Treatment and Well-being
We believe that all people throughout life are capable of growing their emotional, and social skills to improve psychological well being. Diagnoses are only helpful in that they provide us with an organized way of understanding symptoms. We don’t believe in labeling people with a diagnosis but rather in using it to help us ensure that we are providing evidence-based treatment.
At The Kahane Center we have been helping people for over 25 years with struggles ranging from normal life stressors to more significant mental health challenges. These include:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Issues (ADHD)
Many people have difficulty concentrating, listening to instructions, remembering details, organizing their thoughts and things, and completing tasks. When these difficulties become disruptive and interfere with functioning in school, friends and at home it is important to seek help. While medicine can be helpful at times, there are many non-pharmacological evidenced-based interventions that can help.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Most people naturally acquire social skills by virtue of being surrounded by people. At a young age, they learn the basic skills, such as how to make eye contact, speak on topic, initiate conversations and relationships with others, maintain reciprocity, understand other people’s perspectives and read body language. Because children with high functioning autism are unable to acquire these skills incidentally, they are impaired in their social cognition, which significantly interferes with their ability to function on a daily basis.
Behavioral problems can be challenging. The first step towards helping our children become more adaptive in their functioning is gaining an understanding about the underlying cause and meaning of their behavioral dysregulation. Once this has been understood, children and their parents can be helped - utilizing evidence-based treatment, skills and strategies - to overcome these challenges.
While we all have our ups and downs, sadness or loss of interest for a prolonged period of time can be a sign of depression. Depression can manifest itself with various symptoms which include feeling overwhelmed and hopeless, changes in appetite, energy, sleep, concentration, and being unmotivated and uninterested in life in general. Usually depression is very treatable and it is important to seek professional help in order to be able to re-engage and take pleasure in life.
Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD)
Some children develop behaviors that can be extraordinarily challenging. Their behaviors include severe irritability, anger, and outbursts. Often they display behavioral or verbal temper tantrums when frustrated. This irritability is disruptive to their overall wellbeing and ability to enjoy life. The first step towards helping these children become more adaptive in their functioning is gaining an understanding about the underlying cause and meaning of their behavioral dysregulation. Once this has been understood, children and their parents can be helped - utilizing evidence-based treatment, skills and strategies - to overcome these challenges.
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that makes learning how to read authentically difficult despite average, above average or even superior intelligence. Children who have dyslexia have significant struggles manipulating sound in language which interferes with their ability to read, write and spell. With the right kind of help these children can learn to use their strengths to compensate and overcome these difficulties.
While it is expected that most infants develop emotional attachments to their caregivers, some infants can develop attachment disorders when their caregivers are consistently unable to meet their needs. Bonding, and any type of emotional attachment, can become a struggle for these babies. While attachment disorders are treatable, early intervention or prevention is key. Utilizing relational and neuro-developmental models of intervention, our services are aimed at addressing all challenges during this sensitive period in order to strengthen the parent-child bond, promote secure attachment, and support optimal development.
Executive Functioning Struggles
Under normal circumstances, many bright children struggle in school because of difficulties remembering assignments, planning ahead, keeping track of work, or managing their time. At the heart of these challenges is a difficulty in Executive Function (EF), which is a term that describes the mental processes we use to help us organize our world. The recent COVID-19 Pandemic has added to these struggles. Children are expected to structure themselves and manage their time like never before. While EF skills have always been important, they are far more critical now in helping our children to function adaptively and succeed.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Individuals with Generalized Anxiety Disorder constantly worry about everyday situations they find hard to control. Feeling on edge, irritable, and frustrated, this could lead to difficulty concentrating, sleep disturbance, and muscle tension. Anxiety affects our mind and our body but can be treated effectively.
When children struggle to read, write, or do arithmetic, it takes an emotional toll on their self-esteem and causes anxiety. Often, these struggles may be the result of an undiagnosed learning disability. Proper diagnosis is critical to help children learn to use their strengths in order to compensate for their underlying weaknesses. Accurate assessment is the key to beginning a process that leads to academic success.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
People who struggle with Obsessive-compulsive disorder are consumed with uncontrollable recurring thoughts and fears that they try to control by performing compulsive repetitive behaviors. Examples of some common compulsive behaviors are counting and hand washing. This can significantly impair the quality of life but can be treated effectively.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
Children who struggle with Oppositional Defiant Disorder often have intense emotional lability, are easily annoyed, frequently argue with authority figures, refuse to follow rules and often display vindictive behavior. However, it is developmentally normal for children to be defiant and oppositional sometimes and the frequency and severity of these behaviors need to be evaluated carefully. In general, it is important to recognize this variability and to understand where the problematic behavior is coming from so it can be addressed effectively rather than punitively.
