Taking care of your kid’s mental health is just as important as making sure they have a healthy body. As a parent, you play a crucial role in looking out for early signs of any mental health problems. As mental health professionals, we play the role of helping you and your family manage and treat those problems.

Getting help early is key, and NSU Health specializes in the most current pediatric mental health care techniques. From ADHD treatment to school-related issues, our approaches will guide your child or teen to a positive quality of life. We aim to ensure they reach developmental and emotional milestones, learn healthy social skills, cope with any underlying trauma and have a bright future ahead.

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NSU Health is taking decisive and informed action to keep students, faculty, staff, and patients, as well as the community, safe. We are strictly following guidance from the CDC, the Florida Department of Health, and the Broward County Health Department. 

Mental Health Care for Kids: 13 Clinical Specialties

You know your child best. If you have any concerns about their behavior, take them to NSU Health: a place you can count on and confide in. As a part of the NSU College of Psychology, we have 13 pediatric specialties serving children and adolescents at our South Florida mental health clinics. Explore our reasonably priced offerings, and learn how we can promote stronger mental health together.

NSU Health's Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program (ADAPT) provides assessment and treatment to adolescents referred by police, schools, other local agencies, and parents. The program helps adolescents who: have committed first-time misdemeanor offenses, are identified as at-risk for perpetrating serious offenses, have a history of substance abuse or are at risk for substance abuse, or have difficulties managing feelings of anger.

Services

The initial assessment consists of a comprehensive evaluation in the following areas:

  • cognitive functioning
  • emotional and social functioning
  • familial stress and satisfaction
  • substance use and abuse

Once the assessment phase is completed, the therapist will review the results and desired therapy goals and make treatment recommendations.

Treatments are designed to meet the individual needs of each adolescent and his or her family, identify stressors in the family system, and help develop:

  • anger management skills
  • parenting skills
  • assertiveness skills
  • problem-solving skills
  • behavioral contracting
  • social skills
  • communication skills
  • stress management
  • parent-child relationship enhancement

Treatment is customized based on the presenting problem, parental concerns, and deficits evidenced by the assessments used at intake. The interventions used have been proven effective through research studies for the above-mentioned issues.

NSU Health provides assessment and treatment to children and adolescents (up to age 22) who have behavioral problems consistent with a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Our goal is to deliver effective, science-based solutions to common problems affecting ADHD-diagnosed children and their families.

Services

Our evaluations begin with the administration of a semi-structured parent interview and collection of normative ratings of child, parent, and family functioning. We also conduct psychoeducational testing using measurement tools approved by your county.

Unlike many evaluations, we routinely observe children at school, inside and outside of the classroom setting. Finally, teacher interviews are conducted to obtain information about academic and social functioning.

We tailor our evaluations to address specific referral questions in a manner that is individualized and appropriate to the emotional needs of each child and each classroom (as well as providing data necessary for making IDEA or 504 accommodations possible).

Behavioral Consultation in the School Setting

It is common for children with ADHD to exhibit social and academic impairment in the school setting. Our therapists routinely visit the children’s schools to observe classroom behavior. Therapists also work with teachers and school psychologists to develop individualized behavioral programs that coordinate school and home-based interventions, thus building a partnership between families and the school.

School And Community Trainings

As part of our commitment to educating members of the community about the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, we offer free in-service trainings for schools, parents, and community groups within Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties.

NSU Health's Biofeedback and Health Psychology Center offers evaluation, intervention, and consultation for managing ongoing health concerns and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Services are available to children, adolescents, and adults.

Services 

The problems that we treat most often with biofeedback and other health psychology approaches include:

  • anxiety
  • migraine and tension headaches
  • chronic pain
  • TMJ
  • tinnitus
  • management of a chronic illness, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or HIV/AIDS
  • management of high blood pressure
  • sleep disturbances

Some treatments are enhanced by including physiological monitoring and biofeedback training. Our biofeedback equipment can be used to help someone become more aware of bodily responses, such as muscle tension or temperature change, that occur during periods of stress and relaxation. Using biofeedback, people can learn to control bodily responses of which they are not usually aware.

 In addition, health psychology treatments can reduce illness risks and promote good health. Over a lifetime, unhealthy habits, such as reacting too strongly to stress, overeating, excessive intake of unhealthy/ high-fat foods, and physical inactivity, can compromise health if they are not changed.

Physician Clearance

Individuals who are considering biofeedback or changes to their exercise or diet routines should consult a physician for a complete medical checkup and clearance before contacting the center. Our services are not a substitute for a medical evaluation. Collaboration with a health care team is welcomed.

Engaging in significant problem behaviors can isolate children from peers, decrease ability to learn in school and lead to elevated levels of stress in the home setting. The NSU Health's Challenging Behavior Clinic addresses these concerns through direct support for caregivers.

You can undergo parent training sessions or individual sessions, during which our therapist works directly with your child (18 months - 8 years). These treatments teach adaptive methods to replace problem behaviors with more functional skills.

NSU Health's Child, Adolescent and Family Services Program assists families with children (ages 4-17) to improve their quality of life through a comprehensive diagnostic and treatment approach.

