Rigena Wells Nordyke, PhD
During adolescence and young adulthood, developmental challenges can overwhelm even the most resilient people. The level of stress that accompanies the pressures of school achievement, relationship building and identity formation can be significant. Sometimes problems arise because of patterns of poor decisions or self-defeating behaviors; sometimes biologically based issues such as ADHD or learning disabilities become an issue; other times catastrophic events appear unexpectedly. If you are an adolescent, young adult or a family member of an adolescent or young adult who is experiencing emotional or behavioral difficulties, I would like to help.
I believe in really listening to my clients; only by truly understanding your experience can I help you reach a healthier place. As much as I enjoy exploring with clients the existential issues that arise during adolescence, I find that my work often revolves around finding practical, realistic solutions to life’s challenges. For students, this sometimes translates into being an advocate for the child and family in the school setting. I tend to be direct and to temper what can be the hard work of therapy with humor. In between the tears, I hope that we sometimes laugh out loud.
I have many years of experience working with adolescents and young adults in clinic settings and in both public and private schools. I am particularly knowledgeable about the challenges of being gifted and/or of having a learning disability or ADHD and/or of being adopted. In addition, I have a special interest in helping young women find their assertive voice within a culture that seeks to marginalize or objectify them. I was trained in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and in behavioral medicine at the VA Medical Center and have a sub-specialty in anxiety disorders and stress management. As a spouse of a retired career military member, I am also intimately aware of the sacrifices and unique situations that come with that life. LGBTQ+ affirming.
Specialties: adolescents, children, young adults, ADHD, gifted children, CBT, anxiety disorders, trauma, military, LGBTQ+ affirming.
Master of Science in Counseling and Human Development, Troy University, Troy, Alabama
Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Licensure: Licensed Psychologist in New Mexico