Hello world. My name is Dr. Berney J Wilkinson, though you can call me Dr. Berney. I am a clinical psychologist, practicing in central Florida. I began my career in the mid 90's, working on the psychiatric floor of our local hospital while finishing my undergraduate degree in Psychology. Working as a Mental Health Associate (MHA) was interesting, as I had the opportunity to work with adolescents, geriatrics, addicts, and adults with serious mental illnesses. Although I had very little training at the time, I remember being fascinated with the effects of mental illness of people's lives.
While working at the hospital and trying to finish my degree, I began working as a research assistant at the University of South Florida College of Medicine. I had the opportunity to work with world renowned researchers. I remember my first research project involved the use of nicotine as a therapeutic treatment for ADHD and Tourette's Disorder. It was doing this research that really sparked my interest in working with children and families.
In 1999, I began graduate school in the USF School Psychology program. Although I left my job at the hospital, I continued to work as a graduate researcher in the USF College of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine. My interests continued to gel, and I found myself becoming more and more interested in pediatric and neuropsychology. Over the subsequent six years, I completed my doctorate, conducting research in the areas of ADHD, Tourette's Disorder, developmental delays, and pediatric psychology.
In 2005, I graduated with my Ph.D. and was immediately hired as faculty in the USF College of Medicine Department of Psychiatry. Within my first year as faculty, I gained a joint appointment in the USF Department of Pediatrics. I had the opportunity to evaluate and treat infants, children, adolescents, and parents, as well as train medical students and pediatric and psychiatry residents. In 2007-2008 I completed two additional training programs, one in Forensic Psychiatry and the other in School Neuropsychology. It was a busy year, but I was finally starting to meet my professional goals.
In 2008, I made the difficult decision to leave USF and began working in a private practice. Though I was worried that I would be losing two aspects of my work (teaching college and graduate students and presenting at workshop), I joined the faculty of Webster University as an Adjunct Professor and have continued to present to audiences across the country.
In 2012, my first book, co-authored with Dr. Richard Marshall, was self-published. The book, entitled Handbook for Raising an Emotionally Healthy Child, is a parenting book for the modern ages, providing parents with everything that they need to know from birth through adolescence. Since then we have written and update to the Handbook and several other books and I am a weekly columnist for The Ledger.
To bring everything up to date, in 2014 I took the next step and started my own practice - Psychological Associates of Central Florida. I stay busy and love all the work that I do. And as things continue to settle in, I have many more plans for The Mental Breakdown, as well as my publication and seminar company, Paedeia, LLC. So stay tuned, and follow upon iTunes and YouTube to stay up to date with all that we are doing!