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Pediatric Psychology


Headaches, abdominal pain, constipation and soiling, bedwetting, tics, sleep problems, and stress-related difficulties are psychophysiological problems frequently encountered in pediatric health care. These problems are highly stressful to children, youth, and families and often cause significant impairment in daily functioning. The Pediatric Behavioral Medicine Program at The Children's Hospital at The Cleveland Clinic offers behavioral assessment and treatment of recurrent pains, incontinence, and other mind-body problems, with the goals of helping children gain control over their symptoms and restoring normal activity level. The objectives of the assessment process are to increase understanding of psychological/behavioral contributors to the child's symptoms and to assist in the development of a comprehensive behavioral treatment plan. Treatment services are problem-focused and short-term in nature. An emphasis is on empirically supported interventions, reflecting the state of the art in behavioral treatment. Treatment plans are individually tailored and may include self-regulation skills training, biofeedback, relaxation/mental imagery, parent management training, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Behavioral Medicine staff collaborate with referring health care providers and are available to consult with schools, child care, and other relevant settings.

The Pediatric Behavioral Medicine Program accepts referrals from primary care practitioners and pediatric subspecialists following medical evaluation and recommendation for behavioral assessment and treatment. For some children, Behavioral Medicine intervention represents the primary treatment modality for their problems. For others, these treatment services are an adjunct to standard medical management. Behavioral Medicine staff can also assist in the differential diagnosis of psychophysiological problems and facilitate referrals to other Cleveland Clinic practitioners, as appropriate.

The Pediatric Behavioral Medicine Program is a training site for Cleveland Clinic psychology fellows and pediatric residents. Under staff supervision, trainees may be involved in all aspects of clinical service delivery, including assessment, patient education, treatment, and consultation. The program maintains a standardized database to facilitate research examining the nature and treatment of recurrent pains, incontinence, and other psychophysiological problems in children and adolescents. The goals of this research are to promote better understanding of these problems and to improve the treatment and care of those affected by them.

For more information on the Pediatric Behavioral Medicine Program, please contact Gerard A. Banez, Ph.D. at (216) 445-8658. To refer patients, call (216) 445-2066.

Location and Directions

The Section of Pediatric Psychology is located at the Main Campus, in the A Building, between Carnegie Avenue and Euclid Avenue and on East 100th Street in downtown Cleveland.

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