A photo of Monica Whitehead.

Monica R. Whitehead, PhD

  • Pediatric Psychologist, Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology
  • Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
In my practice, I highly value and adhere to evidence-based approaches to care. I ensure that my patients and their families feel empowered as I’m sure their world can sometimes feel out of control, and I want them to recognize what they can control.



As a pediatric psychologist, I provide prevention and intervention services for children through young adults, in a primary care setting. I strive to give my patients and their families a specific plan and strategies to address their needs every time I see them. I want families to know that when they meet me, they are going to get someone genuine, family-focused and a little bit silly.
I will always take their concerns seriously, and if in the process, I can connect with them through humor, all the better.

I first became interested in psychology as a high school freshman when I learned about Freud in an English class. My passion for helping children grew as I learned more about psychopathology in college. As a first-generation college student, when it was time to choose a career, I went with my gut. I entered into a clinical psychology graduate program, and happily, it has been the right field for me.

In my practice, I highly value and adhere to evidence-based approaches to care. I ensure that my patients and their families feel empowered as I’m sure their world can sometimes feel out of control, and I want them to recognize what they can control.

I value teaming up with my medical colleagues to address my patients’ problems in a setting that families find comfortable and familiar. I find it very rewarding to address concerns as they arise and to provide real-time therapeutic services.

In addition to helping patients, I’m involved in research. My research interests include emotional and social functioning in anxious youth, therapeutic process variables, and evaluating short-term interventions and quality improvement in the primary care setting.

In my free time, my family and I enjoy watching stand-up comedy, arguing over who has the best college football team, going on walks with our dogs and spending time outside together. I also occasionally catch the running bug and run half marathons.

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A Virtual Reality Curriculum to Enhance Residents' Behavioral Health Anticipatory Guidance Skills: A Pilot Trial. Real, FJ; Whitehead, M; Ollberding, NJ; Rosen, BL; Meisman, A; Crosby, LE; Klein, MD; Herbst, R. Ambulatory Pediatrics. 2022.

Assessment of Competency-Based Behavioral Health Anticipatory Guidance Skills Among Pediatric Residents: the Role of Virtual Reality. Real, FJ; Whitehead, M; Rosen, BL; Meisman, A; Crosby, LE; Klein, MD; Herbst, RB. Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science. 2022; 7:115-124.

A Virtual Reality Resident Training Curriculum on Behavioral Health Anticipatory Guidance: Development and Usability Study. Herbst, R; Rybak, T; Meisman, A; Whitehead, M; Rosen, B; Crosby, LE; Klein, MD; Real, FJ. 2021; 4.

Medical-Legal-Psychology Partnerships - Innovation in Addressing Social Determinants of Health in Pediatric Primary Care. Lawton, R; Whitehead, M; Henize, A; Fink, E; Salamon, M; Kahn, R; Beck, AF; Klein, M. Ambulatory Pediatrics. 2020; 20:902-904.

Retrospective cohort study of a novel acceptance and commitment therapy group intervention for adolescents implemented in integrated primary care. O'Dell, SM; Hosterman, SJ; Hostutler, CA; Nordberg, C; Klinger, T; Petts, RA; Whitehead, MR; Faulkner, SA; Garcia, A; Massura, CA. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science. 2020; 16:109-118.

Child social and emotion functioning as predictors of therapeutic alliance in cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxiety. Whitehead, M; Jones, A; Bilms, J; Lavner, J; Suveg, C. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 2019; 75:7-20.

A Model-Based Cluster Analysis of Maternal Emotion Regulation and Relations to Parenting Behavior. Shaffer, A; Whitehead, M; Davis, M; Morelen, D; Suveg, C. Family Process. 2018; 57:707-718.

Emotion-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Youth with Anxiety Disorders: A Randomized Trial. Suveg, C; Jones, A; Davis, M; Jacob, ML; Morelen, D; Thomassin, K; Whitehead, M. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. 2018; 46:569-580.

An empirical approach to assessing training needs for emergency department management of intentional self-harm and related behaviors in the United States. Whitehead, M; Shahidullah, J; Kettlewell, P; Quinlan, N; Strony, R. Journal of educational evaluation for health professions. 2017; 14.

Still lonely: Social adjustment of youth with and without social anxiety disorder following cognitive behavioral therapy. Suveg, C; Kingery, JN; Davis, M; Jones, A; Whitehead, M; Jacob, ML. Journal of Anxiety Disorders. 2017; 52:72-78.

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