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Behavioral & Developmental Pediatrics


The following courses are currently enrolling participants or are ongoing at the Center for Developing Minds in Los Gatos. Please click on the course title for more detailed information.

* Meltdowns to Shutdowns
* Supportive Siblings
* ADHD 101: Parent Coaching
* Train Your Brain: Individualized Mental Athletic Training for Aspiring Athletes
* Sprint to the Finish
* Dynamic Dyads
* Growing with Gardens


Meltdowns to Shutdowns
Emotional Regulation and Stress Management Group.

Meltdowns to Shutdowns Flyer

Many children struggle to cope with the stress created by the fast pace of their lives. Children with low thresholds for frustration, tendencies toward negativism, or difficulties tolerating losing or not getting their way, demonstrate this stress with an extreme emotional reaction (meltdown) or a closed emotional reaction (shutdown). This class will help children to learn to recognize their feelings before becoming overwhelmed by them.

A collaborative approach to the group will provide parents with a better understanding of how the concepts relate to the entire family and gives them an opportunity to participate in weekly parent trainings. Parents will have individualized support specific to their child and receive help in understanding and generalizing new concepts.

Classes are held at the Center for Developing Minds and will be moderated by Cassandra Harms, LMFT, and therapist interns (MFT-Ts). Course fee is $800.00 for the eight class sessions, including the weekly parent sessions. Class size is limited to provide participants with personal attention.

Lead Instructor: Cassandra Harms, Marriage & Family Therapist

Class schedule
Tuesdays (parent and child) and Thursdays (child only),
4:00-5:00 pm.

Meeting dates:
Classes begin January 14 through February 6, 2020.
Open to children ages 8 to 11 years old.


Supportive Siblings
For brothers and sisters of a child with special needs.

Supportive Siblings Flyer

The siblings of a child with special needs face situations and deal with issues unique to many families. This monthly group will provide these sibs with a safe and supportive environment for them to communicate their concerns, share their stresses, and learn how other families handle difficult situations related to having a special needs child.

Facilitated by a CDM therapist, the siblings will be able to address issues related to their specific family situation, while participating in fun group activities. Discussion will focus on how to communicate any feelings of resentment or jealousy, suggestions on what to do during embarrassing moments, and recognition of the siblings’ important role in their family.

The group will meet at the Center for Developing Minds and the class size is limited to provide participants with personalized attention. Plus, pizza will be served for all the participants! Fee for each session is $100 per family.

Instructor: Jennifer Rich, Marriage & Family Therapist

Class schedule
Monday evenings:
6:00-7:00 pm (ages 8-12 years old)
7:00-8:00 pm (ages 13-18)

Meeting dates:
Upcoming dates include November 18, and December 16, 2019.


ADHD 101: Parent Coaching
Emotional Regulation and Stress Management Group.
Interactive group session for parents and caregivers of children and adolescents with ADHD.
ADHD 101: Parent Coaching Flyer

Research shows that the long-term outcomes of children with ADHD is better when the parents received educational training about the condition. To facilitate this, the CDM offers “ADHD 101” for parents and caregivers every three months. Topics to be covered at the sessions throughout the year will include:

• Defining ADHD.
• Tips for increasing attention, reducing impulsivity and distractions, channeling hyperactivity and developing organizational strategies.
• Establishing rules with your ADHD child and teenager: the importance of consistency and setting expectations.
• How to implement positive reward systems.
• The importance of mindfulness, acceptance, and self-care.
• Help with managing homework struggles.
• Suggestions for how to build confidence in your child or teenager.
• Learning to enjoy the uniqueness of your child.
• Practice of effective and positive communication styles.

Instructor: Jennifer Rich, Marriage & Family Therapist
Fee per session: $100. Please register with the clinic in advance.

Group schedule:
February 3, 2020


Sprint to the Finish
Academic Coaching designed to help students get “back on track” and finish the first semester strong!

Sprint to the Finish Flyer

Many students find themselves in a hole at the end of the first semester and are unsure what to do to dig themselves out. This five week class is designed to help teens organize their academics, improve study habits, complete work, create a routine and prepare for finals. The class will provide students with a structured and supportive environment to improve their academic standing, while learning skills that will benefit them in the future.

The class sessions will consist of short overviews of academic skills, time for organizing homework, individual meetings and academic planning. In addition, the instructor will follow up individually with each student using email reminders and “check-ins,” and will be available via email throughout the program.

Classes are held at the Center for Developing Minds. As an experienced high school counselor, Mr. Arias has had great success helping students reach their academic goals during the end-of-the-semester crunch time. Course fee is $500.00 for the five class sessions, including individualized follow-up attention via email from the instructor during the course. Class size is limited to provide participants with personal attention. No class to be held on Thanksgiving day.

