Why is a therapist's background important?

Working with a therapist can be an intense, often life-changing experience. Cornerstone recognizes the importance of this professional relationship and does everything they can to make people they are working with feel comfortable, well-treated, and supported. Cornerstone believes that knowledge is power - thus the extensive intent of this web site, providing as much information (and links to information) as possible in today's rapidly-evolving dynamic world. A large part of that, in the clinical relationship, is knowing who you're working with.

So who is Ward Halverson?

Ward Halverson is a licensed, practicing child and family therapist based in and around the county of Herkimer, New York. His education and clinical background is extensive (see this web site for more) and his focus of expertise is children, family systems, and veterans. He believes in the empowerment of the individual and - very strongly - the role of family in modern America. Ward is often called on as a problem solver, and consulted by other professionals as an expert with children who refuse to follow rules, struggle with their anger, or are dangerous. Recognizing that such difficulties are usually related directly to what's happening within the family, Ward has developed a practice focused almost-exclusively on the family system itself, such as parenting roles, children's behavior, communication styles, and the development of solutions. He uses a strength-based approach to most everything, which includes a lot of humor and down-to-earth practical ideas that have been tested, successfully, again and again with families he has helped.

What is Cornerstone good at?

Cornerstone is at its best working with families who are struggling to manage their children, for whatever reason. Within the initial session, Cornerstone will make sure parents understand exactly what their children and family members are going through, what works (and what doesn't), and how to begin making the changes necessary to success. Cornerstone is a problem solver. We are good at helping others ultimately find their own solutions, which is a rare skill. We also work closely with couples, quickly assessing out what may be wrong, identifying the problem, and guiding people toward solutions. Like many professional therapists, Cornerstone has a variety of other interests. We enjoy helping people cope with sadness, fear, past trauma, insomnia, stress, major life changes, or mental illness of most any kind. Cornerstone helps others with assertiveness, self-esteem, and self-confidence - particularly women who have suffered through domestic violence and are trying to repair their lives afterward. Employee assistance, step-down services from residential and psychiatric facilities, smoking cessation, and support to veterans are other serious interests. Cornerstone is seeking further qualification as an EMDR, or eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing therapist, for another way to help with trauma and PTSD.

What can Cornerstone not do?

Cornerstone does not have a medical doctor, and for that reason we cannot write prescriptions or prescribe medications. We work closely with medical doctors in the area, however, to complement therapy, as many treatments for mental illnesses have been proven to respond best to a combination approach.

Cornerstone does not have a licensed psychologist. Although we often writes detailed clinical assessments and can legally diagnose and treat mental illness, Cornerstone does not perform psychometric testing or more-complex psychological testing. That is the realm of the clinical psychologist or school psychologist. For that reason, Cornerstone connects with psychologists through the school systems, legal system, or directly, usually for the purpose of further testing.

It's also important for families to understand good clinical boundaries. For example, Cornerstone does not hang around families that we work with, Cornerstone will never touch anyone except to shake hands or, perhaps, provide a clap on the shoulder - this is particularly true for women, girls, or children of any age. Cornerstone will never get into a car with a patient or patient's family, which means we are unable to drive a patient somewhere, even before or after a home visit.

As well, Cornerstone is also not qualified as any of the following: Art Therapist, Music Therapist, Jungian Psychotherapist, Personal Construct Therapist, Dance Therapist, Existential Psychotherapist, Therapeutic Touch Psychotherapist, Feminist Therapist, or Transpersonal Therapist.