Services Offered at Atkinson Family Practice

The Balance Clinic with Deb Ellis, MSPT, NSC

Are you concerned about your balance? Have you had any falls in the last six months? Do you wonder if you should be working on your balance more actively to prevent problems? If so…

balance compressed
TAKE STEPS TO PREVENT FALLS WITH AFP’S PHYSICAL THERAPIST, DEB ELLIS!

Come to the Monthly Balance Clinic for a FREE Balance Assessment!

Give the Front Desk a call at (413) 549-8400 to schedule your assessment, or to find out more.

Deb is a clinical specialist in neurologic physical therapy with over 20 years of experience in a wide variety of practice settings treating people with both neurologic and orthopedic medical issues. Her current clinical focus is on treating people with acute and chronic neurologic or neuromuscular challenges including needs in the areas of balance, mobility training and functional strengthening. Additional practice encompasses group work in the specialty areas of Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Osteoporosis and chronic Pain. IMG_6264

The Co-Op with Peter Wood, LICSW

Instead of regular suboxone follow-up meetings with providers, approved patients can attend The Co-Op twice a month. These are one hour group visits with Peter Wood LICSW and Charles Milch PA-C. Patients are expected to attend a minimum of 2 a month. The Co-Op is optional, but the added benefits are these meetings are predictable, prompt, don’t have a co-pay, and count for the 12 Step visits.

Date: Wednesdays from 5:15 pm – 6:30 pm

Location: Atkinson Family Practice, Second Floor, Conference Room

Cost: Covered by Insurance

Sign Up: Call the Front Desk at (413) 549-8400

Change is opportunity…and just because we don’t see the answer doesn’t mean it’s not there. Therapy may take a variety of paths depending the goals of the person seeking help. Peter has over 20 years of experience providing treatment for people who have had the wisdom to recognize a problem and the courage to ask for help to improve his/her quality of life.

Peter head shot (1)

Hypnosis Treatment with Chaia Wolf, LICSW

Benefits of Hypnosis

  • Dramatically reduce stress through self-hypnosis and meditation techniques
  • Helps with depression and anxiety – improving your emotional health
  • More restful sleep
  • Increased focus, concentration, and learning ability
  • Simple to learn and use
  • Very quick to reach relaxed state and achieve benefits
  • Can be used to easily release other unwanted habits or behavioral patterns (such as poor eating habits or fears)
  • Can be used to easily integrate changes in behavioral attitudes, such as increased confidence, feelings, of self-worth, and focus

Benefits of Mindfulness

  • Reduce rumination/obsessive thinking
  • Stress reduction
  • Improve working memory
  • Increase focus
  • More cognitive flexibility
Chaia Wolf, LICSW, is trained in Psychodynamic, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR, Mindfulness, Clinical Hypnosis and various meditation techniques. She has been a therapist helping individuals, couples and families transform their lives since 1997. She specializes in chaiahelping couples deepen and enrich their relationships, and parent more effectively. She provides the Stress Management Program, which helps individuals manage anxiety by developing healthy habits and positive solutions. She also provides a Women’s Holistic Health Program, supporting pre/postpartum women, women grieving pregnancy and other losses and women diagnosed with cancer and other health concerns.

Jumpstart! Exercise Program with Anne Ye and Jessica Jimison

Are you motivated to restart an exercise program?

Are you having trouble making exercise goals and knowing what is the best approach for you?

Then join Anne Ye PT and Jessica Jimison FNP for a practical and supportive approach to restarting regular exercise and…JUMP START YOUR EXERCISE IN THE NEW YEAR!

You will learn why you do each exercise, how to get the most out of what you’re doing, how/when to make each exercise harder/easier, how to adapt each exercise to accommodate existing issues, and how to push yourself using clear, reasonable parameters. THEN you’ll work with providers to come up with ideas for an exercise progression to continue trying new things after the program is over. Participants MUST commit to six sessions, and all it costs is your traditional co-pay times six! Call the Front Desk to learn more.

