“Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Ghandi
The quote by Ghandi explains how Dr. McKinney believes that any person has the capacity to change and be the person they truly want to be in the world. She feels everyone has a journey they have taken and as your therapist, she will work to understand your personal journey, because it encompasses the building blocks of your story. Through thorough assessments, Dr. McKinney is able to use your story, combined with the current situation, to help guide her patients onto a new path. She knows the end of your story hasn’t been written yet and with the therapy, the direction and outcome of anyone’s life story can change! Where you are now doesn’t have to be where you end up.
“Be the person your dog thinks you are.”
This is another quote that Dr. McKinney believes in wholeheartedly, which is why, in addition to her own schooling and past experience, she enlists the help of her therapy dog, Dutch, an Irish Cream Golden Retriever. Dutch doesn’t see issues or struggles. He sees a person. He sees a child. And without saying a word, he can offer a gentle paw or a soothing sigh or gentle comfort to someone who desperately needs a friend. All simple gestures, which can work miracles in the mind and heart of a hurting person.
Dr. Denise McKinney, Psy.D., earned her Doctorate from Argosy University in Atlanta. She completed her Masters of Art in Clinical Psychology at East Tennessee State University and received her Bachelors of Art from University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has more than10 years of experience in the field of Clinical Psychology within in a vast range of settings. She has assessed and worked with ages ranging from 2 to 85 with an array of difficulties. During her graduate work, she specialized in child and adolescents with focus on trauma-related issues as well as many different types of family, school and emotional struggles. Dr. McKinney also has extensive experience working with adults with issues including substance abuse, trauma, mood disorders, and marital problems. Dr. McKinney has conducted assessments on children, adolescents and adults to help determine functioning and to drive treatment planning. Dr. McKinney is experienced in assessing disorders of attention-deficit/hyperactivity, behavioral and emotional functioning, cognitive or academic abilities (including learning disabilities), autism-spectrum, trauma impacts, and personality. Her experience in these areas offers her clients a comprehensive evaluation with extensive recommendations for how to manage any diagnoses discovered throughout the evaluation process.
As a psychologist, Dr. McKinney strives to develop a trusting and lasting relationship with her clients and she feels this is the cornerstone of the therapeutic relationship. Once a therapeutic relationship has been established, she will use a variety of techniques to help you make the desired change you are striving to meet in your life. Dr. McKinney uses a mindfulness approach along with cognitive behavioral techniques to help you meet your goals that brought you to seek therapy. She also utilizes play and art therapy with children and adolescents to help them engage and also develop a strong therapeutic relationship. When working with this age group she sees the family as an integral part of the therapeutic process and actively includes them in the process.