Dr. Zelinger provides long and short term therapeutic services to children ages 3-12 and their parents and individualizes her approaches to each child, depending upon the particular presenting issues. She is highly experienced in helping parents to present difficult information to their children and she has particular expertise in treating children with anxiety and social issues. She is not an alarmist. Dr. Zelinger also has a strong background in special education and knowledge of the CSE process as well as Individual Education Plans and will review your child’s evaluations and guide you as to what may be needed. Dr. Zelinger makes school visits to observe the child in real time in the school setting, and to communicate with teachers. She is sensitive to helping children with medical issues, making herself available to work with pediatricians, dentists and surgeons to prepare children for impending procedures. Her formal training includes psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral and play therapy techniques which she draws upon to help a child increase understanding, improve behavior, feel better, and learn replacement behaviors. Children seldom realize they are at a “doctor’s office”, as they enjoy the process of playing and healing.
Dr. Zelinger has nearly 40 years of experience as a clinical and school psychologist and works in a play room designed to encourage expression and safe release of feelings. She often uses a Rogerian Child-Centered approach, where she follows the lead of the child in order to facilitate the child’s ability to reveal and understand their needs, conflicts or their response to traumatic events. She infuses humor and warmth whenever possible and works to create a relationship where the child feels valued and understood. When short term goal focused treatment is indicated, Dr. Zelinger will work with the family to develop a behavior plan using a system of reinforcers intended to increase desired behaviors.
As a result of successful co-parenting for many years, Dr. Laurie and her husband, Dr. Fred, have developed a unique collaborative parent/child approach that maximizes time spent in their offices, should a family wish to avail themselves of this option. This technique has two dimensions; while Dr. Laurie is having a play therapy session with a child, the parents may opt to have a simultaneous separate session with Dr. Fred in his adjoining office equipped with closed circuit television. Dr. Fred and the parents are able to observe the play therapy session in progress and then analyze the content as it relates to parenting practices exhibited in the home. The real time interactions being discussed and the joint observation of play therapy techniques combine to create a pragmatic and spontaneous discussion of best practice. The vividness of this experience allows parents to take home concrete information individually tailored to their child.
The therapeutic process begins with an initial intake session with the parents (75 to 90 minutes) in the evening followed by a daytime appointment with the child on a weekday. Therapy sessions run for 45 minutes. Payment is requested at time of service, in the form of cash, check or credit card. Dr. Zelinger does not participate on any insurance panels, but will provide receipts that clients may submit to their insurance company for reimbursement if they have out-of-network coverage for the diagnosis and services provided.