Dr. Sharon Gorenstein, Ph.D., NCSP
Dr. Gorenstein was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Maryland. She received her B.A. in psychology from Towson University in 1990 and continued her studies there earning both a Masters and Specialist level degrees in School Psychology, and in 2005 completed her Ph.D. at the University of Maryland College Park.
She began her career 25 years ago within the Baltimore City Public Schools working as a School Psychologist, while at the same time worked as a mental health counselor at an outpatient clinic for drug- addicted, HIV+ pregnant women and has worked as a consultant to support successful outcomes for grant-funded after-school enrichment programs. In addition, to working in clinical settings for over 25 years she has developed trainings for educators, physicians, social workers and police officers about how to be more culturally competent when working with the unique needs of the LGBT communities and has enjoyed teaching as an adjunct faculty member at both Loyola University and George Mason University in their graduate schools. In 2016 Dr. Gorenstein began expanding her private practice with a focus on children, teens and young adults.
My practice is to first assist children, youth and families in gaining better insight to know themselves and their patterns of behavior and coping. With this knowledge individuals can then consider how they want to make choices about their actions that may have been causing them stress and make adjustments to ones that bring joy and lend themselves to achieving their goals. I tend to utilize a combination of Cognitive Behavioral and Humanistic perspectives. The process of therapy is meant to be an interactive one and I believe my role is one that facilitates a safe, nurturing space where I may listen, reflect and provide supportive feedback to help inform the direction each client takes. Each person is unique and must be respected as such, so there are no made to order answers. I believe in the innate ability of each individual to realize their fullest potential when provided an opportunity to explore and develop tools that allow them to fully access their stated goals.
Credentials and Affiliations:
Licensed Psychologist, State of Maryland (License # 05611)
American Psychological Association
National Association of School Psychologists
Maryland School Psychologists’ Association
Baltimore City Association of School Psychologists
President 2009- 2010
SERVICES I OFFER:
In today's complex world it can be difficult for both children or adolescents and their families to avoid feeling overwhelmed and to feel secure that they are on the right track. After more than 25 years of experience in a variety of settings Dr. Gorenstein's approach to working with children and adolescents is flexible, responsive, strength-based and frequently includes family participation.
Typically counseling begins with an initial session with both the child and parents so that concerns and goals are clearly identified. This allows an opportunity to begin to understand any family dynamics that may need to be addressed. Usually a few sessions are then spent with the child or adolescent to better understand their emotional and cognitive framework. The quality of the relationship and the establishment of trust can be critical to the effectiveness of the therapy and recommended interventions. A follow-up session with parents to review and determine a treatment plan may then take place. Sometimes in working with teenagers a more individual approach may be called for, appropriate to their developmental growth toward independence. Strategies may include individual and/or family therapy, behavior management and school consultation. Effectiveness of treatment is assessed by progress toward identified goals as reported by involved stakeholders.
Common issues addressed include: anxiety, depression, ADHD, self esteem, peer relations, developmental concerns, behavioral difficulties, stress management, and school related struggles.
Assessments typically include a thorough review of the child's developmental, medical, educational, and family history, clinical interview with the caregiver(s), direct observation of the child, and formal psychometric testing. In most cases, behavioral reports from teachers can also be obtained with parental/guardian consent. Additionally, we consider each child’s areas of strength and weakness when developing comprehensive recommendations to best support their educational endeavors. Formal testing may include measures of the following:
Language and language-related functions
Learning and memory
Personality and social-emotional functioning