Anne went to Colombia for Physical Therapy and runs our Jumpstart and Watch Your Back! Healthy Back Class.

She has decades of experience with PT; her goal is to get her patients moving safely, sustainably, and to leave with the knowledge of a healthier future.

When not in class, Anne likes to spend time with her husband and kids.

Jessica was raised in Amherst, grew up as a landscaper, and got her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from UMass Amherst. She got her Master’s in Nursing from Boston College and Jessica Editedworked as a Nurse Practitioner on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Wolf Point, Montana. She joined AFP in 2016 with nine years of experience in family practice. In addition to the scientific side of medicine, Jessica loves the art of working with individuals, meeting people where they are, and empowering people to care for their health
Jessica lives with her daughter and loves taking walks and road trips, pruning in the landscape, and drinking tea by a fireplace with friends.

Nutrition Counseling and Classes with Fatemeh Giahi Ph D, RDN LDN

Dr. Giahi provides nutritional consulting, weight management for children, adolescents, and adults, medical nutrition therapy for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, digestive disorders, and food sensitivity.
She also is the instructor of the class, Mindful Eating, which she teaches with Greg Petrosky.
Dr. Giahi is a registered dietitian and a licensed nutritionist with a PhD in Nutrition from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She has taught courses in nutrition and health in Amherst for many years and has two certificates of training in adult weight management and child/adolescent weight management from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Pre- and Postpartum Depression Therapy with Chaia Wolf, LICSW

Anyone is susceptible to pre- and post-partum depression, even if you’ve never experienced depression before. We are here to help you and your baby.

At Atkinson Family Practice, we believe it is important to support women throughout pregnancy and postpartum experiences. Having a baby is a major life transition, and we want to offer you an opportunity to discuss how you are doing emotionally, screen for postpartum depression and to help with issues related to parenting, relationships, intimacy, body image and changes in work, finances and identity.

In that light, we recommend that any Atkinson Family Practice patient who is expecting a baby meet with Chaia Wolf for a pregnancy and postpartum visit (often around 4-5 weeks postpartum). A major part of Chaia’s Women’s Holistic Health Program is supporting women who are pre- or post-partum. She’s trained in Psychodynamic and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR, Mindfulness, Clinical Hypnosis, and various meditation techniques. Other aspects of this group include breast/gynecologic/cancer support, relationship and parenting support, and stress management. Chaia also sees patients one-on-one for therapy, and we encourage all expectant parents to set up an appointment with her.

Please call: Chaia Wolf, MSW, LICSW 253-4094 to schedule an appointment!

Yes! Please feel free to bring your baby along!

Chaia is trained in Psychodynamic, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR, Mindfulness, Clinical Hypnosis and various meditation techniques. She has been a therapist helping individuals, couples and families transform their lives since 1997. She specializes in helping couples deepen and enrich their relationships, and parent more effectively. She provides the Stress Management Program, which helps individuals manage chaiaanxiety by developing healthy habits and positive solutions. She also provides a Women’s Holistic Health Program, supporting pre/postpartum women, women grieving pregnancy and other losses and women diagnosed with cancer and other health concerns.

In her spare time, you can find her enjoying the trails, either on foot or cross-country skiing with my amazing family and new puppy. In the summer time, she is either paddling in her kayak, picking blueberries in Maine, immersing herself (and family!) into new cultures, or just spending time laughing, playing cards, being in the community, and breathing deeply. Her website can be found at http://www.chaiawolf.com, and she can be reached via e-mail at chaiawolf@hotmail.com, or phone at (413) 253 – 4094.

The Recovery Group with Peter Wood, LICSW

The Recovery Group
for people seeking sobriety

Peter Wood, LICSW, hosts a group right here at AFP every week that helps people seeking sobriety prevent relapse by:

  1. Managing Stress
  2. Developing Resources
  3. Tolerating Emotions

This group is for people who are aiming to be abstinent from all substances.

