Michelle Kandalaft, PhD, PLLC - Spectra Therapies + Evaluations
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Michelle Kandalaft, PhD, PLLC

 

Thank you for your interest in our clinic and services.  I am fortunate to have found a group with the spirit and dedication that we strive to offer our clients. My passion for working with others was focused during community service in high school when I met a child with autism.  At Southern Methodist University (SMU) I focused my studies in psychology and after became an ABA therapist.  Increasing concern and curiosity about the origins and the treatment of autism and other mental health issues led me to complete my doctorate at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas (UTSW), with rotations at Shelton Evaluation Center, Fairhill School, Parkland, and Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation (BIR), dissertation on ADHD,  and postdoctoral training at the Center for BrainHealth with emphasis on social cognition and neuropsychology.

I currently conduct research with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas (UTSW) and Children’s Medical Center’s (CMC) Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities (CADD). I am an adjunct faculty at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and UTSW and an active participant in the autism community and research.  I currently supervise SMU and UTSW students.  My team and I look forward to helping you and your family.

 

Services provided: therapies & evaluations; Facilitates young adult and adult groups

 

LICENSURE

Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Texas # 34994

 

EDUCATION

2009-2011     Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, Texas

Post-doctoral emphasis on neuropsychology and social cognition.  Outcome research on social cognition intervention with pre-post testing including neuropsychological, social-emotional, and neuroimaging (EEG and fMRI).

 

2004-2009    University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Texas

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

American Psychological Association Accredited Program

Dissertation: Influence of Motor Function on a Continuous Performance Test in Children with Suspected Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). 

 

1998-2003     Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas

B.B.A. General Business and Administration

B.A. Psychology

Minor: Advertising

Departmental Distinction Psychology

Honors

 

CURRENT POSITIONS

Psychologist at Spectra Therapies, Plano, Texas

Community clinic that specializes in Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism.  Evaluations and therapy for all ages.  Multidisciplinary team.

RECENT POSITIONS

Adjunct Faculty, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas

Adjunct Faculty, The University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, Texas

 

COMMITTEES

2017 – current             Board of Directors Community Homes for Adults, Inc. (CHAI)

2014 – current              Professional Advisory Committee Member of Community Homes for Adults, Inc. (CHAI)

2010                               Board of Directors of the Dallas Asperger Network for Information, Support, and Health (DANISH)

 

PROFESSIONAL CLINICAL EXPERIENCE

2012-2014       Clinical Assistant Professor, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Adjunct Position

2012-2014       Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic, Dallas, Texas

Autism Evaluations with multidisciplinary team

Center development

Supervision of post-docs: Rachel Oppenheimer and Michele Ocen

2010-2012      AAA Mental Health, Richardson, Texas

Individual and group therapies for children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

 

APA ACCREDITED INTERNSHIP IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY, THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SOUTHWESTERN MEDICAL CENTER AT DALLAS.  MAJOR ROTATIONS:

2007-2008    University of Texas at Arlington Mental Health Center, Arlington, Texas , Psychology Intern, Supervisor: Marie Bannister, Ph.D.

Evaluated and provided psychotherapy to students and staff.

Conducted adult ADHD evaluations.

2006-2007      Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation, Dallas, Texas, Psychology Intern, Supervisor:  Alan Frol, Ph.D.

Neuropsychological assessments, individual and group therapy.

TBI, stokes and other neurological trauma.

Inpatient and outpatient day treatment.

 

PRACTICUM EXPERIENCE IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY, THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SOUTHWESTERN MEDICAL CENTER AT DALLAS.  MAJOR ROTATIONS:

2005-2008       University of Texas Southwestern Adult Psychotherapy Referral Service, Dallas, Texas, Supervisors:  Dr. Laurel Wagner and Dr. Martin Deschner

Individual psychotherapy with emphasis on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Psychodynamic approaches.

Presentation on use of technology and college students.

2005-2006     Parkland Memorial Hospital, Psychiatric Emergency Room, Dallas, Texas, Supervisors: Various Psychiatry Attending Physicians

Assessed crisis or emergent psychiatric cases and provided recommendations.

2005-2006     Fairhill School Diagnostic Assessment Center, Dallas, Texas, Supervisor: William Gordon, III, Ph.D.

Learning differences (ADHD, Dyslexia, etc.) evaluations and recommendations.

Class presentations on bullying.

2005                 Parkland Hospital, Consult Liaison Service, Dallas, Texas, Supervisor: Trish Borman, Ph.D.

Assessment and brief therapy working in a multidisciplinary team at a state county inpatient hospital.  Crisis management & treatment planning.

