Atkinson Family Practice is excited to welcome our new child psychologist, Jennifer Smolinski, JD, MS, M.Ed to our stellar staff of therapists. Jennifer comes to AFP with degrees as a school adjustment counselor and attorney while working on an Educational Leadership and Supervisions Doctorate at American International College in Springfield, Mass.
Jennifer’s Doctoral dissertation will be focused on college students with disabilities and how they perceive reactions from faculty upon disclosure of their disability. Jennifer brings to AFP her dedication, compassion, and readiness to not only listen and teach but also the willingness to learn from others along the way.
She has skills with social-emotional support, anxiety, ADHD, stress management, learning disorders, life balance, children of divorced parents who may be having a hard time adjusting, children who are having difficulty with school, and children with disabilities. Jennifer believes that there are many pressures that children go through in this day and age which adds unwarranted stress in their lives.
One example is when kids need to find jobs to help support siblings and families. Or when kids have prolonged separation from parents, or struggling to succeed with ADHD or a learning disorder. Jennifer has a SuperPower helping young adults with “adulting skills” , something many of us learned later than expected.
Jennifer adds, “I think kids worry more about everything in general and have more responsibility placed on them.” Jennifer noted that children are growing up more aware of sex, smoking, alcohol, and drugs at a younger age.
Jennifer looks forward to working with Judy Grupenhoff in the Functional Medicine Suite, especially with the tools that HeartMath has to offer. “Our skills complement each other and I think we will be able to get some kids on board with HeartMath and create other support groups together.” Jennifer states that she likes how HeartMath makes you focus on yourself, bringing awareness of your own body and it’s reaction to oneself.
Outside of her work as a child psychologist, Jennifer describes herself as a big reader, takes pleasure in painting and enjoying the outdoors. She serves as the Belchertown Stingrays Swim Team Treasurer, in which her kids take part. Jennifer recently published a book called “Maximizing Mental Health Services: Proven Practices that Promote Emotional Well-Being.” The book examines best therapeutic practices for patients, therapists, graduate professors, family members and all who struggle to find the most effective treatment modalities for those dealing with mental health challenges.
Jennifer also teaches classes in Substance Abuse, Psychopharmacology, Intro to Special Ed., and Juvenile Delinquency for AIC’s Department of Education’s Adjustment and Guidance Counseling program. Jennifer even created and developed AIC’s Center for Accessibility Services and Academic Accommodations and served as the center’s director for five years.
We are fortunate to have Jennifer Smolinski here at Atkinson Family Practice with her vast knowledge and success. She will be working at both Amherst and Northampton offices, if you feel your child needs a child psychologist for short-term cases, contact your provider to be referred to Jennifer.
-Written by Alex LaMarche