Pediatric Health Psychology

Pediatric Health Psychology

When your child’s medical condition impacts their emotional health, behavior or social functioning, our expert pediatric health psychologists and therapists work closely with other doctors to treat all aspects of your child’s health.

Illnesses, injuries and surgeries can be mentally and emotionally challenging for kids. Our pediatric health psychology team specializes in working with children who have health conditions. We help them adjust to their diagnosis, cope with a condition or treatment, prepare for surgery, manage pain and more.

Many of our pediatric health psychologists and therapists have extensive experience supporting kids facing illnesses like cancer, epilepsy and heart conditions. We also partner with primary care doctors who see kids who are at risk for mental health concerns. For example, our psychology team works with doctors in our foster care clinic to help children and their caregivers cultivate healthy behaviors and relationships.

Dallas

214-456-2240

Fax: 214-456-1206
Suite F4500

Plano

469-497-2505

Fax: 469-497-2511
Suite P2600

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Tailoring treatments to your child’s needs

Our team provides a range of tests and treatments, depending on what’s best for your child. These include:

  • Developmental evaluations, to assess your young child’s skills based on what is typical for their age
  • Pre-surgical evaluations, to identify your child’s strengths and areas where additional support may be needed before an upcoming procedure
  • Play therapy, which allows younger kids to express their emotions and learn to cope through play
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy, which gives children and teens ways to understand and control their thoughts, feelings and behavior
  • Biofeedback, where we use data like your child’s heart rate to help them develop control over symptoms
  • Hypnotherapy, where your child develops a state of mind that helps them manage how they experience pain and other symptoms
  • Adherence and self-management, which supports your child in staying on track with medication, diet and other recommendations related to their health

Understanding your child’s needs

A child who has a long-term illness like cystic fibrosis or is facing a challenge like an organ transplant has unique psychosocial needs. Our pediatric health psychology providers work with a variety of medical clinics and services to care for patients like these. On some medical teams, psychology is automatically involved as part of the multidisciplinary team; in other areas, medical providers may refer to psychology when a need is identified.

Our psychologists and therapists have specialized experience caring for kids with medical conditions, so they know the symptoms to watch for and how to treat them. We come up with a treatment plan that’s custom-made to your child’s needs. This can range from a one-time appointment to monitoring your child’s coping over several years while they receive medical care for a chronic condition.

Helping children manage physical symptoms

Many of our patients have conditions that cause pain or other symptoms that may interfere with daily activities. These may include things like joint pain, nausea or discomfort. Our psychologists and therapists teach kids strategies to manage these symptoms.

One strategy that may be used with these symptoms is biofeedback, where we measure signs of stress like heart rate to help kids understand what’s going on inside their bodies when they feel pain or distress. Then we teach kids how to manage these responses and how to see the direct effect they can have on their bodies. These effects might include decreasing their heart rate, which gives them more control over their stress and pain.

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Fellowship and Doctoral Training

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