Carolyn Heier Young, Psy.D.
Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychotherapy
Individual, Couples, and Family Therapy
Bachelor of Psychology, College of William and Mary
Doctor of Clinical Psychology, University of Denver
Education & Background
After several years working in the mental health field, I obtained my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Later, I went on to intern in a Los Angeles agency specializing in working with children with severe emotional disturbances, trauma, and those on the autism spectrum. I also received specialized training working with children ages 2-5. After graduation, I managed the day treatment program for 2-5-year-olds at the same Los Angeles agency.
Since then, I’ve continued to gain extensive experience working with all ages. My primary focus is on issues facing children, teens, and families. I’ve now worked as a clinical psychologist for over a decade.
An Integrative Approach to Treatment
I have training in and use a variety of evidence-based practices with patients of all ages, often combining psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral elements. When needed, I incorporate behavioral approaches when working with children.
My client work includes helping children and adults who have experienced trauma, child and adult victims of human trafficking, people dealing with mood disorders and anxiety, and families with children who have behavioral problems, ADHD, or selective mutism.
A Patient-Focused Approach
I take a non-directive approach to therapy. Patients are free to set the pace and tone for each session. I strongly believe that all children and adults instinctively strive for health. When provided with a caring, accepting, and nurturing environment that encourages honesty and free expression, healing occurs organically.
A Family-Focused Approach to Child and Teen Therapy
When engaging in talk therapy with older children and teenagers, I regularly include the child’s family in the treatment plan. The issues affecting a child may also be issues affecting the entire family, so a holistic approach is often necessary and beneficial. This also helps parents become better parents as they address the challenges of raising a child with emotional and behavioral challenges.
The Role of Play Therapy in Child Therapy
One of my favorite things about working with children is the opportunity to use play therapy. Children aren’t just “mini-adults.” Their communication styles and levels of development are totally different from that of adults. Children often can’t to explicitly voice what’s bothering them – either because the feelings are overwhelming or simply because they don’t have the language to express their thoughts.
Play therapy can help bridge that gap by tapping into play as a child’s natural mode of communication. Engaging a child in play encourages them to openly express themselves. By speaking the child’s language, issues can emerge and be addressed in meaningful ways.
One of the main aspects of engaging in patient therapy is developing a deep understanding of the individual’s (or family’s) unique experience. Learning about my clients’ personal histories and cultures is crucial to understand these influences to improve therapy outcomes.
I enjoy working with adults and couples as well as children and deeply value working with diverse populations. I am fluent in Spanish and conduct therapy with children and adults from a variety of Latin and South American countries. I also work closely with the LGBT community, including LGBT couples.
I never take my clients for granted. I am grateful for the privilege of being allowed to enter their worlds and deeply appreciate the trust that my clients of all backgrounds put in me. I strive every day to cultivate and be worthy of that trust. Every client is important to me. My goal for every session is to provide the highest level of service while addressing the issues my clients present, moving each client forward to their full potential.