WHEN: Thursdays from 4:00-5:00 pm

WHERE: 17 Research Drive, Amherst MA 01002, 2nd Floor, Peter’s Office

PRICE: $25, or some insurances accepted

CALL: (413) 253-4094 or e-mail Peter at pwoodlicsw@gmail.com

Change is opportunity…and just because we don’t see the answer doesn’t mean it’s not there. Therapy may take a variety of paths depending the goals of the person seeking help. Peter has over 20 years of experience providing treatment for people who have had the wisdom to recognize a problem and the courage to ask for help to improve his/her quality of life.

Peter head shot (1)

Peter works with individuals of all ages, couples, families and facilitates a group for people in recovery Thursdays 6:30 to 7:30 at the Atkinson Family Practice. Peter has worked extensively with people experiencing challenges with anxiety, mood, thinking and substance use. He has a contagious love of learning with humility and innovation.

(413) 253-4094
peterwoodlicsw@gmail.com

Sleep Consultations and Counseling with Dr. Chabot

Sleep is one of the pillars of good health. For various reasons, many of us are not receiving the innumerable mental and physical benefits of sleep. While sleep medications may provide short-term relief from sleep difficulties, their long-term safety and efficacy are unknown.

Individual behavioral sleep consultations are available for people of all ages to explore non-medicinal approaches to improving sleep. Before you can schedule your appointment, there is a packet of questions Dr. Chabot requests you fill out so that she may be the most prepared for your intake appointment. Please call the Front Desk at (413) 549-8400 to request one.

Dr. Chabot is a pediatrician and health/wellness coach with a special interest in non-medicinal approaches to insomnia and sleep difficulties. She covers a variety of topics and makes a game plan with her patients based on individual needs and goals. Group medical visits for those experiencing insomnia are also offered on a regular basis.

Topics Covered Include:

  • Detailed sleep/medical history
  • Review of sleep function and physiology
  • Controlling sleep drive and the biological clock
  • Lifestyle and behavioral factors that may be interfering with sleep
  • The Three P’s of Insomnia
    • Predisposing Factors
    • Precipitating Factors
    • Perpetuating Factors
  • How to address the 3 P’s without medicine
Dr. Wendy Chabot, M.D. is a pediatrician, health and wellness coach, and instructor of mindfulness based stress Wendy Compressed reduction. With a strong commitment to health risk reduction and lifestyle interventions, she has received additional training in cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia and smoking cessation.

Stress Management Program with Chaia Wolf, LICSW

How do we know we are stressed? Well, our body gives all sorts of indicators…

  • BODY
    • Headaches, frequent infections, taut muscles, fatigue, skin irritations, breathlessness
  • EMOTIONS
    • Loss of confidence, more fussy, irritability, depression, apathy, alienation
  • MIND
    • Worrying, muddled thinking, impaired judgment, nightmares, indecisiveness, negativity, hasty decisions
  • BEHAVIOR
    • Accident prone, loss of appetite, loss of sex drive, drinking more, insomnia, restlessness, increased smoking

There are many physiological reactions to stress. Prolonged stress can lead to many diseases, such as…

  • Hypertension
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disorders
  • Depression
  • Alcoholism
  • Gastro-Intestinal disorders
  • Sexual Dysfunctions
  • Auto-immune disorders
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Trigger migraines
  • Maternal stress can be harmful for both mother and expected child during pregnancy

The set of physical changes your body makes in response to a threat is called a negative stress response. In these types of stressful situations, the body releases chemicals that trigger…

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Rapid breathing
  • A sudden rush of strength
  • Slowed digestion
  • Dilated pupils

Many lifestyle events can cause stress to occur including, but not limited to, the following…

  • Major life events, college, daily life hassles, illness, impact of multiple roles expected of women, employment, financial stress
  • Impact of economic status, complex family structure, ethnic minority, quality of family relationships, intensity of the labor market
If you schedule a consultation with Chaia, you will…

  • Learn about your stress
  • Discover ways to reduce stress that is specific to your needs
  • Learn specific strategies, such as…
    • Breathing techniques
    • Self-hypnosis
    • Cognitive restructuring (CBT-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
    • Progressive relaxation techniques
    • Mindfulness meditation
  • Referrals for yoga, acupressure, or massage that can help manage stress

Contact Chaia at (413) 253-4094 or visit her website at www.chaiawolf.com.

