniques to address each situation. I have found that a combination of cognitive behavioral work to target distressing symptoms coupled with more dynamic work which examines the root of the symptoms can have a lasting and positive effect on patients.

For more information on the services I offer, select from the following topics...


Is your child having trouble in school? Difficulties adjusting to loss (through divorce, death, or simply moving)? Trying to manage the difficult emotions that follow a trauma? Or simply, unhappy, anxious, or lonely? Child therapy can help your youngster learn to understand and manage these difficult emotions and have a happier more fulfilling childhood.

A fully equipped play therapy room helps young clients manage and process difficult emotions, work through traumatic experiences, and have a restorative experience. Play is the child's work. Children process their daily struggles through play. Play therapy takes advantage of this natural state to bring about change.

When treating children, it is important to work closely with parents. Children are part of many systems: family, educational and social. Understanding each child within these contexts is crucial. My assessment and treatment includes consideration for social, biological, psychological, educational and familial life. In addition to child therapy, parent guidance sessions and parent coaching is available.

Adolescence is a hard time in the best of circumstances. While trying to survive all the hormone changes, teenagers have to make the adjustment to a new and often bigger school when moving to middle school and then to high school. School moves often mean leaving friends behind while trying to make new friends which is not always easy. Teenagers are learning to separate from their parents and become autonomous while becoming closer to their friends and still trying to make safe and appropriate choices. This can be a scary time for kids as well as for their parents.

I can help your teenager navigate through this difficult time while helping to nurture and support the child-parent relationship.

When I meet with an adolescent patient, it is important for there to be an understanding that, although the parents have hired me, I am the teenager's therapist. I need to be able to build a trusting relationship with the teenager so that he feels able to confide in me.

Parents of teenagers often complain that they no longer feel the closeness that they shared when their child was younger. This is typical because one of the main developmental tasks of adolescence is separating from one's parents in order to grow into an adult. However, I can work with you and your teenager to help make the transition from childhood into young adulthood as easy as possible while keeping the lines of communication open.

A family is a system that can either work together or push and pull itself apart. Through family therapy, family members can learn how to better communicate, how to support each other, and how to work together within their appropriate roles in order to create a cohesive family unit. When I work with a child or adolescent, family therapy is also often an important aspect of the child's treatment.

Trauma Focused-Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (TF-EAP) is a mode of therapy in which a client works together with a horse to improve relationships with others, build emotional regulation skills, and process past trauma. Please click here (http://www.unbridledconnection.com/faq/) for more information.



icon Background

Education


2000-2003 Yeshiva UniversityBronx, New York
Doctor of Psychology in School/Child Clinical Psychology
APA dual accredited program
Dissertation: The Effects of Optimism on Physical Health
  
1998-2000 Yeshiva University Bronx, New York
Master of Science in School Psychology
  
1993 -1996 University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado
Bachelor of Arts-Psychology

Work Experience

Having worked in multiple metropolitan areas including New York City and Detroit, I have experience working with a variety of childhood, adolescent, and family issues.

While in New York, I worked as a treatment coordinator on the Adolescent inpatient unit of a state hospital. Where I conducted individual, family, and group therapy as well as case management duties including coordinating with after care providers. I also had the opportunity to work with Early Intervention at Mount Sinai Hospital conducting evaluations of 0-3 year olds.

In Michigan I again worked at a state hospital, but this time as a therapist on the children's unit. Again, I was involved with individual, family, and group therapy as well as psychological evaluations.

The children, adolescents, and families that I worked with in the state hospitals had a variety of issues related to multi-generational mental illness, poverty, adoption, as well as serious mental illness including mood disorders, psychosis, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

In both New York and Michigan I did some outpatient work with children, adolescents, couples, and families. During my outpatient work I have helped families manage school failures, depression, anxiety, divorce and issues arising from blended families, as well as the family relationship issues that often arise in adolescence.

