Clinical Orientation


A parent herself, Dr. Fisher’s therapeutic orientation has been molded by years volunteering, working with policy and planning in public schools, and in her service as an elected trustee in the New Trier Township responsible for initiatives for youth, senior, and low-income families. Her personal philosophy in working with children is aligned with Ross W. Greene, PhD’s motto: “Children do well if they can,” not “Children do well if they want to.”

 Adolescent Referral Areas:

“Failure-to-thrive” adolescents:  (ADD, “late bloomers”, creatives, poor executive function, depression and isolation) Dr. Fisher works with children who have intellectual potential but seem to have disengaged from the academic environment. Intakes focus on assessing hidden vulnerabilities and emotional-skill deficits that have led to difficult, seemingly intractable situations. She uses collaborative problem solving techniques (invented by Dr. Ross W. Greene) to give parents alternatives to power struggles, consequences and punishments that work poorly, and destructive spirals in the family that magnify conflict.  

Anxious, high achievers: (driven, perfectionism, hidden depression, panic disorders) Gifted, intellectual children can also tend toward fragile or rigid identities and compulsive behaviors. Fortunately, these children are also capable of excellent self-reflection and can benefit from psychotherapy to create more balance and resilience.

Families in Conflict:

Dr. Fisher is experienced in “turning down the volume” in families, decreasing chaos and using Collaborative Problem Solving methods to create constructive change and hope in a family. She is empathic and helpful in teaching acceptance and a recovery of loving relationships in families who “didn’t get the child they were expecting.” She often works jointly with adolescents and their families to coach and support change.


Dr. Fisher  has found that meditation and mindfulness based practices offer unexpected benefits and immediate shifts in old patterns of thinking. For patients who are ready (or who already have a  meditation practice) Mindfulness tools can have a powerful impact on dealing with emotional and physical challenges. Her personal practice of meditation and yoga has developed over the past 15 years. During that time she has studied at Esalen, and Omega Institute, and is continuing to study various styles of meditation –focusing on vipassana, mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) with John Kabat-Zinn, and mindfulness-based psychotherapy with Ron Siegel. She teaches Byron Katie’s techniques and  mindfulness practices in the community, and is currently completing a book on midlife mindfulness.


Oddly enough, it is the most gifted individuals who can feel the most stymied in living up to their potential.. There are unique life challenges for the creatively gifted, intellectually gifted and those with multiple talents. Feelings of isolation and difference, cynicism and over-thinking are common. For some intellectuals, the habitual mental whirl of insights and analysis can be paralyzing, limiting the benefit of traditional insight-oriented or positive-thinking approaches. Dr. Fisher’s ability to couple analytic understanding with the tools of mindfulness offers advantages in working through these issues, often in situations that seem futile or where individuals have made unsatisfactory compromises.

About Me
Clinical Orientation
Copyright © 2008 Diane Fisher, PhD All Rights Reserved