Dr. Sheila Sturgeon Freitas
Providing Trauma-Informed Psychological Services
Welcome to the website of Sheila Sturgeon Freitas, Ph.D.
Specializing in helping children, adults and families with complex issues relating to trauma, adoption and giftedness, Dr. Sturgeon Freitas is an Idaho licensed psychologist with offices in Meridian.
As a clinical psychologist, I have extensive experience working with children, teens, adults, and families of all ages across a variety of areas. Having received my Master’s in Clinical Psychology in 1998 and my Doctorate in 2005, I work collaboratively with my clients to address the issues that have led them to seek help.
Common issues addressed in my practice include stressful life events, mood and anxiety disorders, OCD, general childhood stresses, gifted and talented issues, or relationship stresses.
However, I carry specific specialization in complex trauma, abuse, adoption, attachment issues, PTSD, foster care and bereavement. I have extensive training and experience working with sexual abuse victims, abuse-reactive children, attachment disordered, non-protective parents and other members of their families (children through adults). I am comfortable in working with all members of the adoption triad (birth/adoptive family and adoptee) at any stage of the process.
Because I focused my graduate education, research, clinical training and employment in the areas of heavy trauma and attachment, I developed specialized clinical skills from which to approach the treatment of trauma. I have continued growing this specialization with ongoing focused training from national experts, as well as keeping abreast with the trauma-treatment and the trauma-neurobiology literature. I now have more than 20 years of focused education, knowledge and experience within these areas on which to draw.
In the treatment of these issues, I pay significant attention to how trauma and neglect impact a person’s overall body and development, including brain organization, cognitive appraisals, one’s ability to self-soothe, behavioral and emotional regulation, and ability to relate to and invest in relationships with others and oneself. I also look for both acute symptoms, as well as the developmental skew that can occur when someone is raised within the context of trauma. I treat the entire spectrum of trauma-related issues, including mood, anxiety, oppositional defiance, “RAD,” post-hospitalization stabilization, sexual acting out, dissociation, grief/loss issues, bonding/attaching, as well as this developmental skew.
As trauma does not impact everyone in the same way, treatment is very much driven by a client’s unique presentation. I draw from a variety of interventions and frameworks including attachment-focused play and relationship building within the family unit, Dyadic Developmental Therapy, ARC-model based strategies, body-based awareness, sensory processing, basic nurturing, narration and integration of the trauma, EMDR (level II trained), humor, playfulness, targeting of sympathetic nervous system over-arousal and under-arousal, art, containment and more general trauma-based emotional and cognitive processing strategies. The pace with which a sense of safety and security can be internalized frequently determines the pace of treatment. As such, it is not surprising that treatment for these issues typically requires extensive time and intervention with the family as a whole.
In addition to trauma and adoption work, I also enjoy working with more general stressful life events. These can include bereavement issues, post-divorce adjustment, step-family, sibling rivalry, relationship issues, etc. I also treat Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, along with various other mood and anxiety symptoms/disorders. Gifted and talented related psychotherapy issues are also an area I enjoy working in. Here we frequently focus on parenting a gifted child, addressing mood or anxiety issues, and coping with individual intensities. Social relatedness, underachievement, attachment disorders, school mismatch, mood dysregulation, and differentiating potential co-morbid disorders, such as AD/HD or Asperger’s Disorder, from giftedness are also common issues raised in treatment.
Should you be, or know of, an individual, parent or family in need, please don't hesitate to call. I can be contacted via phone, fax or email.
Dr. Sturgeon Freitas will be presenting in the 2018 Idaho Play Association Conference in March 2018 on the neurobiology of trauma and the developing brain. Links for registration will be provided when they become available.
Sheila Sturgeon Freitas, Ph.D. holds a doctorate in Psychology from the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology (now known as Palo Alto University), in Palo Alto, California (APA Accredited). She is a licensed psychologist in the state of Idaho, and was recently appointed to serve on the Governor's Task Force on Children At Risk. She is a member of the following associations:
Here are some important documents for new and existing patients.
This document contains important information about my professional services and business policies.
This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information.
Please fill out and sign this form prior to our first meeting.
This form, when completed and signed by you, authorizes Dr. Sturgeon Freitas to release or obtain from an outside party, protected information from your records, from the records of your child or from the records of a person for whom you are legally responsible to the person/entity you designate.
This document explains how confidential information can be discussed electronically in order to comply with federal law.
Dr. Sturgeon Freitas has offices in Meridian for your convenience.
|3709 N Locust Grove Rd Suite 150
Meridian, ID 83646
Sheila Sturgeon Freitas, Ph.D.
3709 N Locust Grove Rd Suite 150
Meridian, ID 83646
Use the following form to contact Dr. Sturgeon Freitas electronically. Include your telephone number, as certain kinds of information cannot be discussed via e-mail unless encryption safeguards are in place (see this document for more information).
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