By Bonnie Mason
Do you ever get out of bed in the morning and think that you just can’t face another day? Or, maybe you are able to make it through the work day, but by the end of it, you’re exhausted and all you want to do is go home and get some sleep? Life in general can be overwhelming and in the mobile, multi-tasking, instant society we live in, stress, anxiety and depression can come too often.
“Take time for you” is the advice of Dr. Brad Palermo, Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology), licensed psychologist and owner of Premier Psychological Services, located on W. Bearss Avenue near I-275 in nearby North Tampa.
Dr. Palermo explains that, at one time or another, everyone experiences stress, anxiety and depression, to varying degrees. Generally, he says, most people are able to work their way through these low or anxious periods by themselves. But, the times when you feel overwhelmed or helpless and defeated, Dr. Palermo says he recommends you seek the help of a psychological professional.
“When you can’t seem to figure things out or things are not getting better – that’s when you should call our office,” he says. “It’s all about balance; you have to have a balance between your work, your home and your family.”
He adds that there are things you can do on your own to create better balance in your life. For example, Dr. Palermo says you have to leave work at work — don’t bring problems at work home or let your job become your identity. “Learning to separate yourself from your place of employment is key,” he says.
Other steps he recommends when trying to achieve a good life balance include getting enough hours of uninterrupted sleep, eating healthy nutritious foods and living a more active life. For example, he says a walk in the early morning or after dinner is a good way to gain new perspective. And, be sure you have someone in your life you can talk with when life presents challenges — and realize that family members and friends may not always be the best people to talk to about important personal matters.
A male teenage client recently told Dr. Palermo, “Thanks for putting up with me when I decided to let it all out. Wow, that was intense. Felt good though.”
The clinicians at Premier Psychological Services have been helping New Tampa and other area residents get back their balance for more than three years. The practice’s licensed and certified clinicians offer 90 years of combined practical experience. In addition to Dr. Palermo, other clinicians available for clients include Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHCs) Pam Baker, and Tracy Crowe, M.S.; Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Heidi Petracco, MSW (Master of Social Work); as well as psychologist and neuropsychologist, Carmine Pecoraro, Psy.D., CAP (Certified Addiction Professional), NCGC (National Certified Gambling Counselor)-II.
Dr. Palermo received his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida in Gainesville and his Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern in Fort Lauderdale. “I fell in love with the ideas and concepts in learning and studying why people do what they do and why people behave how they behave,” Dr. Palermo says. “I’m personable and I want our clients to walk away with having had a personable, successful experience. Working with people is something you fall in love with, so I get to do what I love to do every day.”
Each clinician has his or her own specialties and Dr. Palermo is proud to be able to offer New Tampa residents help in practically all areas of behavioral and psychological therapy. Whether you have a young child who is having difficulty adjusting to a school setting, a teenager who needs some guidance and help dealing with peer pressures, a new mother who is feeling overwhelmed, a couple who has lost their way, or an older person who is dealing with memory loss, Premier Psychological Services has a clinician who can help.
Besides general therapy, services available also include group therapy, couples therapy, psychological testing for learning disabilities and disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHA) or attention deficit disorder (ADD) and substance abuse counseling.
Some people, unfortunately, still believe psychological and behavioral therapy are taboo. But, Dr. Palermo says that once a person finds the right therapist, that negative perception will dissipate.
“I doubted the whole therapy thing at first and thought our marriage was done,” said a recent client of the practice. This concerned husband, father and local business owner told Dr. Palermo, “Thankfully you were able to open my eyes. I don’t know what I would have done if I lost (my wife) and the kids. I know we still have some work to do but I wanted you to know how grateful I am.”
Therapy helps many people, but not everyone. Dr. Palermo explained that there are clients who have specific mental health illnesses and/or behavioral disorders that do require medication. For those types of clients, Dr. Palermo and his fellow clinicians at Premier will refer the client to a psychiatrist who may subscribe the appropriate medication to combine with therapy.
“We don’t prescribe medication,” he says. “Medication alone only puts a Band-Aid on the problem — it is not a long-term fix. Therapy, on the other hand, has been proven to have long-term success.” So, even if PPS refers you to a psychiatrist to evaluate your need for medication, he says you should still meet regularly with a therapist to give yourself the best chance at long-term results.
Finding The Best Fit
Dr. Palermo says that it’s best to give yourself a “trying out” period of 2-4 sessions before determining whether or not you’re comfortable with your clinician. The good news is that most clients report an improvement in their symptoms after their first session, despite some clients who feel a little uncomfortable. Dr. Palermo strongly believes in a positive therapeutic relationship with the clinician. “Each person is different; there is no definite time frame within which therapy will or will not show results for you,” he says.
If you would like to explore the options available at Premier Psychological Services, you can have a free initial phone consult with Dr. Palermo within 24 hours of contacting the office. The initial consultation will help him determine if you are a good candidate for the therapy services offered at the practice, as well as which of the five clinicians in the office might be the best fit for your individual needs. Your first appointment will be scheduled at your convenience, usually within one week the initial consultation.
Skype Or Phone, Too?
Dr. Palermo says he still believes that most of Premier’s clients are best served through traditional one-on-one, face-to-face therapy. However, he also recognizes that lack of accessibility can hinder a potential client’s ability to get the help they need. For those clients who travel a lot and can’t get to the office for their therapy, or for clients who are experiencing extreme anxiety, as well as physically disabled people who cannot leave their homes, therapy sessions can be conducted by telephone or videoconference through Skype.com. While these are not ideal options, they do work for some clients.
Premier Psychological Services accepts most insurance plans , as well as self-pay clients. Each therapist in the practice charges a different fee. “Ultimately, we all strive to work out a fee that’s affordable for you,” Dr. Palermo says. “Our goal is to help you get your life back in balance.”
Premier Psychological Services is located at 324 W. Bearss Ave. in North Tampa. To schedule an appointment or to speak with Dr. Brad Palermo or any of the clinicians at the office, call 418-7188, or send an email to: DrP@Phone Premier.com. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m., and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday. To learn more about the practice and services available visit Tampa-Therapy.com.