David Sasso, MD, MPH
Medical Director
Dr. Sasso is a board-certified psychiatrist and oversees all psychiatric care at Mid-Fairfield.

Andrew Lustbader, MD, MPH
Medical Director, Prospects Extended Day Treatment Program
Dr. Lustbader  is responsible for overseeing all psychiatric patient care at the Mid-Fairfield's Prospects Extended Day Treatment program.

Jessica Rak, APRN
Associate Medical Director, Prospects Extended Day Treatment Program
Ms. Rak is a board-certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and serves as the acting Associate Medical Director for Mid-Fairfield's PROSPECTS Extended Day Program.
Individual Therapy provides children and adolescents (ages 5-21) who struggle with behavioral or emotional challenges an opportunity to work one-on-one with a trained therapist in a safe and caring environment. A key component is the participation of parents and other family members in the child's therapy.
Family Therapy focuses on helping a family unit function in more positive and constructive ways by exploring patterns of communication and providing support and education. Family therapy sessions can include the child or adolescent along with parents, siblings, grandparents, and/or other significant people in the child's life.
What is the goal of Individual & Family Therapy?
The goal of Individual and Family Therapy is to improve a child’s ability to identify and cope with emotional and/or behavioral health challenges and decrease symptom severity that interferes with their level of functioning in school, at home, and in the community. An important objective is to build positive relationships between children and parents/caregivers to reduce stress and decrease instances of negative experiences.

How long will my child receive Individual & Family Therapy?
Every child is different, but the typical length of treatment is 9 – 12 months. Children normally attend 45-minute therapy sessions weekly. It's important to understand that progress does not usually move in a straight line. Your child might show quick improvement and then plateau for a while, or you may not see any improvement for a while and then observe a sudden leap forward. Try to be patient and remember that treatment can work to improve your child’s overall mental health and well-being.

What type of therapy will my child receive?
After an initial assessment of your child, our clinical team will recommend which type of therapy they believe would be most helpful. We offer many types of talk therapies including variations of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as well as evidence-based therapies such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and MATCH-ADTC

Are psychiatric services available?
Yes. Our senior psychiatric team includes two board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrists who perform psychiatric assessments and participate in the treatment of children receiving therapy at Mid-Fairfield. In addition, two Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (APRNs) are on staff to provide therapeutic and medical management services.

Will medication be prescribed for my child?

Your child's therapist will schedule a session with you if he/she believes medication could be helpful.  With your consent, the child would then be evaluated by a member of our psychiatric staff to determine if medication is warranted and, with your consent, prescribed.

How do I know if my child needs help?
All children have mood fluctuations. They get sad, or angry, or anxious. They procrastinate and become forgetful. This is all perfectly normal. It’s part of growing up. However, when unhealthy behavior or an unhealthy emotional state persists and begins to negatively impact your child’s ability to function in one or more settings (self, family, school, or community) you should consider seeking professional help. It's important to understand that many children need help with their mental health and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. In fact, one in every five children in the U.S. has a diagnosable mental health condition that requires treatment.

How soon can my child begin therapy?
As one of Connecticut's Enhanced Care Clinics, we screen and assess cases based on severity. If Emergency cases within two hours; Urgent cases within two days, and; Routine cases within two weeks. 
Appointments
Parents and caregivers can make an appointment at our Outpatient Clinic by calling us at (203) 299-1315. We also accept referrals from all state agencies, local school systems, medical practices, and other social service agencies.

Ages
5 - 21

Location
100 East Avenue, Norwalk CT

Operating Hours
Mon - Wed: 9:00AM - 8:30PM
Thursday: 9:00AM - 6:00PM
Friday: 9:00AM - 5:00PM

Bilingual (English/Spanish)
Yes.

Insurance
Medicaid and some private insurance is accepted. Call to verify insurance converage.

Fees
We adjust fees to ensure all families can afford the services we provide.
 
Evidence-Based Therapies
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical Behavior Therapy is for adolescents who present with high-risk behaviors and/or have a history of past suicide attempts, self-injurious behaviors, maladaptive coping skills, previous behavioral health hospitalizations, sexualized behaviors, trauma, and/or substance abuse and/or meet criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder. Adolescents do not have to meet all of these criteria in order to receive DBT services. Adolescents referred to the program undergo a thorough intake assessment with a DBT-certified clinician in order to determine whether DBT is the most appropriate form of treatment to address their symptoms and needs.

Format of Treatment
Once engaged in the DBT Program, adolescents are expected to attend weekly individual sessions with their DBT primary clinician (45 minutes/per week). Parents/caregivers and adolescents are expected to attend the Multi-Family DBT Skills Training Group for a total of 16 weeks (2 hours/per week). After the 16-week session, it may be determined that additional support/treatment is needed (based on needs, trauma history, and symptoms); if this is the case, the adolescent may continue to engage in individual DBT sessions.

Phone coaching and medication
During treatment, DBT clients can contact an on-call DBT therapist for support when emotionally dysregulated. Phone coaching is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Another component of the Center’s DBT program is medication management, which is offered by the Centers’ APRN, who has also received extensive DBT training. If it is determined that medication is needed, the adolescent and parents/caregivers meet with the Centers’ APRN regularly to monitor medication compliance.
MATCH-ADTC
MATCH-ADTC (Modular Approach to Therapy for Children with Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, or Conduct Problems) is an evidence-based treatment designed for children ages 6 - 15.  MATCH is designed to treat four of the most common mental health concerns among children: anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress, and behavior problems.

MATCH is comprised of 33 treatment components that are often used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to treat child depression and anxiety, and to train parents how to manage their child's disruptive behavior.
 
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps children and adolescents to process traumatic experiences and memories in a calm and relaxing setting while reducing trauma-related symptoms. TF-CBT teaches specific skills to effectively manage difficult emotions and reduce problematic behaviors resulting from traumatic events.