International Adoption Info

Newsletter #91 for Internationally Adopting Parents
June 19, 2008
PAL Center Inc.


Group Therapies
at BGCenter:

& Social Skills

Ida Jeltova, Ph.D.
Children (7-12 years old) with difficulties in:
  • Establishing and maintaining interpersonal connections
  • 'Reading' behavioral cues and non-verbal communications and exercising social judgment
  • Recognizing and regulating their impulses and needs
  • Controlling inappropriate behaviors (lying, stealing)
  • Anger management

The group therapy cycle is 10 sessions: 8 weekly sessions with the children and 2 monthly sessions with the parents.

Maintenance and "booster" meetings are available on monthly basis thereafter.

Group therapy sessions are ongoing. Space is limited to
4-5 children per group
. Screening process is conducted to ensure the members of each group have compatible profiles of strengths and weakness.

The sessions include role-playing, applied interpersonal problem solving, training in reading non-verbal behaviors, learning self-management/ self-regulation techniques along with appropriate social and interpersonal negotiation techniques (aggressive communication vs. assertive communication).

The main goal of the group therapy is to provide children with compensatory and coping strategies that make undesirable behaviors unnecessary and ineffective in meeting their needs. Each child will receive individualized intervention and feedback, and the parents will be provided with feedback and "take home" tools and ideas.

When and Where:
Saturday 1:30-2:20

BGCenter, 150 Execute Airport Park, Suite 152
Nanuet, NY 10954

$1120 per cycle
(10 sessions)

Tel: (201) 757-0600

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of the Center for Cognitive-Developmental
Assessment & Remediation,
or a former student
of the BGCenter Online School,
or as a user of the International Adoption Articles Directory.


Latest Articles
from the

International Adoption Articles Directory

Case Study: Therapy Session

Parents often know when it's time to see a professional with their child - a psychotherapist who will do something to make things different: help build communications in the family, change painful and leading nowhere behavior patterns of the child, calm down raw emotions and redirect power struggles. But how does it happen? Is there any logic to the process or is it a pure intuition and personality of the counselor? Marina Sud, Psy.D., the BGCenter new therapist specializing in attachment disorders and treatment of childhood sexual abuse trauma answers the question of a parent and thus gives you an insight into the logic she would follow in investigating the real roots of the child's issues.

Parent: My daughter tends to be a dictator. When she is controlling a game I sometimes do not follow her just because I don't want her to get used to being followed. However, I think that I might be setting a bad example. Should I follow so that she learns to follow? When I get mad at her, she scolds me or other people the same way. She imagines a lot that she is talking to people and she is scolding them. When talking to her, she seldom looks in the eye at the person talking to her and you can tell that she is hearing but at the same time thinking about something else. I sometimes move her head to face me. And say "look at Mommy", but she would stare at me with a look that I know she is thinking of something else.

Dr. Sud: First of all, I would need more information such as: the age of the child, is she adopted, from where, how long the family has had her, are there other children in the family, was the child in a placement facility prior to coming to live with the family, if so, for how long, starting at what age? If she is adopted I would want to know the quality of care she received in the first two years of her development (if such information is available) and, once again, if available, information regarding the psychological profiles of her birth parents.

Based on the little information provided, I think there are a number of behavioral interventions that could be utilized. I also think the mother would benefit from being better informed, so she feels more in control and can better understand what may be going on with her daughter. Ultimately, the parent should be able to provide nurturance and limit setting without blaming herself.

It's good to keep in mind that this girl may have an attachment disorder, for which she would need to be evaluated (hence again, the need for more information). A proper diagnosis needs to be made regarding the type of attachment disorder she may have. This information could then be used to plan treatment which is more specific for this particular child.

The following statements made by the mother: "she imagines a lot that she is talking to people and she is scolding them," "you can tell that she is hearing but at the same time thinking about something else," and that "she would stare at me with a look that I know she is thinking of something else," makes me question if the girl is reliving some kind of traumatic event/events. She may be acting out ways in which she herself was treated, as well as utilizing dissociation as a defense.

Lastly, it's possible that this child began to feel threatened by the closeness of the family, in particular with the mother. This often happens with attachment disordered children. The more they develop relationships, the bigger the chance of loss. Adopted children are all too familiar with loss, that's mostly what they've known in their lives. So children begin to act out after an initial "honeymoon period." They test and see if this adult will also "fail them and send them away, or leave them."

On a positive note, this girl appears to want to stay connected to her mother or there would be little, or no conflict at all. However, it's important to keep in mind that the child may be so controlling because having control is what keeps her alive. So to ask her to just "give this up" can be experienced by her as literally "life threatening."


Elina Polyakov, LCSW

Hypnosis is a powerful and safe tool that can facilitate change in one's behavior and/or thinking pattern. Change is sometimes difficult to achieve while working on it on a conscious level, because most habits, beliefs, and attitudes are maintained and stored in the subconscious mind. Hypnosis allows direct access into the subconscious, thus targeting the root of the problem and facilitating more permanent change. When in hypnosis, one is physically relaxed and thoughts become more focused on what needs to be addressed. The purpose of hypnotherapy is to activate personal resources and foster effective coping strategies.

Contrary to common fears, in hypnosis one is in control and capable of making decisions at all times. A therapist's role is to guide one through this comfortable, inspiring and empowering experience. Hypnotherapy can be effective in helping both adults and children. A large variety of problems and conditions that respond well to hypnotherapy includes: stress, past trauma, sleep disorders (i.e. insomnia), addictions, chronic pain, weight loss, phobias, anxiety, depressed mood, problematic habits (i.e. nail biting), low self-esteem and self-confidence, anger management, poor time management, eating disorders, poor memory, sexual problems and many more...

Beginning September 2008, Elina Polyakov, LCSW, will be available for hypnotherapy sessions at the BGCenter. An introductory telephone consultation on the feasibility of hypnotherapy for you and/or your child is available at (646) 312-9473.

New Articles

Jennifer B. Baxt, LMHC LMFT
Is your child a compulsive liar?
It is natural for kids to lie on occasion, but to lie all the time for no reason can cause concern and trouble for the parents. If left untreated, it can cause unrest in the family because trust is broken. No one wants to think that their child is a compulsive liar, but there are some who are.


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