The therapeutic relationship between a provider and an individual is one of the most important features of effective treatment. Our providers view therapy as an individualized and collaborative process. We value a supportive, empathic approach that allows for individuals to partner with us in creating and implementing a successful treatment plan. We are equipped to treat a variety of concerns from general issues (e.g., anxiety, depression, trauma, grief) to those related to specific events or life stages (e.g., adolescents, life adjustment, perinatal issues, infertility, marriage, identity development, career changes, aging).
The techniques we use are evidence-based and include multiple approaches such as supportive, cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic psychotherapy. We tailor treatment to incorporate each individual’s needs and goals. Our providers value and respect diversity in our practice. We also offer consultation to parents and family members of individuals with psychological or behavioral concerns.
We provide general psychotherapy and counseling services to adolescents and adults for these concerns and many others:
Issues related to pregnancy and the postpartum period (adjustment, anxiety, depression)
Miscarriage, Stillbirth or Infant Loss
Life transition and adjustment
Grief and loss
Concerns about sexuality and sexual identity (bisexual, gay and lesbian)
Concerns about gender identity
Many couples find therapy to be helpful at different times in their relationship. There are a multitude of reasons why couples seek therapy to improve the quality and commitment in their relationship. Some individuals feel relationship change happens before or after a major event or role shift (e.g., preparing for marriage or parenthood, moving, change in employment status, loss, trauma, illness) and some may need additional support during a difficult time (e.g., parenting challenges, infidelity, divorce, death of a loved one). Couples can also use therapy as a place to gain increased understanding of themselves and their partners more generally. Some common goals of couples therapy in our practice include:
Increase understanding of relationship functioning
Identify patterns in conflict and navigate conflict more effectively
Improve communication through in-session practice exercises
Discuss concerns, expectations, roles and commitment
Increase emotional and physical intimacy and connectedness
Learn to support a partner or spouse through a life transition or adjustment to medical illness, psychiatric illness, infertility or other loss
Couples who visit our practice will be welcomed with a neutral and non-judgmental therapist. Our providers always work collaboratively with each partner to increase comfort, identify goals for treatment and facilitate conversation in the therapeutic setting. Discretion and confidentiality are also key features of the therapeutic alliance.
Women’s and Maternal Mental Health
For many women, the pregnancy and postpartum period comes with significant changes in roles, relationships, expectations for both individuals and families. Some women experience difficulties with mood, anxiety or other thoughts and concerns that can be uncomfortable and distressing. These feelings can occur at any point during pregnancy, not only in the postpartum period. However, these emotional difficulties sometimes go unnoticed or are associated with shameful feelings. Our goal is to support women during all phases of their pregnancy to provide symptom relief and address concerns in a non-judgmental environment and ease transitions for the entire family.
Our providers have extensive training in maternal mental health, including certificates from Postpartum Support International. Both Drs. Sardone and Thomas have worked as consulting psychologists on the Ob-Gyn service at Baylor University Medical Center. We pride ourselves on providing pregnant and postpartum patients with comprehensive evaluation, supportive and evidence-informed treatment and education for individuals and families. We often collaborate (with permission) with a patient’s care team (e.g., Ob-Gyn, PCP or psychiatrist, if necessary) to provide the most comprehensive approach. We offer both individual and couples therapy and consultation with family members who may have concerns about these issues.
If you believe you or someone you know is struggling with issues during pregnancy or postpartum, we are happy to connect with you to discuss our treatment approach in more detail.
Miscarriage, Stillbirth & Infant Loss Support
Support for High-Risk Pregnancies and NICU Families
Having a high-risk pregnancy or a child in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) can be a very stressful and isolating experience for a parent or family. Some families experience difficulties unique to having a premature child, parenting a child with special needs or a loss. Our practice is equipped with skills and training in working with families facing these challenges. Individuals or families coping with issues related to these difficulties will find providers at Behavioral Health Dallas have expertise and experience with the following concerns:
Adjustment to medical diagnoses and high-risk pregnancy
Long-term hospitalizations and bed rest
Support during a NICU stay and leaving the NICU
Understanding and evaluating mood, anxiety and trauma symptoms
Coping with grief and losses
Improving coping skills and managing stress as a parent, couple and family
Navigating difficult social situations during pregnancy and postpartum
Parenting support for difficult decision-making and developmental concerns
Supporting siblings and communicating with family, friends and others
We are equipped to support women at any phase of their medical treatment. We enjoy providing services for individuals, couples or family members of those undergoing these difficult experiences.
