Sunday, June 28, 2009

Remembering Michael Jackson

Following the untimiely death of Michael Jackson, Sam Rogers spoke with Joy Sutton of WDBJ-7. He offers insighs on the out-pouring of grief across the world at the passing of this iconic musicical artist.
People connect with artists because they express ideas and emotions that we all experience and struggle with. That is the essence of art. That is the reason art is important. This may be especially true for musicians and singers. The music that Michael Jackson produced helped millions of fans to experience and, at some level understand their own emotions. Most of us, if we hear the music of our adolescence, will remember with nostalgia or pain the emotions of that period of our lives. When an artist dies, especially if it is sudden and unexpected, it will touch us, and we will experience a sense of grief and loss. Without the tension of day to day associations, we place our idols on a pedestal. They seem greater than they are. Although we only knew that artist through his or her medium (music in this case), we are moved. The more that artist touched us, the more that artist expressed our own emotions, the stronger that loss will be. Although Michael Jackson had a somewhat uneven life, his music touched the hearts of many, and they grieve his passing..
The interview appears on the WDBJ-7 web site. ( in the "Local Health" section under the title, "Why do the death of celebrities move us to tears?"

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (VACLEA)

The VACLEA Conference, hosted by Chief Mike Gibson of the University of Virginia, was held earlier this Summer in Virginia Beach. PHR was represented there highlighting our Police Assistance Program and our work with employment testing, training and consultation with public safety agencies throughout the state. VACLEA is the group responsible for safeguarding the wellbeing of college and university students throughout the Commonwealth. The campus environment presents its own unique set of challenges in balancing security and order with the need to explore and discover that is the hallmark of the college population. This means tackling everything from the day-to-day crime found in any environment, to the festivity of college football game day, to the dangers of student drug abuse.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Parenting Group Therapy

“Children don’t come with a manual.” The first time I heard this, it went right over my head – having not yet become a parent. Upon having children of my own, I quickly came to appreciate the poignancy of this comment. No doubt, parenting is a challenge, and some children are clearly more difficult than others.
The Parenting Group Therapy sessions offered by Dorene Fick, LCSW are a great opportunity to take on some of the tough questions, with the guidance of a mental health professional and the support of other parents. Focused on those with children aged 2-12 years, the group sessions will begin in July and run for about 6-8 weeks. There will be separate groups for Mothers & Fathers (Step Mothers & Fathers are welcome, too).
For more information call 540-772-5140. Or, you may contact Dorene Fick directly at

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sport Psychology Seminars

John Heil will be conducting a series of Sport Psychology seminars at the United States Fencing Association (USFA) National Championships in Dallas, Texas.
The seminar schedule is: Parent Seminar - Achieving Excellence as a Sport Parent (Sunday, July 5th - 1pm); Mental Training: Focusing and Refocusing from Distractions (Monday, July 6th - 10 am); Goal Setting: Road Map to Success (Tuesday, July 7th - 2 pm); Mental Training: Composure Control (Wednesday, July 8th - 10 am). The seminars are primarily for coaches and athletes, but others, particularly parents, are welcome to attend. A special “Executive Performance” add-on session is available for the Goals Setting & Composure Control seminars – for those who wish to apply sport psychology high performance principles to their work environment. More information and instructions for enrollment are available at

Friday, June 12, 2009

Katie Overstreet

The clinicians and staff here would like to congratulate Katie Overstreet on her graduation, cum laude, from Roanoke College - with a major in Psychology and a minor in Education. Katie will be starting on her Master’s degree in the Counseling Education program at Virginia Tech, and is looking forward to a career as a child psychologist.
Katie has been with us about 2 years. Among other duties, she has been serving as our EAP Newsletter editor. This Newsletter presents psychological matters for the general public. At this point, she has produced a nice body of work. You can take a look on our web site in the Resources section. We are all very pleased to have Katie continue to work with us as she begins her graduate career.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Bill Beamer is a former patient with us who sought treatment to help deal with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. While participating in biofeedback, he was able to experience a trance-like state, that provided relief for a time from pain. When he realized that he was able to produce this same state of mind through a methodical repetitive drawing technique, his longstanding interest in art took on a new meaning and purpose. Bill’s career has since blossomed.

John Yimin of Outsider Art has written that his work "lies in a world, somewhere between what you see and what you think” and describes it as “staggeringly forceful.” You can find out more about Bill and his art at (Follow the link to U*Space Gallery in Atlanta, GA).

Bill notes that although he still has these disorders – but thanks to his art, the disorders don’t have him.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Dorene Fick

After 10 years in suburban NYC as a clinical social worker in a Psychiatric Hospital, Dorene has relocated to the Roanoke Valley and joined Psychological Health Roanoke. Her practice focuses on adult, adolescents, women's and family issues. As part of her work, she serves as an on-site counselor at William Fleming High School, through a program developed by the Roanoke Adolescent Health Partnership. This position brings Dorene full circle to the beginnings of her interest in Social Work. As she notes: I had been an inner city teacher for 3 years (1 in Pittsburgh and 2 in Manhattan). I realized that I needed more skills to help these kids with the many struggles that went above and beyond classroom learning. This prompted me to enroll in Social Work School.
After a whirlwind indoctrination into contemporary urban youth culture and some adjustments in her treatment style, Dorene feels at home and fully a part of things at Fleming HS.

At the encouragement of her students this spring she attended the school production, Urinetown. Dorene describes this as a satirical musical comedy in which the minority poor attempt to overthrow the rich overlords. Urinetown challenges the authority of bureaucracy, corporations and small town politics. The poignancy of a not so happy ending is an unfortunate reflection of the reality of everyday life for many of these students, however, many of them rise to accept real life challenges with maturity and perseverance beyond their years.

For more about the Roanoke Adolescent Health Partnership check out their website at