Practice Areas

Psychological Evaluation, Testing & Assessment

My practice is a specialty offering psychological evaluation, testing and assessment in English and Spanish at my Silver City office or through home visits, if appropriate.

As a clinical health psychologist, I specialize in applying scientific knowledge to the practice of health and wellness by understanding the interactions of biological, social, emotional, cognitive, and cultural aspects of individuals.

Psychological evaluation and assessment involves a clinical interview, health care record review, collateral interview, consultation with other professionals, administration, scoring, and interpretation of psychological tests and data by an expert psychologist for comprehensive understanding of the referral question. All work including intellectual, cognitive, and personality testing & assessment is performed by Dr. Marie C Weil.

Evaluations are performed with adults, students, Veterans, geriatric persons, Latinx, immigrants and refugees.

¡Soy bilingüe!

Follow-up for short-term cognitive behavioral (CBT) health and behavioral interventions for chronic health problems may be furnished after a psychological evaluation. I do NOT currently provide psychotherapy for general mental health and will be happy to provide you with local referrals. Read more about CBT here: apa.org/ptsd-guideline/patients-and-families/cognitive-behavioral.pdf

Students – Academic & Learning
For students (age 16+ through adult), I provide culturally competent psychological evaluations and testing of intellectual abilities and academic achievement particularly related to the diagnosis of specific learning disorders. I make recommendations for accommodations at school and college, and/or for testing centers.

Cognitive, Health Psychology, Presurgical & Specialty Assessments
Cognitive evaluations are performed for concerns about dementia or memory, disability evaluations for Veterans, presurgical candidate evaluations for pain interventions or bariatric surgery, assessments for chronic health problems such as insomnia, tobacco use, cancer, chronic pain, diabetes, and heart disease, and consultation for palliative and hospice patients. Contact me for immigration assessments and any other specialty evaluations.

Diagnostic Clarification & Assessments for Complex Patients
Psychological evaluation and testing is performed to clarify mental health and behavioral health diagnoses and assist other behavioral health professionals and physicians with focused treatment planning and recommendations for their complex patients.

Anxiety & Depression, Trauma & Behavioral Health

Depression and anxiety significantly impair individuals’ quality of life. Psychologists are highly trained to help people recover from emotional and substance abuse problems through the provision of evidence based treatment. Learn about PTSD: ptsd.va.gov/apps/decisionaid and find resources for substance use disorders: apa.org/advocacy/substance-use

I offer assessments and psychological testing to clarify diagnoses and assist other behavioral health care clinicians and physicians with focused treatment planning and recommendations for their complex clients. Please note, I do NOT currently offer psychotherapy to treat general mental health but will be happy to provide local referrals. Read about how psychologists treat people struggling with depression and anxiety: apa.org/helpcenter/depression and apa.org/helpcenter/anxiety

Dementia

Dementia is not a normal part of aging. Dementia is a syndrome caused by a variety of brain illnesses that affect memory, thinking, behavior and the ability to perform everyday activities such as driving, self-care, medication management, problem-solving, and independent living. I assess, diagnose and treat persons with dementia and support their care partners. I accept referrals for psychological evaluation and testing of cognitive functioning to assist patients, health care providers, & families.

I offer advanced training for health care staff to implement evidenced-based behavioral and psychosocial strategies to manage difficult symptoms in patients with dementia. Training focuses on educating direct care staff about dementia, guiding staff to have realistic expectations about patients with dementia, practicing techniques and care that promotes maximal functioning and quality of life for patients with dementia, and use of pleasant activities for these patients. Read more about how psychologists can help with dementia: apa.org/helpcenter/living-with-dementia

Palliative & Hospice

Facing chronic and life-limiting illnesses presents unique needs for patients and families. I am an expert who helps people cope with chronic illness, find meaning and develop mastery and control to improve their emotional responses and make adjustments with an emphasis on quality of life according to the patient’s values.

The World Health Organization (WHO) describes palliative care as an approach that improves the quality of life (QoL) of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems including physical, psychosocial and spiritual. Palliative care affirms life and regards dying as a normal process but intends neither to hasten or postpone death. Palliative care integrates psychological and spiritual care in the holistic treatment of the patient and family. It involves a team approach, emphasizes symptom control, and extends support to the family. It is important to emphasize palliative care early on once a life-threatening diagnosis is made. Palliative care does not require a terminal condition or time-limited prognosis.

