What We Do
- Diagnostic psychological
- Parenting skills & Substance abuse
- Independent living
- Anger management
- Mental injury issues
We use psychological tests and assessment instruments that have the highest validity and reliability
Our evaluations and testing instruments meet the evidentiary standards for the use of scientific evidence in the court
Dr. Kitchen provides psychological evaluations in order to assist in determining a broad spectrum of issues.
Many things can influence upon how one parents their children. Parenting skills can be impacted by things such as personality issues. For example, if you have a severe case of obsessive-compulsive personality, you will be so focused on rearranging the deck chairs in the exact way they need to be and will fail to notice the iceberg heading toward you that will tear your family apart.
Emotional issues such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder effect upon how well a person copes with stress in dealing with the day-to-day responsibilities of parenting.
Intellectual issues can impact upon a parent’s ability to effectively parent their children. The more limited intellectual capacity can impact an individual’s ability to deal with the complexities of raising children.
A person’s clinical history will impact upon how well they parent children. If he/she grew up in a home where domestic violence was considered a normal part of relationships, he/she may bring that viewpoint into their own parenting and relational situations.
Substance abuse issues certainly can have an impact upon a person’s ability to parent. Alcohol and drugs impact upon a person’s judgment and will lead to poor decision-making.
As the baby boomer population ages, issues of independent living and competency become increasingly important. Individuals who have developed dementia or other cognitive issues will begin to have difficulty with legal, financial, and medical decision-making. As the disease progresses, they will have difficulty with activities of daily living such as self-care, cooking, cleaning, and hygiene. Dr. Kitchen’s role is to determine whether or not an individual has reached a level at which a Guardian needs to be appointed. If a family member is capable of providing guardianship, this would be preferred, but in many cases, Adult Protective Services needs to be contacted in order to appoint a neutral third party Guardian.
Another aspect of competency and/or guardianship relates to developmentally disabled individuals. As developmentally disabled individuals become 18, they are legally adults and can legally engage in contracts, legal decision-making, and other areas where they are vulnerable to being manipulated, controlled, and taken advantage of by unscrupulous people. Dr. Kitchen evaluates these individuals and determines whether they should be considered developmentally disabled individuals who, due to things such as cerebral palsy, severe cognitive deficits, or other reasons, require the protection of a Guardian. In these cases, guardians typically are parents or siblings of the individual. Again, the role is to protect the individual rather than to help individual become a better person.
Substance abuse impacts people in numerous ways. Unfortunately, with the opioid epidemic currently facing the country, substance abuse becomes increasing part of many evaluations. Substance abuse impacts upon parenting skills, personal choices, and in severe cases can lead to cognitive issues such as alcohol induced dementia. Many individuals with substance use problems tend to deny or downplay their abuse issues on the severity of the issues. Dr. Kitchen’s role is to determine that substance use is much more than recreational and has become problematic and to make recommendations regarding inpatient or outpatient substance abuse treatment as well as concerns regarding monitoring via drug screens or alcohol screens.
Mental injury is a legal term that seeks to determine the severity of abuse suffered by children. While mental injury can be caused by numerous issues and sources, it is most likely to be seen in very dysfunctional families. Children in dysfunctional or abusive families often develop emotional and psychological issues that need to be addressed as quickly as possible.
Mental injury can range from mild concerns regarding a child’s adjustment or ability to form relationships to severe where children are totally incapacitated with depression, anxiety, or other issues and have difficulty coping with the world around them.
The psychological tests used by Dr. Kitchen meet the highest standards of validity and reliability as well as scientific rigor. There are numerous, “tests” available online and in other places that purport to determine one’s personality. Dr. Kitchen uses only professionally developed, research-based, and reliable psychological tests.