Dr. Banafsheh Pezeshk Psy. D. QME

Dr. Banafsheh Pezeshk is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a Med-Legal Psychology Evaluator specializing in disability evaluations, medical evaluations, Fit For Duty evaluations, treating traumas, addiction, mood disorders, and other mental health conditions and concerns.

Dr. Pezeshk has expertise in working with children, adolescents, adults and the military personnel. Dr. Pezeshk has been a clinical and developmental clinician/consultant/educator/speaker for many years. She has served the healthcare field in multiple roles as a clinician, consultant, supervisor, program director, and professor.

Dr. Pezeshk has conducted workshops, seminars, and courses internationally and in the US on mental health topics such as addiction treatment, cognitive-behavioral interventions, psychopathology of addiction, understanding depression, suicide prevention, violence, cultural counseling, anxiety disorders, child psychopathologies, communication and connecting; parent-child development, testing and assessment, etc.

Dr. Pezeshk has her educational background in biology, counseling, and clinical psychology. Some quotes by Dr. Pezeshk:

Violence has different faces, but common roots. It can be directed toward others or be self-directed in the form of self-harm behaviors and suicide.

  • The war on drugs, has taken us forty years and billions of dollars, and it is undoubtedly our biggest social failure.
  • According to CASA, the government spending on the war on drugs exceeded $4 billion in 2005, yet the number of addicts and drug-related incarcerations did not go down.
  • The war on drugs, the way it stands now, is a war without a clear strategy. It is a war with inexhaustible cost. It is a war with no exit strategy, and endless and nameless victim.
  • Drug abuse is a physiological predisposition, which if left untreated, combined with situational factors, will lead to addiction and accompanying societal crisis.
  • The staggering relapse rate we witness in drug and alcohol treatment is because of the “blanket approach, “one-size-fits-all” menu that is offered to every addict. People have distinct vulnerabilities to addiction, which needs to be assessed, prior to treatment design.
  • Every individual should have the opportunity to be assessed, using the “Addiction Vulnerability Scale”, to identify his/her specific vulnerabilities to addiction. Based on the result, it”s possible to design the most accurate treatment package and avoid further problems altogether.
  • We should not encourage “tolerance” when speaking of peaceful cultural co-existence; we should speak of harmony.

Dr. Pezeshk’s mission is to connect the scientific side of the mental health research with the professionals who do the applied work on the treatment side, as well as the general public, who need it the most.

Excerpts from Dr. Pezeshk’s seminar at Oxford University, in London/England (April 2009): We need to rethink our approach to treatment of substance abuse. “Addiction Vulnerability Scale” gives the health care professionals the unique ability to assess the individuals as young as 12 years of age for physiological and environmental vulnerabilities. Now, for the first time ever, we can assess addiction even before it begins!

Effective Counseling Factors.

Define your goals. Think about what you would like to get out of counseling. It might be helpful to write a list of events, relationship issues, or feelings that you think are contributing to your distress

Be an active participant. This is your counseling experience, so be as active as you can in deciding how to use the time. Be honest with the counselor and give her or him feedback about how you see the sessions progressing.

Be patient with yourself. Growth takes time, effort, and patience. All of your coping skills, behavior patterns, and self-perceptions have been learned and reinforced over a long period of time, so change can be difficult and slow at times.

Follow your counselor's recommendations. Take the time between sessions to complete any activities suggested by your counselor. Counseling is intended to improve your life in the "real world," so making efforts to try out and practice new behaviors, approaches, or ways of thinking could be a crucial element to the success of your counseling experience..

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