The Behavioral Medicine Clinic at Boston Children's Hospital works with children and their families to help them cope with the stress of medical experiences.
Our team includes pediatric psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals who provide comprehensive evaluation, treatment and ongoing support and education for patients and their families.
The team was created in response to the stress and concerns that many of our patients and families express before, during and after their medical experiences at 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
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 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