Child & Adolescent Services

CFA Associates are skilled at assessing and treating many emotional and/or behavioral issues experienced by children and teenagers. Many of the challenges our child and teen clients face are triggered by depression; anxiety; difficulties with attention, concentration, hyperactivity; school stress; poor social skills; poor emotional regulation; family stress and low self-esteem. We also have expertise and demonstrated success in working with:

  • Assessing and treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD)
  • Helping children understand the impact of their behavior on others
  • Assisting parents with strategies to cope with their child’s emotional and or behavior problems
  • Treating suicidal and aggressive thinking or behavior from a strength-based perspective
  • Identifying and applying proven Cognitive-Behavioral interventions to address emotional and behavioral challenges
  • Helping teenagers cope with adolescence
  • Treating substance abuse issues from a holistic perspective


Our assessment of the child or teen clients’ need starts at the first phone consultation when we learn what the child’s parent(s) is seeking to address, and determine if CFA is the right fit for that individual and family. The assessment continues in our Needs Assessment intake, when we first meet with the parent(s) to obtain more information and determine which CFA Associate may be the best fit for the child or teen and his or her family. The assessment phase concludes after the child or teen meets with the referred CFA Associate, who completes the Needs Assessment begun upon the first phone call.

In some cases, further assessment may be warranted and a more formal psychological evaluation may be suggested. Please click on the following link for more information about Assessments & Psychological Evaluations.

Treatment Plan

Once the assessment is completed, a CFA Associate will work with the child or teen and his or her parent(s) to determine measurable goals for therapy. Whereas many children and parents have a general idea that they, ‘want to be happier,’ they typically do not have measurable steps to achieve their goals. Measurable goals can be seen as evidence that therapy is working. The measurable goals are then written into a treatment plan that is shared with the client’s attending physician. We believe that collaboration with physicians and other health providers is a necessary element to promoting sustained progress but we respect our clients desires and self-determination should they chose not to share this treatment plan with other healthcare professionals.

Individual Therapy

Psychotherapy is based on establishing a productive relationship–one in which the child or teen can gain trust in her or his new therapist. Building this trusting relationship can take time for some individuals, whereas others seem to open up to the process more quickly. Once a trusting relationship is established, the clinician works with the child or teen on the treatment goals established by that child or teen and his or her parent(s). Success in individual therapy is dependent on the goodness-of-fit between the child or teen and the therapist, as well as the child, teen or parent(s)’ ability to be as open and as honest as possible about his or her situation.

Team Meetings & Outreach

CFA Associates meet weekly as a team to promote a ‘best practices,’ approach to assisting our clients to achieve their goals. In these team meetings, we strive to support each other and offer suggestions that may further promote our clients progress. Whereas each clinician assumes responsibility for her or his own work, we value the collegial interaction and know its importance in creating change for our clients.

This collaborative approach also extends to our periodic interactions with other non-CFA providers who might be assisting our clients. These other providers include physicians, nurses, nutritionists, other mental health clinicians, and schools. CFA Associates will always review with our clients in advance the reasons for our recommendation to contact other providers and will only do so with our clients’ permission.


Termination simply means an ending to the therapeutic relationship. Once a child or teen’s goals have been met, the CFA Associate will re-assess the child or teen’s needs and determine with the parent(s) if there are other needs to address in therapy. For instance, whereas the target goals may have been met and resolved, other issues may have emerged in the course of problem-solving. Some teenagers and parent(s) may prefer to continue in some supportive psychotherapy to maintain gains, while others may prefer to end therapy and rejoin later, if necessary.

Other Child & Adolescent Services

For more information about any of the aforementioned Child & Adolescent services, please call Dr. Steve Harner at 703-533-3930 and press extension 1 for new referrals. In doing so, Dr. Harner will promptly receive your inquiry and will make every effort to return your call within 48 hours.