Topeka kids’ therapy clinic taking interactive approach to mental health

Local News

TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Family Service & Guidance Center Crisis Clinic is bringing a unique take to therapy as they provide life-changing mental health services to kids.

The FSGC Crisis Center provides up to 17 children between the ages of 5-17 who are experiencing a mental health emergency with short-term residential care.

For the social workers, building a connection with the kids goes far beyond just talking about their problems.

“Keeping that relationship professional but at the same time reasonable to where the child will still talk to you is critical,” said Travis Freed, director of crisis & recovery services. “There’s a fine line we have to balance but it’s possible. We make it more interactive to make it feel more real instead of just sitting down and talking. I will go out for bike rides with kids, play ping pong and go fishing for therapy.”

Freed’s tactics have shown to be successful with his clients like Rod Goodman. Someone who worked with FSGC for over a decade while struggling with anger management among other things.

“If it wasn’t for Family Service and Guidance Center and the crisis resolution program, Rob would probably be in an institution or prison right now,” said Rod’s mother Ranaye Goodman. “He just graduated high school, and we weren’t sure that was gonna happen for a while because it was rough.”

Freed worked with Rod over several years to help him manage his temper. He would talk to Rod while doing activities like playing basketball and air hockey, rather than sitting inside his office.

The FSGC Crisis clinic will have an announcement Friday night at their “Works of Heart” event, which aims to raise money through auctions of prizes and art.

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