Our Child and Family Counseling therapist has extensive experience working with children, parents and families, including those involved in the child well-being system. Individual and family counseling is available for children, adolescents and families who need help with:
- Physical or sexual abuse, neglect or other trauma
- Depression and anxiety
- Low self-esteem
- Problems due to divorce, separation, remarriage or the death of a loved one
- Parent-child conflicts
- Pre- and post-adoption transition
- Anger management issues
- Academic or behavioral school problems
Susan O'Day, MS, LPC, helps parents and their children develop healthy relationships, leading to management of feelings at home and increased success at school both academically and socially. Susie has developed an expertise working with young children and their parents, reducing the stress that can develop during the early developmental years. Parents learn to love their child in a nurturing way. She believes it is important for parents to understand how their behaviors impact their child. Using a nurturing, affirming approach, she helps parents explore their own mental health needs and the impact that it has on their child. Susie uses a similar approach when working with teenagers, helping them to understand how their behavior impacts their family and friends. Her goal is to help each client reach their greatest level of emotional health, resulting in a more peaceful life.
Clients who have worked with Susie share the following comments: "Susie is awesome!" "connects at the child's level," "kids are able to connect with Susie," helped "change our family to a place that healing has come," "improved so much" and "she has made my relationship with my daughter very much better."
Recent trainings that Susie has participated in include: Developmentally Sensitive Interventions for Sexually Abused Children and Trauma Informed Art Therapy and Resilience: Enhancing Post Traumatic Success.
Ashley Nischke MA, LMFT, CCTP, helps children, adolescents, adults, and families heal their wounds and transform their lives for the better. With patience and persistence, emotional balance and health can be created. Ashley has experience working with survivors of abuse and trauma; children and adolescents in Foster Care; blended and separated families; self-harming behaviors; adolescents on probation; behavioral problems; juvenile sex offenders; individuals experiencing homelessness; and gang related issues. She also has experience with the more traditional mental health struggles such as adjustment and attachment difficulties, anxiety, depression, developmental disabilities, PTSD, self-esteem and other interpersonal problems.
Ashley is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and has specialized training as a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. Ashley utilizes a variety of treatment modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Play Directed Therapy.
How do I get counseling for my child?
Call the Wausau office at (715) 848-1457 and someone will be happy to help you.
My family and friends tell me that I need counseling for my child but I don't think my child needs it. What should I do?
Susie is available to help you sort through the challenge of balancing what other people are telling you and your own experience with your child. She will want to know your child's strengths, which is what you are seeing. If she believes counseling can help, she will tell you what she can offer in counseling.
Do I need to bring anything to my first appointment?
Yes, please bring:
- Your completed Child's Intake Questionnaire (PDF) or Adult Intake Questionnaire (PDF) which can be downloaded (click on the form you need) or mailed to you prior to your first appointment.
- Your medical insurance card (through your employer, personal or Forward card).
- Verification of income (last year's Income Tax cover page and a recent pay stub if your situation has changed) if you are interested in using our sliding fee scale.
What are the costs?
Children's Community Services Child and Family Counseling is a United Way funded program. As such, no one is turned away because of inability to pay. Our Fee Agreement provides a list of current costs. We are a state certified clinic, accepting many insurance plans and medical assistance. We offer a sliding fee scale for those who do not have insurance coverage.
What is a "sliding fee" scale? When someone does not have insurance (through their employer, privately, or Medical Assistance) to help pay for their counseling services, United Way financial support allows us to base your cost per session on your household income and the number of people in your home. This is called a sliding fee. Laws do not allow us to offer a sliding fee scale to clients who have insurance.
What ages of children do you serve?
If you are asking for help with your child, we will help you. The focus of counseling will vary, depending on the age of your child. For instance, a two-year-old child will have extensive parent involvement while a 17 year old may have less parental involvement. Our therapist will work with you to develop an appropriate treatment plan that takes into account your child's age and development.
What is a "Treatment Plan"?
A Treatment Plan is the plan you develop with Susie that clearly identifies goals and a time frame to meet those goals. You will have a chance to sign it every 90 days to help see progress toward meeting those goals.
Does anyone else know what I talk about in counseling?
Client confidentiality is maintained throughout counseling and after counseling ends. We cannot talk with anyone about you without your signed consent. If children share information with us that indicates they are in danger either physically, sexually, or emotionally, we are required by law to report it. Our goal is to keep your children safe. If appropriate, you will be included in this process so you can help your child stay safe.
What is Play Therapy?
Play therapy is used to help children share the experiences and express their feelings in the manner that is most natural for them--play. Play therapy can also help children heal and learn better ways to understand and interact with their world. Susan can share more information with you as you develop your child's Treatment Plan.
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services is committed to providing quality care to the children and families we serve. We regularly ask clients to give us feedback on how well we are meeting this goal. Wausau families recently told us:
- 98% feel comfortable talking with our staff "Usually" or "Always"
- 96% rate the quality of our staff as "Very Good" or "Excellent"
- 93% have been helped through counseling "For the most part" or "Definitely"
- 98% rate the services as "Very Good" or "Excellent"
Comments shared include:
- "I love this organization. I also love the passionate care I get from my therapist."
- "...big help with my granddaughter. Very good resource if I need something.
- "As a Mom I would be lost without (therapist). She always makes time for the whole family, if we have questions or concerns."
- "The receptionist (both) in Wausau have been very patient and helpful with scheduling appointments and getting everyone in and adjusting times and days when needed. They are always nice and return calls."
Abuse can be scary for kids, parents and other family members. Children who may have been harmed come to a child advocacy center to talk about the abuse and get medical care. It is a safe place for children to receive help. Call us at (715) 848-8600.
North-Central Wisconsin Child Advocacy Center staff do case reviews, and provide expert court testimony and professional consultations. In addition, staff also provide the following services:
- Child abuse assessments: The assessment process includes a complete medical examination and an interview with a social worker specially trained to work with traumatized kids. All work is carefully documented on videotape or DVD to meet judicial standards.
- Referrals: Following an assessment, suspected victims of abuse will be referred to psychological counselors, family counselors, medical care and psychiatric and developmental rehabilitation specialists in their home communities who can aid in the recovery process.
- Case tracking and data collection: Staff track outcomes on all cases for evaluation and services. Information tracked includes types of maltreatment, relationship of the alleged offender to the child, child protection outcomes and exposure to domestic violence.
- Professional and community education: Center staff provides ongoing training to law enforcement officers, social workers, physicians, nurses and other professionals in the Chippewa Valley. They also share research about investigative techniques.
Download our Child Advocacy Center brochure (PDF)
Download our Handbook for Parents (PDF)
Children's Hospital collaborates with the following community partners:
- Aspirus Wausau Hospital
- Athens Police Department
- Colby-Abbotsford Police Department
- Edgar Police Department
- Everest Metro Police Department
- Kronenwetter Police Department
- Marathon City Police Department
- Marathon County Department of Social Services
- Marathon County District Attorney's Office
- Marathon County Sheriff's Department
- Marshfield Clinic
- Marshfield Police Department