Children Behavioral Health Services (CBHI)

At Abelard Psychotherapy & Associates our focus is the whole person: mind, body and spirit. Specializing in treating disorders of behavior, thinking and feeling, our practice provides medication management and psychotherapy to children, adolescents, and adults in a caring, therapeutic environment for our clients to work through life’s complexities. To most comprehensively serve our youth population at risk of needing a higher level of care, we also offer In-Home Therapy (IHT) services, which includes Therapeutic Training & Support (TT&S), to youth (age 20 and younger) and their families as an intervention measure with the goal of stabilization and keeping the youth in the home. In-Home Therapy (IHT) connects youth and their families to a licensed clinician with attention to the family’s preferences, culture, and behavioral health support needs. IHT fosters a cohesive, therapeutic relationship to improve the youth’s functioning within the family and the community through a strength-based, proactive treatment plan. By coordinating a collaborating group of formal supports (such as, teachers, therapists, state agencies, etc.) and natural supports (such as, friends, community members, etc.), conducting family therapy, and implementing behavioral techniques and skills, IHT nurtures and improves the youth and family’s wellbeing. Therapeutic Training & Support (TT&S) working alongside a licensed clinician, the TT&S supports the youth and family as part of the In-Home Therapy experience. TT&S focus their attention on integrating the myriad of supports – natural and formal – and creating treatment plans; while assisting the licensed clinician in ensuring both the youth & family’s needs are met. We have the language capability of supporting English, Cape Verdean Creole, Spanish and Portuguese speaking...

Not Feeling the Joy

Despite tidings of joy and happiness, for many the holidays are anything but. Depression is quite common this time of year according to Dr. Gabrielle Abelard ’97, ’01 MA. “We don’t talk about it enough, but it certainly affects many families.” The holiday season can bring feelings of anxiety, loss, and loneliness. It can also be a time when people develop unrealistic expectations of themselves or others, contributing to depression. “Current research suggests that depression is caused by a combination of biologic, genetic, environmental, and psychological factors,” explains Abelard. “Those especially at risk in our society are the elderly, veterans, current military personnel and their families, and those already dealing with mental health disorders.” A doctorally prepared psychiatric advanced practice nurse with over 17 years of experience in mental health nursing, Abelard opened Abelard Psychotherapy & Associates in 2007. In addition to her private practice, she is also an assistant clinical professor with the UMass Amherst College of Nursing, having helped create its psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program in 2014. She points to some common warning signs of depression: Loss of interest in daily routine Loss of appetite Change in sleeping habits Becoming isolated Feeling lost or empty Feeling guilty, worthless, and/or helpless Symptoms of fatigue or low energy  Lack of eye contact Headaches, body aches, or difficulty digesting food In her practice, Abelard shares a number of techniques to cope with depression. “One thing I always stress with clients is to pay attention to being present and in the moment. And to be cognizant of self-care and wellness by getting adequate nutrition, sleep, hydration, and exercise if possible.” “I also encourage people to really...