Our child and adolescent therapy services offers children and their families high quality psychological care for a wide range of emotional and behavioral difficulties. Some of the issues treated at our Center include depression, ADHD, social adjustment, school-related difficulties, oppositional behavior, parenting and coping skills. Furthermore, housed within our Center is the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Program, a specialty clinic for childhood anxiety disorders.
We use a child-friendly approach to engage children in the process, often including activities and games to enhance the sessions. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is our primary modality of treatment. CBT tends to be present-centered and direct with a focus on the connection between feelings, thoughts and behaviors. CBT has received empirical support for treating a variety of childhood disorders. Our skilled therapists work together with children as coaches, helping them to more effectively cope with the difficulties they are experiencing.
Our caring staff is knowledgeable in child and adolescent development and the emotional and behavioral challenges that can occur during these years of growth and maturity. We make every effort to help you and your child feel comfortable in our surroundings and ensure that your needs are being met appropriately.
Child and Adolescent Anxiety Program (CAAP)
The Child and Adolescent Anxiety Program is housed within the Center. We provide state-of-the-art, empirically supported treatment to children and adolescents coping with anxiety disorders. Children will learn to identify their feelings and the bodily sensations that may accompany those feelings, and will be introduced to relaxation exercises. They will become familiar with recognizing their internal thoughts and learn to replace negative thoughts with ideas that may be more positive or helpful, hence helping to alleviate some of their distress. Children will become knowledgeable in problem solving skills to help them better cope with their own anxiety. Finally, after mastering the skills needed to effectively handle anxiety, we will work with your child to practice these skills. Our therapists will work with your child in a sensitive manner and consider the child’s pace in creating opportunities for practice of these skills.
The Anxiety Disorders We Treat
Separation Anxiety Disorder is demonstrated by children who worry about being away from their parents. Often times these children may have difficulty going to school and will become markedly upset when a separation is to occur. These children may not go to other children’s houses to play and are not fond of sleepovers.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by excessive worry about a myriad of issues. These children tend to be coined as "worry warts" or "perfectionists." They are very concerned about how they are performing in areas of their lives, and will often get accompanying physical symptoms such as stomachaches and headaches.
Social Phobia can be seen in children who are overly concerned about the impression they give to other people. They are worried that they will look foolish and embarrass themselves in front of others and will often avoid social situations.
Specific Phobia is characterized by a severe fear to a specific thing such as riding on an elevator or being in close proximity to a dog. These children will show marked distress when forced to confront this situation and may cry or tantrum when it is not possible to avoid the feared object or event.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is demonstrated in children who involve themselves in ritualistic behavior or thoughts. They often feel that something must be done a certain way, may have magical thinking, or may have routines that must be followed. This often causes much distress to the child who feels compelled to complete these mental or behavioral rituals.
Panic is seen in children who experience a strong physiological response and may report being afraid that they are dying or losing control. The anxiety attack occurs suddenly and seemingly out of the blue. Often times the fear they experience will cause them to later avoid any situation where they might experience the same type of physiological reaction.
We offer in-service trainings to school personnel, parent groups, and other mental health agencies on a variety of child related issues such as anxiety management, parenting workshops and coping skills.
For more information about training services, please call Dr. Susan Panichelli Mindel at 215-871-6386.