Who we are
Children’s Hospital Boston has a distinguished history of providing outstanding, comprehensive mental health services for children, adolescents and families. Our treatment plans draw from rigorous scientific research but are based on compassionate, family-centered care. Our mental health clinicians have extensive experience diagnosing and treating the full range of psychiatric disorders, and we never lose sight of the fact that your child is an individual—and not merely a recipient of care.
Children's Department of Psychiatry treats children and teens by using including individual, group and family psychotherapy. Our goal is always to help the child return to the most normal, healthy psychological development possible.
In some instances, a child experiences a psychiatric condition that so severely affects his development that psychotherapy alone cannot control all of his symptoms nor return him to a healthy stage of development. In these cases, psychiatric medication may be necessary to bolster the effectiveness of psychotherapy.
We don’t prescribe behavioral medications unless a child is receiving psychotherapy. We regard psychiatric medication as a helpful part of some patients’ overall treatment, but not as a standalone treatment method.
Who we help
Our Psychopharmacology Clinic helps young patients, ages 4 to 18, who may benefit from the addition of behavioral medications to their existing mental health treatment plans. We see patients who have been diagnosed with:
- anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and phobias
- bipolar disorder
- developmental disorders, such as autism
- impulse control and attentional disorders, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Tourette's disorder
- disorders that cause hallucinations and psychosis, such as schizophrenia
How we can make a difference
Working closely with your family, your child's referring physician and other specialists across Children's, our Psychopharmacology Clinic team can help:
- evaluate your child's current situation
- determine whether psychiatric medication may be a useful part of your child's overall mental health treatment plan, in conjunction with continued psychotherapy
- decide which medication(s) would be most beneficial in treating your child's symptoms while minimizing disruption to school, home and social life
- monitor and, if necessary, adjust medication dosages and ensure that the medication is having the desired effect
Using battling spaceships to help kids overcome anger
Advances in neurobiology and computer science have made it possible for Children's clinicians to design special interventions that strengthen children's ability to control emotions. Psychopharmacology Clinic Chief Joseph M. Gonzalez-Heydrich, MD, working with Children's social worker Peter Ducharme, LICSW, and postdoctoral fellow Jason Kahn, PhD, has developed a computer game called “RAGE-Control (Regulate And Gain Emotional Control).”
Read more about the RAGE-Control game.
Conditions & Treatments
- Adjustment disorders
- Binge eating disorder
- Bulimia nervosa
- Eating disorders
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Lying and stealing
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
- Tourette's Disorder