Stephen J. Cummings, PhD
Brilliant Underachieving Children:
I particularly enjoy working with highly creative, sometimes eccentric children who do not fit easily into the traditional school curriculum. I have always had a great deal of empathy for these misunderstood kids and their confused parents. Some of these children have rather extraordinary talents that remain unrecognized or diminished in the eyes of mainstream school personnel.
21st century metropolitan Seattle is filled with single adults who are functional in most areas of their lives but who have a paucity of close relationships. Approximately half of the households in this area consist of single adults, many of whom have moved from other areas. Because of the unfortunate anonymity in large cities and the special reserved character of Greater Seattleites, this can be a particularly hard town to meet people. One colleague has humorously described Cloud City as full of people who are “in a coma.” Many folks look toward the Internet as a way of meeting a significant other and do not want to frequent drinking establishments to be displayed as part of the meat market. It is no longer permissible to carry on explicit office romances. Therefore, options seem limited.
Criminal Justice System Defendants:
I have had over 30 years’ experience working with those in trouble with the law. I feel comfortable collaborating with defense attorneys to perform psychological evaluations on their clients and to present an objective assessment of their strengths and weaknesses to the Court. These assessments invariably consist of psychodiagnostic interviews, psychological testing, collateral contact, and consultation with the attorney in question.
Developmentally Disabled Clients:
Since 1980, I have worked with the entire spectrum of mentally retarded clients as a therapist and evaluator. I am particularly attuned to their social-emotional needs and the roles of their caretakers in promoting a normalized lifestyle in the face of varying degrees of functional limitations in everyday life.
As the waves of immigrants have continued to swell the population of the Puget Sound Region, I have had the privilege of helping people from all around the world adjust to this culture and navigate the system. People from such diverse countries as Bulgaria, India, China, the Philippines, Mexico, Lebanon, Russia, and all over Latin America have benefited from my services. I speak simple Spanish, very good French, not-so-good German, and superb English!
As wonderful as the Internet can be in locating information and contacting people from around the planet, it can also serve to isolate children and adults from their peers and families. I have become increasingly alarmed at the frequency of “screen addiction,” namely people who not only sit in front of a monitor at work all day long but who return to their lairs to play video games, search singles’ sites, and watch television to keep them company. A corollary result is that these same individuals do not get enough exercise, engage in interactive play, or participate in the community at large. I am planning to begin an Internet Addiction group in the near future to address these problems of alienation.
Gay Adolescents and Adults:
I am a heterosexual “gay friendly” psychotherapist who has worked with gay adult clients on a regular basis since 1985. As a result, I have a good understanding of the unique and universal issues facing this large minority in Greater Seattle. I see individuals and couples in my practice, most of whom are dealing with relationship problems.
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