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Psychology

The Psychology Program at Children's Specialized Hospital provides comprehensive evaluation and therapy services for patients with or without complex medical needs, including patients with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.

doctor with boy at tableOur services can assist a child in the following areas:

  • Behavioral difficulties
  • Panic disorders
  • Social skill deficits
  • Peer and sibling problems
  • Trauma
  • Abuse
  • Adjustment problems
  • Anxiety and other mood disorders
  • Depression

Comprehensive assessments, including psycho-diagnostic evaluations, educational evaluations, and clinical assessments are done to clarify a child’s diagnosis.

They are also done to assess cognitive, behavioral, social, emotional, academic, attention and executive functioning areas, determine strengths and weaknesses, and recommend effective interventions.

Assessment and Evaluation

Comprehensive assessments, including psycho-diagnostic evaluations, educational evaluations, and clinical assessments are done to clarify a child’s diagnosis. They are also done to assess cognitive, behavioral, social, emotional, academic, attention, and executive functioning areas, determine strengths and weaknesses, and recommend effective interventions.

Treatment and Outcomes

Treatment is provided through individual play therapy, psychotherapy, behavior therapy, parent counseling, family therapy, group therapy, or a combination of these methods.

A parent workshop series is provided for parents of children ages 3–12 who present with disruptive behavior. These include ADHD, oppositional defiant issues or other issues involving non–compliance. The workshop series focuses on teaching behavior management, parenting and organizational skills while providing the parents the support of a group experience. Visit our Classes and Workshops page to view upcoming workshops.

Additionally, Group therapy and psycho-educational programs for children and adolescents with social skill weaknesses or other issues are offered. These groups may be structured to include family and caregiver participation.

All services are always tailored to meet the needs of the child or adolescent and his or her family.

Psychological Services Team

The Psychological Services team includes licensed psychologists, clinical social workers, professional counselors, learning disability-teacher consultants, and mental health access coordinators. This team focuses on enhancing the mental health of children, adolescents and their families. As pediatric professionals, Psychology staff understands the unique psychosocial, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive needs of children at each stage of their lives and views the family/caregiver as playing an essential role in the development and support of the child or adolescent.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Family Advisory Council at Children’s Specialized Hospital is dedicated to collaborating with hospital leadership and staff, empowering families to provide valuable input toward improving organizational policies and practices. The Council has created the information below to assist in preparing for your visit.

Q: What will happen during the first session?
A: Your first session is called a diagnostic interview. During this 45-minute session, the therapist will ask you questions regarding your concerns and will gather information about your child’s behavioral, social, medical, developmental, educational and family history. The therapist will complete notes using a computer, which are stored in an electronic medical record. You and your therapist will work in partnership to help your child. Together, you will develop a treatment plan, in which most goals can be addressed in 3 to 5 months.

Q: How long will the session take?
A: The session will take approximately 45 minutes.

Q: What is my role during the session?
A: The therapist is an expert in child behavior, but you are the expert regarding your child. The therapist will typically gather information from you and let you know if they need any other help during the diagnostic interview.

Q: Can I talk to the therapist without my child present?
A: Certainly, just let your therapist know at the beginning of the session that you would like to speak to him/her alone. Please recognize that your child may also want to speak privately.

Q: How should I prepare my child for the session?
A: Let your child know that the therapist is someone with whom he or she can share information. Children should understand that we all need a counselor (“talking doctor”) to help us at times. It is helpful to think of your therapist as someone who can help your family to stay emotionally healthy. Think of therapy as a family resource.

Q: What do I need to bring?
A: Please bring:

  • A current photo ID (license)
  • Insurance card
  • Referral if needed
  • A current list of your child’s medications
  • School reports
  • Prior evaluations
  • Guardian papers (if joint, or sole custody)*
  • Many parents also find it helpful to bring a list of questions to ask the therapist

*The legal guardian must attend the first session

Q: Can I bring my other children?
A: If possible, it is recommended that siblings stay home so that the parent can give their full attention and participate during the visit. If you need to bring your other children with you, it is recommended to have another adult accompany you with activities to occupy the siblings during the session.

Q: If therapy is recommended, will my insurance pay for it?
A: Medical coverage may vary, but many health insurance plans cover our services. Please contact your insurance company to verify if your plan offers a benefit for mental health services. Our Patient Access Service department will call to obtain authorization for treatment.

Children's Specialized Hospital
200 Somerset Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 258-7000
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