After moving to Austin, I worked as the program manager of the children's unit at a local residential treatment center specializing in neurobehavioral problems. The program here specialized in highly aggressive and volatile children. Here I had the opportunity to work with families that had had multiple treatment failures in the past and were finally able to see their children get help and succeed.



icon Frequently Asked Questions

There is always something that can be gained from therapy. A therapist can help teach you behavior management techniques to help shape your child's inappropriate behavior into more appropriate behaviors. A therapist can help you to differentiate between typical childhood behaviors (that may be annoying, but still developmentally appropriate) and inappropriate or maladaptive behaviors. Is your child unhappy, lonely, anxious, failing at school or just giving up, having a hard time adjusting to changes in his life such as divorce, if so he would probably benefit from therapy. As a child, adolescent, and family therapist my goal is to help the family live together as a cohesive unit that knows how to support each other and take care of each other. Finally, if you are still unsure if therapy is right for you or your family, I offer a 30 minute phone consultation at no charge.

When you first contact me we will set up a time for a phone consultation. During the consultation I will find out about what has brought you to seek treatment as well as some family background/history that may have contributed to the current difficulties. I will also give you an opportunity to ask me some questions about my practice and how I work. If you are interested in setting up an appointment with me, we can discuss scheduling at the end of the phone call.

I recommend that both parents and the child come for the first session. I will spend some time with everyone together as well as alone with the child. Depending on the age of the child, I may also spend some time alone with the parents. This first session is 75 minutes in length as opposed to the 45 minutes of a typical session. The extra time allows me to start getting to know you and your child, take a thorough history, and answer any questions you have about the therapy process.

I find that the best way to describe my theoretical orientation is integrationist. I use a variety of techniques including behavioral, cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, relational, family systems, psychodynamic, and of course play therapy with young children. I find that it is important to try to understand the root of an individual and how his experiences and relationships have shaped him and his behaviors before the maladaptive behaviors can be treated.

The work that we do together in session should not end the moment you walk out my door. I assign homework so that the process can continue throughout the week.

I typically see patients once a week. At times it can be helpful to meet with the child once a week and the parents (with or without the child) also once a week or every other week.

It is important to remember that therapy is a process. Parents usually bring their children to treatment once the children begin having significant problems either at school or at home. These problems typically did not develop overnight, and it will take some time to alleviate them. Although it is hard to tell at the beginning of this process how long it will take, I will give you regular updates about the progress your child is making. By the third session I will share with you a treatment plan targeting the problems that you identified on our first meeting. Included in this treatment plan will be target dates for the goals outlined. Once we agree that the goals have been met, I recommend that we set up a couple of monthly maintenance sessions to ensure that things continue to move in the right direction. After these maintenance sessions, if we agree that your child is where you would like him to be, we will terminate treatment. And of course, you are always welcome to come back in the future should the need arise.

In order to be reimbursed by most insurance companies, the therapist needs to provide clinical information including a diagnosis and in some instances, treatment plans and summaries. In rare cases the insurance company may request the entire record in order to pay for my services. This information will then become part of the insurance company's record and although insurance companies claim to keep this information confidential, I have no control over what they do with the information once it is in their hands. I prefer to bypass the insurance companies in order to protect your confidentiality and to avoid having a third party try to dictate how I do therapy. Although I do not bill insurance companies directly, I will be happy to provide you with an invoice after each session for you to submit directly to your insurance company.

One of the main differences between the above professionals is education. I am a Licensed Psychologist (33016 Texas) which means that I have earned a doctorate degree in psychology, have passed the three licensing exams that the State of Texas requires, and have completed my 2 years of post doctorate supervision. Once these requirements have been met, the State of Texas grants a license which entitles me to work independently. A psychologist's license must be renewed annually and there are yearly requirements for continuing education. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in mental illness and psychopharmacology (medication). A social worker and licensed professional counselor typically have masters degrees and have their own licensing requirements.




CONTACT ME
My office is located at 12001 Parmer Lane, in Cedar Park.

Contact

Eve Merrill Psy.D.
12001 Parmer Lane
Suite 200
Cedar Park, TX 78613
Email: dr.merrill@evemerrill.com
Phone: 512-940-7311


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When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.