About Youth and Family Counseling
The Youth and Family Counseling program offers short and long term counseling for young people (children under 21) and their families. These services are performed by certified and licensed counselors on an out-patient basis, are available on a sliding scale, and are accessible to anyone regardless of ability to pay. Program staff offer extensive assessment services, substance abuse counseling, parenting skills assistance, anger management groups, and community referrals.
Danbury Youth Services is a licensed psychiatric clinic through the Department of Children and Families with a Child Psychiatrist on staff. DYS accepts HUSKY Insurance and has a sliding scale fee schedule.
The main goals of the Youth and Family Counseling Program are to enable clients to recognize their issue(s), take the necessary steps to deal with their problem(s), and learn how to manage their mental health on their own. Furthermore, the program assists in identifying clients’ strengths, working from a treatment plan that accentuates these qualities.
DYS counseling sessions not only address the needs of the individual client, but those of his or her family members as well. This directly relates to the agency’s mission in that the program seeks to strengthen the family as a whole. In addition, the program provides its clients with the tools to be productive members of society and to decrease the need for further professional intervention.
Major long term outcomes that the program addresses are (1) clients will have an improved ability to work independently on issues, and attain a desired level of achievement; (2) clients will have continued increased awareness and ownership of their issues and relationships; and (3) clients will have an increase in positive behavior.
Elizabeth Cotter, MS., LPC, Clinical Director is a licensed professional counselor with a Master’s degree in Community Counseling from Western Connecticut State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Dance Education from New York University. She has over 15 years of comprehensive clinical experience specializing in work with children and families. As a Danbury native, she has worked in the community in public and private schools, private practice, and non-profit agencies as a therapist, continuing education provider, and in clinical leadership roles. Her approach to work with children and families is holistically oriented, strength based, and solution focused.
Dr. Sol Lee, MD., Medical Director, is a graduate of the University of Chicago and received her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Illinois. She did her General Psychiatry Residency at Harvard University and worked at North-Shore-Long Island Jewish Hospital before joining Danbury Hospital as the Director of Child and Adolescent Services.
Cynthia Abbot, LPC., received her Master's Degree in School Counseling from Western Connecticut State University. She has worked in the school system since 2010 supporting both students and families. Her style is warm and engaging. The focus in therapy is clients strengths and resources.
Liliana Yelin, MS., N.C.C., L.P.C., R.D.-N., is the bilingual Family and Youth Counselor. She received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Western Connecticut State University and her Certification from the National Board of Certified Counselors. She is also a Registered Dietitian and is Certified by the State of Connecticut.
Cynthia McGuire, MS., L.P.C., received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Counseling from Post University. She currently works as a Behavioral Therapist in Newtown, Ct., while seeing clients at DYS in the evenings.
Rachel Coombs, MS., N.C.C., received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Western Connecticut State University. Rachel is also the Project Director for the Danbury Youth Services G.A.L.s (Girls as Leaders) Program.
Jamel Farmer, MS., received his master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Western Connecticut State University. He has had almost 10 years of experience working with individuals struggling with substance abuse, homelessness, and HIV/AIDS, along with working with the LGBTQ+ population. He has also served the youth in Danbury through mentoring and sports programs for 13 years. His strength as a counselor is his warm and inviting manner along with a motivating technique.