Our hope is to provide a place to help our clients achieve their life goals, explore life-circumstances, move through difficult life transitions, repair injured relationships, develop a better understanding of themselves or a family member, decrease destructive behaviors, and move their healing forward. Our work is based on the belief that we are each influenced by a variety of factors including life experiences, family histories, and genetic predispositions. An increased understanding of ourselves and the things that influence our lives enable us to make more conscious healthier choices and changes.
How we work
We provide individual therapy for children, adolescents, and adults.
Services are provided at our offices in Lakeside or Alpine, or through Breakthrough Video Counseling Services (www.breakthrough.com). Breakthrough Video Counseling is an exciting service that is available for clients who are too busy, live too far away, have physical limitations or have trouble finding childcare. Now, we can meet wherever it is most convenient and comfortable for you – your couch, your kitchen, or your hotel room.
Breakthrough is easy to use – Really! All that is needed is a computer and fast Internet. We have found it to be just as effective as meeting face-to-face, and the research backs us up on that (See Breakthrough Effectiveness). It is secure and accepted by major health insurance companies. And – perhaps the best reason to consider it – its ease-of-use makes it far more likely to stick with, and complete, treatment.
To learn more, please visit Dr. Silva’s profile page on Breakthrough.com. If you still have questions, let us know, so we can help you figure out whether Breakthrough makes sense for you.
The following episode of “Killer Kids” was filmed by the Lifetime channel, and includes comments by Dr. Silva.
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder is a common behavioral disorder that affects about 10% of school-age children. Kids with ADHD may act without thinking, be impulsive, and have trouble focusing. They may understand what’s expected of them but have trouble following through because they can’t sit still, pay attention, or focus on details.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can occur after you have been through a traumatic event. A traumatic event is something terrible and scary that you see, hear about, or that happens to you, such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or physical or sexual assault in adult or childhood.
Depression is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities. Signs of depression may include trouble eating/sleeping, low interest in activities, feelings of helplessness/guilt/hopelessness.
Everyone feels anxious sometimes (afraid of something happening) or obsessed about something happening in a certain way. When that fear or anxiety becomes something that gets in the way of your life (school/work, relationships, ability to enjoy things or cope), doesn’t go away and causes you distress, that is when it could be a more serious anxiety disorder.
Stress has been called America’s number one health problem, and it is estimated by the American Institute for Stress that 75 percent to 90 percent of visits to the doctor are for stress-related problems. The top six stress areas in life include Relationship, Health, Finances, Career, Home and Safety.
A diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder depends on a complete evaluation since there’s no test that can determine the presence of ADHD. Many adolescents diagnosed with ADHD are evaluated and treated by primary care doctors but you may also be referred to one of several different specialists (psychiatrists, psychologists, neurologists) especially when the diagnosis is in doubt, or if there are other concerns, such as Tourette syndrome, a learning disability, anxiety, or depression.
ADHD can’t be cured, but it can be successfully managed. Your doctor will work with you to develop an individualized, long-term plan. In most cases, ADHD is best treated with a combination of medication and behavior therapy. Any good treatment plan will require close follow-up and monitoring.
People usually call it autism (say: AW-tiz-um), but the official name is autism spectrum disorders. Because doctors include autism in a group of problems including Asperger syndrome and others. These problems happen when the brain develops differently and has trouble with an important job: making sense of the world.
Doctors, therapists, and special education teachers can help kids learn to communicate better. A kid might learn sign language or get a message across by pointing at pictures. The care team also can help improve a kid’s social skills, stuff like taking turns and playing in a group.
Some kids who have mild symptoms will graduate high school and may go to college and live on their own. Many will always need some kind of help. But all will have brighter futures when they have the support and understanding of their families, doctors, teachers, therapists, and friends. So be sure to be a friend!
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the development of characteristic symptoms that occur following direct or indirect exposure to a traumatic or terrifying event in which physical harm was threatened, witnessed, or actually experienced. PTSD also can occur after the unexpected or violent death of a family member or close friend, or following serious harm or threat of death or injury to a loved one.
Many people recover from experiencing a traumatic event after a period of adjustment. However, if you have experienced a traumatic event and has experienced PTSD symptoms for over a month, it’s time to get help from a professional.
Therapy can be extremely supportive and helpful, particularly if the trauma was unusually severe or life threatening. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been shown to be very effective for people who develop PTSD. This type of therapy helps someone to adopt new thoughts (called cognitions) and behaviors in place of destructive or negative ones, while safely revisiting aspects of the trauma.
Group therapy or support groups can be beneficial because they can help you understand you’re not alone. Groups also provide a safe atmosphere in which to share feelings.
When a depressive state, or mood, lingers for a long time — weeks, months, or even longer — and limits a person’s ability to function normally, it can be diagnosed as depression.
Major depression is a serious condition characterized by a persistent sad mood, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, and the inability to feel pleasure or happiness. Major depression typically interferes with day-to-day functioning like eating and sleeping.
Bipolar disorder, another type of mood disturbance, is characterized by episodes of low-energy depression (sadness and hopelessness) and high-energy mania (irritability and explosive temper). Bipolar disorder may affect as many as 1% to 2% of kids. More than 2 million adults have bipolar disorder, which often develops in the late teen years and early adulthood.
A psychiatrist or psychologist can perform a complete evaluation and start a treatment plan that may include counseling, medicine, or both. The counselor might prescribe some sort of group counseling.
SD Psychological Services operates a group private practice located in the cities of Lakeside and Alpine, CA. Our areas of expertise includes ADD/ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Depression, Anxiety Disorders, and trauma exposure.
SDPS accepts private pay, sliding scale fee, and insurance reimbursement (Tricare, Aetna, Blue Shield, Anthem, Triwest, Medi-cal, Magellan).