Therapy for Children and Parents

Services for Children/Adolescents, Parents and Families:
  • Individual Therapy for children and adolescents
  • Parent Sessions with a Psychologist
  • Family Therapy
  • DBT Family Skills Training workshops

Mary Anne Hartye, Ph.D., Biancamaria Penati, Ph.D., Lisë Osvold, Ph.D., Clara Penati, LCSW, and Lori Krauss, LCSW

Why the Child / Parent Therapy Model?

Parents, you know it well: what the child needs and the parent needs are often different. This is the reason our Child/Parent Model was created and what makes it so effective: it focuses on the individual needs of BOTH.

The Child/Parent Model assigns one therapist for the child and one for the parents, yet information and dialogue can flow freely to ensure progress and understanding. The result is a stronger child/parent relationship going forward.

Why Two Therapists?

Here’s why:

  • Trust.

    For any child to open up with a therapist, they must experience a safe, supportive environment and know that the therapist will not simply turn around and repeat session details directly to the parent.
  • Common skills.

    When the child/adolescent gains new communication or behavior skills, it’s vital that the parent(s) know how to recognize, understand and reinforce them.
  • Shared understanding.

    Just as in adult interactions, each person learns to use the words and actions that lead to improved communication, respect and understanding.

Although logic might imply that two therapists would cost twice as much, the overall time spent in therapy is typically no more, and sometimes even less, than the one-therapist approach. So it usually doesn’t cost any more.

What to Expect:

We know that as a caring, invested parent, you’ve probably read the books, attended classes and done some work to be the very best you can be. Rather than a static program or book, our goal is to create more of an "operating manual" specific to your child/adolescent. We do this by starting with a thorough evaluation of what is going on, before jumping into treatment. We will share this information with you in practical terms and match our recommendations to what you are looking for.

Here’s how: READ MORE

  • An initial phone conversation allows you to ask questions about the Child/Parent Model and provide basic information. Even if it turns out that GMH’s Child/Parent Model is not a good fit, don't hesitate to call us. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have and point you in the right direction.
  • You will have two therapists involved with your family: one who provides individualized care for your child, and one who supports you as a parent and individual.
  • The parent interview process usually takes two sessions.
  • The evaluation phase of treatment with your child takes two to four sessions, depending on the assessment tools required.
  • First session:
    • The first session typically includes having the child/adolescent and parent(s) come in together so we can all meet each other.
    • After a brief joint meeting with all involved, the child/adolescent and teir therapist will go into another office and begin the assessment process in a gentle way, by gathering information in any way that ensures comfort.
    • The parent(s) stay with the “parent” therapist who will begin gathering the social and developmental history. You are the expert on your child, so your input is crucial. We need to know all of your insights and concerns.
    • At end of the session, the therapist and child then rejoin the parent(s) to schedule the next steps in the process.
  • Feedback Session:
    • After we have gathered all of the necessary information and completed the evaluation of your child, both therapists meet with you to summarize all the collected data, discuss possible diagnosis and take time to answer any questions/concerns you may have. We will then go over the various treatment recommendations in detail.
    • If a formal assessment has been done (IQ, achievement, or personality assessment) then you will receive a written report that will have the data necessary to obtain help at school or through your pediatrician's office.
  • Treatment Process:
    • Depending on your child’s needs and the treatment recommendations, you may choose to continue treatment at GMH. Your child/adolescent may continue in individual treatment, you may participate in parent sessions with the “parent” therapist, or you may take advantage of Family Therapy sessions—or a combination of these services.
    • Between regular sessions the parent and child therapists constantly and seamlessly communicate with one another, ensuring parallel progress and understanding.
    • Any important therapeutic information that is discovered will be shared immediately with parents, through the “parent” therapist.
    • At any point, the child/adolescent may invite in their parent to facilitate communication.
    • We also offer educational parent training workshops, such as DBT Family Skills Training.
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