Mental health is an important factor to take into consideration when caring for children. Oftentimes, children need the help of a child psychologist or psychiatrist in order to thrive. This, however, can present a problem for parents since choosing the correct therapist from among the many options available can be a very difficult task.
There are certain points which parents should look for when selecting a psychologist. The most important is credentials; you want to be sure that the mental health therapist is properly licensed and has experience working with children. You also want to be certain that the counselor meets with parents as often as you desire and is on the same page as you regarding medication and individualized treatment. Above all, you must make sure that there is a good relationship between your child and the therapist. No matter how skillful and talented the therapist might be, you cannot expect progress without good rapport.
In the Seattle area there are a number of different choices for a child psychologist. Five of them stand out as the most prominent, and to help you with your decision, we have carefully laid out the details about each psychological counseling center below.
Developing Minds has two locations, one in Bellevue and one in Bothell, both of which are well designed for the needs of young people. Although Developing Minds does serve adults, it’s focus is on primarily to children and adolescents and their families. The founder Dr. Rumen Slavkov, for example, is a Board Certified Child Psychiatrist who works with patients in these age groups. He specializes in ADHD and behavioral issues, among other things. Similarly, Katie Wild, LMHCA, R-DMT, focuses on young people. She takes a very unique approach as she uses dance and movement therapy in conjunction with talk therapy to treat her patients.
Children will benefit from other treatments as well, such as play therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, mindfulness-based therapy and psychodynamic therapy. The focus in all these treatments is on the individual, which helps to ensure that the patient and therapist always adapt the therapy to the patient’s changing needs.
Developing Minds also offers psychiatric treatment. A patient wishing to receive such treatment meets first with a therapist in order to provide a basis on which to move forward, and then he or she makes an appointment with the on-site prescriber, whether it be Dr. Slavkov or one of the two ARNPs. Both therapist and prescriber collaborate to ensure medication is giving the assistance it is supposed to.
The Center for Child Development
The Center for Child Development has offices in Bellevue, Issaquah and Bothell. With three different locations, finding an office that is conveniently situated should be an easy task.
Both children and adolescents are the focus at the Center for Child Development. Licensed Clinical Psychologist Philip Dunbar-Mayer, Psy.D., for example, has worked with young people aged 2 to 25 for 15 years, specializing in autism, among other things. Similarly, Christine Clancy, Ph.D., ABPP, a Board Certified Clinical Neuropsychologist, has among her expertise the counseling of children with depression and anxiety disorders and the evaluation of neuropsychological issues.
The psychologists generally use cognitive-behavioral therapy in their treatment, but they can also employ such techniques as family systems therapy, motivational interviewing, collaborative problem solving and solution-focused therapy. In all therapies, the relationship between patient and therapist is key, and because of this relationship, treatment is able to be tailored to each individual child.
Before administering treatment, testing is often necessary. A range of tests, such as psychological, neuropsychological, psychoeducational and developmental, is performed with the goal of detecting ADHD, autism, anxiety, depression, learning disabilities and other issues.
Should a child need psychiatric treatment, a psychiatric nurse practitioner is available. The nurse practitioner will help to form a program of treatment which will include medication as well as therapy.
The Center for Child Development also has highly trained Academic Intervention Specialists on staff. These tutors provide lessons in the office, at school or online to assist children with special needs. The focus here, as always, is on relationship-based, individualized treatment which is adapted to suit the child from moment to moment.
Mindful Therapy Group
With four locations, three in Seattle and one in Mountlake Terrace, Mindful Therapy Group makes its staff widely available. It even offers telehealth services, which opens up possibilities to those living in other areas.
Although Mindful Therapy Group serves a variety of patients, including infants, individual adults and couples, there are a number of members of the staff who specialize in children and adolescents. Femeke Britschgi Cabernard, Ph.D., LMHC, for example, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who works with young people starting at the age of 2. Trained in play therapy and client-centered therapy, some of her specialties are attachment issues, eating disorders and PTSD.
There is a vast range of other types of therapy provided, among them being cognitive-behavioral therapy, emotionally focused therapy, acceptance therapy and even hypnotherapy. The specialties are practically limitless; if you have a problem you wish to address, you will be able to find a therapist able to help.
Mindful Therapy Group offers psychological testing, including assessments in such areas as cognitive, social-emotional, neurodevelopmental and academic. As with their specialties, the list of issues for which the testing is done is extensive. From ADHD to learning disabilities to school readiness to autism, the list goes on and on. There are also assessments for depression, anxiety, behavioral disorders, giftedness, personality disorders and developmental delays, among other things.
Psychiatric services are offered at all locations by ARNPs and PMHNP-BCs. These nurse practitioners diagnose problems and treat them with medication.
ICAN has two locations in Bellevue, thereby serving the entire community. It specializes in the treatment of children and adolescents and creates a warm, fun community for its patients.
Among its staff are such experts as Dr. Sarah Crystal, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who works especially in the evaluation of neurodevelopmental issues and in evidence-based behavior parent training, and Dr. Debbara Monroe, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who specializes in developmental delays and autism.
ICAN offers a number of types of therapy, among them being cognitive-behavioral therapy as well as systematic relaxation therapy. If necessary, the therapists will also work with the parents to help them perform optimally as parents and to assist them to design and run their homes in a way which will be best for the patients. The goal is to do whatever is necessary to help and, if possible, heal the child, and with this view in mind, all aspects of the child’s life are taken into consideration.
Psychological testing is offered, too, with the object of detecting any issues which may be exacerbating the patient’s difficulties. Therapists will screen for such problems as ADHD, autism, behavior disorders, learning disabilities, giftedness and mood and anxiety disorders.
Unfortunately, psychiatric treatment is not available at the ICAN clinics. However, ICAN does offer day programs, social groups, physical therapy, ABA therapy, speech therapy and primary care. For a well-rounded clinic, ICAN is an excellent option.
With locations in Seattle, Bellevue and Bothell, Acuity Counseling is widely available to patients. One of its specialties is children and teens, although it also serves individual adults, couples, families and first responders.
Caress Redd, LMHC, CCMHC, for example, works with young people to help them with anxiety, stress, life transitions and behavioral issues. Her colleague Evey Duran, MS, LMFTA, begins her work with children aged 6 and specializes in emotional management and communication.
Among the therapies in which Acuity Counseling specializes are play therapy and parent-child interaction therapy. Whatever therapy is used, it is individualized to assist the child optimally.
Although psychiatric services are not available, one convenient advantage of working with Acuity Counseling is being able to do remote counseling. Residents of Washington can meet with their therapists online from the comfort of their homes–an excellent service for those who have difficulty going for an office visit.
There are a number of different options available for those seeking psychological help. Each clinic is different from the others, and it is important to assess your needs and desires in order to find the right match. Children, like adults, deserve to thrive in the area of mental health, and giving them the best assistance possible should be the goal of every parent.