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Does your child have anxiety?

Anxiety in Children and Teens | Children's Therapy PlaceAnxiety can be overlooked in children. Does any of this sound like your child or teen?

  • Difficulty separating, excessive clinginess, crying, and/or tantrums
  • Excessive shyness, quiet, avoiding social situations
  • Pessimism and negative thinking patterns such as imagining the worst, over-exaggerating the negatives
  • Constant worry about things that might happen or have happened
  • Avoidance behaviors, including things, situations or places because of fears
  • Physical complaints of frequent stomachaches or headaches
  • Experiencing sudden and frequent panic attacks

Anxiety is the most common mental health concern for children and adults. Because anxious children and teens are often quiet and compliant, however, they frequently go unnoticed by their parents and teachers. As a result, many never receive the help they desperately need.

Anxiety can be managed!

Anxiety in Children and Teens | Children's Therapy Place

Here are some tips to help your child.

Become a detective and begin recording your child’s moods and behaviors.
When are they at their best….or worst? What happened right before a behavioral meltdown? Was there too much commotion or noise? Often times, children can become overstimulated and need a quiet place to calm.

Let your child know they can talk to you and be available to your child.
Encourage your child to talk to you about any problems he may be having, and to talk about his feelings openly and honestly. Be present for your child as much as possible.

Be sure to listen to your child before offering suggestions.
As much as you might want to jump in and help offer solutions, allow your child time to fully express their thoughts and emotions before making comments or expressing your opinions.

Try doing something active with your child.
Some children may feel more comfortable talking about their problems while engaging in an activity with a parent. Do something you both enjoy, such as going for a walk, making cookies, or playing a round of basketball in the driveway before asking your child to discuss a problem he may be having. Exercise is wonderful for anxiety, it’s a natural anti-depressant/stress reliever increasing our “happy chemicals” in our brain.

Get your child to do some deep breathing activities.
Deep breathing helps to calm the body. With calm slow breaths the rest of our body will follow. Our blood pressure slows down, our heart rate slows down and eventually our entire body will begin to relax. Encourage your child to breathe in “good” air and exhale “bad” air, and picture it carrying any worries out of his/her body. With young children blowing bubbles is an excellent way to help them grasp the idea of deep breathing.

Get your child into counseling.
If your child continues to have behaviors that may exhibit anxiety call and schedule an appointment with a counselor at Children’s Therapy Place for your child. Anxiety is a horrible feeling and your child deserves to get the help he/she needs to resolve this.

Thank Social Workers!

thank social workers In recognition of the invaluable services provided by our social workers, Children’s Therapy Place is celebrating National Professional Social Work Month this March. The staff at CTP would like to express how very grateful we are for the work that our social workers do to help enhance the lives of children and families in Boise and Meridian.

Thank Social Workers!

The month of March has been proclaimed by the Idaho legislature as Social Work Recognition Month. This year’s theme is “Social Work Paves the Way for Change” and it was selected to convey what the social work profession has done to bring about positive changes in society and for individuals.

CTP thanks the almost 4,000 licensed social workers in Idaho for their dedication to making a difference in the day-to-day lives of Idahoan’s by helping to build, support and empower positive family and community relationships.

Please join me in recognizing our CTP social workers for their tireless dedication to helping make profound differences in the lives of children and their families.

Miss Amazing – Reach for the Stars

Miss AmazingIt’s been an AMAZING year for 13 year old Ani Besteder, the reigning 2014 Idaho Miss Amazing Preteen Queen.   After winning the crown in Idaho, Ani went on to the national competition in Omaha and placed 3rd in her age group. “It feels amazing,” said Ani at the 2014 pageant. “It’s great to make new friends here and see some familiar faces.”

Miss AmazingMiss Amazing is not just a beauty contest, it’s a program that encourages participants to dream big and reach their goals. It celebrates the abilities of girls and women with disabilities and supports learning of social and communication skills throughout the process.