 

OTHER SELECTED PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

2006                Shelton School Center for Advanced ADHD Research, Dallas, Texas, Supervisor:  Maryann Hetrick, Ph.D.

                         Social Skills Group Facilitator

2003                Therapy Solutions, Dallas, Texas, Supervisor: Sherry Pearson

                       Applied Behavioral Therapist for children with autism

1998-2001       Dallas Services for the Visually Impaired Day Center, Dallas, Texas, Supervisor: Liz Gonzalez

                      Volunteer student for children with various special needs, including autism

 

TEACHING & SUPERVISORY POSITIONS

2016-current   Texas Women’s University, Denton, supervisor, Mary Dryden and Brittany Mulkey

2016-2017       University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, supervisor, Victoria Owen

2016-2017       Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, supervisor, Claire Simpson

2011-2016        University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, Texas Adjunct Faculty

2012-2014       University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, Assistant Professor, supervising post-docs, Rachel Oppenheimer and Michele Ocen

2011-2013       SMU Counseling Center, Plano, Texas, supervisor, Nichole Lecznar

2010-2011       Center for BrainHealth, Dallas, Texas, Supervision of students

2000-2002       Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, TA position

 

PUBLICATIONS

Didehbani N, Allen TT, Kandalaft MR, Chapman SB.  (2016)  

Virtual Reality Social Cognition Training for children with high functioning autism.

Journal of Autism Developmental Disorders,

 

Krawczyk DC, Kandalaft MR, Didehbani N, Allen TT, McClelland MM, Tamminga CA, Chapman SB. (2014)

An investigation of reasoning by analogy in schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder.

Front Hum Neurosci. 2014 Aug 20;8:517. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00517. eCollection 2014.

 

Kandalaft, M., Didehbani, N., Krawczyk, D., Toon, T., & Chapman, S. (2013).

Virtual Reality Social Cognition Training for Young Adults with High-Functioning Autism.

Journal of Autism Developmental Disorders, 43(1):34-44. doi: 10.1007/s10803-012-1544-6.

 

Kandalaft, M., Didehbani, N., Cullum, M., Krawczyk, D., Toon, T., Tamminga, C. & Chapman, (2012).

The Wechsler ACS Social Perception Subtest: A Preliminary Comparison with Other Measures of Social Cognition

Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 30:455-465. doi: 10.1177/0734282912436411 

 

Didehbani, N., Shad, M.U., Tamminga, C.A., Kandalaft, M., Allen, T.T., et al.  (2012).

Insight and empathy in schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia Research, 142(1-3):246-7. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2012.09.010.

 

Didehbani, N., Shad, M.U., Kandalaft, M., Allen, T.T., Tamminga, C.A., et al.  (2012).

Brief Report:Insight into Illness and Attribution Style in Asperger’s Syndrome.

Journal of AutismDevelopmental Disorders, 42(12):2754-60. doi: 10.1007/s10803-012-1532-x.

 

GRANTS

03/2014           National Institute of Heath Service Package Grant

 

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE

2012-2014       Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, Various research projects:

recruiting and autism diagnostic confirmation using ADOS and ADI.

IRB: STU 062011-010 Family Studies of Sensorimotor and Neurocognitive Heterogeneity in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

IRB: STU 122012-007 Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

2011-2017     Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders, The University of Texas at Dallas and

the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center of Dallas; Longitudinal, outcome study of

young adults with ASD at nonPareil Institute

2010-2015    Autism Research Collaboration (ARC), The University of Texas at Dallas

Database registry for young adults with autism for research purposes.

2010                Middle School Brain Years, at the Center for BrainHealth, Dallas, Texas

2010                Haptics Project, at the Center for BrainHealth, Dallas, Texas

2009-2011       Pediatric TBI Social Cognition Project, at the Center for BrainHealth, Dallas, Texas

2009-2011       Hayner Yates TBI Project, at the Center for BrainHealth, Dallas, Texas

2009-2011       Ringle Exercise  Project, at the Center for BrainHealth, Dallas, Texas

2009-2011       Social Cognition Project, at the Center for BrainHealth, Dallas, Texas

Job responsibilities:  Neuropsychological testing, cognitive and social cognitive interventions, EEG, fMRI, physiological data, discussions, and writing.

2009-2010       Gulf War Syndrome, Dallas, Texas,  Supervisor:  Melanie Biggs, Ph.D.

Volunteer Researcher: Trained in SCID-IV and PTSD evaluations              

2008-2009       Shelton School, Dallas, Texas, Advisor: Cheryl Silver, Ph.D. 

Research Intern : Created database and analyzed testing patterns of children with suspected ADHD

2006-2008       Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, Department of Psychology, Dallas, Texas, Advisers: Anne Morton, Ph.D. and Maurico Delgado, M.D.

Research Intern : Developed and designed study of the quality of life trade off effects of botulinum toxin A in children with cerebral palsy

2007                Dr. Leroy and Dr. Harvey, Neurology Office, Dallas, Texas, Adviser: Albert Banta, Jr., Ph.D. 

Research Assistant : Conducted structured interviews and questionnaires of screening mood and anxiety disorders in patients with epilepsy

2003-2004       University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Department of Neuropsychology, Dallas, Texas

Laboratory Assistant : Entered data, organized testing materials, conducted literature searches and met in multidisciplinary meetings

2000-2002       Southern Methodist University, Department of Psychology, Dallas, Texas, Adviser: Ephrem Fernandez, Ph.D. and John Claude Krusz, M.D.

