Mental Health Services
Holistic Care for Your Entire Wellbeing
When physical health is affected by cerebral palsy, the corresponding effects on one’s mental health may be overlooked. However, physical health and mental health are deeply connected, and that is why we adopt a holistic care approach that encompasses the full body including the mind. At the Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center, we want to give our patients and their families the care they need for their entire wellbeing. Mental health conditions are generally treated through psychotherapy or medications. In therapy, individuals can benefit from talking about their struggles in a judgment-free environment. Medications may be introduced for those who require more help. The CP Center offers a fully featured mental health program with therapy and psychiatry. Our mental health professionals work collaboratively with you and your care team, for the most suitable intervention to care for your physical wellbeing as well as your mental health.
Psychotherapy (Individual, Couples, Family)
Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is a way to get out thoughts and feelings to a non-biased third party. At the Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center, individual psychotherapy sessions are available for young adults and adults with cerebral palsy and for their caregivers. It may be used in combination with medications or other treatments, or it may be provided independent of other interventions. Psychotherapy is an evidence-based treatment to address mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety disorders, insomnia. At the same time, psychotherapy can help people with CP and their caregivers deal with other issues such as stress, trauma, and relationships.
Patient Support Groups
This is a monthly support group for adults living with cerebral palsy. Facilitated by Social Worker Minnelly Vasquez, LCSW, the group provides an opportunity to connect with peers and share resources. Topics are chosen by attendees.
Caregiver Support Groups
It is very common for caregivers to be so focused on raising their child that they forget to take care of themselves. Our Caregiver Support Group runs monthly and provides a warm environment to connect with other parents and caregivers for support as well as resources and experience sharing.
Some of us may need more help in coping with mental health challenges. Medication can help treat co-occurring mood, anxiety, and psychotic disorders, but can be complicated by the complexities of other comorbidities and existing medications used to manage your cerebral palsy. Our care team and mental health team aim to establish a helpful relationship with you, to understand how your mental health intersects with cerebral palsy and other related health conditions and interventions.
The first step to psychiatry is a comprehensive evaluation to assess and suggest treatment options for accompanying comorbid conditions. If medication is indicated, close monitoring and management is needed. Some medication used in psychiatry may cause motor side effects if you have CP, that is why it is important for our team to work closely with you to monitor and investigate not only progress but also symptoms. Medication management involves close monitoring for side effects, interactions with existing medication, and adjusted medication titrations.
If you are already on medication for mental health we are also available for consultations to support you.
Our mental health services can be offered via Telehealth for those who cannot travel or prefer a virtual visit.
Link to other mental health resources
Our Mental Health Team
Jessica B Dodge, MD
- Instructor in Psychiatry at CUMC
Minnelly Vasquez, LCSW
- Social Worker II