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Family Therapy & Wellness Counseling

The Cortica Care Model

Having a child with autism or other developmental differences affects the whole family. Family and wellness counseling is an important part of autism treatment. We believe in supporting every family member. Our family wellness counselors will partner with you to improve emotional, relational, and internal well-being.
Family Wellness

Family Therapy & Counseling for Autism

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.

Family Health & Wellness: Importance of Mental Health

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.

Emotional well-being means:

  • 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

Relational well-being means:

  • the ability to get along with others and effectively share space with others

  • feeling connected to others

Internal well-being means:

  • 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

First Therapy Session: What to Expect as You Begin

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).

What Happens in a Therapy Session

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:

  • Play

  • Art

  • Music

  • Talk/Conversation

  • Activities/Games

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.

The Benefits of Therapy: Counseling Autistic Children

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.

Therapy & Counseling: Support for the Whole Family

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

Free Brochure on the Cortica Care Model
Take a peek at your future. Download a brochure about the six child development areas that we target and the types of therapies we offer to help children reach their greatest potential.