1. Do families need to speak
and write in English?
No. We serve
patients who speak English, Spanish, and South/East Asian dialects.
Literacy is not mandatory.
In addition to English and Spanish,
children and their families have been treated in French, Hindi and
Urdu; we have offered services in Hebrew and Mandarin: and we
have applied for grants to enable us to continue to translate
therapy into whatever languages are required to meet the needs of
the multicultural communities we serve.
2. Are siblings welcome?
Yes. Although one
child in the family may be identified as having experienced a
traumatic experience, we welcome all preschoolers, children, and
adolescents in the family with trauma histories to attend therapy.
We may be able to provide child care services for siblings
ages four and up.
3. Are caregivers' spouses/partners
Yes. Because we see
the caregivers as the conduits for change in children’s behavior,
we welcome the opportunity to work with all of the adults in the
home who parent the children. We identify one caregiver who
will complete the assessments before, during, and at the end of
therapy for consistency.
4. Can families participate in
other therapies and participate in services at the PARTNERS
Yes, but we want to
be sure that families don’t get confused or mixed messages, so it
helps if we can discuss our treatment plan with the other service
5. What type of treatment do the
cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy involves
education about typical reactions to stress and skills to address
those reactions. Multiple studies have indicated that this
treatment has decreased stress in families.
6. What does coming to therapy
Families receive 90 minutes of
therapy once a week. At first, the 90 minutes is divided into
individual caregiver and child sessions. We include
caregivers in the treatment to help them develop ways to decrease
their own stress and increase their ability to gain their
children’s cooperation. Toward the end of therapy, children and
caregivers come together with the therapist for family
7. Who are
psychologists, social workers, and doctoral candidates in child
psychology with specific education and training in the area of
child trauma. The program director, Dr. Elissa Brown, and her
assistant directors, Drs. Komal Sharma-Patel and Vanessa Rodriguez,
train and supervise clinicians on evaluations and treatment. Drs.
Brown, Sharma-Patel, and Rodriguez are licensed child psychologists
with extensive experience working with children and families who
have experienced multiple forms of trauma.
8. Where is therapy held?
Therapy is usually
held at the PARTNERS Clinic located at the St. John's University
Center for Psychological Services on Union Turnpike in Flushing,
As part of our outreach efforts,
Project CONNECT takes the same evidenced-based treatment we
provide at our clinic into community settings, such as public
9. Why do so many families
We try to make the
therapy fun. We accommodate families’ schedules by being flexible
enough to include evening and Saturday hours. Snacks and
baby-sitting are provided. But most importantly, both
parents/caregivers and children learn skills that will help them
far beyond their participation in the program.
10. Who might not be an appropriate referral
to the PARTNERS Clinic?
parents/caregivers who have significant developmental delays or are
experiencing severe, untreated mental health difficulties, such as
bipolar disorder and psychosis, are referred for more appropriate
services. If family members with severe mental health problems or
alcohol/drug abuse are receiving active treatment to manage their
difficulties, they are eligible to
11. How can I share my story about my time at
the PARTNERS Clinic?
If you are a
previous PARTNERS client, therapist, or trainee and wish to submit
a testimonial, please contact us at (718) 990-2367.
* Note all names and places can be changed for confidentiality