Reach Your Potential
Potentials offers mental health services
SHELLEY CHAMBERS (pictured left), a licensed clinical social worker, met CHRIS HOOK (pictured right) in 2002 while working at the Children’s Developmental Services Agency in Wilmington.
“I developed a great respect for her as an individual and a psychologist. Her assessments of young children were extremely useful in identifying the needs of kids with special needs,” Chambers says.
Both left a few years later and each entered private practice. “We referred clients to each other and in 2011 we decided to develop a practice together,” Chambers says. “We believed we could meet a need in our community for a place where families could go for both assessment and therapy.”
After working in state agencies, Chambers and Hook wanted a more personalized and unique experience for clients.
“We wanted an environment where clients could feel confident that we were there for them, in a warm, inviting, safe office space, where assessments and treatments would be research-based, state-of-the-art, using the most up-to-date knowledge and tools to help them,” Hook says.
Potentials offers psychotherapy, counseling, psychological assessments, wellness services, co-parenting sessions, and clinical supervision.
Chambers has always been an empathic person and believes therapy is a natural fit. “I am curious about people and love hearing their stories – the deep stuff! In college, classes like psychology, anthropology, and sociology spoke to me like no other subjects,” she says.
Chambers is a licensed clinical social worker and primarily provides therapy to children and families but sees individuals of all ages. “As I have gotten older, I found that providing therapy to people of varying ages is very fulfilling,” she says.
Chambers has extensive training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and SPACE (Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions): A parent-based treatment for childhood and adolescent anxiety.
She also provides clinical supervision to provisionally licensed clinical social workers and facilitates a monthly adoption support group with NEELY POELLING, an adoption specialist.
Hook always loved school, learning, and reading. She knew from her teenage years that she wanted to go into psychology. “When applying to graduate school, I realized school psychology was a good fit for me, as it deals with assessing children for learning and behavior difficulties, consulting with teachers, and working with families,” she says.
Hook, a psychologist, generally sees individuals up to age twenty-five.
“My background is in providing specialized, in-depth assessments of learning disorders (such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia), ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, as well as emotional and behavioral issues and giftedness.” Hook has extra training in providing school neuropsychological assessments.
“I take on the role of a ‘cognitive detective’ and strive to provide helpful information about how a client’s brain works or how they approach and see their world, and provide recommendations based on the results of the evaluation,” she says.
Chambers and Hook say that often individuals start therapy with a feeling of overwhelm. “Therapy can help a person gain clarity on what is important, and a therapist can support the individual as they take the steps to move closer to the way they want to live their life,” Chambers says. “We focus on wellness and supporting positive emotional skills, rather than just treating disorders, although we definitely do that too, and it is so interrelated,” Hook adds.
Potentials adapted quickly during the pandemic and began offering teletherapy. The demand for therapy increased dramatically.
Hook says of the increased demand, “I think one reason is that with online learning, parents had to take on the role of teachers and realized how much their children have been struggling, even if they had been ‘flying under the radar’ at school. I also think there has been increased anxiety, a lack of meaningful peer/social interaction, and inconsistent instruction, that has also affected children’s well-being. It is certainly a complex time.”
Potentials continues to offer teletherapy to those who need or prefer it. “It is not going away,” Chambers says.