St. Louis Center for Family Development provides outpatient therapy for adults, couples, families, adolescents and children. Your therapist works in partnership with you from the first meeting, where they get to know you, what is important to you, and what you want to be different about your life.

Collaborative Approach

Your therapist works in partnership with you from the first meeting, where she or he gets to know you, what is important to you, and what you want to be different about your life. We listen to your values and goals for therapy.

The Foundation of Our Therapy

We base all of our therapy on some assumptions that make our approach unique. We believe that each person is doing the best that she or he can at that moment, while at the same time, wanting to improve. People do not always cause their own problems but their own hard work will be the necessary factor to solve them.

The Heart of What We Do

Much of our work revolves around emotion regulation. When emotions are positive, we tend to function well. We get thrown off track, however, when problematic emotions influence us to make choices we eventually regret, choices that are misaligned with our values. Sometimes emotions become overwhelming or interfere with everyday life. In therapy you learn the role emotions play, how they work and skills to manage your emotions more effectively.


People tend to improve as a result of therapy in three ways:

  1. Therapy eases or resolves the problems that you prioritize.
  2. It improves your ability to relate well to others, be productive at work, and cope with everyday stress.
  3. It enhances your personal growth. People who engage in therapy find they have more confidence and self-esteem, a clearer understanding of themselves, and enjoy life more.

The length of time that people stay in therapy depends upon goals and the issues they want to address. Most empirically-supported therapies work fairly quickly. With some treatments it can be a matter of months and with others you can expect to spend a year working intensively with your therapist.

Types of Therapy at STLCFD

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a therapy approach for children and adolescents who are experiencing significant emotional and behavioral difficulties due to traumatic life events. Both child and parent participate in the therapy. It is a component-based therapy that uses trauma-sensitive interventions with cognitive behavioral, family, and humanistic principles and techniques. Clients process, manage and resolve distressing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to traumatic life events. At the same time they enhance safety, growth, and communication.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy is a therapy for chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and trauma. It is specifically designed to help clients process traumatic events and reduce trauma-induced disturbances. The core components of exposure programs for the disorder are 1) imaginal exposure, revisiting the traumatic memory, repeated recounting it aloud, and processing the revisiting experience; and 2) in vivo exposure, the repeated confrontation with situations and objects that cause distress but are not inherently dangerous. The goal of this therapy is to promote processing of the trauma memory and to reduce distress and avoidance evoked by the trauma reminders.

Behavioral Activation is based on the idea that symptoms of depression are a result of the body’s way of coping with distress or negative life events, which often trigger specific negative experiences, and can then bring about even more negative experiences. This downward spiral causes people to shut down, withdraw from life, and give up the very things that once brought happiness. This interaction between negative life experiences and withdrawal from meaningful experiences causes people to become stuck. Behavioral Activation works by increasing an individual’s experiences of positive events. Particularly, the therapy aims to modify and reduce specific behaviors that cause or worsening or maintenance of depressive symptoms.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy incorporates the inter-relatedness of thoughts, emotions and behaviors as they relate to the process of emotion regulation. It helps to modify the way a person experiences emotions and specifically aims to change problematic thoughts and behaviors that keep negative symptoms around. This therapy is typically short-term, lasting 12-20 sessions.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy aims to effectively decrease distress associated with an acute crisis or inadequate social support. Through the process of focusing on the interpersonal relationships of an individual, improving communication patterns, and understanding how people relate to others, the individual often experiences symptoms of relief, resolution of the acute interpersonal crisis, and an increase in social support.


For more information click on the sidebar links to learn more about some the mental health issues we treat. If you do not see what you are looking for, please call  or contact us for more information.


Get in Touch

  • This is not a crisis hotline. In the case of an emergency, please contact Behavioral Health Response by calling (800) 811-4760.