To enroll, please contact the clinic and collect the following materials to submit for instructor review (no later than October 31, 2019):

• Current Grades & Grade Breakdowns
• Teacher Reports / Feedback
• School Resources Available
• Accommodations (if any)
• Past Interventions
• Goals
• School / Teacher Policies

Instructor: Danny Arias, M.A., Educational Counselor

Class schedule:
Thursdays: 5:30-7:00 pm

Meeting Dates: November 7 through December 12, 2019.
Open to all high school students.


Train Your Brain: Individualized Mental Athletic Training for Aspiring Athletes

Train Your Brain Flyer

Many young athletes spend countless hours training their bodies to excel in athletics, yet they tend to ignore the mental preparation that is essential to improvement and growth. When the mind and body are equally prepared, athletes reach their full potential. Focus, self-control and communication are just a few areas where many young athletes struggle. Putting in the “reps” to improve these areas and others will not only lead to more success in athletics, but in life as well. Through specialized one-on-one meetings young athletes will learn a variety of skills and strategies to address their individual needs and give them a mental edge in competition.

The Train Your Brain program consists of a two-part initial assessment, which includes a review of film (ideally) and pre-assessment questionnaires completed by the athlete, coach and parents. The instructor will then guide a discussion regarding goals and the development of a targeted plan for the athlete. A minimum of five subsequent individual training sessions will then focus on plan execution, work on basic mental skills, film study, mind set activities and other specific desired outcomes. Areas of potential impact include:

• Attitude Improvement
• Motivation
• Communication
• Focus
• Positive Thinking
• Body Language
• Meditation
• Visualization
• Simulations
• Managing Anxiety/Fears
• Controlling Emotions
• Film Study
• Audio Simulations
• Goal Setting
• Leadership
• Work Ethic
• Recovery from Injury

In addition to his counseling work, the instructor has coached basketball for more than 15 years and has experience working with athletes involved in a variety of sports on the D1, D2, junior college, high school and club team levels.

The sessions are held at the Center for Developing Minds and scheduled based on client and instructor availability. Fee for the initial assessment (90 minutes), complete personalized plan development, and five follow-up one-hour sessions is $900 per athlete. Additional sessions can be scheduled with the instructor at the end of the program if desired.

Instructor: Danny Arias, M.A., Personal Counselor & Performance Coach

Open to student-athletes, age 12 and older.


Dynamic Dyads

Dynamic Dyads Flyer

Dynamic Dyads is a new parallel and complimentary service to the Meltdowns to Shutdowns groups that are held at the Center for Developing Minds. This smaller-sized group – just two children – is an ideal option for children who may need additional practice and generalization of their emotional modulation, stress management and social abilities. Each dyad is designed and led by a child and adolescent therapist, and children will work together in a casual classroom setting. Individualized skills to be worked on may include relaxation techniques, social rules and expectations, problem solving, and practice communicating about feelings -- while participating in games and leisure activities.

The instructor will design specific curriculum for participants, and dyads will be formed based on children's current abilities. If you are interested in dyad work for your child, please contact the Center for Developing Minds and our instructor will contact you to determine an appropriate classmate match for your child. Once a dyad is formed, one or multiple sessions will be scheduled. Classes will be 50 minutes with a 10-minute write-up period. At the end of each class, parents will be given an individualized note that includes a session summary, homework, and specific teacher comments and observations.

Instructor: Cassandra Harms, Child and Adolescent Therapist
The age range for participants is generally 9-14 years old.

Class schedule
Based on each participant’s availability.


Growing with Gardens
Parent and Child Support Group.

Growing with Gardens Flyer

Growing with Gardens is a new CDM therapy offering that is perfect for someone ready to “dig-in,” have fun, and build practical skills. New research has found that exposure to nature is associated with better mental health. To facilitate this concept, the Growing with Gardens class is held on the outdoor patio of the clinic, using raised garden beds, where a CDM therapist with a passion for gardening will guide the group through a series of helpful sessions designed to:

• Reduce stress, boost mood and help with self-esteem,
• Build sensory coping skills and learn ideas for handling disappointments,
• Practice self-care and encourage healthy living,
• Develop executive functioning skills,
• Provide a supportive environment for participants to connect with others and experience growth.

Two groups are available, one for adults only, and the other, a parent/caregiver and child group for children ages 5-10 years-old. Each gardening group will meet for six classes at the Center for Developing Minds. The group size is limited to provide participants with personalized attention. Fee for each group is $450 per family.

Instructor: Julie Tucker, Marriage & Family Therapist

Class schedule
Noon to 1:00 pm (Parents-only group).
4:00-5:00 pm (Parent/Caregiver & Child group).

Meeting dates:
October 10, 17, 24, and November 7, 14, 21, 2019.

To register for any of these courses, or for more information,
please contact 408-358-1853 or

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