Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology
Programs and Services

Programs and Services

Evaluating and treating behavioral health issues like ADHD or anxiety involve tests and therapies designed for your child's needs. Learn more about our specialty programs and services, and the many clinical programs we partner with.

Specialty Programs

Center for Adherence and Self-Management
Children are referred to the Center for Adherence and Self-Management for evaluation and assistance following medical treatment recommendations and coping with chronic medical conditions.

Center for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Children are referred to the Center for ADHD for both comprehensive evaluations and assistance with behavioral management of attention problems.

Neuropsychology Program
Children are referred to the Neuropsychology Program to address neurologically based cognitive and behavior problems. The team helps these children learn, grow and reach their highest potential.

Treatments and Services

Behavioral Medicine Consultation-Liaison
We provide a Behavioral Medicine Consultation-Liaison (C-L) service for pediatric inpatients admitted to the medical, surgical, intensive care and rehabilitation units at Cincinnati Children’s. This service assists patients and their families with a variety of concerns related to their hospitalization including pain management, coping with new diagnoses, anxiety related to hospitalization and family-team communication. While healthcare providers often identify patients and families who may benefit from this service, patients and families can request a consult.

Biofeedback is a training technique used to alleviate pain and stress. There is strong research evidence of biofeedback’s use in treating pediatric migraines and headaches. Patients are taught to control a variety of body functions such as skin temperature, heart rate, breathing and muscle tension by using signals from their own bodies. Patients are trained in relaxation skills such as deep breathing, guided imagery and progressive muscle relaxation while they receive feedback on a computer screen.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Our clinicians use the evidence-based practice of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), specifically utilizing Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), to treat all common childhood behavioral health conditions such as ADHD, depression, anxiety and adjustment disorder. We involve the family in treatment planning and monitoring of treatment progress. Patients and parents follow the child's progress in treatment by graphing symptom severity at every session.

Integrated Behavioral Health
We provide Integrated Behavioral Health services for pediatric patients in primary care at Cincinnati Children’s. Integrated Behavioral Health psychologists provide prevention services for children birth to 5 years old, with the goal of partnering with families to promote health and development. Integrated Behavioral Health psychologists also assist patients and their families with a variety of concerns including behavior problems, anxiety, depression, pain management, coping with diagnoses, and making goals to improve their health. 

Psychological Evaluations
We conduct psychological evaluations for a variety of reasons. Children are often referred for testing to determine their levels of intellectual, or emotional functioning, areas of strengths and weaknesses, and styles of learning and processing information. This testing is useful for diagnostic purposes, treatment planning, and offering care recommendations for home and school.

Psychological Testing Consultations to Psychiatry
Children and adolescents admitted to psychiatry’s inpatient, partial hospitalization and residential treatment programs can be referred for a psychological testing consultation.

Testing consultation is useful for diagnostic clarification, case conceptualization and outpatient treatment planning, especially when patients are not making progress with outpatient treatment or need a quick response due to a psychiatric crisis. Psychological testing can identify illness factors that a patient cannot identify or articulate. It can help the care team prioritize personalized treatment goals, and can serve as a second opinion to support or refute initial clinical impressions. In addition, testing can identify and document changes in functioning following residential treatment.

Partners in Care

We're integrated with many clinical programs to help children with specific medical conditions deal with illness. See how we work together with your care team.

Brain Health and Wellness Center
The Brain Health and Wellness Center provides multidisciplinary care to children who have sustained a concussion or other types of traumatic brain injury. Our psychologists conduct brief psychosocial evaluations, triages patients for additional services as needed, and provides brief evidence-based interventions for emotional, behavioral, social and adherence issues that may result from brain injury.

Cincinnati Center for Eosinophilic Disorders
Children are referred nationally and internationally to the Cincinnati Center for Eosinophilic Disorders for the diagnosis and treatment of eosinophilic disease. The team psychologist provides services to families and children having difficulty adjusting to or coping with illness, and helps improve treatment adherence, particularly with regard to restricted diets, pain management and other psychological concerns.

Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center
The Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center is one of 11 nationally funded translational and basic science treatment centers for persons affected by sickle cell disease (SCD). The SCD psychology service sees patients during clinic visits as part of a multi-disciplinary team focusing on pain management, adherence to treatment regimens, adjustment to illness, and emotional or behavioral problems. The psychology service also directs a web-based pilot project designed to improve healthcare satisfaction and patient-provider communication during clinic visits. In addition, the psychology service coordinates the multidisciplinary team that works with adolescents and young adults as they transition to the adult healthcare system.

Craniofacial Center
The Craniofacial Center is comprised of a multidisciplinary team managing children with a variety of craniofacial anomalies. The team psychologist provides consultation on general behavioral, developmental and condition-specific concerns expressed by these patients and their families.