Children’s Therapy Place (CTP) therapist, Stephanie Schoenfeld (COTA) co-leads a weekly occupational therapy group and has witnessed Ani’s extraordinary growth in self-confidence and social skills. Miss Stephanie commented, “It has been exciting to see Ani gain independence with activities of daily living. This independence has provided her with improved social skills, including the ability to initiate conversation and improved interactions with her peers.” Ani now has a new personal goal in the area of public speaking…. she’s looking forward to working in the community with Miss Stephanie to educate children about autism.

Miss AmazingWhen asked how therapy has helped Ani, her mother, Amy commented, “Ani’s skills are always changing and improving and I think that’s just the coolest thing. Her life has been changed for the better with the support of the amazing therapists at CTP.”

Miss Amazing Pageants prove that the world is a much better place when the talents and ambitions of all people are celebrated and valued. CTP celebrates Miss Amazing 2014, Ani Besteder, and all children with disabilities who inspire us all to reach for the stars!

The 2015 Idaho Miss Amazing Pageant will be held March 27-28, 2015 in Nampa, Idaho.

It’s time to sign up for Speech/Language Winter Groups!

Social Skills Group

Starting January 14th:

Let’s Get Social! Social Skills Group for preschool and kindergarten.

Description: The ILAUGH Model of Social Thinking will be utilized to facilitate skills needed in establishing and maintaining friendships among peers. Using the ILAUGH Model, therapists will target Initiation of communication, Listening with eyes and brain, Abstract language, Understanding perspective, Getting the big picture, and Humor. Therapists will utilize games, crafts, and technology to engage participants in therapy activities. This is a fun way for kids to gain a better understanding of social skills as well as practice real life social scenarios with peers under the guidance of a professional.

Let’s Get Talking! Articulation or Phonological improvement for elementary students.

Description: Using the Cycles Approach as well as articulation drills, participants will practice sounds and sound patterns in words to improve their speech sound production abilities. Therapists will utilize games, crafts, and technology to engage children in therapy activities. This is a fun way for kids to practice their speech with a professional as well as enjoy time with peers.

Christmas Party


Children’s Therapy Place

Christmas Party

When: December 5th

Time: 4:00 to 6: 00 PM

Please bring your children and join us for a holiday celebration that will include a candy walk, face painting, holiday crafts and of course Santa Claus will be there!

Children’s Therapy Place: Doing good and doing well

View the entire Yahoo Article here

People in the helping professions are far better known for their kindness and compassion than their business savvy. We were delighted to come across a most unusual speech-language pathologist, Sondra McMindes, M.S., who not only embodies all three of these qualities but has managed to leverage them into a highly successful small business.

“I think it’s always been my nature to try to help people,” says the empathic CEO and president of Children’s Therapy Place (CTP), a consortium of over 75 child-centric helping professionals based in Boise, Idaho. With annual revenues that have exceeded $2 million, CTP provides evaluation and therapy services for children who have a wide range of physical, emotional and developmental disabilities—children whose needs were largely unmet before CTP came on the scene.

Sondra McMindes started Children’s Therapy Place out of her home, as a newcomer to Idaho, in 2000. In 2012, she was named “Idaho Small Business Person of the Year.”

Doing good and also doing well were both ambitions manifested early on in Sondra’s journey. As a young child, she befriended her cognitively disabled next-door neighbor, a contemporary, casting herself in the role of his teacher, using blackboard and chalk to help him learn the alphabet. Her nascent altruism went hand-in-hand with a keen sense of personal ambition. “I was always very motivated to be a top seller in the school fundraising drives,” she admitted, when pressed. “I loved going door to door, selling the school candles, candy and so on, driven to win the big prize.”

After earning a master’s degree in speech pathology in her native Florida, Sondra started marketing her services as an independent contractor in the public schools. “As a new graduate, young and single, I was a workaholic. I put 100 percent of my time into work!” Capitalizing on the opportunities she saw to grow a business, she ended up with a few employees and several contracts. She built up her caseload, adding new therapists to her team as needed.

Marriage brought about a major change of venue when Sondra’s husband decided to accept an offer from Boise State University to enter their PhD program in geology. “I had lived in Florida all my life,” said Sondra, “and thought it would be fun to go someplace different.”

Her willingness to embrace change—as such willingness so often does—yielded unexpected dividends.