There are complex psychological challenges that face individuals and couples coping with infertility. Our providers have a multi-faceted understanding of the medical processes and emotions that are associated with fertility treatments, such as IUI, IVF or surrogacy. We offer a variety of specific treatment options for individuals and families to help manage the stress associated with infertility. Our practice offers individual, couples and group support with the following goals:
Share concerns in a supportive, non-judgmental and neutral environment
Evaluate for anxiety and mood concerns
Increase coping strategies
Learn mindfulness and relaxation skills which may be used generally,or prior to a procedure or before injections
Process grief and losses
Increase social support and connect with others who have struggled with similar issues
Understand impact on relationships (e.g., family, friendships, intimate)
Better navigate social situations which may be triggering or difficult
Improve communication and self-understanding
When appropriate, we can collaborate with fertility specialists (reproductive endocrinologists) to offer comprehensive and supportive care.
Coping with Medical Illness and Caregiver Support
As clinical health psychologists, we value the role of psychology services in supporting and aiding patients through difficult health issues. Many patients will experience challenges adjusting to a new diagnosis or after a major medical event. Other individuals may need emotional support as they witness the medical challenges of someone close to them - or if they have taken on a role as caregiver.
Clinical health psychologists have specialized professional training and experience working in a variety of health settings and with a wide range of patient populations. We understand the relationship between medical illness, injury and disability with overall well-being. Our goal is to help patients increase their sense of efficacy and understanding of these challenges. Some of the common issues we address in therapy include:
Psychological adjustment to illness, injury and disability - including mood difficulties, health-related anxiety, trauma and grief
Medical decision-making and consultation
Adherence to medical treatment
Health behaviors (e.g., weight management, smoking cessation, exercise)
The providers at Behavioral Health Dallas have expertise working with patients with these health concerns and others:
Women's Issues (e.g., endometriosis, PCOS, chronic pelvic pain)
GI Concerns - including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and irritable bowel disease (Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis)
Both Drs. Sardone and Thomas graduated from UT Southwestern Medical Center with doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology where they received advanced training specialized in inpatient and outpatient health settings. We have worked with patients who are healthy, those who have are at risk (e.g., genetic carrier), those who have complex or acute healthcare needs and patients with chronic illness. We also comfortable working collaboratively with medical providers and other supportive services (with permission) as necessary to improve general outcomes of treatment.
Our providers offer parenting skills training and coaching in a relaxed and supportive environment. Parenting training may help address specific emotional and behavioral concerns, improve the parent-child relationship, and facilitate coping with family dynamic changes. Our philosophy on parenting education and training incorporates evidence-based parenting strategies, attachment literature, the latest neurocognitive child development research, and basic communication and motivational techniques to improve communication, connection and emotional regulation within the family unit.
Training, Consulting and Coaching for Medical Providers
As Clinical Health Psychologists, we offer a unique perspective to medical providers and practices through education and training. Both Drs. Sardone and Thomas have extensive experience in hospital consultation, outpatient collaboration with medical professionals, and resident education and training. Speaking topics include:
Improving provider-patient relationships
Working with Difficult Patients
Breaking Bad News
Screening for mood, anxiety and/or suicidal ideation
Brief Mindfulness Skills for Healthcare Providers
Women’s Health Issues Across the Lifespan
Our providers are available to speak or consult with doctors, nurses, residents and other health-care professionals in either an individual or group setting. We offer CME workshops, didactics and consultation and welcome opportunities to collaborate on programming to fit your needs.
Speaking and Education
Drs. Sardone and Thomas enjoy speaking with members of the community through support groups, organizations, meetings, educational seminars and classrooms. Both providers can offer unique perspectives on popular topics that are top of mind for the public, including maternal mental health, parenting, and mindfulness training. Recent talks include:
Postpartum Mood and Coping
Mindfulness for Mamas
Building a Positive Attachment with Your Baby
Our doctors welcome opportunities to collaborate on programming ideas for your events.