Research Assistant : Collected and analyzed data on pain descriptors and severity of pain in patients with chronic pain

 

PEER REVIEWER

Child Neuropsychology

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

 

 

INVITED ADDRESSES

2017                 Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders, Fairhill School, Dallas, Texas

2012                Asperger’s Syndrome in Adolescence, Echidnas Group, Dallas, Texas, a support group for adolescents with Asperger’s Syndrome and their Parents

2008                Online Social Behavior of College Aged Students, University of Texas at Arlington, Dallas, Texas

2007-2008       Botulinum Toxin A and Cerebral Palsy,  Measuring Quality of Life in Children with Specialized Health Needs,Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Dallas, Texas

2007                Neuropsychological Testing in Traumatic Brain Injured Adults, Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation, Dallas, Texas

2007                Does That Make Me Crazy: An Introduction to the Rorschac, Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas

 

PROFESSIONAL PRESENTATIONS

Kandalaft, M.  (2011). A Tale of Frontal Lobes:  When, Why and How We Should Be Concerned about

Teenage Behavior.  The 4th Annual Teen CONTACT Conference, Dallas, Texas.

 

Kandalaft, M., Didehbani, N., Toon, T., McClelland, M., Krawczyk, D., Tamminga, C.,

Cullum, M., & Chapman, S.  (2010).  Theory of Mind in Asperger’s Syndrome and

Schizophrenia.  The 38th International Neuropsychological Society Poster Session,

Acapulco.

 

Didehbani, N., Kandalaft, M., Toon, T., McClelland, M., Krawczyk, D., Tamminga, C.,

Cullum, M., Chapman, S., & Krawczyk, D.  (2010). Theory of Mind in Schizophrenia

and Asperger’s Syndrome.  Brain Plasticity and the Reasoning Mind: Reprogramming the Human Brain Symposium, Dallas.

 

Kandalaft, M., Didehbani, N. & Toon, T.  (2010).  Social Cognition in Asperger’s Disorder and

Schizophrenia: Commonalities and Distinctions.  Social Cognition Colloqium:

Investigating Social Cognition in Schizophrenia and Autism Spectrum Disorders, Dallas.

 

Didehbani, N., Toon, T., McClelland, M., Kandalaft, M., Adams, C., Krawczyk, D., &

Chapman, S. (2009).  Measuring Social Cognition and Theory of Mind Across Diseased

Populations Using fMRI.  The 39th Cognitive Neuroscience Poster Session, San Francisco

 

Kandalaft, M. (2007). Procedural Experience and the Effect of Botulinum Toxin-A

Treatment on the Health Related Quality of Life in Children with Cerebral Palsy and Their Families. 

The Graduate Student Organization Poster Session & 39th Annual Sigma Xi Research Forum, Dallas.

 

Fernandez, E., Krusz, J.C., & Kandalaft, M. (2002). Classification and Calibration of a

Parsimonious Set of Pain Descriptors. The 21st Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Pain Society, Baltimore.

 

COORDINATED SYMPOSIUMS AND ACTIVITIES

2010                Reprogramming the Human Brain Symposium with the University of California at Berkeley, over 300 guests, and APA CEUs

2010                Social Cognition Colloqium:  Investigating Social Cognition in Schizophrenia and Autism Spectrum Disorders

2009-2011      Social Committee at the Center for BrainHealth

2004                DSM-IV-TR Training Series

 

PROFESIONAL AFFILIATIONS

American Psychological Association

National Academy of Neuropsychology

Cognitive Neuroscience Society

International Neuropsychology Society

 

HONORS/DISTINCTIONS

Early Career Psychologist Scholarship by the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, 2011

Departmental Distinction Psychology, Southern Methodist University

Golden Key National Honor Society

Dean’s List Southern Methodist University

Psi Chi (National Honors Society in Psychology)

Delta Sigma Pi (Honors Business Fraternity)

 

 EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

International Rescue Committee, Dallas Chapter, ARTvocacy committee member

American University of Beirut, Dallas Chapter, Fundraising & media committees

Semester at Sea, University of Pittsburgh, Study abroad around the world

 

 AUTISM RELATED EXPERIENCES

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Training and Work

Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) training

Autism Research Collaborative (ARC) at the University of Texas at Dallas

Neuropsychological Evaluations for High Functioning Autism and Aspergers Syndrome

Virtual Reality Training with Asperger’s Syndrome

Individual, group, couples and family counseling with individuals on the spectrum

Crystal Charity Ball and Children’s Medical Center collaborations

Facilitator and co-facilitator for Asperger group for youth, teen, young adults and adults

Previous Board of Directors of the Dallas Asperger Network for Information, Support, and Health (DANISH)

Supervisor for postdocs and interns for social skills training groups

Research experience and publications

Collaboration with Autism Treatment Center and universities in DFW metroplex

 

 

 

 

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