You Ask - I Answer
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILD/OUR FAMILY REALLY "NEEDS" THERAPY?
This is such an excellent question and a difficult one to answer!
The short answer is that if you are concerned about your child's behaviors, emotions, or mental health, it never hurts to start with an initial appointment with a professional.
The long answer is that I will complete an assessment during our first few sessions which includes a comprehensive interview about your concerns/history, some questionnaires, and either some observations of you and your child interacting (for PCIT), or some time talking to your child individually (other therapies). If your child meets criteria for a formal mental health diagnosis, we will discuss the recommended treatments.
The therapeutic skills we focus on can be helpful for all children and all families, regardless of whether there are clinically significant symptoms. Many families find that the skills and support they receive are very helpful, whether the behaviors are at a clinically significant level or not.
Therapy is a commitment of time, energy, and finances, so it is important to consider things like your family's schedule, cost, and whether these concerns are interfering in your child's or family's quality of life to decide if now is the right time for therapy. For instance, are these behavior problems causing stress in your family? Do they make it difficult to go out in public? Do you feel like you're "walking on eggshells" to avoid a meltdown? If so, I strongly recommend making the commitment and getting started.
I am happy to provide recommendations for books or other self-help resources if you feel like now is not the right time for therapy.
DOES THERAPY REALLY WORK?
Yes! I use evidence-based treatments in my practice, which means that these therapies have been rigorously studied and tested in research studies to show that they are safe and effective.
PCIT was developed over 40 years ago and there are literally hundreds of studies showing that it works to reduce challenging behaviors and to strengthen positive parent-child relationships! It is considered a gold standard treatment for disruptive behavior problems in young children. Want to check out the research yourself? Click here.
CBT also has a long and solid evidence-base for treating mood disorders (depression, anxiety) in adults as well as children. Traditionally, child CBT models are implemented with children 7 and up, but there is growing research using CBT techniques with younger children and parents is effective for treating anxiety or depression. I am happy to talk about whether CBT or other individual therapy is a good fit for your child and family.
I HAVE MULTIPLE CHILDREN WITH BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS. CAN WE DO PCIT WITH ALL OF THEM?
Yes (sort of).
PCIT is for children aged 2-7. If you have other children within this age range, you can absolutely apply the PCIT skills with your other children! For therapy sessions, I recommend that you participate with one child first (typically the child with the most severe behavior problems) and we will discuss how to apply these skills to other kids at home. Later in treatment, we will have opportunities for "sibling sessions"if needed.
If your other children are outside of the official PCIT age range (younger than 2 or older than 7), some of the skills can still be very effective, but may need to be adapted to be developmentally appropriate. I will be happy to discuss this with you and determine what is best for your family's specific situation.
HOW LONG DOES TREATMENT LAST?
Each therapy session is typically scheduled for one hour and we will often meet for 50 to 55 minutes of that hour.
The length of therapy varies depending on several factors, including the severity of the problems you are interested in addressing, consistent attendance to sessions, and frequency of practice between sessions, among other things. On average, I work with families every week for around 4 to 8 months. Sometimes the course of treatment is shorter (2-3 months), and sometimes it is longer (8-12 months). We will evaluate treatment progress throughout therapy and I am always happy to discuss the process with you.
My approach to therapy is solutions-focused, as I want to provide support and concrete skills to you and your child to address your current concerns. The treatments that I use are meant to be time-limited, so that you and your child will complete treatment and have new skills that you can apply to difficulties in the future. While I am always available for "booster sessions" after treatment is completed if things come up, the goal is that you/your child will have more confidence and new skills to manage future difficulties as they come up.
DO YOU ACCEPT INSURANCE?
I am in-network with Blue Cross Blue Shield. Please see Cost and Insurance for more details.
DO YOU OFFER TELEHEALTH?
Yes! I currently offer both in-office and telehealth services, depending on what is best for your family. I am happy to discuss the pros and cons of each setting to determine which is right for your family. In most circumstances, I can also offer a hybrid model (some in-person sessions, some telehealth sessions) to provide more flexibility and support to your family.