Stress occurs when pressure is greater than your resources.

Chaia has some examples to deal with stress on your own. This is what she recommends:

  • TAKE A BREAK
    • Breath deeply; Sit back and relax; Do something you love; Read a good book;  Change your surroundings; Learn to play
  • ORGANIZE YOUR LIFE
    • Manage your time; Make to do lists; Plan ahead; Set mini goals; Learn to plan
  • PRACTICE RELAXATION TECHNIQUES
    • Meditation; Deep breathing; Get a massage; Visualization; Take a bath; Try saying the Serenity Prayer
  • Communicate
    • Express your emotions; Talk to a friend; Eliminate negative talk AND thoughts; Cry; Laugh; Reward yourself
  • TIME MANAGEMENT
    • Spend time planning and organizing; Schedule…but be flexible!; Eliminate the URGENT; Practice the art of Intelligent Neglect; Avoid being a perfectionist; Conquer PROCRASTINATION

Chaia Wolf, LICSW, is trained in Psychodynamic, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR, Mindfulness, Clinical Hypnosis and various meditation techniques. She has been a therapist helping individuals, couples and families transform their lives since 1997. She specializes in helping couples deepen and enrich their relationships, and parent more effectively. She provides the Stress Management Program, which helps individuals manage anxiety by developing healthy habits and positive solutions. She also provides a Women’s Holistic Health Program, supporting pre/postpartum women, women grieving pregnancy and other losses and women diagnosed with cancer and other health concerns.

chaia
In her spare time, you can find her enjoying the trails, either on foot or cross-country skiing with my amazing family and new puppy. In the summer time, she is either paddling in her kayak, picking blueberries in Maine, immersing herself (and family!) into new cultures, or just spending time laughing, playing cards, being in the community, and breathing deeply. Her website can be found at http://www.chaiawolf.com, and she can be reached via e-mail at chaiawolf@hotmail.com, or phone at (413) 253 – 4094.

TMS Therapy with Dr. Nora Schwartz-Martin

Atkinson Family Practice is the proud home of an exciting new alternative treatment for individuals with depression called TMS! TMS stands for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, and is the first and only FDA-approved treatment for depression that does not require surgery or medication, and is safe and effective. When medication management becomes too much, side effects overwhelming, or non-traditional approaches exhausted, individuals coping with depression may have an answer at last.

tms-therapy-diagram (1)According to John Hopkins, TMS is a, “non-invasive method of brain stimulation that relies on electromagnetic induction using an insulated coil over the scalp, focused on an area of the brain thought to play a role in mood regulation.” It is comparable to MRI machines in terms of the strength and pulse of the waves it generates. The rapid succession of the pulses produces lasting, healthful results in brain activity. In some cases, TMS has shown long-lasting, favorable results, and could be a long sought-after solution.

So, you have no metal in your head, you’re confident in the extensive study completed by Neurostar and vetted by major research institutions as well as the providers at Atkinson Family Practice, and you think you want to be one of the first to undergo treatment here at your beloved medical home. Now it’s time to finally consider the following questions…

  • Do depression symptoms interfere with your day-to-day life?
  • Are you dissatisfied with results from your antidepressants?
  • Have you worried about side effects from your depression medication?
  • Are you interested in a proven, non-drug therapy for your depression?
  • Have you tried more than two(possibly more than 4) different antidepressant treatments?