Cystic Fibrosis Center
The Cystic Fibrosis Center provides multidisciplinary care for children with cystic fibrosis and their families. Psychological services include consultation with team members regarding general behavioral, developmental and disease-specific concerns, as well as direct clinical services for children and families. Psychologists also conduct clinical research examining behaviorally based feeding interventions for toddlers and children.

Diabetes Center
The Diabetes Center provides multidisciplinary care for approximately 2,000 children, adolescents and young adults with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes and their families. There is a team of psychologists who provides assessment and treatment for a wide variety of emotional and behavioral problems commonly experienced in diabetes; these include mood disorders, needle phobia, problems adjusting to diabetes and family conflict that is often associated with poor adherence to complicated treatment regimens.

Differences of Sex Development (DSD) Center
Differences of sex development can have a profound effect on children and their families. While some of these conditions are diagnosed at birth, others are not discovered until later in life.

The psychologist working with the DSD Center population provides assessment and treatment of a variety of emotional and behavioral issues including depression and anxiety, nonadherence to treatment, body image and identity concerns and medical decision making. The psychologist also works with parents on communication related to talking about DSD with their children and others.

Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) Center
The EB Center provides interdisciplinary care to patients with EB, a group of inherited dermatological disorders characterized by fragile, blistering skin. The psychologist focuses on family and patient adjustment, patient adaptive coping, behavioral assessment and mental health screening to address and treat difficulties in these areas.

Headache Center
The Headache Center is an internationally recognized, interdisciplinary treatment program that includes the Division of Neurology and the Division of Psychology. Psychologists work with the team of physicians and nurses to promote health behaviors that reduce the frequency of headaches, teach active approaches that lead to optimal adherence in taking abortive and preventative medications for headache, and provide specialized training in the use of biofeedback-assisted relaxation to prevent headaches and help children better cope with pain when headaches occur.

Heart and Mind Wellbeing Center
The Heart and Mind Wellbeing Center provides emotional support and mental health care for people with heart disease and their families—parents and siblings included. Our team of experts offers specialized psychological care for people of all ages with heart disease and their families, including parents after prenatal heart diagnosis; infants, children and teens; and adults. Our goal is to help families navigate through times of stress and uncertainty, and regain a sense of hope and control.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center
Optimal care for children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and their families requires a multidisciplinary approach, including psychology. These children are served by a full-time pediatric psychologist providing individual and family therapy in the IBD Center and as an outpatient service for the significant psychosocial issues associated with this chronic medical condition. Further, a specialized psychologist provides specific intervention for adherence issues for the IBD patient. Finally, a research psychologist coordinates with the clinical services for ongoing studies related to IBD.

International Adoption Center
The International Adoption Center is committed to providing interdisciplinary care to children who have been adopted internationally and their families. The psychologist is actively involved in conducting psychological evaluations of the children to identify any cognitive, academic and emotional or behavioral needs. This helps adopting families seek early, appropriate interventions. The psychologist also collaborates closely with the center’s social worker, school intervention coordinator and medical staff.

Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Center
The Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Center provides expert care for children, adolescents and young adults with all types of neuroinflammatory diseases, including multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus, and optic neuritis.

New Onset Seizure Program
The New Onset Seizure Program is part of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program. The team psychologist conducts brief psychosocial evaluations, triages patients and their families for additional services (neuropsychological or developmental testing) and provides brief interventions for emotional, behavioral, social and adherence issues.

Pain Management Center
The Pain Management Center provides multidisciplinary assessment and treatment of chronic pain conditions in children and adolescents. Patients see the pain physician (anesthesiologist), psychologist and physical therapist for a comprehensive evaluation. The Pain Management Center also evaluates patients seeking entry into the Functional Independence Restoration Program (FIRST), an inpatient rehabilitation program to treat severe, disabling pain. Comprehensive treatment usually includes medication, biofeedback, coping skills training (also known as cognitive behavioral therapy-CBT), and physical therapy. The goal of treatment is to reduce pain and improve daily functioning and coping skills.

Pediatric Transplant Center
Children being considered for a transplant undergo a multidisciplinary evaluation which may involve surgeons, physicians, social workers, child life specialists, chaplains, financial counselors, dieticians, pharmacists, and psychologists. The transplant team psychologist evaluates the patient’s developmental, emotional, family, behavioral functioning, and identifies strengths and potential barriers to post-transplant care. Inpatient and outpatient psychologist services are available for children and their families who are having difficulty adjusting to or coping with transplant process. Learn more about the Pediatric Transplant Center.

Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens
The Surgical Weight Loss Program for Teens is a surgical intervention program for significantly overweight adolescents. This program offers a family-centered approach to treating obesity in teens, including long-term after care and emotional support. Patients and their families are counseled and closely followed within a clinical setting, which is designed to meet the psychosocial, emotional and medical needs of overweight adolescents. The psychologist works with prospective patients to determine whether bariatric surgery is an appropriate choice. After surgery, the psychologist works with the patient and family to provide support and facilitate adherence with post-operative treatment guidelines.