Targeted Treatment for Kids, Teens and Families
St. Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute recognizes that mental health issues can affect people of all ages. We provide individualized, compassionate and evidence-based behavioral health treatment for preschool and school-aged children, adolescents, young adults and their families. Our clinicians specialize in child and teen mental health treatment. We consider all of your child’s needs (behavioral, emotional, spiritual) in our approach to providing the best of care.
St. Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute offers a variety of treatment options for children, adolescents, and their families to ensure a comprehensive treatment program is constructed for each unique individual. We offer family therapy, therapy for children and adolescents, behavioral training, and psychiatric and nutritional services to help set individuals on a path to healthier and happier home, work, and/or school lives. We seek to work collaboratively with families and community care providers.
Behavioral health issues we treat in children and adolescents include:
- Academic Problems and Stressors/Test Anxiety
- Adjustment to Life Changes
- Adoption (Reactive Attachment Issues)
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Autism Spectrum Disorders (including Asperger’s)
- Behavior Problems (including Oppositional Defiant Disorder)
- Bipolar Disorder
- Anxiety Disorders (including Separation Anxiety, Social Anxiety, Selective Mutism and Phobias)
- Chronic Health/Medical Condition Adjustment
- Co-parenting Conflict/Divorce
- Diagnostic Evaluations (Autism, ADHD, Learning Disorders, Developmental Disorders, Anxiety, Mood)
- Eating Disorders
- Enuresis (wetting) / Encopresis (soiling)
- Family Conflict
- Impulse Control Conditions (including Tics and Trichotillomania)
- Mood Problems/Anger/Self-Harm
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD, including Intrusive/Unwanted Thoughts)
- Parenting Questions/Parent-Child Conflicts
- Peer Relationship/Social Skills Problems
- School Avoidance/Refusal
- Sleep Disorders and Bedtime Problems
- Stress-Related Conditions/Trauma Issues/PTSD
- Suicidal Thoughts and Behavior
- Teen Alcohol and Drug Use Disorders
Our Treatment Approach
We believe that the best treatment begins with a careful assessment of the needs and strengths of the person, as well as understanding their family and social environment. Our goal is to gain an appreciation for the unique characteristics of your child in order to design an individualized treatment approach. Often, treatment includes a well-balanced combination of several approaches.
Behavior training (also referred to as behavior modification or behavior management), uses learning principles to change an individual’s behavior patterns. Functional analysis may first determine what purpose or need unwanted behaviors are accomplishing.
Behavior training seeks to nuance and tailor approaches for an individual child, while reinforcing motivation and consistency across environments. Communication with school professionals and other caregiving providers can help consistency.
Behavior therapies first coach parents and caregivers about effective ways to set expectations and limits with their children. Next steps include learning how to monitor and reinforce positive, desired behaviors.
SLBMI currently offers Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), an evidence-based treatment combining behavioral and play therapy to address difficult behaviors in young children (e.g., noncompliance, negative mood, relationship problems).
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
The primary goal of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is to help people modify the way they think, feel and behave in response to emotional and environmental stressors. CBT approaches are research-tested and effective for many clinical conditions affecting youth: anxiety disorders, OCD, depression, ADHD/executive functioning and anger management, for instance. Although every child’s therapy is unique, there are several common components of CBT for children, teens and their families.
In CBT, youth and their parents learn new skills that will help them cope with difficult situations. These skills include recognizing bodily symptoms of increasing emotional intensity, calming oneself when angry or nervous, problem-solving, correcting mistaken beliefs and learning to get along with peers and adults. Parents learn how to encourage their child’s healthy behavior. Also, parents become better at praising positive behavior and providing consistent consequences for negative behavior.
With most children, family involvement is critically important. This may involve the parents or even the entire family participating in therapy. Typically, the child’s or teen’s therapist educates the family about the problem and provides guidelines for how to be helpful. In some instances, the therapist may help the family set-up a reward program to help motivate the child to comply with treatment. More extensive family counseling is sometimes needed.
Family Based Intervention for Disordered Eating (FBT or Maudsley Method)
We offer Family Based Treatment (FBT-AN) for adolescents and young adults with eating disorders (the Maudsley Approach). Controlled research studies have demonstrated that FBT is an effective intervention for adolescents with anorexia nervosa. Controlled research studies report success rates as high as 80-90% within the home environment, thereby reducing costly admissions to residential or inpatient treatment facilities. The focus of FBT is empowering and supporting parents to actively take charge of their child’s weight restoration, symptom reduction, and the return to their normal developmental trajectory.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP)
Sometimes individuals need more intensive treatment than weekly outpatient treatment, but may not be so impaired that they need to be in the hospital. This can be a very effective and less expensive way to treat more severe disorders. The Institute is able to offer more intensive treatment for youth with anxiety disorders and eating disorders.
In some cases, other types of psychotherapy may be beneficial. A child’s therapist may also recommend that certain family members seek individual therapy so that he or she is better equipped to support the child’s progress. Support groups and group therapy are also available, which provide the child with moral support and the opportunity to interact with a group of people who all are facing similar issues.
Additional Outpatient Services
Diagnostic Evaluations and Consultative Services
The goal of the evaluation is to conduct a thorough assessment of symptoms and behaviors as well as any co-occurring conditions. Clients may be asked to complete questionnaires and family members are encouraged to participate in the evaluation process. Based on the evaluation, the clinician will discuss treatment options with the client and family that best represent the client’s individual needs.
Psychological Testing/Psychoeducational Assessment
Comprehensive psychoeducational testing is often requested to determine whether a learning disability, attention problem (ADHD) and/or mood disorder interferes with an individual’s performance at school, in the family or in social relationships. Psychoeducational testing usually involves administration of a test of cognitive ability and an achievement test (assessing specific abilities, such as reading, math or writing). Testing also includes questionnaires to be completed by the individual and by those who know the client, such as family members and teachers.
Treatment often includes a combination of individual therapy and family therapy. In individual therapy, the youth meets alone with the therapist. In family therapy, the youth and members of his or her family will consult with the therapist about how to achieve the agreed upon treatment goals.
Parent Education & Training
Parents may wish for a subsequent visit alone with their child’s therapist to learn more about what is causing the problematic behaviors that brought them to treatment, and how to better manage outbursts or symptoms. Later visits can introduce behavior plans to the family together and then can identify what is working and what may need to be modified. Ultimately, parent education and behavior training helps parents understand the sources of their child’s behavior problems, helps them reinforce and discipline their children effectively and consistently, and encourages appropriate behavior and better family cohesion and enjoyment.
Psychiatric Evaluation, Medication Management, & Medication Therapy (Pharmacotherapy)
Many children and adolescents will benefit from therapy alone, yet at times, medication can enhance treatment. Our professionals are able to answer initial questions you have about medical therapy and will refer to medical professionals, as appropriate.
We’re Only a Phone Call Away
If you would rather reach our Intake Coordinators by phone, please call 314-289-9411 to discuss appointment scheduling if you or a loved one may be experiencing a mental health issue. For additional questions about our programs, you can also use our online contact form.
In the case of a medical emergency or crisis, please dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
New patients please call Intake Coordinators at:
City of St. Louis, Missouri (Macklind)
1129 Macklind Ave,
St. Louis, MO 63110
314-534-0200 (returning patients)
Chesterfield, Missouri (West County)
16216 Baxter Rd. Stes 205 and 225,
Chesterfield, MO 63017
636-532-9188 (returning patients)
521 W. Main St. Ste 201B,
Belleville, IL 62220
618-825-0051 (returning patients)