Elizabeth Jerison Terry, PhD

Clinical Neuropsychologist • Licensed Psychologist PSY 20657

Bridges to Success

Child and Adult Neuropsychological Assessments
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Dr. Elizabeth Jerison Terry

I received my M.A. from the University of Chicago in Biopsychology, where I focused on neuropsychological research and began training in clinical neuropsychology – I did my first supervised assessment in 1987. I switched to University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign for my Ph.D. in Clinical/Community Psychology with a clinical focus on neuropsychological assessment and cognitive behavioral therapy. I completed my postdoctoral training hours under the supervision of Leah Ellenberg, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist in private practice in Beverly Hills.

Dr. Elizabeth Jerison Terry Neuropsychologist

Working with Children

I have worked with children since I was a child myself: I “taught” my best friend to read when I was five and I tutored even in elementary school; I was an assistant counselor at the YWCA Day Camp in Santa Monica starting at 12; I taught swimming to a child with Down Syndrome when I was 11; I coached gymnastics starting at age 13. One of my earliest clinical supervisors told me, “Your child characters are close to the surface; that’s why you are so good with kids.”

I try to nurture the spark in all of my clients. In explaining assessments, I tell them that I don’t have a window into their brains: I will ask them some things that are easy and others that are hard to clarify their strengths and weaknesses. I want them to learn to use their strengths to help them with their weaknesses. In fact, I will purposefully give them some tasks that I expect to be too hard for them to explore their upper limits: and sometimes they will surprise me!

Something about having two children, attending two different programs, and researching three different dissertation proposals contributed to a long and winding road through graduate school (with some great views along the way). For my dissertation, Assessing Assessment: A Qualitative Evaluation of Psychological Asssessment Applied to a Foster/Adoptive Population, I interviewed six mothers of foster/adoptive children who had personal experience with 24 assessments that revealed three major themes affecting their “trust” of an assessment: thoroughness; effective communication; and perceived utility.

In my assessment and therapy practice, I want my clients to trust that

  • my work involves thorough exploration of their needs and goals,
  • work we do together will be useful in their lives, and
  • the “avenues” of communication remain open and accessible

A Lifelong Learner

I used the isolation of COVID to take continuing education classes to hone my skills in CBT, expand my skills in CPT and ACT, receive a certificate in Teletherapy Competency, and explore a range of therapeutic approaches and topics that I had not had time to visit before.

A Reader and Writer

During isolation, I also maintained active participation in two book groups and wrote a first draft of a children’s book on emotions and continued writing poetry. Because some people have told me that my poems that explore aging, death, and caregiving have helped them in difficult times, I am publishing my poetry on my website.