Dr. Jaclyn Halpern is the Director and Co-Founder of The SOAR Program for Psychotherapy and Testing. As Director, Dr. Halpern supervises other clinical staff and oversees general programming to ensure therapy and testing are based in up to date evidenced-based neuroscientific and psychological research. Dr. Halpern has worked in private practice since she was licensed in 2010. She has extensive experience as a clinical director, evaluator, therapist, parent coach, and supervisor.
In her therapeutic work, Dr. Halpern focuses foremost on building a nurturing, supportive, honest, and empathic interpersonal therapeutic relationship with every patient, including those she evaluates. When appropriate, Dr. Halpern enjoys collaborating with family members, and other members of each patient’s support system (like teachers, tutors, other therapists, and doctors), to provide the highest level of care, and to promote health, growth, and stability. Dr. Halpern supports patients through a variety of modalities, and helps each patient and family uncover strengths to support vulnerabilities and to facilitate progress.
Dr. Halpern’s primary specialty is evaluation. She designs and administers personalized assessments for patients of all ages and demographics. Dr. Halpern’s reports and recommendations are individualized in consideration of test data, and with the particular needs of each patient in mind. Dr. Halpern seeks to understand, integrate, and explain educational, social-emotional, cognitive, and adaptive strengths and weaknesses to support each patient as a ‘whole’ person, and to informs recommendations for every aspect of day to day life. Prior to returning to school for her doctorate, Dr. Halpern spent four years as an elementary school teacher. Her experience in the classroom helps her to craft realistic school based recommendations. Having worked in the area throughout her career, Dr. Halpern has an extensive network for referrals across fields, and familiarity with local public and private schools. Additionally, since interactions with her patients and observations of their behaviors and experience are a significant component of Dr. Halpern’s evaluations, she works directly with them throughout the duration of the testing process.
In therapy, Dr. Halpern similarly develops treatment plans based on the specific needs, strengths, vulnerabilities, and goals of the patient(s). It is imperative to Dr. Halpern that she meets her patients ‘in the moment,’ while also looking to the future (and to the past when necessary). Dr. Halpern has completed trainings in psychodynamic and play therapies, which inform not only the therapy she provides, but also her testing interpretations and recommendations. Dr. Halpern also utilizes CBT and Mindfulness based techniques in therapy. She particularly enjoys incorporating expressive therapies (like drama, art, music, writing) within sessions, based on her considerable training in the arts. Dr. Halpern provides individual, group, and family therapy for patients of all ages. Telehealth sessions are available, when appropriate, for individual therapy. Dr. Halpern also provides in-person and Telehealth sessions, when appropriate, for parent coaching as well. Parent support is based in positive parenting techniques.
Dr. Halpern has spoken on NPR and on panels for WISER and Diamond in the Rough among others. She has spoken at conferences and trainings for mental health providers, educators, and parents. Dr. Halpern’s presentations and workshops have focused on topics including ADHD, Anxiety, bullying prevention, general parenting skills, the therapeutic relationship, cultural considerations, and sibling rivalry. Her most recent presentations include Positive Discipline Techniques for the home and at school, and Therapeutic Brain Breaks within the school setting.
In her free time, Dr. Halpern enjoys managing her husband’s music career, exercising, reading, drawing, writing, traveling, preparing vegetarian food, volunteering and advocating for animal rescue groups, and spending time with her husband, son, and dog. Fall is her favorite time of year, and blue is her favorite color.
EDUCATION: Brandeis University, B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Sociology and Certification in Elementary Education in 2000; George Washington University, Doctorate in Professional Psychology (Psy.D.) in 2008
INTERNSHIP AND POST-DOCTORAL TRAINING: APA approved internship at the Institute for Child and Family Health (ICFH), a community mental health center in Miami, FL. Psychoeducational evaluation, child/adolescent therapy, school based therapy, and parent training. Private Group Practice with focus on individual, group, and family therapy in Rockville, MD.
CREDENTIALS: Licensed Psychologist in the State of Maryland; Licensed Clinical Psychologist in the Commonwealth of Virginia
MEMBERSHIP: Maryland Psychological Association (MPA); American Psychological Association (APA); National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology; MPA Public Education Committee.
SERVICES PROVIDED: Comprehensive Evaluation (Psychoeducational, Neuropsychological, Psychological, Developmental, Emotional, Giftedness, Adoption, and Admissions) with children, teens, and adults; Therapy with children, teens, adults, families, and groups; Parent Training & Consultation; Educational Consultation; Supervision; Speaking Engagements; Advocacy (attending 504/IEP meetings); and ‘Next Steps’ Consultations
- Executive Functioning
- Learning Disabilities
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Developmental Delays
- Cognitive Functioning
- Emotional and Behavioral Functioning (Anxiety, Depression, Mood Disorder, Adjustment Disorders, Self-Esteem, Anger Management, etc.)
- Parenting Skills
- Coping Skills
- School Support