At Cortica, we understand the importance of supporting the whole child and the whole family. Our family wellness team is made up of licensed marriage and family therapists and clinical social workers who provide counseling (also known as psychotherapy or mental health counseling). Services are available for children, adolescents, adults, siblings, parents and other caregivers, couples, and the whole family.
Whether it is handling stress, relating to others, or making decisions, mental health is important for you and your whole family. What does mental health mean? At Cortica, we define mental health as emotional, relational, and internal well-being.
knowing it’s ok to have all types of feelings
being able to connect to emotional sensations without significant resistance
having the foundation to develop relationships and connect with others
the ability to get along with others and effectively share space with others
feeling connected to others
health in one’s physiological processes, including how the central nervous system functions
healthy patterns of sleep and nutrition
healthy ways of internalizing our interactions with others (what we hear and experience from interactions with others)
healthy ways of understanding expectations that we have of ourselves and that we feel others may have of us
"Cortica has encouraged us as parents. They’re teaching us every day. We love sitting in the sessions because we learn so much."
-Dad of a 4-Year-Old With Autism
The first meeting with your counselor is an evaluation to better understand your goals and priorities, to co-develop goals, and to review guidelines and regulations. Generally, the first few sessions are focused on building a strong and trusting relationship. Depending on individual circumstances, counseling might take place for a shorter period (weeks to months) or a longer period (months to years).
Counseling can unfold in a variety of ways that are dependent on a client’s age, interests, language level, and who is taking part, (for example, if parents or other family members take part). Counseling activities can include:
Our counselors are trained in a variety of strategies to support engagement, even if there are language or attention challenges. Counseling sessions can take place in-person in a Cortica center, or virtually via telehealth. Telehealth counseling has many of the features (as well as its own benefits) of in-person counseling but happens remotely through a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Individuals, including children, with neurodevelopmental differences such as autism can experience anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns. The support provided through counseling can help to lessen these symptoms and can create opportunities to build skills for cultivating mental wellbeing. Families supported by a qualified mental health professional experience lower levels of stress, increased harmony in the home, and greater confidence in their ability to support their child’s growth.
Any member of the family who has a mental health concern can be enrolled as a counseling client at Cortica. Some examples include:
A child with a neurodevelopmental difference who experiences some school troubles, which may cause nervous feelings
A parent who is feeling overwhelmed and unsure of their own parenting abilities
A sibling who wants to talk with someone about experiences of sadness