The Astor Blog

Family Counseling When You Need It

Reaching Children and Families in Need on a Daily Basis

Astor operates many community-based educational and mental health programs at facilities throughout New York State’s Mid-Hudson Valley Region and the Bronx.  This blog post will focus on our Hudson Valley Counseling Centers, which were featured in an article by Dr. Virginia Hayes Sibbison in the latest issue of Astor Family Magazine. In the Mid-Hudson Valley, we have seven Counseling Centers which provide counseling, psychiatric services and case management to children and adolescents (ages 2-21) and their families.

Virginia Hayes Sibbison (1)

Virginia Hayes Sibbison, Ph.D., Astor Board Member

1,400+ Families Received
Counseling in 2013

In 2013, over 1,400 families came in to our Mid-Hudson Valley Counseling Centers to receive assistance. They arrived with an array of challenges which afflict families during difficult times. Services they received include health screenings, crisis intervention, case and medication management, substance abuse screening, and dealing with attention deficit hyper-activity disorder screening and management.

“My seven-year old son complained of a stomachache before heading for school on a Monday morning– it was not the first time. He was feeling fine the night before and we all had the same dinner—something that he liked. Well, I thought, something is bothering him. Instead of running off to the pediatrician, I went to the phone book. I found the Astor Services Center in Hyde Park. I called. To my surprise, they said come in whenever I could; they would see us right away. It’s a lot harder to see a pediatrician,” explains one mom in the Hudson Valley.

Help Was Not Only On The Way, It Had Arrived

She goes on to say, “We went that Monday morning and spoke with a certified social worker. After a soft, probing conversation, we got close to what was bothering my son and, in fact, causing the stomachache. It had nothing to do with his digestive system, but rather, it had to do with his anxiety about school. We started going to the Astor Counseling Services Center for family counseling. Help was not only on the way, it had arrived.”

This is a composite story, similar to many others that happen each and every day at Astor Counseling Services Centers throughout Dutchess and Ulster counties. Our program seeks to reach families with children as young as two who are showing signs of behavioral health challenges. The earlier the intervention, the more likely Astor staff will effectively reach the child.

Dr. Tsoubris, Associate Executive Director for Astor Counseling Services Center, says, “Parents are an essential component of the program. They are encouraged to bring the child with them for the first and subsequent visits. The initial meeting typically includes an assessment of the child and family’s mental health background. The assessment leads to the development of individual and family treatment and therapy plans.”

Opening The Eyes Of Parents To The Role Stress Plays
In Their Lives And The Lives Of Their Children

Dr. Tsoubris and his team face a tremendous challenge that they hope to overcome, which is opening the eyes of parents to the role stress plays in their lives and lives of their children. Astor Counseling Centers provide services to a child in crisis in hopes of eliminating the need for the family to go to the emergency room or urgent care center.

“There ought to be no differences in the thought process parents go through when they are trying to find help for a child in trouble. Both medical and behavioral health possibilities should be considered,” adds Tsoubris.

Astor Counseling Services Centers are in place for families to utilize with ease. Walk-in hours for first-time clients are from 9:00 A.M. until 2:00 P.M. This open access allows staff members to respond rapidly to clients while allowing the clinicians to spend more face-to-face time counseling.

The Astor Counseling Services Center Program is licensed by the New York State Office of Mental Health and accredited by The Joint Commission.