I possess effective interdisciplinary team work and integration with health care and hospital staff to facilitate family meetings (goals of care) and sensitive conversations related to advance care planning with close involvement of family and the patients’ care partners.

I provide culturally competent and linguistically appropriate holistic psychological assessments and practice to support patients, families, and health care staff cope with illness, anticipated grief & loss, caregiving, and treatment goals.

All hospice is palliative care but all palliative care is NOT hospice. Hospice care emphasizes comfort focused on symptom management and involves a physician prognostication of the primary disease to be 6 months or less. Hospice does not hasten or prolong life. It is not a place or where you go to die. It is not giving up. Hospice emphasizes patient autonomy, dignity and respect for values (QoL). Read more about palliative and hospice care here: nia.nih.gov/health/what-are-palliative-care-and-hospice-care.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a significant health problem that results in high health care costs and disability. I offer assessments to assist health care professionals with treatment planning and presurgical pain intervention assessments for their patients. I treat persons with chronic pain using evidence-based methods including CBT-CP (cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic pain) to assist persons to cope and manage chronic pain, increase one’s functioning, and live a quality of life. Read about how psychologists help people with chronic pain: apa.org/helpcenter/pain-management.

Cancer

Research over the last decade has shown that psychosocial interventions can lead to improved outcomes by helping persons with cancer cope with diagnosis and treatment [1]. This research also demonstrated that people with cancer who have higher stress have dampened immune responses [2].

I help those with cancer reduce their emotional distress by offering From Cancer to Health,™ an empirically supported biobehavioral intervention (individual & group) designed to teach recently diagnosed patients how to manage their stress, ways to lessen the impact of physical symptoms of cancer, and skills to cope with common problems faced by people with cancer.

Dr. Weil obtained advanced training and consultation to deliver From Cancer to Health™ designed by an expert panel of health psychologists at The Ohio State University. Their research revealed that patients who participated had:

· Reduced risk for cancer recurrence by 55%
· Reduced anxiety by 77%
· Improved immune response by 144%
· Improved perception of social support by 231%
· Improved physical functioning by 276%
· Reduced physical symptoms by 43%
· Positive dietary changes by 117%

[1] Andersen BL, Farrar WB, Golden-Kreutz DM, et al. (2004). Psychological, behavioral, and immune changes following a psychological intervention: A clinical trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 22(17), 3570-3580.

[2] Andersen BL, Farrar WB, Golden-Kreutz DM, et al. (1998). Stress and immune responses following surgical treatment of regional breast cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 90(1), 30-36.

Insomnia

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder and often occurs in conjunction with both medical and other mental health disorders. Psychologists help people with insomnia to change unhealthy behaviors and stressors that make sleep worse. I offer comprehensive assessments to assist patients and their health care professionals treat sleep disorders and also provide evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-i) and help patients adjust to using devices such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines and masks that help treat sleep apnea. Read about how to get a good night’s sleep: apa.org/helpcenter/sleep-disorders.pdf

Tobacco Cessation

The most important health change one can make is to quit smoking or chewing tobacco. In collaboration with your health care professional and appropriate monitoring of medications including nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), I offer evidence-based assessments and behavioral strategies to assist patients with quitting and to cope with triggers to use tobacco. Read more about the benefits of quitting: cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking/how_to_quit/benefits/index.htm

Diabetes

Diabetes is a common chronic health problem that disproportionately affects ethnic and racial minorities. I provide culturally competent and linguistically appropriate psychological assessments to help patients with diabetes to make essential health behavior changes and effectively cope and manage their disease in collaboration with their health care professional. Read more about how psychologists help patients with diabetes: apa.org/helpcenter/diabetes

Heart Disease

Heart disease is a chronic health problem that can be challenging to manage and impacts one’s quality of life. I help patients with heart disease to lead healthy lifestyles in collaboration with their health care professional and address the emotional struggles that may come with this illness. Read more about how psychologists make a difference with patients with heart disease: apa.org/helpcenter/heart-healthy-lifestyle

Weight Management

Healthy weight control impacts children and adults throughout the country and has substantial negative health impacts. I provide specialized assessments to evaluate candidates for bariatric surgery and offer expertise to help patients make behavioral and lifestyle changes. Read about how psychologists contribute their expertise to help patients better manage weight and health: apa.org/helpcenter/weight-control