Areas we specialize in working with:
One of the advantages of having over 20 clinicians working in our practice is that we offer therapists who truly specialize in treating a wide range of problems and who work with different age groups and populations. In addition, our therapists utilize use a number of different approaches to therapy so if you are looking for a specific treatment model we are likely to have a therapist who provides that approach. You can review each of our therapists’ profiles to see if we have a therapist who you think would be a good fit for you. When you contact us one of our Intake Therapists will assist you in selecting the therapist who is right for you. Please note that at times the therapist you may want to work with will not be taking new patients. In this instance we will help you find a therapist we think will be a good fit for you.
If we do not have a therapist who we think will meet your needs we will do our best to direct you to other resources. Finally, please note that while we are pleased to be of assistance that you are not considered a patient or client of the Centers for Family Change until you have your first therapy session with one of our therapists.
The Centers for Family Change Offers
Our therapists utilize a number of different approaches in their work with individuals. We have therapists who utilize: psychodynamic or insight oriented approaches; family systems models; DBT and ACT; and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). We have a significant number of therapists who primarily utilize a CBT based approach.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an approach to therapy that is based on the assumption that how we think about things influences how we feel and behave. CBT focuses on helping people identifying problematic ways of thinking that are causing them problems (e.g., if I do not get this job my life is over, I am a failure) and assists them in developing more adaptive ways of making sense of problems and situations in their lives (e.g., it will be a shame if I do not get this job, but there are others I can apply for). CBT therapists will also recommend new ways to behave that support changing problematic ways of thinking about problems (e.g., applying for more jobs to learn that not getting the job is not emotionally devastating). CBT often focuses on negative thoughts and beliefs people hold about themselves or others. CBT helps clients recognize that these are hypothesis or assumptions rather than facts, and focuses on helping clients establishing more realistic and adaptive ways of thinking about themselves and their lives. For more information on CBT see our Resources page.
How We Can Help: Our Approach to Family Problems
The Centers for Family Change takes a developmental approach to family life. We understand that families change over time. What once worked, as a way of organizing and running your family, may no longer work because of the changing needs and concerns of family members. Our therapists will work with you and your family to:
- Develop better communication and problem solving skills.
- Establish more effective parenting strategies.
- Resolve differences between family members.
- Adjust to changes in family membership (remarriage, divorce).
Our Approach is Practical, Problem Focused and Strengths Based
- We work with you to find practical solutions to problems.
- We focus on resolving problems while respecting your values/life style.
- We emphasize your strengths and build on them.
The Centers for Family Change was founded by 4 therapists who were committed to working with families. It was and continues to be our philosophy that parents are resources for their children and teens. As we have grown over the years we have maintained our emphasis on involving families in our work with children and teens.
What is Play Therapy?
Play therapy is an evidenced-based form of therapy that uses the power of play to help children overcome problems, resolve conflicts and grow psychologically. Play therapy is especially helpful for children because most children do not fully develop the ability to express complex emotions until age 12.
Who Can Benefit From Play Therapy?
Play therapy can be an effective therapy intervention for children as young as two years old and can also be helpful for adolescents and adults who have difficulties expressing themselves verbally. Play therapy has been found to be helpful for clients experiencing problems such as depression, anxiety, grief, loss, trauma, divorce, abandonment, and ADHD. Play therapy has also found to be helpful for children with autism and with developmental, social and academic delays.
Play Therapy at the Centers for Family Change
We have two therapists who provide play therapy: Mary Sosalla, MA, LCPC, RPT and Jenny Kepler, MSW, LCSW, CADC. If you have any questions about play therapy please contact our Play Therapy Coordinator Mary Sosalla at 630 586-0900 ext. 31.
Our Approach to Working With Couples and Marital Problems
Our therapists’ emphasize a systems oriented approach to working with couples. Moreover, many of our therapists draw on the work of John Gottman, Ph.D., and Susan Johnson, Ph.D. (the originator of Emotionally Focused Therapy, a specific treatment model for couples). Rather than looking to assign blame, find what is “wrong with you, your partner, your relationship” we focus on helping you solve problems.
We take a non-blaming/non-judgmental approach to therapy. We will work with you to:
- Change negative patterns of interacting (that couples often fall in to).
- Develop more effective ways of communicating and resolving problems.
- Build on and utilize your strengths.
We will also offer specific recommendations and suggestions to help you find more effective ways to overcome current difficulties, improve communication, manage unresolved conflicts, and strengthen your relationship.
Our therapists work with a wide range of marital and couples concerns including: difficulties resolving conflict; poor communication; loss of intimacy; and infidelity. We work with couples who are married and unmarried. We also have several therapists who work with LGBT couples issues.
Treatment of ADHD
Our treatment model emphasizes a coordinated and multifaceted approach. We work with parents/families to help parents develop more effective ways of assisting their child or teen who is struggling with ADHD. We work with the child or adolescent on developing a better understanding of their disorder and on developing and utilizing new and more effective strategies to manage ADHD related problems, e.g., difficulties completing school work. We work with adults on ways they can better understand, manage and compensate for their ADHD symptoms. We will, when appropriate, involve spouses or partners in our work with adults, to address the impact of ADHD on adult relationships. In addition, we coordinate our efforts with schools and with physicians. For more information see ADHD Treatment.
Assessment of ADHD
Assessing ADHD is a particularly complex task. Therapists need to: (1) clearly establish the presence of ADHD symptoms (are there sufficient symptoms and are these symptoms of sufficient intensity and frequency); (2) determine that symptoms are causing meaningful problems in the individual’s life, i.e., interfering with functioning at school/work, and family/personal life; (3) determine that there is a consistent history of ADHD symptoms dating back to childhood (this criteria is a particularly important in making a diagnosis in adolescents and adults); and (4) make certain that there is not a better explanation for current difficulties (i.e., clarify that symptoms are not a product of a different disorder or problem). Our assessment approach includes the use of detailed interviewing, supplemented by rating scales, review of records, and consideration of information from family members and other professionals (when possible). The interview based approach to assessing ADHD is recommended by the leading experts in the field. For more information on our approach to assessing ADHD please see ADHD Assessment.
Evidenced Based Therapy:
Our therapists all utilize established and evidence based treatment approaches. Evidence based approaches are ones which have been shown to be effective, i.e., have clear evidence to support their usefulness. Our therapists use the following evidenced based models: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Insight Oriented Treatment, Family Therapy, ACT, DBT, and Play Therapy. The Centers for Family Change works with a variety of insurance plans to provide these services. The Centers for Family Change also offers some sliding scale services (which are provided by therapists who are not yet fully licensed for independent practice; these therapists provide services under the supervision of our senior staff).
The Centers for Family Change also provides services for professionals. These services include: consultations, trainings, and supervision. For more information on the trainings that we are offering please visit our Schedule of Trainings section. Topics that we regularly offer trainings on include ethics and risk management, ADHD, and treatment issues with children and adolescents. If you would like to arrange for a training at your site please contact us to discuss this option.
The Centers for Family Change hires licensed psychologists, social workers, clinical professional counselors, and marriage and family therapists. We offer health insurance (for full time employees), retirement benefits, case consultation, and training opportunities.
If you are interested in exploring a position with the Centers for Family Change please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.