Ann Arbor Services
Our Ann Arbor location is pleased to be able to offer a variety of services. Please see below for a detailed description of our services:
At times it may be helpful to consult with a professional to discuss a specific issue or question. A client may choose to consult with our staff on a limited basis, without engaging in an ongoing therapeutic relationship. Clients may choose to consult about topics such as:
- How can I most effectively parent my child given his/her temperament?
- Is my child’s behavior developmentally normal?
- Would psychological assessment or treatment be helpful?
Clients can expect their consultation to include a therapist listening attentively, clarifying questions/concerns, and recommending specific, next steps that can be taken to help them move towards their goals.
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is an empirically-supported treatment for young children with behavioral difficulties. It is used to treat children (ages 2-7) with concerns such as:
- Difficulty following directions
- Talking back to parents/teachers
- Aggression toward parents, siblings and/or other children
- Rude, sassy, oppositional/defiant behavior
- Attachment/relationship difficulties between parent and child
PCIT is effective because of its unique approach. The therapist coaches parents how to respond to their child in the moment. In PCIT, parents learn how to motivate children to want to listen, how to give effective directions and how to follow through with appropriate consequences. During the course of treatment, the child’s behaviors should improve and the parent-child relationship will become more positive and rewarding.
Child Parent Psychotherapy
Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) is an empirically-supported, relationship-based treatment for children aged birth through five years. It is used primarily to treat:
- Children who are experiencing post-traumatic symptoms following trauma, abuse or neglect
- Strained parent-child relationships
- Attachment difficulties in adoptive families
In CPP, the parent and child are brought together in activities that foster mutual pleasure and increase the child’s sense of security, safety and trust in the parent. During play-based activities, the therapist translates the meaning of the child’s behaviors for the parent. During the course of treatment, the child’s symptoms should improve and his/her developmental trajectory should return to its natural course. The parent will have an improved understanding of their child’s cognitive, physical and social/emotional development.
Cognitive-Behavioral Play Therapy
Cognitive-Behavioral Play Therapy (CBPT) is a developmental modification of CBT for children ages two and a half to six years. Like CBT, children learn new behavioral skills and learn more helpful ways of thinking about problems. In CBPT, dolls, puppets and storybooks are used to model the skills being taught. A playful approach is used throughout and children typically enjoy the process and look forward to coming to therapy. CBPT is used to treat:
- Selective mutism
- Difficulties with adjustment due to divorce
- Adjustment to school
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is usually a short-term treatment (i.e., often between 12-20 sessions) that focuses on learning specific skills to reach one’s goals. In the course of treatment, clients (whether children or adults) learn how a person’s cognitions (thoughts), emotions and behaviors are connected. By changing either the way a person thinks about a situation or by changing specific behaviors, a person can feel better. CBT can be used to treat:
- Anxiety (including social anxiety, separation anxiety, generalized anxiety, specific phobias, panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder)
- Anger management/aggression
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Depression/mood disorders
- Sleep disturbances
In CBT, clients actively participate in treatment in and out of session. Homework assignments are often assigned between sessions since the skills that are taught require practice. By the end of treatment, a client should be feeling good and functioning well. Additionally, he/she will have the skills to manage future difficulties and to prevent relapses.
Exposure Therapy is an evidence-based form of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy developed to treat anxiety disorders including:
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Social anxiety
- Specific phobias
In Exposure Therapy, clients (children or adults) learn to face their fears. With the help of a caring therapist, the client confronts the thoughts, images or objects that makes him/her anxious in a gradual, step-by-step manner. By the end of therapy, the client should be able to function well, without avoiding what they previously feared.
Insight-oriented therapy involves a client exploring his/her present day concerns as they relate to recurring themes and relationship patterns. For example, a client may attempt to understand why he/she repeatedly engages in self-defeating behavior or is attracted to unhealthy partners.
In insight-oriented therapy, clients focus on understanding and expressing their feelings and exploring relationship issues- both past and present.
Pediatric Occupational therapy strives to enhance a child’s independence in everyday activities through improving sensory regulation, motor skills, strength, and executive functioning skills. These activities can include anything a child is required to do or would like to do at home and in the community. For example, getting dressed, eating meals, playing with toys and others, as well as participating in community events and extracurricular activities. Occupational therapy at Arbor Psychology Group provides client and family centered interventions from a psychosocial and developmental perspective. If you have concerns about your child’s handwriting, sensory processing skills, feeding abilities, independence in self care, or participation in play please feel free to contact us to discuss these concerns with our Licensed Occupational Therapist.
The clinical staff at Arbor Psychology Group are often invited to present at local seminars, meetings/conferences, parent workshops and school staff development days on various clinical topics pertaining to mental health, learning and educational issues.
For parents and caregivers, these presentations mobilize the family environment to support better functioning, thereby relieving pressures on the child and the family. These presentations offer information about growth and development, as well as provide practical help with management.
Examples of clinical topics we have made presentations on include:
- Navigating Adolescence
- ADHD/executive function challenges
- Working memory
- Learning disabilities
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Anxiety management
- Differential diagnosis
If you are interested in having a clinical staff member from Arbor Psychology Group make a presentation at your school, organization or place of work, please contact us.
Educational Advocacy Services help families negotiate special education (e.g., IEP and 504 Plan intervention), understand complex learning profiles and develop strength-based intervention plans. APG’s advocates bring an “insider’s perspective” as experienced classroom/special education teachers and teacher consultants.
We are often asked what advocacy entails. The answer varies depending on the individual needs of the child, though there are several common components, including:
- Educating parents to understand what the legal rights and options for the child are
- Interpreting the student’s learning profile, including information from the school or private assessments
- Empowering parents to advocate for their child
- Observing the child in the classroom
- Discussing alternative school placements
- Attending school meetings
- Preparing parents for school meetings
- Developing intervention plans
- Assisting with IEP/504 plan development
- Understanding the instructional needs of gifted and twice-exceptional students
Our Educational Advocacy Services are based on the following core principles:
- Every child has strengths and an intrinsic desire to succeed. Many children who struggle in school no longer have an identity as a learner and, as a result, fail to put forth sustained effort because they do not expect to succeed. Our strength-based advocacy services aim to build on your child’s assets and re-establish their underlying desire to succeed.
- Collaboration and mutual understanding with schools is critical. Advocacy does not need to be an adversarial process! At its best, it is a creative and individualized process that brings the family and school together to help the student be successful in school and in life.
- Children do best with a unified team behind them. In other words, don’t go it alone. Take advantage of those in the community who are able to help. Our staff believe in the importance of supporting the family during an advocacy process and are available to meet with you and/or the school to make sure your student is receiving the best educational support. We also have an extensive referral network of professionals who can assist with the care of your child.
If this seems overwhelming or daunting to do by yourself, know that you don’t have to go through the process alone. Our staff has dozens of years of experience and training, a detailed understanding of special education law and policies, and the willingness to help you navigate this territory from a point of strength and knowledge.