Nancy HaffeyNancy Haffey, EdD

I am a licensed psychologist and have been practicing in the Pioneer Valley since 1981. I received my EdD at Boston University and am a member of the American Psychological Association. I provide psychotherapy for children, adolescents and adults. I specialize in ADHD assessment and treatment, and psychological testing..

I believe that psychotherapy is both an art and a science. Therapy is a science when I rely on interventions that have research evidence indicating that they are effective and helpful. Therapy is an art when I strive to deeply understand people and connect with them. People sometimes ask me if I get tired of listening to people’s problems, and I tell them that I don’t because everyone is different with their own unique life story. I believe that my clients are the experts about their thoughts and feelings, and that I offer expertise in how to change behavior and how to accept and manage uncomfortable feelings. My role is to learn what is causing my clients to be in distress, and to work with them in a collaborative manner to alleviate their distress.

When I work with children, I rely on science to teach me about child development, while the art of therapy is to connect with children at their level. I respect children, and their thoughts and feelings, as much as I respect adults. Children communicate their thoughts and feelings differently, though, often expressing themselves through their artwork or through their play. My work with children almost always involves work with the parents, as parents have a much greater influence over their children than a therapist can have.

My approach to psychological assessment is also based on the art and science of testing. Psychological testing is based on scientific research and knowing what is typical or “average” for people at different ages. Psychological testing is also an art. As a reader of mystery novels, I approach a testing referral as a mystery to be solved. The mystery may be a question such as, “Why is my child having difficulty in school?” The process of assessment involves following the clues about how a child manages the different aspects of the testing. The clues lead to a conclusion and a test report. A test report is helpful when both the child and the parents can recognize the child’s strengths and weakness as familiar, yet they understand them in a different way and have clear ideas for how to work with those strengths and weaknesses to improve school performance.