Services Provided & Who We Serve
An intake evaluation is an initial assessment in which demographic, administrative and clinical information is obtained. During this initial evaluation, the presenting problem is identified, a risk assessment is completed, and an assessment of needs and appropriateness of service is determined. Guardians will leave this appointment with a preliminary diagnosis, recommendations for treatment, and/or referrals if needed, and a scheduled next appointment to continue services. Please call 773-257-4750 to schedule an intake.
“What is Therapy” Workshop
This workshop provides guardians/parents with crucial information about mental health services for children and what role they can play in helping their child benefit the most from services. The workshop is designed to help guardians understand mental health treatment and modalities, such as individual, group and family therapies.
Mental Health Assessments
This is a two hour appointment in which the therapist will complete a thorough assessment of the presenting problems and gather background history. The therapist will provide treatment recommendations that may include the following services:
Individual Therapy/Play Therapy
This type of therapy involves the use of toys, blocks, dolls, puppets, sand-tray, drawings and games to help the child recognize, identify, and verbalize feelings. The psychotherapist observes how the child uses play materials and identifies themes or patterns to understand the child's problems. Through a combination of talk and play the child has an opportunity to better understand and manage their conflicts, feelings, and behavior (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2012).
The participation of family members in the assessment and treatment of infants, children, and adolescents has been shown to be integral to positive clinical outcomes. Family therapy will incorporate family members and dynamics to utilize a family approach to the presenting problem. In the care of young children, work with parents is always necessary. Extended family members, foster parents, or guardians also participate in assessment and treatment when they are the primary caregivers or prominent figures in the child's life (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2012).
Children and adolescents often benefit by receiving feedback from same-aged peers, as opposed to parents, teachers or therapists. Within a group setting, children can learn and practice new and more appropriate social skills, including problem solving, conflict resolution, giving/receiving feedback, sharing and cooperation. The group setting offers a safe, therapeutic space to learn or better develop healthy emotional and interpersonal skills. UTR offers a vast number of different group options for children, adolescents, parents and entire families.
Psychiatric Evaluation/Medication Management
UTR offers a variety of therapeutic services all on one floor, including psychiatry. UTR is staffed with child psychiatrists and nurse practitioners, all of whom have excellent training in the realm of psychotropic treatment for children. Psychiatry staff practices high collaboration with each other, psychology staff and guardians to assure best practice and high quality services. Psychiatry services are offered in both English and Spanish.
UTR takes pride in being a pioneer in using advanced technology in the diagnostic assessment and treatment of ADHD. UTR has been using the Quotient system since 2009 in treating ADHD/ADD as well as a tool for the differential diagnosis in childhood disorders. The Quotient is an FDA-cleared assessment for the objective measurement of impulsivity, hyperactivity and inattention as an aid in the assessment of ADHD. Please feel free to read more about the Quotient system.
UTR Summer Program
The summer program at UTR is a six-week social skills program that provides a safe place for children to meet peers and learn to build and maintain healthy social relationships, practice skill-building in a therapeutic environment, resulting in a reduction of social isolation in marginalized communities. Added benefits to the program include excursions outside of local communities to explore all of the benefits that the Chicago-land area has to offer, such as horseback riding, zoos, museums, and Millennium Park. The program has multi-sensory, including arts and crafts, food experiments, gross motor development, and more. We also offer support groups and workshops for parents.
UTR Special Programs
UTR also offers special programs and events to acknowledge holidays and model for families how to engage in cultural traditions. Emotional distress often hinders or challenges a families’ ability to experience joy and a sense of belonging. Therefore, UTR offers events, programs and opportunities to reduce social isolation. We offer programs at no direct cost to families throughout the year. We encourage parental participation in games and promote leadership in the older children when involved with activities with larger groups.
UTR staff strives toward integral care. Staff ensures professional communication between providers of care, including UTR staff, staff of other agencies, with other professionals, and systems that are involved providing services to a client. Likewise, clinicians make great efforts to coordinate, support and advocate for social, vocational, educational, child welfare, and other community services and resources.
SASS (Screening Assessment and Supportive Services) is a twenty-four (24) hour, seven days (7) a week community-based program. The target population served is children and adolescents age 17 and younger who are severely emotionally disturbed and whose ability to function adequately at home, school, or in the community is greatly impaired. These children may be at risk of being placed in a more restrictive setting, such as a psychiatric hospital or a residential treatment center. The needs of the children and families are met through a variety of methodologies that include a written SASS assessment, recommendation for outpatient or inpatient services, individual, family, group therapy, school monitoring, and when necessary, hospital monitoring, etc.. Ancillary services include, but are not limited to the following: individualized treatment planning, ensure psychiatric examination, clinical consultations. Outreach services including telephone contacts, mailings, home visits, collateral contacts, and linkage with teachers, social workers, counselors and other appropriate agencies.
