What is Beyond Words Center?
Beyond Words Center is a therapy practice comprised of psychologists and other therapists. We work primarily with children, adolescents and their families to address a wide variety of issues. Since every child is unique, we place each child in a therapy setting that will best address his/her needs.
Our services include:
- Individual psychotherapy for children, teenagers and adults
- Group psychotherapy
- Parent consultation
- Psychological testing
- Interviewing skills
Most of our groups are focused on social skills and the development of positive peer relationships. We address issues that are important to developing healthy friendships. These include conversation skills; understanding nonverbal cues; self-control; and listening skills. We also offer more process-oriented psychotherapy groups for adolescents and adults.
What populations do you serve?
We work with children, adolescents and adults with a wide variety of psychological issues. We have a great deal of experience and expertise working with children with diagnoses including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Nonverbal Learning Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Social Anxiety.
For what ages do you offer group therapy and social skills intervention?
We offer group therapy sessions for children and adolescents from age 4 through young adulthood.
Are groups separated by gender?
Groups are generally comprised of individuals of the same gender. However, for children 4 to 6 years of age and teens over 15, we sometimes place boys and girls together in a therapy group.
Do you conduct an initial evaluation?
Yes, it is critical that we get to know you and your child prior to placement in therapy. Sometimes a therapy group is not the best way to address the issues.
The initial evaluation typically lasts one hour and 15 minutes. For the first 30 minutes, parent and child meet with one of the clinical psychologists on our staff (Dr. Jones or Dr. Heimann). After that, the child meets with a counselor to assess his/her ability to read and send nonverbal cues. During that time, the parent continues to meet with the psychologist to provide background information and discuss concerns.
As part of our evaluation process, we also request that the child’s parent and teacher each complete a set of questionnaires. After scoring the questionnaires and reviewing the information gathered in the evaluation phase, we prepare a written report. The parent then participates in a feedback appointment with the clinical psychologist. This process allows us to determine appropriate interventions and develop strategies for remediation.
My child recently had a psycho-educational evaluation. Do we still need to have a Beyond Words evaluation?
Yes. While the results of a psycho-educational evaluation are valuable to us, it is critical that we meet you and your child and conduct our own assessment to determine appropriate placement. Our assessment is specifically focused on factors related to social skills development and covers information not directly addressed in a psycho-educational evaluation.
How do you organize groups and/or place clients?
Appropriate placement is critically important to us. We strive to place group members with peers of similar age and developmental level who have similar issues. The large number of groups that we run makes this possible.
Not everyone who is struggling socially is appropriately served in a group setting. We sometimes recommend that a child or adolescent work with an individual therapist.
My child does not have a clinical diagnosis. Are Beyond Words groups appropriate?
We work with children with a wide range of issues and diagnoses. Many of our clients struggle with social skills issues but do not have a clinical diagnosis. Appropriate placement is very important for effective intervention, so as we form each group, we strive to place each child with peers dealing with similar issues.
Do you work with children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Many of the children we work with have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Our therapy groups address the needs of children with high-functioning ASD.
Are your interventions research-based?
Yes, our therapy is based in part on research in nonverbal communication conducted by psychologists Marshall Duke and Stephen Nowicki at Emory University. We also incorporate principles from cognitive behavior therapy and interpersonal psychotherapy in developing treatment plans.
In conjunction with researchers at Emory University, we have conducted our own research on the effectiveness of our program. Our findings suggest that participation in our therapy groups has a positive impact on our clients’ social skills. Our research indicates that participants make progress in their awareness of social skills and are able to generalize these skills and behaviors to develop strategies for their day-to-day interactions. Over 95% of parents indicated that their children made significant progress because of the intervention at Beyond Words.
Our treatment involves a gradual, effective process. Parents typically see positive changes over months of involvement. Children generally participate in groups for an average of just over one year.
Most children come to us following years of social struggles. The process of learning new skills and incorporating them takes time. We coach children to engage appropriately and positively with other group members and provide parents with suggestions to follow up on our interventions at home.
How quickly should we expect to see results?
Parent training and consultation with a member of our professional staff are available.
Do you offer parent training?
Is psychotherapy available for adults at Beyond Words?
Yes, individual therapy is available for adults. Adult group therapy options are also available, including a group for adults with mild developmental issues; a group for adults who struggle with social anxiety; and a summer group to help rising college students prepare for college social life.
What are the credentials of the staff at Beyond Words?
The staff at Beyond Words includes psychologists, licensed professional counselors and licensed social workers as well as practicum students from Georgia School of Professional Psychology, Georgia State University, Mercer University and Emory University. All clinical work is supervised by Lisa Heimann, Ph.D. and Jeffrey Jones, Ph.D. during weekly individual and group supervision meetings.
Are your services covered by insurance?
Insurance coverage will depend upon the terms of your policy. Please contact your insurance provider to find out if your policy includes coverage for therapy offered by out-of-network providers for mental/behavioral health. If your policy does include coverage, your insurance representative should be able to explain the details of your coverage and the procedures for filing for reimbursement.
The service/procedure codes needed by your health insurance provider to determine coverage are as follows:
- Clinical evaluation - 90791
- Psychological testing - 96102
- Family therapy without patient - 90846
- Family therapy with patient - 90847
- Psychological testing and written report - 96101
- Group psychotherapy - 90853
- Individual psychotherapy - 90837
Beyond Words is considered an out-of-network provider by all insurance plans, and we do not file insurance. Once each month, we will provide you with a detailed statement showing all activity for the prior month. This statement includes all the information and documentation required to file your insurance claim.