In graduate school, Tessa worked with Dr. Phil Kendall in the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders clinic (CAADC), which focuses on the research, development, and implementation of evidenced-based treatments for children and adolescents with anxiety disorders, OCD, and other co-occurring symptoms. While working in the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorder Clinic, Tessa conducted several trainings at elementary, middle, and high schools for school psychologists, teachers, and parents on detecting, treating, and providing educational accommodations for children and adolescents with anxiety disorders. These trainings include methods for handling anxiety surrounding virtual school. Tessa’s National Health Institute funded dissertation project examines novel mechanisms by which children develop and maintain social anxiety symptoms. She has also published papers identifying risk factors and predictors of emergent anxiety symptoms, including her award-winning master’s thesis.
Throughout graduate school, Tessa has had the opportunity to work in two community clinics, where she has implemented evidence-based practices to help children and adolescents with anxiety and co-occurring symptoms such as ADHD, OCD, Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Deviant Disorder, eating disorders, and psychosis. For the last 12 years, Tessa has also worked in a variety of research and clinical settings with children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and co-occurring anxiety disorders. Using this experience, she has developed and conducted trainings on methods for adapting evidence-based interventions for individuals with ASD. Tessa has also chaired international symposia, given presentations at scientific conferences, and published papers on how to better measure and track changes in anxiety symptoms in children with ASD. Tessa’s primary training orientation is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which focuses helping children understand the connection between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, while teaching and practicing coping skills for dealing with anxious situations.
Tessa strives to create a comfortable, fun, and supportive environment for every child during sessions. To achieve this, she adapts evidence-based approaches to fit each child’s individual needs and interests to best help them feel confident in facing their fears and achieving their goals. She always brings energy and enthusiasm to each session to help encourage them when they are practicing their skills, and is just as excited as they are when they achieve their goals. In her free time, Tessa enjoys all things outdoors including skiing, mountain biking, paragliding, kayaking, camping, foraging for mushrooms and edible plants, and hiking with her puppies. She also loves to cook, paint, and make furniture.