Child and Adolescent Services

PHA provides comprehensive services to children, adolescents, and their families.

Therapies for Children
Services to children include a full range of therapeutic modalities, including:

  • Play Therapy
  • Individual Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Group therapies (including such things as ADD support groups, social skills training groups, etc.)

Psychological Assessment

Our clinicians have strong backgrounds in psychological and psychoeducational assessment. We are known for detailed and comprehensive evaluations of children, and provide a number of assessment services, including:

  • Developmental Screenings
  • Psychoeducational Evaluations
  • Diagnostic Clarification (e.g., evaluation for Asperger’s, ADHD, learning disabilities, bipolar or mood disorders, anxiety disorders, evaluation of OCD, pervasive developmental disorders, mental retardation)
  • Personality Testing
  • Cognitive (intelligence) testing
  • Evaluation for disabilities
  • Assessment of mental retardation

Evaluations typically will include detailed, written reports which will be reviewed and explained to parents and caregivers. Assessments may involve a full range of approaches, including normed and industry standard and individually administered tests; behavioral questionnaires completed by parents, caregivers, and teachers; classroom observation; diagnostic interviews with the child and his/her parents; consultation with teachers, psychiatrists, pediatricians and family doctors.

Finally, upon completion of the evaluation, written reports will be provided to schools, physicians, or other parties as deemed appropriate by parents or caregivers. Also, the clinician working with you and your child will be available to consult with your child’s teachers to discuss evaluation results and recommendations, and when possible, to attend IEPs or multidisciplinary team meetings.

Parent Services

Our philosophy of care in working with children entails working closely with parents (see Philosopy of Care, below). In addition to the individual or family work we will do with your child, we will work closely with you as parents to help better understand your child’s needs and temperament. We will help you to “tweak” your approach to dealing with discipline and help you develop your relationship with your child.

Our goals are to help you look at whatever issues you might need to look at to help develop your child’s character and emotional health and improve his/her relationships with those people in his/her life that are important to him or her. If school problems are part of the picture, we will also help you understand your child’s learning style and educational needs and develop an approach to education that will enhance their learning experience and get the most out of his/her schooling.

Services to parents include such things as:

  • Development of behavioral modification plans for schools or parents
  • Parent consultation and training
  • Child management instruction
  • Cooperative parenting classes for divorced parents with shared custody (to navigate the waters of divorce in such a manner as to minimize negative effects on their children)
  • Support groups for parents of children with behavioral or psychiatric disorders
  • Educational planning for their children

Areas of Focus

We also work with a broad range of childhood disorders and problems. These include:

Conduct and Behavior Problems Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Eating Disorders Anxiety Disorders
School Phobia Temper Problems
Parent/Child Problems Depression, Withdrawal
Child Obesity Learning Disabilities
Enuresis/encopresis (bed-wetting/soiling) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Adjustment Problems (e.g., divorce, loss of parent) Sexual, Physical and Emotional Abuse
Socialization Problems Developmental Delays
Tourette’s Disorder

Philosophy of Care

PHA was founded in 1989, with a primary goal of providing professional services to families and children. Working with children and adolescents is a central part of the work we do in the community. Several things are necessary to work effectively with children. First and foremost, an effective therapist needs to be able to relate with children. But they also need to be able to enjoy working with children, and they need to understand children. Each of our therapists that do work with children, enjoy children, and have worked hard at understanding the emotional, developmental, cognitive and social needs of “kids.” Being able to communicate with children is foundational as well.

Another facet of working with children, though, has to do with working with families. It has long been our policy that “we will meet with children alone, but we will not work with them alone.” By that we mean that working effectively with children means being able to work effectively with their parents. It is our expectation that, in working with your child, you will be involved in their treatment as well. It means that at times we will meet with your child alone, at times we will meet with your child together with you, their parents, and at times we will meet alone as parents.

Working with you as parents will be an essential part of our work with your child. Sometimes this has to do with understanding your child better, and sometimes it might have to do with “tweaking” your parenting approach to increase your effectiveness as a parent. Other times it may involve working on your relationship with your child.

You may expect that, as your therapist works with your child, you will feel as though you are a central part of your child’s treatment. While your therapist will not discuss every detail that your child shares in private, he or she will make every effort to help you understand in general what is happening in your child’s treatment. In addition, of course, your therapist will be available to you as well, and will look to you for updates as to how your child and your family is doing.

Coordination of Care 

Our emphasis is on prevention and early intervention, which is especially important in working with children. Central to working effectively with this population is being able to work comfortably with the biggest “institutions” in a child’s life: his/her family, parents, school, and pediatrician/physician, and pastor (where appropriate). Thus, PHA involves those parties (where appropriate) in a collaborative working relationship to maximize therapeutic impact. We believe that we can optimize our effectiveness by working harmoniously with other important figures in your child’s life. For more information on our approach to coordination of care, click HERE.

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