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Harnessing the Winds of Change - Page 7

- Psychological services for children with difficulties such as ADD, learning-emotional disabilities, sensory integration problems, and autism spectrum or Asperger's syndrome. They specialize in educational psychological assessments or counseling for high-risk teens to keep them out of hospitals and jails.

- Specialized marriage counseling, such as intensive couples workshops, premarital classes, and divorce-busting sessions, all of which appeal to men and use a direct approach to yield results quickly.

- Career-saving services, such as anger management, out-patient addiction treatment (including treatment for internet or sex addiction), and court-referred counseling.

- Single-topic counseling for issues such as adoption, pain management, infertility, sexual abuse, and eating disorders.

The boutique practice of one licensed counselor on the East Coast focuses on play therapy with mildly autistic children. She and three other play therapists in her community run continual print ads together, targeted to parents, physicians, and educators, in a loose affiliation for marketing purposes. Parents feel taken care of from the first contact, which is a visit to her website, where they fill out a brief form, listing their child's symptoms; with the push of a button, they get immediate suggestions for helping their child and options for treatment packages. A former elementary schoolteacher, she offers adjunct school visits to observe the child in the classroom. Charging a fee of $135 per hour for therapy sessions, reports, and adjunct visits to schools (she takes checks or credit cards, but doesn't accept insurance), she keeps a caseload of about 15 children at a time and lets parents know that when they come on board, they're part of a select group. "Since I love educating others," she explains. "I'm not just the child's therapist. I'm also the parents' resource and supportive consultant. My clients understand that when they come to me for therapy, they get a full package of help, treatment, ideas, and support. What I offer is unique and worth paying for."

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