Services

The initial assessment consists of a comprehensive evaluation for children who have varying emotional, cognitive, and/or behavioral difficulties such as:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • School and behavioral problems
  • Mental health issues facing children and adolescents

Once the assessment phase is completed, the therapist will review the results and desired therapy goals and make treatment recommendations. Treatment options include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Play therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Parenting-skills training

NSU Health's Child and Adolescent Traumatic Stress Program provides children, adolescents (from birth to 18 years old), and family members with specialized psychological services to help reduce post-trauma symptoms and help them adapt and heal.

Who Does the Program Help?

  • Children and adolescents experiencing psychological problems and physical complaints due to trauma exposure (Examples can include abuse, homelessness, abandonment, natural disasters, accidental injury, witnessing harm or death befall a primary caregiver, hostage situations, kidnapping, and urban or school violence.)
  • Children and adolescents with acute, chronic, and/or genetic medical disorders, and their families
  • Individuals (juvenile or adult) or families ordered by a court to complete psychological evaluations, family or reunification therapy, or parent effectiveness and empathy training

Services

  • Clinical Services—psychological assessment and evaluation, as well as individual and family therapy, for children and their families
  • Consultations—liaison support for medical personnel, court personnel/programs, professional agencies, educators, and school personnel
  • Training—specialized instruction for mental health professionals, students, and regional agencies
  • Research-Based Treatment—development of more effective regimens conducted under the direction of a licensed psychologist, certified family mediator, and clinical supervisor

Diagnostic Services

Psycho-developmental evaluations are provided for children 18 months - adolescence suspected of having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), exhibiting developmental delays or experiencing early childhood behavioral difficulties. Additionally, our clinic serves adolescents with a prior diagnosis of ASD and/or developmental disabilities for reassessment purposes.

Autism Education Program

The information provided to families for ASD intervention can be both overwhelming and oftentimes inaccurate. Caregivers struggle to discern quality programs that are evidence-based from those that have little to no success. To address this need, a series of community-based, ongoing seminars and one-on-one caregiver follow-up sessions assist in determining the next steps after diagnosis.

NSU Health's Family Violence Program provides psychological services to children, adolescents, and adults for issues involving all aspects of domestic violence.

Individual therapy focuses on a wide variety of common symptoms resulting from abuse, such as depression and anxiety, as well as anger management training to help prevent domestic violence. 

Services

We help victims of abuse with:

  • crisis intervention and victim advocacy management
  • identifying and overcoming effects of abuse
  • empowerment for nonviolent, egalitarian life choices

 Perpetrators of abuse can:

  • get anger management training
  • learn what coercive/violent behaviors are and how to identify their origins
  • learn and practice alternative, nonviolent behaviors, social skills, and communication skills
  • change attitudes and attributions that perpetrate coercive behaviors

 Individuals and groups can benefit from:

  • therapeutic interventions for anxiety and depression related to a history of trauma or abuse

NSU Health's Healthy Lifestyles Program is designed to help anyone age 14+ overcome any issues related to alcohol, substance use, gambling, weight-gain and sleep. Individuals will learn to take responsibility for their bodies and use their own strengths and resources to resolve their problems.

Services

Our goal is to motivate individuals to guide their own change. To accomplish this, we provide:

  • individualized sessions
  • guidance and support to help individuals achieve their goals
  • educational information and personalized feedback

Our program helps people:

  • evaluate lifestyle choices
  • set goals
  • strengthen motivation and commitment to change
  • identify their strengths and resources
  • guide their own change
  • identify and overcome obstacles to change

NSU Health's Intensive Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program provides diagnostic, in-depth and intensive treatment to anyone age 10+ with moderate-to-severe characterological disorders. We can help your child gain a better appreciation of their personal and interpersonal experiences.

Services

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy is based on the truism: “One who does not understand the past is condemned to repeat it.” Dynamic therapy allows the patient and therapist to look at the present and the past and foster a more adaptive, gratifying, and productive future. Individual therapy and group therapy are offered. 

How Does it Work?

During sessions, the patient is encouraged to reflect on past experiences and to become increasingly introspective to gain a better understanding of his or her needs, wishes, values, and desires. All information shared in treatment is confidential. Patients often report personal thoughts, feelings, fantasies, and dreams that can lead to greater awareness of the magnitude of their core conflicts. By being a sympathetic listener and empathetic facilitator, the therapist accompanies the patient on this voyage of self discovery and personal growth.

Get your child evaluated at NSU Health's Neuropsychology Assessment Center. Our specialists assess kids five years or older for all central nervous system problems of all etiologies, emotional disorders, and behavioral disorders. We specialize in helping complex cases where diagnostic clarity or intervention needs have been inconsistent or unclear. The goal is to identify strengths and weaknesses, identify possible etiologies, and most importantly, determine needed treatments or accommodations. 

