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Psychology Services Expand at NYM

Oct 2, 2008


Pictured from left, Robert Pierro, Ph.D., chief psychologist and coordinator of NYM's recently expanded psychological services, Albert Ortega, Ph.D., the Hospital's new in-house neuropsychologist, and Paul Carroll, Ph.D., clinical psychologist.

The Department of Neurosciences at New York Methodist Hospital has recently expanded psychology services to cater to a full range of patients' needs in both inpatient and outpatient services. Family therapy, group therapy, traditional individual psychotherapy and follow-up care are available within the Hospital and at its private outpatient practice, located in a nearby brownstone. In addition, patients with medical conditions that affect brain functioning can be evaluated and treated by a psychologist who specializes in this type of testing. Three new psychologists have joined the Department in order to support the expansion.

Robert Pierro, Ph.D., chief psychologist, coordinates the Hospital's recently expanded inpatient and outpatient psychological services. "Psychological issues are often inseparably linked to a patient's physical well-being and response to treatment", said Dr. Pierro, who added, "Patients with newly diagnosed medical conditions are going to fare better if they can understand the condition and the treatment and adjust to it successfully."

Albert Ortega, Ph.D., is the Hospital's new in-house neuropsychologist. He specializes in stroke, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and traumatic brain injury. These are conditions with the potential to cause cognitive impairment (compromised thinking and memory) and dramatic changes in a patient's overall mood and behavior. Dr. Ortega focuses on the interface between physical and psychological responses to illness and injury.

Paul Carroll, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, has also joined the staff to provide psychotherapy. "Patients and caregivers who have experienced loss, who are experiencing grief, or who are facing great new challenges should know that they have a place to go,"  said Dr. Carroll. "Patients are often in a very vulnerable state. They are, by definition, in a great state of need. We are here to provide essential support as well as follow-up care during a difficult time." Dr. Carroll also specializes in dyadic care, which is designed for parents with infants who experience problems eating or sleeping, or other issues that may arise early in life.

The mind and the body are interdependent. When a patient receives treatment at a hospital or in an outpatient center, the whole person -his or her mind and emotional well-being as well as the medical condition at hand -must be taken into account. Providing psychological services is often an important part of caring for the whole patient, said Miran Salgado, M.D., chairman of neurosciences at NYM. The Division of Psychology completes the picture, said Jessy Colah, M.D., chief of psychiatry and vice chairman of neurosciences at NYM. "We assist patients as they get through what may well be one of the most difficult times in their lives. The whole person must be cared for even as disease or injury is treated."

For more information about Clinical Psychology Services at NYM, call 718.780.3771 and for information about Neuropsychology Services, call 718.246.8820. For more information about the Institute for Neurosciences at New York Methodist Hospital, call 1 866 DO-NEURO.