 

If you answered yes to several of these questions, you should contact your Primary Care Provider to learn more about TMS Therapy. You do not need to be a patient of AFP to benefit from this treatment! And most insurances cover it. Please call the front desk at (413) 549-8400 to talk to one of our technicians.

(NOTE: TMS is not right for you if you have a non-removable conductive metal in/near the head. There is a rare risk of seizure associated with the use of TMS in patients who have a high potential for seizure based on genetic history. TMS has not been studied in patients who have had no prior antidepressant treatments)

To schedule an initial consultation, call the front desk at (413) 549-8400 and tell the receptionist you would like to speak to a TMS technician about a consultation. This appointment will be one hour long with Dr. Nora.

If it is decided TMS is a good choice for you, you’ll come back for a mapping appointment. At the mapping appointment, the technicians will determine your “motor threshold,” or the energy required to make your thumb twitch. The mapping appointment is important in finding the prescription strength needed for the treatment, and the motor threshold is unique to the patient.

After the consultation and mapping, the treatment is simple. You sit in an armchair similar to that of a dentist’s for about 40 minutes a day, 5 days a week, for 4-6 weeks. The TMS coil rests on the scalp in front of the region that needs stimulating. The machine produces loud constant clicks like an MRI machine), so ear plugs are generally given to provide more comfort, or iPods/iPhones can be used. Patients are awake and alert throughout the entire session, and can go back to normal activities immediately afterwards. The only sensation felt is a series of clicking sounds and a light tapping under the coil.

Short Term

According to the Eastern Virginia Medical School, commonly reported side effects include scalp discomfort, headaches, and neck pain. Combining TMS with Wellbutrin has also been shown to result in tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. Physicians must be notified of any other medications currently being taken as combining the treatment with certain drugs could result in seizures.  There is no evidence of TMS causing brain tumors – it’s important to remember TMS uses the same strength and type of magnetic fields as MRIs! This process is routinely monitored for negative impacts on memory and concentration, and continually has shown to have no effect. In the clinical studies, Neurostar examined over 10,000 patients, and these were the conclusions:

  • No systemic side effects, such as weight fluctuation, sexual dysfunction, sedation, nausea, or dry mouth
  • Scalp pain/discomfort in the treatment area while the treatment was being performed, with pain ranging from mild to moderate. This side effect declined drastically after one week of treatment.
  • While the risk of seizure is small.
  • Less than 5% of the participants chose to stop the procedure.
  • Individuals with any sort of non-removable metal in head CANNOT get TMS because it is a magnetic based treatment. This includes:
    • Aneurysm clips and coils
    • Stents in neck or brain
    • Implanted stimulators
    • Cardiac pacemakers
    • Electrodes to monitor brain activity
    • Metallic implants in ears and eyes
    • Shrapnel and bullet fragments in neck/head
    • Facial tattoos with metallic or metallic sensitive ink
    • Other metal devices or objects implanted on/near head

Long Term

  • Since TMS is comparable to MRIs and tens of thousands of people have successfully lived and loved having had MRIs, it is believed that there are  likely  no long term consequences. The full course of TMS is only a small fraction of one total brain scan with an MRI.
  • Multiple courses of TMS would be the equivalent of less than a few exposures from MRI.
  • Longer term effects of Neurostar’s TMS are ultimately unkown. Experimental and observational scientific evidence can fairly confidently conclude the Neurostar TMS System Coil presents no significant risk of long-term effects.

Trauma Management with Nancy Simons, EMDR LICSW

Trauma occurs when a person is overwhelmed by events or circumstances and responds with intense fear, horror, and/or helplessness. Extreme stress overwhelms the person’s ability to cope. There is a direct correlation between trauma and physical health conditions such as diabetes, COPD, heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure.

Trauma can stem from:

  • Childhood abuse or neglect
  • War and other forms of violence
  • Medical interventions
  • Grief and loss
  • Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
  • Accidents and natural disasters
  • Witnessing acts of violence
  • Cultural, intergenerational, and historical trauma

There are so many treatment plans available for trauma. Any one or a combination of several could be the right answer for you. The best way to find out is to talk to your therapist or primary care provider, or ask your primary care provider to refer you to a therapist. It’s okay to ask for help!

