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Manchester childhood trauma institute relocating in city

New Hampshire Union Leader

January 21. 2018 11:01PM
A treatment program for kids is moving into the building at 77 Pearl St. in Manchester. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER — A psychology practice that specializes in treating childhood trauma is moving to a larger downtown location because of the increased need for its services, the owner said.

The Neurodevelopmental Institute of New Hampshire plans to move to the vacant, two-story office building at 77 Pearl St. in late March or early April, said Susan McLaughlin-Beltz, the owner of the practice and a neuropsychologist.

“We’re servicing many children who are experiencing trauma. We’re doing a lot more trauma treatment,” McLaughlin-Beltz said. Most of the trauma involves abuse and neglect at the hands of parents addicted to drugs, she said.

Manchester regulators issued variances necessary for the project to go forward earlier this month. The building, the one-time home of the Retirement Alliance financial planning firm, stands at the corner of Chestnut Street and the Pearl Street alley. The Chestnut side of the two-story building features modernistic off-white vertical columns.

The variance allows for eight beds for round-the-clock residential care for children undergoing treatment. The space was intended for up to 15 beds, but last week’s approval allows for only eight.

McLaughlin-Beltz said most stays would be for 60 days, and parents would be allowed to visit the children. She said the 34-person practice also provides in-home visits and child and family counseling at its office.

The Neurodevelopment Institute, which focuses on brain fuctioning and a whole-body approach to psychological care, has a contract with the state to provide family services, McLaughlin-Beltz said.

The top floor of the Pearl Street building will be devoted to offices and clinical space, said landlord Tom DeBlois. He said he will have to construct 13 offices and two bathrooms on that floor.

The ground floor will include the residential portion of the program. Showers and a secure entrance will have to be incorporated into the ground floor, he said. A kitchen and large rooms for play and congregation already exist in the space.

There will be no differences to the exterior of the building, he said.

The Neurodevelopmental Institute has been in existence for 20 years. In 2016, it moved from Hooksett to the former St. Joseph Regional Junior High School Building, which is at the corner of Pine and Bridge streets. The Institute occupies the top floor, and McLaughlin-Beltz said it has outgrown the space.

DeBlois, who also owns the St. Joseph property, said a charter school, Kreiva Academy, plans to occupy the space being vacated by the Neurolodevelopmental Institute.

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