Steve O'Brien, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist with nearly 30 years of experience treating children, adolescents, families and young adults in his Clearwater, Florida practice. His specialty areas include child-adolescent anxiety/depression, ADHD Autism Spectrum Disorders, and divorced/blended family adjustment. Dr. O'Brien utilizes an integrative-systems model which tailors treatment to the developmental needs of youth and families. Intensive parent consultation and youth-focused family interventions are critical components of his therapeutic approach.
Dr. O'Brien has worked in numerous healthcare environments, including community mental health, psychiatric, inpatient/residential, substance abuse, and medical facilities. He also served as associate professor of child-adolescent studies at the Florida School of Professional Psychology. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. O'Brien is an app developer (Life@Home by Psychtouch.com) and a media consultant for both Tampa Bay and national news outlets. Visit obrienpsychology.com for more information.
Financial: Steve O’Brien is in private practice. He receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.
Non-financial: Steve O’Brien is a member of the American Psychological Association; and the Florida Psychological Association.
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- Identify developmental manifestations of childhood distress secondary to divorced/blended family stressors.
- Discover effective methods of rapport-building with children and parents/step parents to enhance treatment outcomes for anxious, depressed and oppositional children.
- Utilize semi-structured interview and observational formats for obtaining developmental, emotional and behavioural information about distressed children in divorced/blended families.
- Recognize five typical emotional/behavioural responses in children coping with stressful divorced/blended family dynamics.
- Implement developmentally appropriate cognitive-behavioural techniques with anxious/depressed children facing family transitions.
- Apply individualized behaviour management and communication techniques for reducing oppositional behaviour in children seeking control.
- Develop family-focused therapy techniques to reduce distress and disruptive behaviour in children.
- Recommend classroom management strategies teachers can utilize for responding to children’s highly emotional or disruptive behaviour at school.
CHALLENGES FOR CHILDREN FACING DIVORCE & FAMILY TRANSITION
Multiple Losses, Multiple Reactions
Blended Families: In Reality, “Semi-Integrated if You’re Lucky”
- Divorce Do’s and Don’ts: How Kids Cope with Parental Missteps
- Reduce Children’s Distress due to Dysfunctional Co-Parenting
- Helping Kids Cope with Parents’ New Relationships
- Divorce-related Grief and Loss
- ”Blood is Thicker than Water”
- Through Children’s Eyes: Residential Invaders and Parent Stealers
- Healthier Family Functioning via Management rather than Resolution
- Guidelines for Smoother Stepparent-Child Relationships
- Strategies for Relationship Protection and Semi-Integration
TREATMENT TECHNIQUES FOR KIDS IN THE CROSSFIRE
Intervention Strategies for Anxious Children
Intervention Strategies for Oppositional Children
- The 3-R Approach to Anxiety Management
- Daily Relaxation Rituals
- Child-Friendly CBT (No Homework!)
- Family-Focused Play/Art Therapy
- Transition-Management Skills for Dual Households
Intervention Strategies for Depressed Children
- Root Causes of Oppositional/Defiant Behavior
- Defiance as expression of Anxiety and Depression
- Social-Emotional Behavioral Assessment
- Cooperation and Consequences vs. Compliance and Punishment
- Creative Alternatives to Traditional Behavior Modification
Interventions for High-Risk Children
- Effective Rapport Building and Interpersonal Approaches
- Child-Friendly Mood Management Skills
- Game Play Therapy for Family Dynamic
- Therapeutic Technologies
- Emotive Communication Skill-Building
Assisting Distressed Children at School: Tactics for Educators
- Vindictive/Revengeful Behavior
- Physically Destructive Behavior
- Aggressive/Violent Behavior
- Suicidal/Self-Harming Behavior
- Non-Suicidal Self Injury
- Repetitive Substance Abuse
- Socially Rejected/Excluded Children
- ”BASE” Method for Assessing Childhood Functioning
- Family-Related Stress and Academic/Learning Problems
- How Family Conflict Leads to Defiance at School
- Classroom Management for Disruptive Behaviors
- Special Accommodations for Highly Sensitive Children
- Feedback/Discussion Guidelines with Challenging Parents
- School-Wide Solutions for High-Risk Students
- Social Workers
- School Administrators
- Occupational Therapists
- Speech-Language Pathologists
- Marriage and Family Therapists
- Other Helping Professionals who Work with Children
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