The Child and Family Therapy Center of Denver was founded by Kelly Curnalia in 2012. As a licensed clinical social worker, Kelly was passionate about providing support to children and their families. Prior to opening the center, Kelly was employed at The Butterfly Program, the only Colorado pediatric palliative care program, where she provided emotional support to children at end of life. Part of her role was to screen children for admissions into the program, where they would receive psychological and medical support until they took their last breath. Children were screened based on their medical acuity for admission, due to the program having very limited resources. Children that were not “sick enough” were turned away with no resources for their family to receive support after receiving a devastating, life-limiting diagnosis.
After many meetings and turning away families that were in desperate need of support, Kelly decided to open the first mental health center that served families with children with life-limiting illnesses in Colorado. The mission was to walk an unthinkable journey with families, one step at a time. As the center continued to grow, it was evident that there were many pediatric populations that were under-served. The center expanded to serving any child in need of support, including children with intellectual disabilities, children with chronic illnesses, families with limited financial means and any family looking for experienced, compassionate clinicians to work with their child.
As time went on, it was evident that a multi-disciplinary approach was the most meaningful way to serve the families. Music therapy was the first therapy that was added onto the team. Soon after, pediatric massage therapists and applied behavioral analysis (ABA therapists) were added to the team. The multi-disciplinary team has worked together beautifully to serve each child that the center supports. The center is the first of it’s kind to have a multi-disciplinary approach, serving children in an outpatient setting. The center quickly grew to over 20 clinicians with two offices serving the greater Denver metro area.
The Child and Family Therapy Center of Denver has become a family for everybody involved, and it is evident as soon as you walk through the doors. We now serve over 1,400 families in the Denver metro area, and as we grow, we aspire to make our services available to all Colorado children and families who need them.