Our mental health practice specializes in treating children in a unique manner that is different than those of older patients. We currently have several therapists whose focus is solely on the treatment and psychological evaluation of young children, through adolescence.
As in other types of therapy there are individual schools of thought regarding the theoretical and strategic approach to therapy for children. Your child will work with a therapist skilled to address the issues they are facing at home and or at school. Our office provides a safe and comfortable environment for your child, including books, toys and games available while they wait.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the focus is on the child’s thoughts, beliefs and perceptions that trigger certain behaviors. For example, if a child thinks they are unlovable, ugly or unworthy and angry, oppositional behavior may be triggered by the painful self perceptions. The goal of the therapy is to help the child understand these destructive thinking patterns, which may lead to undesirable behavior.
Play therapy a well known strategic approach is particularly effective with very young children or those who have underdeveloped verbal skills. Through the use of play, either with dolls or games with the therapist, the child’s emotions, perceptions and actions can be discussed. Bringing the element of play into therapy often eases the child’s apprehensions and fears.
There is one common thread in all of the therapeutic procedures for children. This is participation by the parents. Participation by the parents is vital, both to obtain an accurate history of the child’s difficulties, as well as for the parents to reinforce the changes that are being promoted in the actual therapy. On occasion, both parents and child can be seen together.
Often in family therapy, diagnostic testing is useful. This is particularly cogent when these is some question whether the child is suffering from some sort of diagnostic disorder. Diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (ADHD), Dyslexia or learning problems, Oppositional Defiant Disorder or development disorders such as Asperger’s syndrome and various levels of autism can be clarified through the diagnostic testing. The results of the diagnostic testing are invaluable to the therapist. Often, recommendations are made to the child’s school in order to ensure the teacher’s actions are consistent with the therapeutic strategies that have been found successful in working with the youth.
Testing and Evaluation
Often times it becomes clear that a child would benefit from a psychological or educational evaluation in order to gain greater insight into a diagnosis and treatment plan. Should your child need such an evaluation, we specialize in doing such tests. You and perhaps your child will meet with one of our trained child psychologists to determine what tests need to be given. The doctor will develop a plan for assessment and testing will be scheduled.
We will help determine if your insurance provider covers the costs involved.
Once testing is completed you will meet with the doctor for a review of the report as well as suggested treatment approaches. Psychology Consultants Associated assures you that all testing will be completed in the shortest amount of time, thus enabling your child to benefit from the results quickly.