Venice-based psychologist Dr. Angela Steranko has specialized in working with children, teens and families for over nine years. Owner and founder of Fundamental Psychology, she has incorporated some innovative techniques and methods to her practice in an effort to enhance the personalized care she provides families within Sarasota, Venice, North Port, Englewood and surrounding areas.

Dr. Steranko works with children aged 3 to 12, teens (13 to 17), young adults (18 to 29) and families. Born and raised in Sarasota, she graduated from Sarasota High School, attended undergraduate school at Florida State University and earned her Doctor of Psychology degree (PsyD) at the Florida School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University in Tampa.

Issues Dr. Steranko typically sees with children and teens include anxiety, mood disorders, behavior problems, and stressful family situations, including divorce and death.

“Sometimes the whole family needs assistance with getting back on track with better communication,” she said. “If consent is given, I believe the best client care is when the client and I work collaboratively with family members and other professionals, including primary-care physicians, teachers, and psychiatrists to provide comprehensive care.”

Licensed as a Clinical Psychologist in Florida, Dr. Steranko creates a relaxed, judgment-free atmosphere to help guide young people and their families through challenges and provide support through approaches based on clinical research. She works primarily from a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) background.

“CBT means we understand how one’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors are all connected and use this knowledge to enact change,” she said. “By being more aware of how our thoughts influence our perceptions, we can change how we perceive our interactions with our world.”

Dr. Steranko has developed individual therapies for each age group. In addition to traditional in-office sessions, she offers “Walk and Talk” sessions for adolescents and young adults who prefer to meet outside of the office. The doctor walks with them along the Legacy Trail, which runs between Sarasota and Venice and passes by Dr. Steranko’s office.

“It gets our bodies in motion and our minds in motion,” she said. “We have the same sort of conversations we would have in the office. I love walking and the clients love it, so it’s a benefit for both of us.”

She said the teens she meets with are focused on establishing their own identity and finding a social group they can fit in with, not to mention the anxiety and mood swings we all experience.

“A lot of teens are happy they have somebody outside of their family or their social group that they can come to and process stuff, figure things out and kind of wrap their heads around what they want to do,” she added. “Many teens really appreciate a safe place to come and talk.”

With younger children, Dr. Steranko said it was important to see the parents as well as the child.

“Parents come to me just for general strategies on how to deal or respond to their kids who are having challenging behaviors,” she said. “If I’m dealing only with the child, then sending them home with parents who aren’t on the same page, we kind of hit a wall.”

In addition, Dr. Steranko has instituted online therapy through a secure portal. Online therapy offers an outlet for clients who cannot make it into the office due to logistical concerns. “The quality of the connection with the client is of the utmost importance for me, and online sessions offer a great alternative for clients to access services they might otherwise miss out on,” she said.

For online clients, she uses a web platform that complies with HIPAA provisions for data privacy and security.

“It’s almost like a secure and encrypted Skype video session and basically the same type of session we have in person,” said Dr. Steranko.

Dr. Steranko opened Fundamental Psychology in January of 2017 and is already looking to expand with the addition of a second therapist.

“I have the privilege of working with a lot of clients who leave with positive experiences and in a much better place,” she said. “I consider it a pleasure and a very rewarding job that I get to help people through difficult times.”

In addition to her work in therapy and counseling, Dr. Steranko participates in speaking engagements and community outreach focusing on a variety of mental health topics.

Fundamental Psychology is located at 1505 S Tamiami Trail #402, Venice. For a free telephone consultation, call 941-275-9183, or visit the website https://funpsy.com for more information.

Comments and suggestions are always welcome. Call Dan Mearns at 941-893-9692 or email danmearns@gmail.com.

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