Traditional Trauma Treatments:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)
  • Talk Therapy
  • Exposure Therapy
  • Group Therapy

Alternative Trauma Treatments:

  • Energy processing
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Neuro-Linguistic Programming
  • Massage therapy
  • Pet or Equine therapy
  • Trauma and Recovery Peer Support Groups
  • Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP)

It’s helpful to have a game plan when you decide to talk to your doctor about trauma. Make sure your doctor is aware that you have experienced, or are experiencing, trauma. It’s helpful if they understand what makes you comfortable during office visits.

Nancy is an EMDR trained trauma therapist. She was trained in this area because it brings together the recent understandings we have gained in brain research, the practicality of stress management technique and the wisdom of various spiritual teachings. Nancy specializes in Picture2 (2) working with children and adolescents and uses a variety of creative interventions for the treatment of anxiety, depression and other behavioral issues that may have resulted from trauma or loss. She has extensive experience working with adoptive families and their children.

Additionally, Nancy works with adults to investigate the relationship between their physical health and emotional health and to apply therapy towards developing a greater sense of well being in their lives. She is also available to provide treatment to those individuals who are experiencing medically related trauma symptoms.

Women’s Holistic Health with Chaia Wolf, LICSW

The Women’s Holistic Health program at AFP helps women who pre- or postpartum, grieving pregnancy, or grieving from others losses. She also helps women going through cancer and other health concerns.

  • Prenatal and new mothers’ support
  • Breast, gynecologic, and cancer support
  • Relationship and parenting support
  • Stress management
Chaia is trained in Psychodynamic, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR, Mindfulness, Clinical Hypnosis and various meditation chaiatechniques. She has been a therapist helping individuals, couples and families transform their lives since 1997. She specializes in helping couples deepen and enrich their relationships, and parent more effectively. She provides the Stress Management Program, which helps individuals manage anxiety by developing healthy habits and positive solutions. She also provides a Women’s Holistic Health Program, supporting pre/postpartum women, women grieving pregnancy and other losses and women diagnosed with cancer and other health concerns.

In her spare time, you can find her enjoying the trails, either on foot or cross-country skiing with my amazing family and new puppy. In the summer time, she is either paddling in her kayak, picking blueberries in Maine, immersing herself (and family!) into new cultures, or just spending time laughing, playing cards, being in the community, and breathing deeply. Her website can be found at http://www.chaiawolf.com, and she can be reached via e-mail at chaiawolf@hotmail.com, or phone at (413) 253 – 4094.

Watch Your Back! Healthy Back Class with Anne Ye MSPT and Jessica Jimison FNP-C

Join a small class with unique attention from a Physical therapist & get a customized regimen tailored to your specific medical needs.

– Build/Maintain Healthy Core Strength
– Reduce Lower Back Pain
– Improve/Stabilize Postural Support Muscles
– Prevent Future Injury
– Pave a path to independence from Back Pain

Anne went to Colombia for Physical Therapy and runs our Jumpstart and Watch Your Back! Healthy Back Class.

She has decades of experience with PT; her goal is to get her patients moving safely, sustainably, and to leave with the knowledge of a healthier future.

When not in class, Anne likes to spend time with her husband and kids.

Jessica was raised in Amherst, grew up as a landscaper, and got her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from UMass Amherst. She got her Master’s in Nursing from Boston College and Jessica Editedworked as a Nurse Practitioner on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Wolf Point, Montana. She joined AFP in 2016 with nine years of experience in family practice. In addition to the scientific side of medicine, Jessica loves the art of working with individuals, meeting people where they are, and empowering people to care for their health
Jessica lives with her daughter and loves taking walks and road trips, pruning in the landscape, and drinking tea by a fireplace with friends.