Children served in SASS reside on the Lower West Side (Pilsen-Little Village) or are at St. Anthony’s Hospital. SASS children and adolescents are referred to other appropriate programs/agencies under the following conditions: due to the SASS goals have been met, the crisis ameliorated relocation of the client, at the parent/guardian’s request or death of the client. SASS services may be provided for 90 days. An extension maybe requested for an additional 30 if needed.
Group Therapy at UTR
*most groups are 1x/week for 60 minutes*
*most groups are held during after-school hours*
* groups are offered on a variety of days/times*
* some groups are held in English and/or Spanish*
Social Skill Groups for all ages (5-18)
These groups tend to focus on development of social and coping skills. The goals of these groups generally include building and maintaining appropriate peer relationships, identification and management of difficult emotions, and socially appropriate communication. Both directive and non-directive interventions are utilized to help children learn and practice new skills, including relaxation techniques, anger management, making friends, sharing, and cooperation.
Many members of these groups have significant social skills deficits. Many also have externalizing behavior disorders, and have been either the victims or perpetrators of bullying. The groups then help provide an emotionally and physically safe therapeutic environment where children can improve their social confidence.
Groups for teens offer a safe space to be able to explore and discuss various issues that may arise in the multiple environments in which they engage in. The teen groups are often process oriented, with an emphasis of the group being a place where members can seek and offer support, while improving social skills and communication.
Parent-Child Attachment Groups
A dyadic therapy group, in which parents attend with their children (ages of 3 to 6) to enhance a healthy parent/child attachment. This is achieved through play, as well as processing with parents the struggles they face in their role as caregivers. Behavioral management skills for parents are also offered.
FIT Group: Fitness Warriors in Training
This is a program for kids and their parents that focuses on the relationship between physical and emotional health. Fitness Warriors become committed to living an active and healthy lifestyle by taking charge of their lives by eating right, exercising and moving. The weekly groups consist of various games/activities aimed at increasing social interactions while engaging in continuous physical activity.
Nintendo Wii Group
This innovative group utilizes the Nintendo Wii video game system to help address a variety of common problems, including social anxiety, social awkwardness, hyperactivity, isolation, and poor interpersonal skills. The group is ideal of those in need of establishing social connectedness with peers.
Parent Support/Education Groups
This group is a bilingual relaxation group “Peaceful Oasis” / “Isla de Paz” for adults ages 18 and over (some older teens may also be appropriate). Relaxation exercises and activities include, but are not limited to, mindfulness exercises, movement activities, stretching, sensory activities, imagery exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, etc.
Healthy Relationships Group for Teens
The goal of this group is to encourage adolescent females to identify and engage in healthy dating relationships. Psychoeducational and experiential techniques are utilized to enhance members' awareness of factors that constitute healthy and unhealthy relationships. Members learn to identify harmful and abusive dating behaviors and understand the impact of these behaviors on emotional well-being. This group is also designed to teach members techniques that promote the development and maintenance of healthy relationships, including: positive communication, conflict-resolution, anger management, and problem-solving skills.
Expressive Art Groups (ages 7 and up)
The expressive arts bilingual art therapy group is designed for children and families ages 7 and above. The group is designed to be a primary or adjunct therapy that utilizes verbal and non-verbal forms of expression through a variety of materials, including drawing, painting, three dimensional design, sand, clay, and other materials. The goal is to address individuals’ identified goals for treatment, which may include improving self-esteem, exploring feelings and fostering self-awareness, reducing symptoms, addressing trauma history, managing behaviors, and developing skills. The group is beneficial for any client who gravitates towards creative forms of self expression, although experience is not required.
Multi-family group brings together five to eight families under the guidance of three therapists who help them navigate the acculturation process so that they may enjoy the fruits of their difficult immigration process and come to enjoy stability, friendship, and community in their chosen destination of Chicago. At first, the family members are strangers to each other and hold close to their hearts the stigma of having severe mental health problems. They feel isolated, broken, lost and suspicious. The group allows them to earn and gain the trust of their community neighbors who are facing similar challenges and, in sharing their past sorrows and future hopes, the stigma of mental health problems is turned into the pride of positive growth. The parents come to terms with the reality that they now belong to two cultures: Mexican-American, Mississippi-Chicago, South-North, rural-urban, football-soccer, English-Spanish, and parents learn to accept their children’s identity choices and celebrate their backgrounds. Through crafts and activities, families are encouraged to enjoy both cultures, rather than feel shame for one over the other. They might carve a Halloween pumpkin and trick-or-treat, and build an altar for Día de los Muertos filled with sugar skulls. Child psychopathology, gang involvement, domestic violence, and parent unemployment-imprisonment-deportation are themes constantly addressed in the group, but in a context of community and inclusion. Groups last 12-weeks and are formed with a uniformity of children’s ages in mind.
Afterschool Work-Play Program
This is an afterschool program that utilizes the Premack Principle, affectionately referred to as “Grandma’s Rule” of work and then play. Children in the program alternate between working on their homework with the assistance of a professional tutor followed by periods of socialization using the Nintendo Wii video game system. Parents are provided psycho-education regarding various strategies they can implement in the home to improve a child’s homework compliance.