Our staff consists of a team of licensed psychologists, licensed professional counselors, certified rehabilitation counselors, certified school psychologists and highly trained and specialized diagnosticians, each possessing a wide range of specializations and experience. Each of our services is individually tailored to meet your specific needs.

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy is a collaborative effort between you and your counselor. Our goal is to provide an open, supportive, and confidential environment for you to address the issues that are concerning you. Therapy often includes techniques to increase awareness and the capacity for self-observation, change behavior and cognition and develop insight and empathy. Therapy may address specific forms of diagnosable mental illness, or everyday problems in managing or maintaining interpersonal relationships or meeting personal goals.

During the first meeting with a counselor, you will be asked to describe your concerns and what you hope to gain from counseling. The number of sessions that someone meets with a counselor really depends on the issues he or she is addressing, the severity of the issues, and on the coping mechanisms of the individual. Sessions generally last 50 minutes.

To schedule your first appointment, call our office at (404) 474-7021.

Child Therapy

Counseling must be adapted to meet the developmental needs of children. Since children often do not have the ability to articulate thoughts and feelings, counselors use a variety of items such as crayons, paint, clay, puppets, toys and board games. In many cases the counselor may also work with the caretaker of the child, especially if the child is younger than age four.

We may also be able to assist in providing in-home therapy and case management. We also work hand in hand with a local pediatrician, Dr. Sells of Intown Pediatrics located in Glenwood Park.

To schedule an initial consultation, call our office at (404) 474-7021.

Couples Therapy

Therapy assists couples (whether they’re married or not) resolve conflicts and build a more enriched and satisfying relationship. Many couples come to counseling seeking more love and intimacy, better communication, and a more satisfying sexual relationship. Couples therapy helps to create a neutral space to explore charged issues in the relationship with the help of a therapist. Common issues include threats of divorce, communication problems, infidelity or cheating, sexual problems, issues with money, drug and alcohol use, work commitments, lack of emotional intimacy, power struggles, and parenting or family problems. Couples therapy may be as brief as 3 to 5 sessions, or continue for months. Many couples; however, can reach their goals and gain the tools they need for lasting change in as little as 8 to 12 sessions.

Premarital Counseling

Premarital counseling can be helpful for couples considering engagement, for couples who are already engaged, and for newly married couples. Premarital counseling at SPA typically lasts for 8 weekly sessions and addresses problem solving, conflict resolution, personality styles, family planning, effective communication, friends and relatives, finances, careers, home life, health habits, beliefs and values, and sexual intimacy. Counseling can be helpful for couples marrying for the first time, as well as those who have had previous marriages.

Distance Counseling/“Teletherapy”

Distance counseling is in great demand these days considering our hectic schedules. Instead of driving to the office, simply sit back in your favorite chair at home and enjoy the benefits of the 21st century. Also, it’s a viable alternative when time, finances, and travel barriers would otherwise restrict treatment. Distance counseling is especially helpful with stress management, family problems, wellness concerns, anxiety, depression, burnout, goal setting, plans of action, increasing energy and more. Distance counseling services are much like face-to-face counseling with licensed counselors or psychologists with years of experience, but with the assistance of modern technology. Sessions begin with an assessment of the problem including an exploration of your personal history.

To schedule your first appointment, simply call our office at (404) 474-7021.

Psychological Testing/Evaluations

We presently work with individuals and families in the greater Atlanta area. We also work with a number of community mental health agencies, including several CORE/IFI providers, the Georgia Department of Labor (Disability Adjudication Services and Vocational Rehabilitation Services) and the Department of Family and Children’s Services in various roles.

Our Specialty Areas:

  • Personality Issues
  • Emotional Problems
  • Parental Fitness
  • Competency
  • Psycho-Educational Testing & Test Accommodations/ (Pre-K, Elementary, Secondary, College, Graduate School)
  • Diagnostic Clarification
  • Pre-bariatric surgery
  • Consultative Evaluations for Disability Determinations (Social Security, Veteran’s Administration/Service Connected Disability, Worker’s Compensation, Vocational Rehabilitation)

Many factors are taken into consideration when determining what type of testing is required. The type of evaluation will determine the time required for the evaluation, as well as the cost. In some cases, testing requires two separate visits to our office. Testing usually begins with a diagnostic interview, when our clinician will attempt to get a detailed personal history, with an emphasis on whatever prompted testing. Depending on the presenting problem(s), you will likely be asked to fill out several questionnaires and when necessary, prior records (report cards, IEP records, previous psychological evaluation, and medical records) may be reviewed.

Once the results are interpreted, you will return to the office to discuss the findings and a written report will be provided with a diagnosis and recommendations, if applicable.

We can usually schedule an appointment within one week, sometimes sooner. For those wishing to use insurance, our office manager can check with your insurance provider to see how much of testing will be covered. If you do not have insurance and wish to self-pay, please inquire about our self-pay options. Generally, 50% is due at the initial appointment and the remaining balance is due when you receive your written report. To schedule your first appointment, called an initial diagnostic interview, call our office at (404) 474-7021.

Psycho-Educational Testing & Test Accommodations

(Pre-K, Elementary, Secondary, College, Graduate School)

Students are often tested to determine whether an individual has a learning disability, emotional-behavioral problem, and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), that may be interfering with their success at school. Many students are mistakenly labeled as “lazy” without a full understanding that their problem is likely related to a small area of difficulty. Testing can provide specific information about problem-areas, as well as areas of strength. Once specific problem areas are identified, compensatory strategies can be employed, while capitalizing on strengths. Also, our written evaluation will be useful at school. Teachers can use our information to provide appropriate classroom modifications including how they present material in class, how and where they test their students and what types of homework assignments maximize effective learning.

  • Psycho-educational testing can often provide evidence to support the need for special test accommodations, especially when college students are preparing to take college entrance exams. (MCAT, LSAT, GRE). Some of the more common accommodations given to students include extended testing time, quiet testing sites, shortened assignments, written outlines of classroom material, books on tape and verbal testing in lieu of written tests.
  • Test results provide evidence needed to support special needs eligibility in the public school system.

We can usually schedule an appointment within a week, sometimes sooner if we have availability. For those wishing to use insurance, our office manager can check with your insurance company to see how much of testing will be covered. If you do not have insurance and wish to self-pay, please inquire about self-pay options. 50% is due at the initial appointment and the remaining 50% is due when you receive your written report. To schedule your first appointment, called an initial diagnostic interview, simply call our office at (404) 474-7021.

Career and Life Coaching

Observe anyone at the top of their game and the results will likely be the same; they've all had valuable guidance and direction. Personal fulfillment and success comes from living the life you were designed to live! If you desire more balance and to live a fulfilled life, you must take action and break the routine! Topics typically discussed may include:

  • Stress Management and Balance
  • Personal Growth
  • Career Planning and Development
  • Motivation and Time Management
  • Health, Lifestyle and Self-Care

To schedule an appointment, call our office at (404) 474-7021.

Professional Supervision (for Mental Health Professionals)

Dr. Gersh and Dr. Besses both offer individual clinical supervision and consultation to emerging therapists. Southern Psychological Associates is also an approved internship site for Georgia State University’s Professional Counseling and Rehabilitation Counseling programs.


501 Pulliam Street, Suite 407

Atlanta, GA 30312

Phone 404.474.7021

Fax 404.592.4698


1744 Roswell Road, Suite 200

Marietta, GA 30062

Phone 404.474.7021

Fax 678.909.0294


927 Commercial Street

Conyers, GA 30012

Phone 404.474.7021

Fax 404.592.4698