Outpatient Psychiatry Services | Medical Coping

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Contact the Outpatient Psychiatry Service

  • 1-617-355-6680

We understand that children and their families who are facing physical illness, medical procedures or hospitalizations are often confused, frightened and anxious. Our experienced team of pediatric psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals is here to provide effective, compassionate evaluation, education, counseling and therapy to help you and your child cope before, during and after their medical experiences at Boston Children's.

Medical stressors can include:

  • new medical diagnoses
  • changes in an ongoing illness
  • chronic medical illness
  • medical procedures or hospitalizations
  • an acute medical crisis or accidental injury
  • new or complex medical regimens
  • illness-related physical changes or limitations
  • illness-related school or friendship issues
  • grief and loss

Evaluation

Our team provides comprehensive assessments of patients and their families facing medical experiences. We evaluate their adjustment to current medical stressors, as well as overall psychological functioning. 

Evaluations involve parent and child interviews and the completion of questionnaires. Based on the evaluation process, parents are provided with specific feedback and recommendations. 

Treatment is solution-focused and family-oriented. We emphasize building upon family strengths and resources and developing practical strategies for coping with medical stressors in the best way possible. A primary goal is the prevention or resolution of emotional or behavioral difficulties related to illness or treatment.

Treatment

Treatment will most often be 8-10 sessions and may include the following methods:

  • individual counseling for patients
  • family or parent counseling
  • sibling therapy
  • group therapy
  • medication consultations

Support and Education

The clinic provides ongoing support and education for children and their families, including:

  • education about the effects of illness and treatment
  • preparation for medical and surgical procedures
  • consultation to schools and health care providers

Boston Children's Department of Psychiatry has created a free guide, "Helping Your Child Cope with Medical Experiences" to prepare parents for their child's hospitalization. (Adobe Acrobat required)

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

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