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Psychology and Behavioral Health

Contact number | 202-476-5995

When your child is dealing with a psychological condition, everyone in the family is affected. Our child psychologists and other mental health professionals understand the unique behavioral health needs of children and teens. We respectfully work together with your family to find the most appropriate treatments to manage your child’s symptoms and restore his or her quality of life.

Treating Your Child's Unique Psychological Needs 

Features of the Division of Psychology and Behavioral Health at Children’s National Health System include:

  • Individualized approach to treatment. Our team offers comprehensive psychological care throughout numerous specialty clinics, each uniquely designed to treat your child’s particular needs. Psychological care is not a one-size-fits-all approach at Children’s National, which is why we offer targeted programs for anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and coping with chronic illnesses like diabetes and food allergies. Following a thorough assessment, our team develops the right treatment method for your child and family. Treatment can include cognitive and behavioral therapy, medication or a combination of both.
  • Ongoing research to improve treatment methods. We are dedicated to providing evidence based psychological care. Through our involvement in research based at Children’s National and in collaboration with organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, our psychologists and behavioral health specialists are working to advance the field of psychology, so every child receives the care he or she deserves.
  • Support for the entire family. We understand that psychological conditions are difficult not only for the child, but also for parents and siblings. Our team offers compassionate support for social, educational and emotional difficulties that often accompany psychological and physical conditions. In addition to individual therapy sessions, family and group therapy sessions offer comprehensive support for the whole family.

Conditions We Treat

If your son or daughter has a psychological condition, Children’s National specialists are uniquely qualified to help children and teens with a range of concerns, including:

  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Autistic disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Coping with chronic medical illnesses including food allergies, diabetes, celiac, cancer, chronic pain and HIV
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Major depression
  • Obesity
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Young children with disruptive behaviors

Services We Provide

We treat every patient at Children’s National as an individual. To accurately diagnose and provide the most appropriate care, we consider all the variables that might affect your child or teen.

Depending on your child’s needs, our specialists may interview him or her separately from the parents. We also may have you or your child fill out questionnaires about different aspects of your child’s life, including physical health concerns, difficulties at school, and behavior with friends and family.

Our care team offers the following services:

  • Family therapy
  • Parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT) for young children with disruptive behaviors
  • Psychotherapy
  • School consultation

Multidisciplinary Specialty Programs

Some children and teens have complex conditions and benefit from multidisciplinary programs that call on the expertise of many specialists. We work closely with our colleagues in specialties throughout Children’s National, including Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, to provide optimum treatment for our patients.

Our psychologists are embedded in and serve as consultants to many divisions and programs throughout Children’s including Allergy and Immunology, Bariatric Surgery, CardiologyCraniofacial ProgramDiabetes and Endocrinology, Epilepsy, Gastroenterology, HematologyKidney TransplantationNeonatologyOncology, Pain Medicine Care Complex, Pulmonary Medicine, Sleep MedicineTrauma and Burn Surgery and Primary Care

Specialized clinics within the Division of Psychology and Behavioral Health include:

Medical Psychology Program

The Medical Psychology Program at Children's National serves families and patients who have chronic medical conditions, acute physical symptoms or distress associated with medical treatment. Assistance provided by the medical psychology program includes:

  • Adjustment to illness training
  • Communication with the patient’s other medical care providers
  • Habit reversal CBT for Tourette syndrome/tic disorders
  • Medical adherence management (including training on pill swallowing)
  • Pain management
  • Relaxation training
  • Stress management

The Medical Psychology Program also offers emotional support as well as resources and specialists for parents and caregivers, to assist in caring for a child with these conditions. This includes:

  • Helping your child cope with medical regimens and procedures
  • Screenings for mental health-related side effects of medical treatment, such as developmental, educational or neuropsychological effects
  • Medical evaluations and consultation
  • Individual, family and group psychotherapy is also available to help families cope with a child's illness, school attendance issues, bereavement and other issues.

Contact Us

Please call us at 202-476-5995 to schedule an appointment or for more information. If you're the parent of a new patient, please fill out the Psychology New Patient Intake Packet prior to your visit.

Psychology and Behavioral Health Team