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Trauma-Focused Therapy for Children, Adolescents and Young Adults

I offer a range of trauma-focused treatments for children, adolescents, and adults who are struggling with traumatic stress reactions following potentially traumatic events. Trauma is a psychological injury that disrupts ones sense of control and connection, and changes the way we think, feel, feel in our bodies and act. It is usually caused by an overwhelming and unanticipated danger and can manifest itself in a range of symptoms such as irritability, sleep disturbances, flashbacks or nightmares of the event, avoidance, emotional numbing, inability to concentrate, feeling always on the alert or an exaggerated startle response. Frequently, trauma can be missed, especially in children and adolescents as a behavioral disorder or ADHD if a proper trauma history and assessment is not taken. If untreated, longer term consequences such as attachment problems, mood disorders, substance abuse, eating disorders and personality disorders can manifest in adulthood.

When working with children, my first job is to LISTEN and understand the details of your CHILD AND FAMILY’S unique experience. Through a combination of semi-structured questionnaires and open-ended questions about a variety of areas relevant to human functioning and flourishing, we will gain a SHARED UNDERSTANDING from which we will discuss treatment options that have been proven to reduce symptoms, improve functioning, and capitalize on strengths. We will MONITOR your child’s progress in therapy together, and work with as many people as needed that is involved in your child’s life, such as teachers, grandparents, pastors, coaches etc. to get optimal results. Your child’s development and well-being is my utmost priority. With you as the EXPERT on your child, coupled with my KNOWLEDGE of child development and behavior change strategies, we will embark on a journey TOGETHER to help you and your family REGAIN PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTROL in the wake of stressful events.

I am also able to address a broad range of childhood mental health concerns including anxiety, depression, attentional disorders, behavioral concerns, migratory or acculturative stress and parenting.

Below, I list several evidence-based treatments I am trained to provide:

Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI)

CFTSI provides timely support for children and adolescents aged 7-18 following potential trauma or disclosure of abuse, offering a brief early intervention model.

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

TF-CBT is an effective treatment approach for children, adolescents, and their caregivers, assisting in overcoming trauma-related challenges, including maltreatment.

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

CPT is a structured therapy method within the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy framework, consisting of 12 sessions aimed at addressing PTSD. It focuses on helping individuals evaluate and modify distressing thoughts stemming from their trauma. I am on the list of certified CPT providers found here.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT involves synthesizing two complementary strategies for clients: acceptance of their experiences and behaviors as valid, and actively making positive changes to manage emotions and progress to ultimately building a life worth living, as defined by clients.

Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE)

SPACE is designed for children and adolescents with anxiety disorders (e.g. separation anxiety, social anxiety, generalized anxiety etc.), involving parental attendance instead of the child. The treatment targets parent accommodation behaviors that contribute to anxiety maintenance. At the Yale Child Study Center, I was trained directly by Dr. Eli Lebowitz and his team in this modality. More on SPACE here:

Parent Management Training (PMT)

PMT  imparts skills to parents and fosters positive interactions between parents and children, reducing aggressive and noncompliant behavior.

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

PCIT is a proven treatment for young children with emotional and behavioral challenges, focusing on enhancing the parent-child relationship and altering negative interaction dynamics.

Note: I will be offering this therapy from the fall of 2024.

Comprehensive Psychological Assessment (Psychological Testing)

What is a psychological assessment and what does it address?

A psychological assessment gathers information in several areas through a series of standardized tests, interviews, and questionnaires that evaluate an individual’s strengths and weaknesses. It can be used to diagnose a variety of mental health conditions, provide treatment recommendations, identify the presence of learning disabilities, provide insight into personality and much more. I always take an individualized approach to assessment, that is based on the needs of the whole-child. My stance is collaborative and I work with all parties involved in the child’s world (e.g. teachers, therapists, pediatricians) to ensure they are on the same page and working towards a common goal. 

Types of concerns testing can address: ADHD, giftedness/IQ, academic concerns, learning disorders, diagnostic clarification, psychoeducational assessments, socio-emotional concerns, expressive/receptive language concerns, racial/ethnic identity etc.

How does the psychological assessment process work?

Consultation and Professional Development

I can provide CONSULTATION AND TRAINING for professionals such as pediatricians, lawyers, teachers, police, clergy, or organizations, and non-profits etc.

I can also provide individual or group SUPERVISION to mental health counselors or psychologists in training.

Areas of expertise include:
Child development
Child and family traumatic stress
Ethnic identity
Identifying mental health symptoms in children
Building a trauma-informed organization

Psychological Issues I provide evidence-based therapy for:

  • traumatic stress/PTSD
  • grief/bereavement
  • anxiety 
  • depression
  • behavioral issues  e.g. defiance, transitions, anger
  • self-esteem
  • parenting
  • emotion dysregulation
  • adjustment/life transitions
  • communication e.g. assertiveness, negative family communication patterns
  • stress management 
  • racial/ethnic identity
  • emerging adulthood concerns
  • interpersonal relationships