Pediatric Psychology Consult & Liason Service
Our Pediatric Psychology Consult and Liasion Service aims to help children who are diagnosed with significant physical illness and at risk for associated developmental, behavioral, and emotional problems. The goal is to provide clinical interventions to help children and families adapt certain behaviors while processing the emotional variability they may experience. Our pediatric psychologist provides behavioral health services in the form of psychological consultation and clinical intervention to children who are hospitalized for a wide range of acute and chronic illnesses, as well as physical trauma. Some diseases and medical interventions are accompanied by physical changes (such as weight gain, hair loss, and growth limitations) or cognitive changes (such as learning difficulties and memory problems). Traumas that result in dramatic change of physical ability or appearance (such as amputation or scaring) can be associated with overwhelming emotional responses. These added challenges can exacerbate the emotional and social difficulties faced by these children, as well as their families. The experience of a significant illness or trauma can interfere with the development of a child's independence, self-confidence, social skills, and sense of security within his or her environment. Pediatric psychologists have the specific training to understand these obstacles.
If your child is hospitalized at Golisano Children's Hospital and there are concerns regarding his or her developmental, behavioral, or emotional functioning, your child's medical team may request a consultation with our pediatric psychologist. Consultations are also typically requested for patients who are newly diagnosed with a chronic or critical medical condition, and when there are concerns regarding the impact of psychological factors on physical symptoms (such as headache, abdominal pain). Common psychological interventions include:
- Supportive psychotherapy with the child and family
- Assessment and treatment of mood disorders (e.g., depressive and anxiety disorders), particularly as they relate to/ impact the child's physical illness
- Assistance with procedure-related anxiety management
- Guidance in the use of cognitive-behavioral (non-pharmacological) strategies for symptom (e.g., pain, nausea) management
- Interventions to help promote compliance with medical/ dietary regimens
- Parental guidance regarding management of the child's behavior, emotions, and illness-related academic concerns
- For the most significantly ill patients, psychological support around the many aspects of end-of-life decision-making and care.