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What do we treat? How do you get started?

Parents make the difficult decision to call us for basically one reason: their child is struggling with some important area of development and they are at a loss with how to help get back on track. The decision to reach out for help is a big one and we work with you to make sure we understand the problem well and collaborate with you to use treatments that works. We pride ourselves in using empirically-supported treatments where possible.

Major concerns we address are:

  • Oppositional and defiant behaviors
  • Emotion regulation
  • Social interactions
  • Anxiety
  • OCD
  • Family interactions
  • Social interactions
  • Self-regulation
  • Moods & sadness
  • Trauma
  • Learning problems

What is the process to get started?

Some parents are seeking help for the first time and many are coming to us after other attempts to help have not worked. Our process is straightforward: a careful assessment leads to the best treatment plan. We first work with the parents to deeply understand the child and family’s history, developmental strengths and challenges, current support systems, what has worked and what has not. Next, we typically observe the child with the parents, or in their school setting. We then meet for a feedback and treatment planning session to decide together on a best course of action.

The steps look like this:

  1. Initial inquiry: Either email or call 212.658.0110, ext. 124 to speak with our Administrative Coordinator to find out more. 
  2. Free, informational call: Most parents and caregivers prefer to start with a free, no obligation call just to make sure we treat your concerns and that you can have some basic questions answered, e.g., about timing, availability, costs.
  3. Pre-appointment questionnaires: We want to ensure thoroughness and to ensure we make the best use of your time when we meet for first face-to-face appointment. After you schedule the evaluation session with us, we send you an invite to our Patient Portal – a secure website – to complete some pre-appointment forms letting you detail your concerns and complete some baseline questions. We will review all your answers before you come in and discuss them with you in the parents-only face-to-face appointment.
  4. Parent-only session: We will meet with you for 1.5-2 hours to review your child’s history in detail, talk in great detail about what has worked and what has not, and complete a diagnostic interview.  We will do our best to understand the family dynamics and how they affect your concerns.
  5. Parent-child observation: In most cases, we will then conduct a parent-child observation session to see firsthand what the issues are. We have one-way mirrors that allow unobtrusive observations in the clinic, or we arrange remotely for telehealth. Where it is developmentally appropriate, or for other reasons we decide together, we will spend time 1:1 with your child or observing them in a real-life setting, such as school, to see the behaviors of concern first hand.
  6. Feedback & Treatment Planning Session: We then meet with the parents for approximately 50 minutes to review our findings and make treatment recommendations. We will suggest the behavioral treatment that has the most research to back it up and talk with you about what we know from research works for your concerns.
  7. Treatment sessions: The standard treatment or therapy sessions are 50 minutes.  These ongoing sessions are billed at the clinician’s hourly rate for a 50-minute session. We will prorate the fee down for fewer than 50 minutes. If your family requires additional time within a session, there is a 10-minute grace period. We will prorate for any additional time beyond 60 minutes.

What does treatment look like? What kind of treatment do you provide?

The treatment we provide is called Behavior Therapy or Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Dr. Kurtz is Board Certified Fellow in Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) and leads his team in accord with the most up-to-date, scientifically-supported treatments. The whole team at Kurtz Psychology are active members of the most important behavioral organizations: ABCT – the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and ADAA – Anxiety and Depression Association of America, SMA – Selective Mutism Association and PCIT International – Parent-Child Interaction Therapy.

Treatment for children always involves the parents as key agents of change. Whether you are seeking help for anxiety or other internalizing problems, or disruptive behaviors, also called externalizing problems, we will work with you to help your child, teaching you how to be the expert in their treatment outside of our clinic walls.

Treatment always starts by building a fun, trusting relationship and then using the relationship, either the parent-child relationship or the therapist-child relationship, to help children learn new coping skills.  For children with anxiety and mood problems, the therapist will actively work with the child in addition to the parent training. For children with oppositionality, defiance or aggression, we typically work coaching the parents to change the child’s behavior.

Your therapist will discuss with you the different treatment options during your Feedback & Treatment Planning Session.

How do we know if treatment is working?

You and your therapist will talk about how to track treatment progress. Tracking progress is key to our working together. We need to specify with you what you hope will be different as a result of successful treatment and we will track those changes with you.

Problems and concerns we address:

Selective Mutism
Poor social skills
Separation anxiety
Sleep problems
Easily frustrated
Restricted interests
Speech issues
Rule breaking
Autism (ASD)

Learning problems
Fears & phobias
Excessive shyness
Mood swings
Trauma reactions
Risky activity
Language issues
Asperger syndrome

Attention problems
School refusal
Poor concentration
Parent-child conflict
Poor eye contact
Excessive energy
Racing thoughts
Substance use
Fire setting
Law breaking
Appetite issues
Excessive worry

What do we treat? | Kurtz Psychology