Referral examples include

  • evaluation to determine cognitive, emotional, or behavioral symptoms after head injury including sports related disorders
  • diagnosis of learning disability
  • diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • diagnosis of intellectual disability
  • diagnosis of emotional or behavioral disorders.
  • determination of appropriate school placement
  • determination of appropriate accommodations
  • determination of needed psychological treatment
  • evaluation of the behavioral and cognitive effects of medications or other treatments

Services

A complete neuropsychological battery takes approximately 12–15 hours to complete. Your child will meet with clinicians once a week (or more frequently) for a three-hour block of time. To complete the evaluation, your child will attend a total of approximately four to five testing sessions in a four- to six-week time period.  Special testing arrangements can be arranged for vacation periods or during the summer.

After the testing is complete, the clinician will generate a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation report. This report will consist of relevant patient history (obtained during the intake interview at the first appointment), test results in narrative and data formats, a diagnosis section, and recommendations for further treatment.

During a three-hour feedback session, the clinician will be able to go over the information contained in the report and provide you with a copy of the report. In the case of younger children, the feedback will be with the parents, but feedback can also be arranged when requested for older students to receive their own feedback.

 

 

If your teen (14+) shows signs of a thought or mood disorder, NSU Health’s Psychological Services for the Emotionally Distressed (PSED) program can help. We treat those with serious mood disturbances, psychotic features, or pervasive difficulties with emotion regulation.

Symptoms that may prompt people to contact our program include:

  • depression or mania
  • hallucinations or delusions
  • feeling like thoughts or behaviors are out of control
  • difficulties in relationships
  • frequent mood swings or difficulties regulating emotions
  • social isolation or withdrawal
  • difficulties performing daily activities
  • unusual behaviors or beliefs that are risky or distressing

Services

  • individual psychotherapy
  • group psychotherapy
  • family therapy
  • couple therapy
  • psychological testing (as needed, to inform treatment) 

The primary approaches that inform our individualized work with clients include contemporary relational psychodynamic therapy, trauma-informed therapy, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), cognitive therapy, and existential therapy.

NSU Health’s School-Related Psychological Assessments and Clinical Interventions program offers comprehensive psychoeducational evaluations to students (preschool-college) for school-related academic, behavioral, developmental, and learning problems.

Evaluations

Evaluations are performed by advanced school psychology trainees who have completed their entire sequence of assessment and integrated report writing courses. Trainees include doctoral clinical practicum students, interns, and postdoctoral residents.

We offer evaluations related to

  • attentional problems
  • autism spectrum disorders
  • developmental delays
  • dyslexia
  • emotional/behavioral problems
  • motivational difficulties
  • retention decisions
  • school-related problems
  • specific learning disabilities

Services

  • assistance with design and implementation of interventions
  • behavioral observations
  • parent and student interviews
  • parent training sessions
  • personal feedback of results
  • psychoeducational assessment
  • referral for treatment, if appropriate
  • school observation and consultation
  • written reports for client or client’s parents 

Helping Children of U.S. Veterans

You had our back. Now we have yours. NSU Health's Veterans Access Clinic offers affordable mental health care services to U.S. veterans and their families. Bring your child to our friendly facilities for any mental health concern. Reach out for support, and speak with specialized representatives who are knowledgeable about veteran care: (954) 262-3524, select option 2 (Mon-Fri 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.).

Learn More

What to Know About Children’s Mental Health

It paves their life path.

Mental health correlates with children’s physical and developmental health, and their ability to succeed in school, at work and in society.

It’s common.

About one out of every five children in the U.S. has a diagnosable mental health disorder.

It’s bigger than you think.

Children with untreated mental health needs affect communities, workplaces and the nation as a whole.

Professional Staff

Ana Martinez, Psy.D.

Director of Clinical Services

Ralph (Gene) E. Cash, Ph.D., ABPP

School Psychology Program Director

Jennifer Davidtz, Ph.D.

Services for the Emotionally Distressed Program Director

Christopher Layne, Ph.D.

Child Trauma and Bereavement Program Director

Charles Golden, Ph.D., ABPP/ABCN

Neuropsychology Program Director

Jeffrey L. Kibler, Ph.D.

Biofeedback Program Director

Bady Quintar, Ph.D., ABPP

Intensive Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program Director

David Reitman, Ph.D.

ADHD Program Director

Linda C. Sobell, Ph.D., ABPP

Healthy Lifestyles Program Director

Yukari Tomozawa, Psy.D.

Child/Adolescent/Family Program Coordinator

Vincent B. Van Hasselt, Ph.D.

ADAPT Program Director
Family Violence Program Director

Visit the NSU Health's Psychology Services Center in Broward County

Schedule an Appointment

At NSU Health's Mental Health Clinics, we are committed to making the scheduling process as convenient as possible, as well as creating a seamless, friendly and patient-centered clinic experience. We will respond to online submissions within two business days. For faster service, call (954) 262-4100 (Mon-Fri, 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.).

Most mental health services are not covered by Medicaid, Medicare, or insurance. Please call the appointment desk to confirm if your appointment will be billed as self-pay or insurance provided. 

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Patient Forms

After making an appointment, make sure your forms are up-to-date. If you’re new to NSU Health, please fill out the New Patient Packet. All forms, including those for each specific health care service, can be found at the link below.

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