Warm, Compassionate Care For Your Child
Helping children is one of the most important and delicate tasks a therapist can do. Children often have trouble vocalizing what’s bothering them, creating unique challenges for parents and practitioners alike. At Ballen Medical & Wellness, we use a full range of treatment approaches – from play therapy to talk therapy and psychiatry – to help children aged two through adolescence gain relief from whatever issues they’re facing. We’re also able to help them develop valuable life skills to assist them in the future. Most importantly, we create an atmosphere of trust and respect where your child is safe, free from judgment, and can receive warm, compassionate care.
“There’s no such thing as a bad child. There’s always a reason or an emotion behind their behavior. Every kiddo wants to get better. ” – Carol Wegmann, MS, LPCC
A Holistic, Integrative Alternative to Psychiatric Medicine
As a parent, it can be very difficult to see your child struggle and not be able to help. Too often the first solution we turn to is medication, but therapy, nutrition and exercise can be be just as vital. In many cases, the best approach to care is an integrative and holistic one, combining different types of treatments to address your child as a whole person and not just a list of symptoms.
At Ballen Medical & Wellness, our child therapy is overseen and guided by a physician, adult and child psychiatrist Beth Ballen, MD. We know when psychiatric medication is necessary, and can prescribe as needed. We prescribe very sparingly with children however, and typically recommend trying therapy before medication. Proper nutrition, sleep and exercise may also be part of treatment. In cases where prescription medication is necessary, it is often only needed for a brief duration.
A Close Collaboration Between Therapist and Parent
All therapy is done in close collaboration with you as well as your child. We’ll work together with you as a parent (or other caregiver) to develop initial goals and expectations as well as an anticipated timeline. Once therapy begins, we’ll maintain on-going communication with you, discussing your child’s progress and growth as well as the methods they’re responding to.
Please note: In nearly all cases, a degree of confidentiality between therapist and child is necessary to foster your child’s trust and create the best progress. Safety is our utmost concern, however, and you will be immediately notified of any behavior or statements that relate to self-harm or other dangers.
When Should I Bring My Child In For Therapy?
Often times the need for therapy is triggered by noticeable changes in a child’s behavior or attitudes. This can include changes in eating or sleeping habits, OCD-like behavior, angry outbursts, falling grades, or a change in attitude towards school, friends or family. If you’ve noticed anything that concerns you, please call us at (720)222-0550 for a complimentary consultation with our child therapist, Carol Wegmann, MS, LPCC. We’d be happy to listen and see if we can help.
What Types Of Issues Can Child Therapy Help With?
At Ballen Medical & Wellness, we’re experienced with the full spectrum of challenges most children face. Here are some of the many issues we help treat:
- Behavioral Issues
- Parent/Teen Relationships
- Social Skills & Communication
- Sensory Processing Disorders
- Low Self-Esteem
- High Functioning Autism
- Coping With A Death In The Family
- Sexual Abuse
- Adoption/Foster Care
- Difficulty At School
- Adoption/Foster Care Issues
Four Main Types Of Therapy
1. Play Therapy
During play therapy, children use toys and other playful activities to express issues, develop coping skills, and improve communication. The therapist observes and engages in play alongside them, creating the opportunity to understand the issues and emotions your child is dealing with and help them gain skills to cope with those issues. Though play therapy is suitable for all ages, we primarily use it for children ages 2-10.
Play therapy is especially helpful for children who can’t vocalize or understand the issues they’re experiencing. For instance, play therapy can help a child label an emotion they’re having, or might reveal a negative thought pattern that’s holding them back. We explore different solutions to find one that’s suitable for your child’s situation.
During play sessions, we use a variety of therapeutic models including non-directed play where the child takes control of the session and chooses what is most troubling at that particular time. Depending on the situation, we might also employ other types of therapy such as Gestalt therapy (role-playing) or Cognitive Behavioral play therapy, which focuses on thoughts more than emotions.
While most of our play therapy is done individually, we also offer group play therapy sessions throughout the year. Contact us to learn more about individual or group play therapy.
2. Child Therapy
For children who prefer to express themselves verbally, we offer psychotherapy (or talk therapy as it’s also known).
Our talk therapy is a collaborative effort between parent, child and therapist which often incorporates different techniques in order to address your child’s individual needs, from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and other approaches.
Working in a safe and supported environment, talk therapy includes questions and other techniques to help your child identify and process issues, thoughts and behaviors – then work towards resolving them. We also help your child identify their strengths and build upon them, strengthening their self-confidence and self-esteem.
Child therapy also includes developing valuable life skills to enhance a child’s life and help them reach their goals, from coping skills, relationship skills and communication skills to processing and regulating their emotions.
3. Filial Therapy
Have you ever wished you had some of the same tools as a therapist to work with your child? Filial therapy is exactly that – a unique modality which incorporates the parent or other caregiver as the therapeutic agent for the child. Filial therapy is well-suited for mild issues and behaviors, or a need to enhance family dynamics.
During filial therapy, a professional child therapist works with you in our office to provide guidance and teach basic principles of play therapy, reflective listening, limit setting, and acknowledgement of children’s feelings. We also teach you how to improve the self-esteem of your child using specially selected toys in a structured weekly setting. You’ll learn how to interact without judgement, using understanding and acceptance to enhance your relationship with your child. Therapy sessions are then held in the home once a week, and led by you without our therapist present.
Filial therapy is highly effective due to the trusting relationship already developed between caregiver and child. You can learn filial therapy privately at our office, or in a group session with other parents and caregivers.
4. Psychiatry For Children
We understand the decision to give your child psychiatric medication is not an easy one. Our team provides careful guidance to determine when medication is necessary, taking into account a variety of factors including the nature and history of the issues you’re facing, as well as whether there might be a chemical imbalance present. Our decision process includes thoughtful discussions with parents, caregivers, and if appropriate, school teachers or counselors.
There are many instances where medication is only needed for a brief duration. In some cases, medication is just a bridge to alleviate short-term symptoms while the long-term strategies of therapy, nutrition, exercise and sleep are implemented.
If you’d like to learn more about whether psychiatric treatment options might be right for your family, call us today and schedule a complimentary consultation with our founder, Beth Ballen, MD – child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist.
Child Therapy Consulting For Schools & Daycare/Off-Site Care/Collaborative Consulting
Our child therapists are available for off-site appointments and consulting upon request. This includes:
- Observing children during school or day care
- Consultations with teachers and school counselors
- Collaborative consulting with psychiatrists, therapists and other caregivers
Call Us Today For A Complimentary Consultation
If you think child therapy might be right for you, call us today at (720)222-0550 to make an appointment or schedule a complimentary consultation. We’d be honored to help you and your child navigate whatever challenges you’re experiencing.