We typically serve kids from 1st grade through college; roughly ages seven through 22
Where are you located and what areas do you serve?
Our first center is in East Providence, RI and we serve patients who reside within approximately 30-45 minutes from that location. We are planning to expand to other areas in the near future.
Is the Braver program right for my child?
Braver specializes in exposure therapy, the treatment that has been proven most helpful for anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD). You may have noticed increased difficulty in the areas of your child's life where they interact with others or need to perform, such as school, social activities, sports or hobbies, or even within the family dynamic. Sometimes a child can begin missing out on things they would like to do because they are so anxious or spend so much time on behaviors aimed to relieve anxiety.
Due to the nature of this treatment, Braver services are not for everyone. If a child's main struggle is something other than anxiety or OCD, or if the impact of their symptoms on daily life is very intense, or they are extremely distressed, we may refer your family to a more suitable level of care.
What can I expect from my first session?
Your child's first session will be a one-hour virtual intake assessment with one of our doctors (a child psychologist or psychiatrist). The doctor will review your child’s history and what has brought you to Braver now. If after the assessment the doctor thinks your family would benefit from Braver, they will schedule an in-person orientation session to review the personalized treatment plan and answer your questions.
What is a Braver Challenge?
Braver Challenges are a collaboration between kids, families, doctors and Braver Coaches, all supported by Braver's custom technology. Braver Challenges are carefully designed to face a fear, helping kids and families learn to tolerate discomfort while living their lives.
We help kids choose to be anxious, on purpose, so that over time they get stronger and the anxiety doesn't get in their way anymore.
Choosing to be anxious in real life, in situations that used to be avoided, is hard. The “choosing” part is really important and very different from forcing or making kids do these things. We work with kids' personal motivations toward progress to make sure the process is driven by them.
Because we know it's hard, Braver provides trained coaches to be present to facilitate that process.
Braver's custom technology makes it easy for kids and their families to track progress and see how far they have come. It also makes it easy for the whole team to communicate and to change course or adjust the treatment if things are not going according to plan.
What happens during a coaching session?
Coaching sessions are our Program's way of supporting kids and their families while they do Braver Challenges.
In the early stages of treatment, your child and their coach will spend time getting to know each other and together will create a map of your child's anxiety symptoms. This information will be recorded so your child and your child's coach can choose which Braver Challenge would yield the best benefit. Once an initial map is developed, your child will be ready to actually do some Braver Challenges. For some of these sessions, your child's coach will be in-person with him/her/them in the real life places where anxiety gets triggered. For other sessions, the coach will be on a teleconference while your child is doing a Braver Challenge.
What is the role of parents during the Braver Program?
Parents are an integral part of the Braver Program. The form that their involvement takes may look different depending on the age of the patient, nature of the presenting problem, and the degree of family involvement in the symptoms.
Kids are sometimes anxious about having parents involved. We are willing to work with kids to understand their concerns and to identify a path forward so that parents can benefit from the Braver Program too.
One of our goals for parents is to learn by watching our Braver Coaches. Some parents may be called on to play a very active role in learning to be coaches for their children, while for others, just having a basic understanding of what their child and coach do together will be sufficient.
Do I really have to participate in the group part of the Braver Program? Why isn’t this all designed just for me/my family to do privately?
We get this question a lot. It makes sense. Anxious kids are often anxious about sharing their difficulties in front of others. Keeping these things hidden/quiet might feel more comfortable in the short run, but this is actually a part of the anxiety avoidance cycle. It is part of what keeps anxious kids stuck. From our years of experience working with anxious kids, we know that:
Participating in group treatment represents a whole set of Braver Challenges for some kids. (p.s. this means that coming and participating in group activities will actually be part of what helps them get better.)
Feeling understood by others (peers and professionals alike) is very powerful and feels good.
Working alongside other kids who are also doing Braver Challenges increases motivation for doing hard work on your child's own Challenges.
What measures are in place to reduce the risks related to COVID-19?
Braver follows CDC and State of Rhode Island guidelines as they evolve with the changing status of the pandemic. All Braver employees are fully vaccinated and expected to remain current with boosters as they become eligible. Please let us know about any special circumstances that may affect your family.
Ready to Participate?
Get in touch with us to discover if Braver's treatment program is right for you and your family.