Find a need and then fill it

Idaho, Sondra quickly discovered, was suffering from a shortage of qualified professionals willing to provide pediatric therapy services in its far-flung rural communities. No one individual therapist, however energetic and committed, could possibly fill the void. What was needed was precisely the set of skills that Sondra McMindes had already begun to acquire while living in Florida: detailed expertise in the field, paired with the know-how to build and manage a diverse team of like-minded helping professionals.

This is the formula, validated again and again, by so many successful entrepreneurs: Find a need—then fill it!

With good business instincts but lacking a business degree, Sondra wisely sought the advice of mentors at the Small Business Development Center at Boise State University. Counselors there provided her with access to professors, as well as university students assigned to work on CTP projects.

Expanding her business to a full-service therapy agency entailed a dizzying array of challenges. Sondra had to figure out what federal or state reimbursement programs she could harness to help subsidize CTP’s services for low-income clients. She knew she had to pay her employees a competitive wage, if she hoped to retain them—even though government reimbursement rates for helping professionals are typically (some would say ridiculously) low. She needed to stay on top of ever-evolving regulatory requirements and somehow keep her business solvent on the road to profitability. “I made plenty of mistakes along the way,” she told Yahoo, “some of them very costly!”

Sondra may have made a lot of mistakes—but she has also been doing something very right. Since its founding in 2000, CTP has grown from its humble beginnings in the McMindes house in Boise to a beautiful 3,500 sq ft office building plus two satellite offices in Nampa and Meridian.

No magic, just hard work

There was nothing magic about this trajectory: it took a huge amount of labor and dedication. For several years, Sondra had to give up working personally with clients because of the demands on her time levied by the business. “I became a mom in 2002 and needed to cover my own maternity leave.” She helped her clients make the transition to new therapists. “It gave me the opportunity to put more effort into working on the business instead of in the business.”

An office assistant was Sondra’s first hire in Boise. She now employs a full-time staff to take care of the day-to-day details of running CTP.

But being a bit of a micro-manager—and thinking about one’s business 24/7—seem to be part of the small business success formula. “It’s really important to hire competent administrative staff,” Sondra advises aspiring entrepreneurs. “Important aspects of the job should be double-checked, because even the best employees make errors.”

As was the case for Sondra McMindes, there may be a less-than-obvious connection between the skills you already have and the business you want to create. Sondra told us, “My training as a speech therapist has been extremely valuable in the business environment. The profession of speech pathology is all about communication. My training helped me develop communication skills that are valuable for working both with employees and clients. The profession requires research, assessment, planning—and it’s also goal directed. I use all of these same strategies in business.

Sondra offered these four nuggets of advice for others who are trying to build a service-based business from scratch:

  • Set goals and continually monitor your progress toward achieving them
  • Stay flexible as you learn more about your business: make new plans, revising your goals if it makes sense to do so
  • Always have a Plan B (and maybe a Plan C, too!)
  • Keep up to date on market trends, researching and assessing on a regular basis

We asked Sondra how she went about assembling her mostly female professional team in Boise.

“CTP grew slowly over the years. Initially, I found other professional therapists through word of mouth. Agencies would tell me about someone looking for work or vice versa.”

There weren’t many therapy companies in Idaho when she started in 2000. “Pediatric therapists were limited to working for the schools or hospitals, or as independent contractors. CTP offered something different, with a very flexible schedule. I was fortunate to have professional therapists who weren’t necessarily looking for full-time employment. Often they were moms who just wanted to have a few hours or a couple days of work per week.” Sondra says she still employs one of the first therapists to come onboard at CTP. “She only works with one client, one time per week—and we love having her on our team!”

Flexibility has characterized the organization’s mission as well as the work environment promoted by Sondra. “As I identified more community needs related to pediatric therapy, I added new services. Sometimes, a professional in another service area would come to me, suggesting that we add a new service. I often ended up recruiting her to head up the new program.”

While Sondra oversees the larger business—and attends to her own clients personally—she respects and encourages the individual therapy styles of all the professionals who work for CTP. “The physical, occupational and speech therapy professions all have their own professional Code of Ethics,” she explained. “We expect therapists to review and follow the one specific to their discipline.”

CTP’s speech/language therapists do a nine-month clinical fellowship. “During that time, they have a supervisor who oversees their work and provides additional therapeutic instruction. This is a national standard in the speech therapy industry, not specific to my company.” Sondra and her administrative staff help new hires review the many rules related to Idaho’s State Medicaid program, train them to use the office computer system and deal with all the relevant paperwork.

The best thing for Sondra about having a system that works well is getting back to the work she’s loved since childhood. “Last year, I started seeing a handful of clients on a regular basis—and rediscovered my passion for the field of speech pathology.”

That passion is evident as Sondra McMindes talks about her business: you can see it in her eyes and hear it in her voice. If you look and listen closely, you can see the girl who wanted to win the prize for selling the most candles, perfectly melded with the pint-size therapist who helped the little boy next door master his ABCs. “Although I’m not directly providing services for all of the families we serve,” Sondra told Yahoo, “I love the fact that I can make a difference for so many families indirectly through Children’s Therapy Place.”

What are Habilitative Intervention (HI) and Habilitative Support (HS)?

What are Habilitative Intervention (HI) and Habilitative Support (HS)?

Children’s Therapy Place offers Habilitative Intervention (HI) and Habilitative Support (HS) Services, in Boise, Meridian and Nampa.

What exactly are HI and HS and who needs them?

Habilitative Intervention and Habilitative Support Behavioral Services

Many parents come to us when they have a child who struggles socially, needs help expressing his/her emotions, hasn’t quite mastered potty training, and/or if he/she has the need to be in control all of the time. Some parents will seek services here if the child displays frequent melt downs or if he/she is physically aggressive or violent. At times, it can be a struggle for parents to know how to react to certain behaviors and/or defiance.

Children’s Therapy Place therapists will work one-on-one with your child and will also work with parents to help familiarize them with intervention techniques and ways to teach replacement behaviors. Our services are covered 100% by Medicaid and the process is an easy one to pursue. Our Clinical Supervisors are more than happy to meet with parents and discuss options and see if it is the right fit for your family.

What we offer

Habilitative Intervention

Habilitative Intervention and Habilitative Support Habilitative Intervention is a service that is specifically designed to teach new skills, such as following through with directives, remaining on task, engaging in appropriate play with peers, and much more. The therapist has a four year or Master’s degree in the Human Service field and has a background working with children with developmental delays. At Children’s Therapy Place, the therapists have extra training provided by their supervisors that ensures that they are prepared for behavioral intervention and providing fun, behaviorally based therapy. Habilitative Intervention is definitely the service that is sought out the most, because it shows the most growth and progress.

Habilitative Support

Habilitative Support is a service that is provided primarily in the community setting and is designed to support skills that the child already has, but still needs support or reminders to follow through with. The therapist is required to take a course that certifies him/her and is also trained further, through job shadowing, supervisor training, and observations done in the center. While the HS doesn’t have as much experience as the HI, they are still prepared and understand job functions before working with the child. Some families choose HS over HI, because it is a way to maximize hours.

Family Training

Habilitative Intervention and Habilitative Support Family Training is a service that is provided for the families. The HI therapist will work with the family and child and develop a plan to ensure that everyone who is involved is implementing the same techniques so that there is consistency in the child’s life. When everyone involved reacts the same and follows through in the same manner, it is less confusing for the child and allows for more progress in skill areas.

Please contact Cyndy Eldredge, DDA Supervisor with any questions, comments, or concerns (208) 323-8888.


Play Therapy

play therapy
Play therapy is an effective tool useful especially working with younger clients.  Although it may be used for people of all ages, here at Children’s Therapy Place we focus on children’s needs and offer cutting edge tools and strategies to help children deal with their life issues.

Play therapy has been around a long time.

A famous saying from Plato says, “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”  The origins of counseling demonstrate examples of play therapy starting with Sigmund Freud.  

More recently, the American Play Therapy Association, established in 1982, and various State chapters (including the State of Idaho) are involved in play therapy.  Many organizations and associations incorporate play therapy into their intervention models.  Some examples include the American Red Cross, World Vision, and the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights.  There are also many countries investing in play therapy research including Great Britain, Iran, South Africa, and Taiwan.

Play therapy is best conducted by trained mental health professionals.

Much study is involved for a counselor to become a registered play therapist.  To do so, a State license in Counseling or Social Work including Master’s degree or PhD, two years and two thousand hours of experience in counseling, two hundred supervision hours, yearly renewal and continuing education units, must first be obtained.  After this, a licensed counselor must have an additional one hundred and fifty play therapy class hours, five hundred hours of direct play therapy experience and fifty hours of concurrent play therapy supervision, yearly renewal and continued education units in play therapy modalities to become a registered play therapist.

Just as adults use words to communicate, children use play. Children who do not speak may be able to do play therapy.

Play therapy is another method in helping children work through difficult issues.  We are happy to offer play therapy here at Children’s Therapy Place.  We have a clinician who is a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor and another who if in process of becoming a Registered Play Therapist.   They conduct different methods including the Dimensions model, a Psychodynamic approach, Sandplay and various other modalities in the play therapy offered at Children’s Therapy Place.  We are always looking for new ways in which to work with children.

If your child is in need of high quality therapy, please consider Children’s Therapy Place in your research.  We accept Medicaid and all insurance carriers and offer counseling five days per week with our three locations (Boise, Meridian and Nampa).

Physical, occupational and speech therapy in Nampa!

Did you know we offer Physical, occupational and speech therapy in Nampa?

Physical, occupational and speech therapy in NampaPhysical, occupational and speech therapy appointments are now available in the Nampa office of Children’s Therapy Place. 

Our full service agency recently added counseling and behavioral services to our Nampa location to better serve our clients.  In addition, CTP has increased the availability of our therapy staff for Nampa and Caldwell families.  

We are conveniently located off I-84 at the Garrity exit in the Premier Building on Franklin Road.  

Physical, occupational and speech therapy in Nampa

Children’s Therapy Place, Inc. provides speech/language, occupational, physical, and developmental evaluation and therapy services for children of all ages.

Based in Boise, Idaho, with locations throughout the Treasure Valley CTP’s programs are designed to meet the individual and varied needs of every child and family. Therapy is offered in both private and group sessions, in a child-friendly atmosphere. Therapy sessions can also be conducted at off-clinic sites, including homes, childcare centers, and schools.

The therapists at Children’s Therapy Place seek to help clients regain and maintain their physical performance, enabling them to live healthier, fulfilled lives. It is the goal of Children’s Therapy Place to help our clients achieve their highest functional potential and physical performance, allowing them to enjoy safe and independent lifestyles.

Call today to schedule an appointment and for more information: 208.323.8888 

Current Openings Available in Nampa: Mental Health Counseling, Behavioral Therapy, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy.

Buddy Walk

What is the Buddy Walk?

The Buddy Walk has become the premier advocacy event for Down syndrome in the United States. It is also the world’s most widely recognized public awareness program for the Down syndrome community.

The Buddy Walk program was established in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome and to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October. The name Buddy Walk promotes inclusion between friends of every ability.  The National Buddy Walk Program has grown from 17 Walks in 1995 to over 250 this year!  This global event now has over 295,000 participants raising more than $12.1 million last year.

When you support the Treasure Valley Down Syndrome Association (TVDSA) Buddy Walk, you help create awareness and acceptance for people who have Down syndrome in the Treasure Valley.  And by supporting the TVDSA, you help us provide programs and education to families and advocate for those with disabilities.  Support a friend who has Down syndrome or come meet one that day!
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Boise, Idaho

Online registration is open NOW!

Latest News

Contact Us

6855 W. Fairview Ave.
Boise, ID 83704

6429 W Interchange Lane
Boise, ID 83709

5640 E. Franklin Rd, Suite 180
Nampa, ID 83687

2273 E. Gala Street, Suite 120 
Meridian Idaho 83642

P.O. Box 27906
Panama City, FL 32411

Phone 208.323.8888
Fax 208.323.8889


Offices in Boise, Nampa, Emmett, Statewide Online and Now serving the Florida Panhandle


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