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Ana C DiRago PhD

Academic Appointments

Adjunct Professor

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Stanford School of Medicine

Experience

 

I am a clinical psychologist who specializes in diagnostic assessments (psychological, neuropsychological, and educational) of children, adolescents, and adults.

I hold an Adjunct Professor appointment at the Stanford Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences where I train and supervise forensic psychiatry fellows.

I have over fifteen years of experience evaluating individuals with a wide range of presenting concerns in a variety of settings, such as outpatient clinics, medical centers, VA's, rehabilitation centers, partial hospitalization programs, jails, inpatient units, and research studies. I have been qualified by courts as an expert witness in several assessment areas.

 

Before opening my private practice, I was the co-director of the Gronowski Center's Assessment Center and worked at the Children's Health Council where I led multidisciplinary team evaluations of children and adolescents with a number of difficulties (e.g., emotional and behavioral concerns, developmental disabilities, learning disabilities, severe and complex psychopathology, autism spectrum disorders, ADHD.)

I earned my doctorate from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, where I conducted research for the Minnesota Twin Family Study. This study is an ongoing, population-based, longitudinal investigation of twins and their parents. My research primarily focused on the influence of genetics and environment on personality traits and mental health diagnoses.

Philosophy

While most psychologists specialize in either child or adult assessment, my approach is different. I adopt a lifespan perspective, influenced by my work with individuals across all age groups and my research experience at the Harvard Study of Adult Development, which is the longest-running longitudinal study in the world.

This lifespan perspective recognizes that development extends beyond childhood and pays equal attention to events occurring in adulthood. In my evaluations, I consider the significant changes that transpire at every stage of life, interpreting these changes within the context they occur. This comprehensive approach allows for a more nuanced understanding of an individual’s development throughout their life.

 

I am grateful for my experiences working in various settings and in multidisciplinary teams. They have enhanced my ability to "catch" important things that are often missed by providers who have only evaluated individuals who present with a narrow set of concerns or who are not open to viewing information through a different lens (e.g., the role of medical illness, unique life events, rare conditions, etc.)

I am always cognizant of how aspects of a client's identities, such as gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, disabilities, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status intersect with one another to shape life experiences. I am bilingual in Spanish and enjoy working with individuals of all nationalities.

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