Panic disorder is characterized by repeated panic attacks which are sudden experiences of intense fear and discomfort that are often coupled with strong physical reactions such as palpitations, sweating, shaking and shortness of breath. These can come on unexpectedly and be extremely unsettling. The fear of having panic attacks can lead to avoiding certain situations and interfere with the ability to be fully functional and enjoy life. They can be treated.
Family dynamics are critical to overall well-being. Because families are constantly evolving structures, difficulties at school and work, divorce, financial struggles, physical and emotional illness, and sibling rivalry all put stress on the family. We offer comprehensive family support, with a focus on the parents, as they are the family’s backbone. We help parents recognize and understand their family structures and provide them with the tools and strategies necessary to shift ineffective family dynamics and facilitate their children's social and emotional development.
Phobias are common and are marked by an excessive and irrational fear reaction. People experience a deep sense of panic or dread when they encounter the trigger or source of the phobia which is usually a place, situation or object. Unlike general anxiety disorders a phobia is connected to something specific and can interfere with work, school and relationships. They can be treated and overcome.
Procrastination and Avoidance Behaviors
Many people struggle with procrastination and avoidance in their lives. In the moment it sometimes can be helpful as it removes the stress temporarily but in the long run it creates additional stress and can be very damaging and destructive towards leading a successful and meaningful life. With proper help this can be addressed and overcome.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
An event that might be traumatic for one, may not be for another. Not all traumatic experiences cause post-traumatic stress disorder, but it may occur in some individuals after life threatening situations. Symptoms after such events include memories of the trauma, avoiding situations reminding them of the event, as well as physical pain. Symptoms of PTSD are not always immediate. PTSD can be very debilitating, however it can be treated.
Relationships can bring a tremendous amount of joy in life and at times also be a source of much stress. Engaging in learning throughout life to improve our communications skills, perspective taking and overall social understanding increases our ability to feel connected and is hugely empowering.
School refusal is very challenging for parents as well as for children. It is important to seek help for this so that families can be professionally supported, guided and empowered to navigate and overcome this challenge. At The Kahane Center we work very closely with the parents, schools and children to facilitate a positive relatedness to school.
Selective mutism is an anxiety disorder in which a child is incapable of speaking in a social setting, such as school despite being able to speak at home. Untreated it can lead to chronic depression, further anxiety and other social and emotional problems. With proper treatment it can be overcome.
It is normal for a child at times to experience separation anxiety. Separating from a parent with relative ease is a developmental emotional milestone. When children are delayed in developing this skill it can be very challenging for them and for their parents. However, proper understanding and treatment is very effective in helping a child to overcome these difficulties and enjoy life more fully.
There are many benefits to sleeping well at night. Getting a good night’s sleep contributes to our overall health and mental well-being. Research has demonstrated that adequate sleep improves performance, mood, and brain functioning. Healthy sleep habits begin in infancy. As a parent, helping your child develop healthy sleep habits from early infancy can set them up for sleep success in the future.
Many people struggle with social anxiety. When this anxiety interferes with an ability to engage and connect it can be very painful. Social cognition groups can be extraordinarily helpful for children and adolescents in overcoming social anxiety.
There is no denying that we and our children benefit from technology. At the same time, the inability for most of us to set limits on how much time we spend on our devices leads many people to struggle with screen addiction. As a parent it can be exceptionally challenging to help children develop structure and control around the use of electronics. At The Kahane Center we help children and parents alike to develop healthy habits in this area.
Test and performance anxiety are very common and can be very debilitating. Some amount of anxiety related to performance is normal and can even be helpful. When physical symptoms and emotional reactions become so intense and interfere with the ability to perform to potential frequently then it is important to seek help. In addition, test and performance anxiety often leads to avoidance behaviors - which has the short-term effect of reducing the untoward feelings - but in the long-term compounds the problem.
Time Management Struggles
Time management is something we all deal with. Common issues include the inability to prioritize, putting off starting something, ineffectively scheduling tasks, procrastinating, failing to manage distractions - to mention just a few. But time management is an essential skill in all aspects of our lives. Whether at school, work, or home, while we all struggle with balancing multiple obligations, for some individuals, staying organized and being efficient can be very difficult. POWERS coaching at The Kahane Center is an effective way of addressing these problems, enabling individuals to manage their time and successfully achieve their goals.