Dr. Foster Speaking on Learning Disabilities

Dr. Nancy Foster from the Institute for Brain-Behavior Integration will be presenting a free workshop on the topic of learning disabilities and how to identify your child’s learning challenges.

When:  June 14th, 5:30-7:00 pm

Where: Family Achievement Center

8320 City Center Drive

Woodbury, MN 55125

To schedule neuropsychological testing for your child or teen with Dr. Foster, call 763-546-5797.


Good Morning, Darlin'

Brought to you by Deborah Simmons, PhD, LMFT

On most days, I go to the same place for cup of coffee.  The people are friendly and it's a nice way to start the day. This morning, a new clerk gave me a smile and said “Good morning, Darlin’!”  I felt myself give back a big grin return.  I walked out to my car amazed by how just a little extra kindness can be so powerful.  Pass it on, Darlin’, and have a great week. 


ADHD Responds to Behavioral Therapy

ADHD affects peer relations, social judgment and behavior choices.  ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorder in children today.  5% to 8% of children will be diagnosed with ADHD.  That is 2 children out of every classroom.  It is manifested in impaired development and adaptation, with school adjustment problems and learning difficulties.  There is an increased risk for accidental injury, substance abuse, and driving accidents.
ADHD is diagnosed when parents and caregivers describe symptoms such as difficulties with distraction, sustaining attention, disorganization, easily distracted, forgetful, doesn’t seem to listen, inattention and/or activity symptoms such as fidgets, squirms, difficulty playing quietly, seems driven by a motor, talks excessively, runs about, blurts out answers, difficulty waiting for a turn, impulsive, acts before thinking through, interrupts, and socially intrusive.  The most common intervention for this diagnosis is medication and behavior management training.  These often work to manage the behavior problems of ADHD.  Unfortunately the interpersonal and learning problems are rarely remediated.  This is due to the inability to create monitor emotion, social cues, processing language and responding.

Much like our muscles, nerves and joints need to move together, our brain has separate functions that need to work together in order to function, organize, and learn.  Our brain needs to integrate to work in a balanced and coordinated way.  Our brains are made up of the left side that helps us to think logically and organize our thoughts and the right side that allows us to experience emotions and the ability to read non-verbal cues, the reptile brain which allows us to act instinctually for survival skills and in making split second decisions.  The mammal brain allows us to connect and relate to others.  This integration of the areas of the brain allows us to survive and thrive.  When our brains are not integrated well enough, common functioning challenges seem chaotic and confusing with tantrums, meltdowns and aggression.

New technology has confirmed that our developing brain has plasticity and is moldable, that it can change through our lifespan, not just in childhood.  New experiences, learning and therapy can actually change the structure of the brain.  Therapeutic intervention may prevent or reduce symptoms, severity and impairment of ADHD by changing the neuronal architecture of the brain.  According to Karen Bierman at Penn State University, with the help of therapy there has been a positive response for remediating interpersonal difficulties, improve behavior management, and learning difficulties.

Instead of supporting the handicap through environmental interventions, therapy actually addresses brain development differently so separate parts of the brain become better connected and work together.  This is done through a multi-modal approach of redefining how language is used to help the child think through the process of the promotion of executive skill functioning through therapy, practicing pacing skills to thwart impulsivity and increase social judgment, empathy skills.


It's Infertility Awareness Week. Listen. Ask. Help.

It's Infertility Awareness Week from April 22-28. So many people are struggling with infertility.  LISTEN.  ASK.  HELP. 

Partners in Healing of Minneapolis was well represented at Resolve's Annual Family Building Conference in Minneapolis over the weekend.  Dr. Deborah Simmons and Diane Tanning, L.Ac. presented information on how to approach a new infertility diagnosis, depression and anxiety related to fertility challenges, gestational surrogacy, when to let go of biological dreams, and Chinese medicine for infertility.  Don't Ignore Infertility.



Integrated Treatment of Reproductive Loss

At Partners in Healing (PIH), we approach reproductive loss and bereavement comprehensively.  Reproductive loss includes a number of difficult experiences, including infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, and unexpected fetal anomaly, among others.  

Some losses result in death.  Other losses feel like a death.  Some losses are symbolic.  For example, when a woman is told that she will need infertility treatment, or that her baby has an anomaly, she is experiencing profound loss.   Often people experience more than one type of loss in their reproductive lives.  This can also include complications in pregnancy or trauma during labor and delivery. 

People do not “get over” a reproductive loss, but they can integrate the experience into what is hopefully and long and happy life.  Telling the reproductive story is a must for healing.  Too often people are afraid to tell their story for fear of burdening others or because others minimize or deny the physical and emotional pain caused by reproductive losses.  This can lead to isolation, resentment, and depression.  At PIH, we actively elicit the story and provide hope for healing and transformation.  

It is insufficient to say that loss is difficult, as each person and each couple experiences loss differently.  

We explore:

  • Gender issues
  • Psychological make-up
  • Childhood trauma
  • Medical trauma history
  • Family history and dynamics
  • Belief systems
  • Social environment
  • Spiritual beliefs
  • Resilience factors 

Our PIH team, including Dr. Deborah Simmons, PhD, LMFT and Diane Tanning, RN, MS, L.Ac.  Dr. Simmons provides clinical hypnosis, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), acupuncture, and individual and couples therapy to those who have experienced reproductive loss.  We listen to our patients’ unique situations and partner with them in developing the most appropriate treatment plan.  Many of our patients have found healing and new purpose. 

We collaborate actively with physicians, nurses, acupuncturists, and other health care professionals across the Twin Cities to ensure that healing is complete and that hope can spring anew for family building in the future.  Dr. Simmons is available for professional consultation, as well.  Compassion and clinical know-how ensure good outcomes at PIH.  To schedule, call us at 763-546-5797.