Therapeutic Services at NESCA
At NESCA, we provide therapeutic services for children, adolescents, and young adults who experience emotional and attentional regulation challenges, including anxiety, depression, and autism spectrum disorders, as well as learning disabilities. Our highly-individualized interventions encourage quick acquisition of skills through personalized treatment plans, as well as opportunities for generalization to outside environments. Individual outcomes are monitored closely and continually throughout enrollment.
Individual Therapy Services
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
NESCA provides one-on-one cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) services. This evidenced-based approach is highly structured and goals-focused. While individual lengths of treatment vary, all services are time-limited and may range from 12 weeks to one year, depending on individual needs. In addition to traditional CBT approaches, therapeutic methodology may include exposure with response prevention (ERP), as well as acceptance and mindfulness-based approaches, among others. In order for children to make effective therapeutic progress and generalize skills into the home setting it is important for their parents to be well-versed in the skills taught and involved in treatment when it is developmentally and therapeutically appropriate. Parent involvement may include sessions with their child or additional parent training sessions outside of their child’s regular session in order to further discuss parenting tools.
Counseling is available in NESCA’s Londonderry office and provides children, adolescents, and young adults the opportunity to learn coping strategies, manage life’s changes, and increase self-reflection through a supportive therapeutic relationship. Various therapeutic modalities are utilized, such as cognitive behavior techniques, art therapy, and family systems work. While some goals may be achieved in a time-limited fashion, counseling can also be long-term, supporting your child through their school and college years if needed. This approach to treatment includes parent- and school-based work when appropriate.
Anxiety & Attention Skills Coaching Program (AASC)
AASC is a time-limited, intensive outpatient intervention specifically designed for individuals confronting anxiety and associated attention difficulties, which both serve to interfere with their ability to fully engage in their academic, social, recreational, or home environments. The development of the AASC Program was informed by our experience that children and adolescents learn new skills through well-focused interventions that allow for rehearsal and frequent repetition. As such, the program uses a short term, semi-intensive, skills-based approach. Most often, children in the AASC Program have 2-3 anxiety coaching sessions per week for approximately 12 weeks. These sessions utilize psychoeducation, cognitive-behavioral strategies, exposure-based work, behavioral rewards systems, as well as acceptance and mindfulness-based practices to increase self-regulation, emotional awareness, and anxiety management. When appropriate, the final weeks of a child’s program may involve fading of services outside of NESCA and into the natural environment (home, school, or community), providing opportunities to generalize skills. Oftentimes, children who participate in the self-regulation skills component of the AASC Program will also concurrently participate in NESCA’s therapeutic yoga services.
Expressive Arts Therapy
Expressive arts therapy incorporates drama, dance, movement, creative writing, art, and mindfulness to help children express and manage their emotions. This multi-modal approach is particularly helpful for individuals who struggle to access the benefits of traditional therapy methods and provides a natural motivation for children to engage in the therapeutic process. A pre-existing interest in art, while helpful, is not required for effective therapeutic change to occur. Expressive Arts Therapy is offered both individually and in group formats at NESCA.
Parent Guidance Services
In addition to being offered as an adjunct to a child’s individual therapy, parent guidance is also offered as a standalone service, either in an individual or group format.
Individual Parent Guidance Training
NESCA clinicians often work with parents whose children are not receiving individual therapy within our center, but who require support in managing their children’s emotions and behaviors within the home. These sessions utilize psychoeducation as well as behavioral and emotion skills training. The duration of these services is individualized, but time-limited, often ranging between four and twelve sessions.
Group Parent Guidance Training
NESCA offers a parent guidance group for parents of children with attentional, behavioral and emotional dysregulation. This structured treatment is an interactive child and parent group designed to help parents learn in-the-moment behavioral strategies, including giving effective commands and establishing structure within the home environment, as well as increasing positivity within the parent-child relationship.
Group Therapy Services
In addition to the group parent guidance training, NESCA offers a variety of group-based therapies for children and adolescents. Current groups are described below. Please stay tuned for additional groups beginning in the Spring and Summer of 2017.
Mindfulness and Expressive Arts Group for Adolescents
Mindfulness is the practice of engaging in the present moment with compassion and non-judgment and is particularly helpful in teaching individuals how to regulate their emotions and attention. This 8-week group will provide mindfulness-based skills to help adolescents reduce emotional distress and increase focus and attention, and is appropriate for individuals who struggle with challenges related to anxiety as well as attentional and emotional regulation.
Acting Games and Social Skills Development Group for School-Aged Children
This 8-week group is designed to enhance children’s social skills development and confidence in social interactions in a safe and creative atmosphere. Improvisational acting games offer fun and structured ways to interact and make connections with fellow group members. Every game is used to teach foundational social skills and build each member's self-awareness and self-esteem. Some games have a simple structure, such as mirroring one another's movements, while other games involve acting out real-life scenarios.
In order to aid the generalization of therapeutic skills to the academic setting, it is important to include school personnel in the treatment process. For this reason, NESCA clinicians often provide consultation to school counselors or teachers. In addition to consultation services, clinicians are available to observe students in the classroom. This allows the clinician to develop a better understanding of the child’s strengths and challenges within the school setting and to provide in-the-moment feedback for teachers and other school personnel. These school-related services are only available to individuals already enrolled in NESCA’s therapy services.
Many parents wish to explore alternative treatments for their children’s social and emotional needs. At NESCA we offer both therapeutic yoga and therapeutic acupuncture as an alternative or complimentary approach to traditional therapy and medication interventions.
NESCA has provided therapeutic yoga services to children for many years, with excellent results. Our yoga program is rooted in the belief that self-awareness and self-regulation skills are essential foundations for success and general well-being in all settings. Therapeutic yoga uses movement, breathing, mindfulness and meditation techniques to bring awareness-a to the body and mind and to provide children with specific self-regulation tools. Games, music and other fun yoga-based activities are incorporated to engage children and teach targeted skills. Many children respond better to the body-based approach used in therapeutic yoga than to traditional talking-based therapies. Our therapeutic yoga instructors tailor instruction to students of varying physical, emotional, and developmental abilities. This approach can be especially powerful for kinesthetic learners and those with language processing difficulties.
Acupuncturist Dan Chace (who prefers to be called "Chace") is uniquely--and extensively--experienced in working with children, even toddlers, whom he treats for anxiety, depression, and attentional issues, as well as symptoms associated with developmental, digestive, and other social-emotional and physical disorders. He practices a minimally or non-invasive form of Japanese acupuncture, using very fine-gauge needles or in many cases, no needles at all, instead relying upon various other tools applied externally. He also addresses nutritional and other lifestyle factors that influence child development.Return to top of page.