My Background, Experience, and Therapeutic Philosophy...
My name is Dr. Phill Stepka and I would like to briefly introduce myself, my experience, and my approach to treatment:
Over the past 20 years, I have trained and worked in a variety of clinical, research, and academic settings with infants, children, adolescents, adults, and families. I completed my psychology internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-New Orleans and later continued on as clinical faculty in the Psychiatry Department and teaching faculty at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. I am a member of the Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) Global Steering Committee; an endorsed CPP National Trainer; and am actively involved in the training of mental health practitioners at the individual, agency, university, state, and national level. Additionally, I have maintained a clinical private practice since 2010 and provide services to residents of Louisiana, Florida, Texas, and PsyPact States (https://psypact.site-ym.com/page/psypactmap).
My current clinical practice is focused primarily on working with individuals impacted by stress and trauma resulting in adjustment, mood, behavioral, and/or relationship struggles.
I have extensive experience in the assessment and treatment of a variety of clinical issues including trauma, depression, mood disorders, anxiety, neurodiversity challenges, and family conflict. I have trained and worked in a wide range of clinical settings including residential treatment centers for children and adolescents with severe mental illness, university counseling centers, community care centers serving low income individuals and families, clinics specializing in physical and sexual abuse, special-education systems, pediatric clinics, military installations, and adult outpatient centers. I have specialized training in trauma throughout the lifespan, child and family psychology, and infant mental health.
My research activities have focused on military families, prenatal exposure to teratogenic substances (i.e., alcohol, opiates, cocaine, and nicotine), and development/ adaptation of evidenced-based practices for various populations and environments. These have included families/individuals impacted by military deployment, young children exposed to sexual abuse, school-based treatment, adults impacted by natural/human-made disasters, and adaptation of evidence-based therapies to telehealth.
I approach assessment and treatment from a developmental-systems perspective. Simply put, the “systems” part means that problems are rarely only caused by an individual or by something outside of the individual in the environment. Instead, the interaction between the person and the world outside of them strongly determines sickness vs. health, satisfaction vs. frustration, and growth vs. stagnation. The “developmental” part relates to my belief that often our history and prior experiences have profound impact on our current beliefs, dreams, actions and wellbeing. As a result, my approach to alleviating human pain and promoting growth focuses on three main strategies:
•Helping my clients, be they individuals, families, or organizations, examine their histories and experiences for helpful and unhelpful patterns relating to their world and managing their problems.
•Focusing on changing unhelpful patterns of relating to people and problems by developing new skills and/or identifying and removing current roadblocks to more effective living.
•Facilitating collaborative interactions with other family members, peers, educators, clinicians, etc., to develop effective and durable systems of support, coping, and growth that will serve the client long after treatment has ended.
Phillip Stepka, Psy.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist