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August 25, 1995 - Image 89

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-08-25

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Everyone Claims To Specialize In


operation for therapy to work,"
he says. If presented by the par-
ents in the right way, he adds,
it is rare for a child to refuse to
come at all. "Tell her to try it for
three sessions, and if she feels no
relief or possibility of relief, you'll
forget it," he advises. "And, if it's
not an emergency but the child
still needs treatment, the thera-
pist can work with the parents
and they can become surrogate
Another often successful way
to present the possibility of ther-
apy to a resistant child, says Dr.
Stettner, is to couch it in familial
terms. Present the family as the
source of the problem and work
with a therapist who will take a
family approach, he says. "Most

kids don't like going to therapy
because of fear and a perceived
stigma. It's often helpful to have
the whole family go together
rather than forcing the child to
go alone."

What to expect from
the therapist

"Parents should have the op-
portunity to meet with or at least
talk with the therapist before the
child goes," says Dr. Claire Col-
man, a child, adolescent and
adult psychiatrist in private prac-
tice in Bloomfield Township.
"They should use their own gut
instincts about feeling comfort-
able with their choice, because
the therapist will be alone with
their child."

It's also important, she says,
that in addition to having suit-
able qualifications and experi-
ence, the therapist be able to deal
with both children and adults.
"Make sure the therapist is sen-
sitive to the child's needs but re-
alizes the parents' needs and
expectations as well," says Dr.
Colman. "The goal, after all, is
fulfilling the emotional needs of
all the members of the family."
The younger the child, the
more the parents should expect
to be involved, she says. Privacy
is more of an issue as the child
gets older. "Adolescents, in par-
ticular, will grow more in thera-
py if the parent steps back.
Unless the older child is in dan-
THERAPY page 10

Where To Get Help

While many parents choose
therapists through word of
mouth or from recommenda-
tions by pediatricians or school
personnel, there are several pro-
fessional organizations that pro-
vide referrals. Always check
with your health-care provider
to see what kinds of mental-
health services are covered un-
der your plan.
Depending on your child's
needs, you may choose to see a
psychiatrist, psychologist or so-
cial worker, many of whom work
as a team to provide a full range
of medical, testing and thera-
peutic services.

* American Academy of
Child and Adolescent Psy-
chiatry, (202) 966-7300.
This organization will make
referrals to child and adolescent
psychiatrists anywhere in the
country. A regional delegate will
contact the caller to discuss the
problem the child is having and
make an appropriate referral.
Psychiatrists are medical doc-
tors who may prescribe medica-
tions as part of psychotherapy.

* American Psychological
Association, (202) 336-5500.
State of Michigan referrals
are made through the Michi-
gan Psychological Associa-
tion, 1-800-270-9070. Referrals
are made statewide to fully li-
censed doctoral-degree psychol-
ogists who are taking patients.
(Limited licensed psychologists
have a master's degree in psy-
chology and work under the su-
pervision of fully licensed
psychologists in clinics.) Psy-
chologists are skilled in admin-
istering and interpreting
psychological evaluative tests as
well as providing therapeutic

* Michigan Association of So-
cial Workers, 1-800-292-7871.
This group maintains a reg-

ister of therapists with master
of social work degrees who are
qualified to provide therapeutic
counseling and services to chil-
dren and adolescents.

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* South Oakland Child and
Adolescent Clinic (SOCAC),
for southern Oakland Coun-
ty residents, (810) 350-0720;
North Oakland Child and
Adolescent Clinic (NOCAC),
for Oakland County resi-
dents north of Birmingham.,
(810) 858-5326.
"Both these clinics offer psy-
chiatric evaluation and medica-
tion, services for special-
education clients, case manage-
ment, as well as some respite
services, parent training and
psychotherapy," says Ray Buch,
casework supervisor at NOCAC.
After an evaluation, most
clients are put on a waiting list
* Jewish Family Service, for psychotherapy, he says,
(810) 559-1500 in Southfield; while the agency works to meet
(810) 737-5055 in West the clients' other needs.
These public community men-
"At JFS, there are children as tal-health agencies will bill pri-
young as 5 years old in individ- vate insurance companies, but
ual treatment and groups for provide sliding-scale fees based
children as young as 6," says on ability to pay for those with-
Rueben Rotman, who served as out coverage. They also accept
JFS's director of community re- Medicaid.
source development.
Groups meet at both the * Oakland Family Services,
Southfield and West Bloomfield (810) 544-4004 in Berkley;
locations for children having (810) 858-7766 in Pontiac.
problems associated with di-
This private, nonprofit agency
vorce; socialization skills (help offers individual and group ther-
in making friends); and a vari- apy. Fees are reimbursable
ety of developmental issues (in- through insurance. For those
cluding communicating with without coverage, sliding-scale
parents and dealing with sib- fees are based on ability to pay.
Some programs are funded
In the fall JFS will offer, in a through the United Way.
joint program with the Jewish
Among the services offered for
Community Center, groups for children and teens are a fussy
younger and older children with baby project; group counseling
attention deficit disorder. "JFS for families; a family trauma
does a lot of advocating for the unit which services physically
child with the public schools," and sexually abused children;
says Mr. Rotman.
and a support group for teens
Fees are reimbursable with eating disorders.
through insurance or deter-

The cost of psychotherapy for
children and adolescents ranges
from about $75 - $150 per ses-
sion, depending on the profes-
sional you choose and the type
of service provided. Some ther-
apists offer sliding-scale fees
based on ability to pay when in-
surance does not cover full costs,
so parents should check with the
therapist before deciding not to
pursue treatment solely for fi-
nancial reasons.
In addition, there are several
area public and private non-
profit agencies which offer a va-
riety of services and payment


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• is open to children ages 5-16 of interfaith families
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