Dr. Athena Dacanay is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist providing psychological treatment for child, and family concerns. She received her Doctoral degree in Educational Psychology with a specialization in School Psychology from Ball State University in Muncie, IN. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Integrated Behavioral Health Consortium of Indiana and post-doctoral internship at Psychology Specialists.
Dr. Dacanay has experience in administering psychoeducational and psychological assessments and conducting therapy with individuals, families, and groups in outpatient and school-based settings. Additionally, she has worked with a wide variety of social, emotional, behavioral, and psychological health issues and diagnoses, including neurodevelopmental, anxiety, depressive, personality, and impulse-control disorders.
Dr. Dacanay’s primary areas of professional interest include working with individuals and families who are adjusting to life changes (such as loss, illness, or divorce), struggling to cope with anxiety and depression, needing of behavioral planning, or seeking couples/ family therapy. She utilizes play therapy to help young children express their thoughts and feelings about what is troubling them. She promotes understanding and collaboration among family members in order to solve the problems of one or more individuals, especially with children and adolescents.
Dr. Dacanay uses a combination of cognitive behavioral, acceptance-based, and strengths-based strategies as her approach to treatment. She believes past and current social and cultural forces shape one’s values, thoughts, and expectations about how the world works. The focus of treatment is learning to identify and change debilitating thought patterns, and if there is a struggle in committing to change, to consistently choose to act effectively in the presence of difficult life events.
Brittney McVey is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker providing therapeutic services for adolescents and adults. Ms. McVey received her Master’s degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in Edwardsville, IL and completed her practicum in St. Louis, MO. There, she received training in suicide prevention, cognitive behavioral therapy, and crisis intervention and management. Ms. McVey has worked in outpatient, school, and community settings.
Ms. McVey believes that a holistic approach to treatment is most beneficial to the patients served. Her orientation includes incorporating family sessions or group therapy in conjunction with individual treatment to best serve the needs of the patient.
She values working collaboratively with her patients to determine treatment needs and use skills toward self-improvement.
Ms. McVey has experience in working with a number of presenting concerns including mood disorders, anxiety, school issues and peer concerns, relationship issues, and suicidal ideation. She will be located at Psychology Specialists’ Savoy office in coordination with the Transformations Medical Weight Loss Program and can also assist in providing therapy to individuals struggling with weight loss challenges and body image concerns.
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Dr. Heather O’Brien (formerly Dr. Heather Shoudel) is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist providing psychological treatment for child, adolescent, adult, couples, and families. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University in Normal, IL and completed her Master’s degree and Doctoral training at Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL. In addition, Dr. O’Brien completed her internship at Hutchings Psychiatric Center in Syracuse, NY.
Dr. O’Brien has experience in outpatient, inpatient, group home, nursing home, crisis call center, and day-treatment settings. Additionally, she has completed research on sexual harassment in the workplace, memory and cognition, and social anxiety development. She has experience in the areas of child, adolescent and, family therapies; chronic mental illness; cognitive behavioral therapy; pain management; and psychological/psycho-educational testing.
Dr. O’Brien’s primary areas of professional interest include treatment of childhood disorders, behavioral planning, couples/family therapy, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders.
Dr. O’Brien’s treatment approach is eclectic in nature and includes a combination of cognitive behavioral, dialectical behavioral, client centered, and strengths based strategies. In treatment, the focus is on symptom reduction and the development of new and effective coping strategies. She believes this process is best accomplished through helping her clients' achieve an enhanced understanding of how they are affected by and interact with the environment around them. She believes no two clients are the same and that treatment style and intervention strategies must be tailored to the individual’s needs. When working with small children she focuses on a combination of play therapy and family involvement including behavioral planning.
Dr. Payal Patel is a Postdoctoral Fellow providing psychological treatment for children, adolescents, adults, and families. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Loyola University Chicago and completed her Doctorate in Psychology from Midwestern University in Downers Grove, Illinois. Dr. Patel completed her pre-doctoral internship at Carle Foundation Hospital in Champaign, Illinois.
Dr. Patel has experience administrating psychological and psycho-educational assessments, as well as conducting therapy with individuals, families, and groups in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She has experience with treating clients across the lifespan that present with a wide variety of mental health concerns. Her professional interests include mood disorders, parenting challenges, women’s health issues, emerging adulthood, and difficulties related to life changes.
Dr. Patel’s treatment approach is eclectic in nature, which includes interpersonal and cognitive behavioral strategies. She takes an integrated, culturally informed, and collaborative approach to therapy. Dr. Patel believes that various contextual and environmental factors can contribute to a client’s presentation and strives to help clients achieve a more congruent life.