Adolescent and Child Psychiatry


Children and adolescents commonly face issues that are challenging, if not impossible, to battle alone. Studies have estimated that half of all chronic mental disorders manifest themselves in childhood1. Research also shows that one in five adolescents aged 13 to 18 experience a mental disorder in any given year2. Minnesota children are no exception.

Childhood and adolescent issues

Holt office interior 02Even at a very young age, a child may exhibit unruly behavior that stems from anger or anxiety. Additionally, learning disorders like attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can also cause issues for young children. We see children breeze through elementary school with incredible success, only to reach middle school and struggle when faced with increased workloads.

Depression can affect children and adolescents as well. Boys and girls will see an equal rate in depression during elementary school ages, but at puberty a girl’s risk of depression doubles.

Adolescent and young adult issues

For all teens, the stresses of increased schoolwork, busy schedules and changing brain chemistry can lead to emotional struggles or mental illness. Young adults aged 18-21 experience the highest risk for mental and mood disorders such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression. For those between the ages of 15 and 24, suicide is the third-highest cause of death.

Should your child seek therapy?

Parents considering therapy or psychiatry for their children often wonder if the issues their child is experiencing stem from biology or are the result of outside influences. While there is no definitive answer, typically a variety of factors are at play. You can call and speak with our psychiatric nurse Becky Orpen for guidance, or we can schedule a consultation to help determine whether and what kind of therapy would be helpful, and answer any questions you may have.

Our approach

In nearly a decade of serving Minneapolis, St. Paul and surrounding communities, Dr. Allison Holt has worked with children of all ages, from as young as six to college-age. Providing compassionate and skilled psychiatric treatment, she offers young people and their parents much-needed support, persepective and healing. 

Each child is different and treatment plans are a considered response to individual issues, challenges and symptoms. Therapy and medication can both be effective ways to deal with mood disorders such as depression and anxiety; ususally, a mix of these two approaches provides the greatest benefit. In discussing your child's situation, we can provide context and understanding for how medication and therapy work alone or in concert with each other to bring about change.

Our first step is typically to meet with you and your child or adolescent to evaluate issues, treatment options and goals. Together, we move forward to create the right treatment strategies to achieve those goals. Ongoing sessions may include time with you and your child together or just your child, depending on his or her unique situation.

In all cases, the therapeutic process is fluid; we strive to both assure your comfort level as a parent as well as help your child to the greatest degree possible. If you're looking for an adolescent or child pyschiatrist, call our Excelsior, MN office at 952-467-6214 and we can discuss how to move foward.

1, 2. National Alliance on Mental Illness fact sheet, 2013.



A note about insurance

Please know that we are not an in-network provider for any insurer; however, we can provide you with the necessary paperwork so you can submit a claim to your insurer for out-of-network providers and services. Learn more

Available 24/7

We are here for you. If you have an urgent or emergency situation after hours, call the office at 952-467-6214 and leave a message. We will return your call as soon as possible.

Not sure who to see?

When you call our office to set up an appointment, you will likely talk with Becky, our clinic administrator and a registered nurse. Becky is the first screen to help us determine what path to take in your recovery plan. 

The professional you see will depend on your unique circumstances and situation. Learn more