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Kent Grelling, PhD

Kent Grelling, PhD

Dr. Kent Grelling is a licensed clinical psychologist, specializing in the treatment of children, adolescents and young adults. He has extensive experience working with clients with ADHD, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, and anxiety disorders. He is also an expert in addressing the unique emotional needs of the intellectually gifted. His background integrates expertise in developmental theory, neuropsychology, cognitive/behavioral therapies and existential philosophy into a treatment approach that is supportive, evidence-based, and leavened with humor.

Dr. Grelling is the former clinical director of New Directions for Young Adults California - a transitional living program for young adults with disabilities which he co-founded in 2014 and where he still consults. He also serves as the consulting psychologist at The Carey School in San Mateo where he has worked since 2013. Prior to this he worked part-time for the Bentley School in Oakland, CA as the Director of Counseling and Student Support in the middle and lower schools.

He also served as both the autism and ADHD "champions" at Kaiser Permanente's Union City, CA facility. In that position, he provided support services to families of children with autism, worked on the ADHD assessment and parent-training programs, and developed "best practices" for the treatment of such children. Dr. Grelling had previously worked at Kaiser between 1998 and 2002, and had been awarded Kaiser Permanente's Service Improvement Award for the programs he developed there.

Prior to 2006, Dr. Grelling lived in Florida, where he served as the Director of the Unicorn Child Development Clinic at Nova Southeastern University in Ft Lauderdale. In this position, he directed an interdisciplinary team of clinicians specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of children with developmental disorders. He also consulted in the university's Baudhuin School, the largest preschool for children with autism in the country. Dr Grelling also led many of NSU’s parenting programs for typical children; teaching classes on toilet training, sleep challenges in young children, and behavior management. He developed and led the "Dads on Deck" program for expectant fathers, which received coverage in the South Florida media. In addition to his work at the university, Dr. Grelling maintained a large private practice in Florida.

Dr. Grelling has lectured widely to community and parent organizations, speaking on issues ranging from  raising self-disciplined children, to toilet training difficulties, to early signs of developmental disorders. He has also trained numerous professional groups on topics including psychotherapy for adults with autism, diagnostic overlap and alternative diagnostic approaches,  developmental disorders in the gifted, and the effects of prematurity on parent-child attachment. Dr. Grelling’s work and views have been featured in a number of media outlets including the Miami Herald, the Sun-Sentinel, WSVN News, and the Rick Sanchez Show. (Copies of some of his recent presentation materials can be found here.)

Dr. Grelling attended college at Indiana University, Bloomington, earning a BS with honors in Psychology and Philosophy. He earned his MA and Ph.D. in Clinical and Community Psychology from the University of Maryland in College Park, where he passed his doctoral comprehensive exams with honors, and graduated summa cum laude. He has earned numerous awards and honors during his career, including two consecutive President’s Faculty Research and Development Grants at Nova Southeastern University.

Dr. Grelling has also been active in a number of public policy and advocacy roles. He recently served on Kaiser Permanente's Transition Workgroup for adults with autism as well as training many of Kaiser's adult psychiatry providers on delivering services to adults on the spectrum. He formerly served on the Board of Directors of the California Psychological Association and on its Governmental Affairs Committees as well as on the board of the Alameda County Psychological Association. He has trained teachers in the Broward County, Florida schools on the social development of gifted students, and served on the Broward County Advanced Academics Test Adoption Task Force. He has advocated on behalf of children with developmental and learning disabilities to the California state legislature, and served as an adviser to the California Department of Education CALSTAT project. He has also served on the Professional Services Committee of the California Association of Independent Schools. Dr. Grelling is a member of the American Psychological Association, the California Psychological Association, and the Northern California Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Association. 


Selected presentations and research

Girls On the Spectrum (with Kathryn McCarthy PhD) 

- Presentation to the East Bay Pediatric Studies Group 

Treatment of Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Spring 2017)

- Presentation to Adult Psychiatry Departments of various northern California Kaiser Permanente clinics

Fostering Healthy Media and Technology Habits for Your Child (February 2014)
- Presentation for the parents of Carey School, San Mateo, CA

Coordinated Multi-Disciplinary Treatment for Young Adults with Autism (February 2014)
- Presentation to the 2014 Annual Conference of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs with Drew Rubin, PhD of New Directions for Young Adults

Where Do We Go From Here: Serving the Needs of Young Adults with Autism and Asperger's Syndrome (November 2013)
- Presentation to the Kaiser Permanente ASD Regional Conference 2013

Asperger's 101: An Introduction to Terms and Techniques (March, 2009 and March 2013)
- Presentation for the 2009 and 2013 conferences of the California Association of Independent Schools

Roundtable in Counseling: What type of testing do we need for this student? (March 2013)
- Presentation for the 2013 conference of the California Association of Independent Schools

Maintaining Positive Parent Communication (June 2012)
- Presentation for Bentley School Faculty Development

No Simple Gifts: Meeting the Complex Emotional Needs of Gifted Children (March, 2009)
- Presentation for the 2009 conference of the California Association of Independent Schools 

From Teasing to Tormenting: School Bullying and What Parents Can Do (March, 2009)
- Presentation to the Bentley Parents Association, Bentley School, Oakland CA 

Where Do We Go From Here: Serving the Needs of Young Adults with Asperger's and Autism (November, 2008)
- Presentation for the 2008 conference of the International Association Of Education Consultants and to the faculty and parents of Commonwealth Academy, Alexandria, VA With Drew Rubin, PhD from New Directions for Young Adults 

Autism Spectrum Disorders and Criminal Justice (August, 2008)
- Presentation to San Francisco County Jail Mental Health Services

Assessment in Childhood: Theory into Practice (August, 2008)
- UC Berkeley Developmental Psychology course guest lecture

Does Modern Psychiatry Blur the Boundaries Between Illness and Health?: The Controversy of ADHD (September, 2006)

- San Francisco VA Mental Health Service and UCSF Psychiatry Grand Rounds panel discussion

What's in a Name? Dilemmas and Alternatives in the Diagnostic Classification of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (September, 2006)
- Presentation to Kaiser Permanente Department of Psychiatry, Hayward, CA


Twice Exceptional Children: Gifted Children with Asperger’s, ADHD and other Neurodevelopmental Disorders (June, 2005)
- Presentation to the Broward County Public Schools 2005 Summer Institute


Double Down: The Interactive Risks of Prematurity and Parental Stress on Infant Development (June, 2005)
- Presentation to the Florida Association for Infant Mental Health Annual Conference


Familial and Cultural Factors in Pediatric Dentistry (December, 2004)
- Nova Southeastern University School of Dentistry - Dental Seminar

OCD and ODD: A Clinician’s Insights (March, 2004)
- Nova Southeastern University Internship Program - Special Topics Seminar


Ongoing Research: Emergent Literacy Skills Enhancement
- 2005 Nova Southeastern University Faculty Research and Development Grant

Factors Predicting Early Reading Skills in Preschool Children
- Nova Southeastern University Faculty Research and Development Grant

Grelling Psychology Associates

sensitive, professional care
for adults, children and families
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