If a child cannot learn the way I teach, then I must teach the way he learns.
--Anna Gillingham, educator and psychologist

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Help for teenaged girls struggling with anxiety

Laughlin Children’s Center is starting a group for teenaged girls who show signs of anxiety, are socially isolated, or get so emotional at times that they shut down, can’t think clearly, or misbehave impulsively. The goal of the group, led by one of Laughlin’s licensed psychologists, Dr. Lenore Melmeyer, is to provide the participating teens with techniques to calm emotions, develop new perspectives on themselves and others, and improve their communication skills.

The group will run for eight sessions, and will meet at the center, which is located at 424 Frederick Street in Sewickley. Each weekly session will be 90 minutes. Additional sessions will be available as needed. The teen participants can expect to experience the group as a time of sharing and support, as well as a chance to learn better ways of functioning. Some of the topics that will be worked on include mindfulness, interpersonal skills, problems solving, and techniques for overcoming distress.

Before entering the group, each participating teen and her parents will meet privately with Dr. Melmeyer, a therapist specializing in adolescents, for an opportunity to discuss the details of the group and for an assessment; families will have a chance to ask questions about the group at this initial intake meeting. Handouts will be provided to parents each week, reviewing what topics were covered in the group session.

The group will meet on Wednesdays from 7 to 8:30 pm, starting on 3 March and running for eight weeks. All initial meetings with families must be completed before the start of the group, and the group size is limited to no more than 10 girls, aged 13 through 16. Due to expected high demand, interested families are urged to contact the Center at 412.741.4087 or l.melmeyer@laughlincenter.org as soon as possible to schedule the initial intake.

The cost for the eight sessions is covered by most major insurance plans. For interested families without insurance coverage, details about payment can be discussed when the appointment for their intake is made. Financial aid is available for those self-paying families who qualify.

Laughlin Children’s Center has been providing educational supports to children and families from Western Pennsylvania for over 50 years. The staff of licensed and certified clinicians help children discover learning success through a variety of services, such as individual and small group instruction, speech therapy, counseling, and early childhood services, including The Village Preschool. For details on the center’s programs, log onto www.laughlicenter.org or call 412.741.4087.

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