Adolescent, Young Adult, and Family Psychotherapy Services

Counseling at Arete

What To Expect From Counseling at Arete

Our Counseling Approach: 

The Family

After more than 20 years serving families in crisis, Arete clinicians are adept at helping new patients feel comfortable from the first therapy appointment. We are sensitive to individual and family needs and differences, and know that you and your children need to feel assured and safe when discussing difficult and perhaps traumatic personal experiences or issues.

In actual practice this means that Arete clinicians are primarily interested in making clients feel heard and respected, and in helping to determine what it is that our clients and families are most interested in understanding and/or changing. While Arete clinicians can bring professional expertise to psychological concerns, it is our clients and families themselves who are the de facto experts on their history and situation, and they will be treated as such during their work at Arete.

Arete clinicians will make use of any and all information provided to best help families assess and treat each aspect of their concerns. This means we will, with permission, incorporate any testing, prior diagnoses, concurrent psychiatric and medical information and treatment, and any relevant educational data to best help our clients improve their emotional, physical, and behavioral well-being. We tend to eschew a strict medical model however, and rather than looking for "illness" or "symptoms of disease", Arete clinicians focus largely on what is already strong and healthy in the client and on maximizing these strengths for the greatest benefit of all involved.

The Self

Generally, adolescents, young adults, and families will be referred by their schools, doctors, or other sources, and will call Dr. Abbott to discuss the situation and make an initial intake appointment if appropriate. This initial call is always provided at no cost regardless of the time spent, and will include any and all information the client or parents wish to provide. An Arete clinician or Dr. Abbott will provide complete information on all policies and procedures, including how we work, what we can and cannot provide, and the issue of insurance.  

After an initial appointment time has been agreed on, we will conduct a 1.5 hour Intake Session that will include, generally, meeting with the client or adolescent first, and then spending the remaining time with either the entire family or the parents alone as appropriate to the specific situation. If the family feels that we are all a good match, then it is customary to set a weekly 50-minute appointment for ongoing treatment. We are very much a “family-centered” practice, and will strive to include the parents in all work undertaken with children.


Dr. Abbott: for whatever its worth, man you are good. I can't actually imagine what transpired between you and my son, but his mood really does seem to be lighter. I also believe that not only did he not have a problem with going to see you, I actually think he looked forward to it.  This totally blows my mind. He seems to be able to relate to you as a positive, level headed, low key and compassionate male figure that's so much what he needs. He lost that when he was 17 and that in itself caused him who was so emotionally fragile to begin with, to slide down to a terrible, awful place".

Mom, North Haven