clinical focus

Clint Payne

The Serenity Center, Inc

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3400 Chapel Hill Road

Suite 206

Douglasville, Georgia 30135

(404) 994-3585

In what setting do you practice? How long have you been practicing?

I am in private practice. I work by myself, not in a group. I have been in private practice since 2001. I have worked in adolescent residential treatment settings on multiple occasions, other professional private practices, and also with a nonprofit substance abuse treatment center.

What are your specialties or areas of clinical focus?

My areas of clinical focus are couples and individuals. About 60-70 percent of my practice is focused on couples. I work with all kinds of couples. Some are married, some not, premarital, and same sex couples. The rest my practice consists of individual clients, working with depression, anxiety, self-esteem, grief and loss, PTSD, anger management, and spiritual issues. I also work with adolescents in my private practice. I do not work with children below the age of 12.

What are the most common disorders you treat?

Anxiety, depression, PTSD, anger management and grief and loss issues. I also work with some Axis II disorders and the most common ones there are narcissistic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder.

Do you have any special certifications or training beyond your original graduate coursework?

No, but I should have by Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor by the end of the year.

How do you approach therapy or treatment? Do you use specific modalities, techniques, or interventions?

I mostly use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). I also use many forms of motivational psychology and often use Dialectical behavior therapy with many people, especially my borderline clients. I also use many types of experiential/Gestalt intervention when they are appropriate.

What ethical and legal issues do you think are the most challenging or common?

The most common ethical issue that most therapist run across is the one of dual relationships. Many therapists find themselves in the same community as their clients and my run into them at church, grocery store, or at their own child’s school. There has also been a growing issue with social media and online counseling and the ethics regarding how to handle these new areas of practice. I think the most common legal/ethical issue after this is the one around suicide and how to handle a client that is threatening this. Many therapists struggle around if and when they should attempt to intervene and break confidentiality.

Do you have an opinion on where you think the field of psychology is heading?

I think that many therapists will attempt to move towards an online, the mental health model. However, I have not found that to be the case with my practice at this time. I am finding few client wanting to meet over the phone or via video conference. The ones I have met with this way have found it not as productive or personal. However, it may do well for those with social anxiety or some type of Asperger’s or Autistic disorder. I also hope that psychology will move to more of a preventive and “coaching” model to help people before mental health issues interfere with their life and they feel like they need to pursue counseling. I hope we can educate the public at large the need to be proactive about their mental like they hopefully are about their physical health.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

the thing I enjoy most is seeing clients “light bulbs” turn on and they understand something for the first time about how and why they are doing or making the decisions they have. It is also very rewarding to listen to clients pass on what they have learn to others they know. This hopefully helps all those connected to my client!

What advice would you provide an aspiring psychologist or therapist?

Find out who you want to be as a therapist. The most important thing about being a therapist is you. More important than the set of skills you have, the type of theory you want to apply, and what you have learned is who you are as a person. Be yourself and do what works for you in your sessions and with people. I find that people appreciate real, honest people, who they can connect with. Be in therapy yourself. If you are going to practice it on others, do it for yourself. I would not go to therapy with a therapist who has not been in therapy.

I am sorry to hear about your loss of loved ones. If you are looking to gain insight and see if that is where you want to be volunteering is a great way to find out. We had a man come by in my bachelors program from hospice searching for people to volunteer.

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