Psychology and Psychotherapy Services
What Is Psychology?
Psychology is the science of the mind and behavior. A psychologist or psychotherapist works with patients to diagnose and treat a wide range of psychological disorders as well as to assist with management of medical conditions. Psychologists and psychotherapists can provide psychotherapy to address a number of difficulties (e.g., anxiety, depression, adherence, adjustment to a medical diagnosis) as well as psychological testing to assess various areas of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning. In Minnesota, psychologists do not prescribe medication.
Conditions Psychology and Psychotherapy Treats
Kids who have disabilities and complex conditions often require mental health care which may be provided by a psychologist or psychotherapist. If your child has one of the following conditions, working with a pediatric mental health professional might help:
- Cerebral palsy.
- Epilepsy and seizures.
- Brain injury and related neurotrauma, including concussions.
- Spina bifida.
- Muscular dystrophy and other neuromuscular conditions.
People who have physical disabilities often also have difficulties related to:
- Adhering to treatments necessary to manage medical conditions.
- Adjustment disorders.
- Attention, hyperactivity and learning disorders.
- Mood disorders.
Psychology Tests and Treatments
If your child or teen has mental health needs related to a disability or complex condition, we offer psychological evaluations. We might also recommend a psychological testing evaluation if you have concerns about your child’s cognitive, emotional, and/or behavioral functioning. Our goal is to identify your child’s strengths and weaknesses.
We meet with caregivers and the patient to gather information through an interview, questionnaires, and activity-based tests. We also gather information from schools and teachers. After the evaluation is complete, we’ll work with you to determine next steps which might include recommendations for school intervention, psychotherapy, medication management, or other services to help your child make the most of their abilities at home, at school and in the community.
Psychotherapy may occur with either a psychologist or a licensed clinical social worker to help you and your child better manage emotions, behaviors, and medical needs. We also help teens and adults make the transition to adulthood, including planning for secondary education. Psychotherapy may include a series of one-hour sessions that include family members or be done individually. We often use play therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and biofeedback.
Psychologists and psychotherapists at Gillette Children’s are experts in the unique needs of children, teens, and adults who have disabilities and complex conditions.
By collaborating with other specialists, a pediatric psychologist or psychotherapist makes sure any recommended treatment works well with your child’s comprehensive care plan. In addition to a child psychologist, your family might work with experts in the following areas: