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Attention and Behavior Problems Clinic

Attention and Behavior Problems Clinic
Department of Psychiatry
University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview
F275/2B West
2450 Riverside Avenue
Minneapolis
, Minnesota 55454

 

The Attention and Behavior Problems Clinic at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview provides state-of-the-art assessment and intervention for children and adolescents with attention deficits, behavior problems, social adjustment difficulties, and learning delays.

Diagnostic Evaluation and Psychological Assessment

All children/teens that come to the Clinic are offered a diagnostic evaluation. Typically this is accomplished during the first two-hour meeting. This often includes reviewing records and interviewing the child/teen and parent(s)/guardian(s) about current difficulties, developmental history, and family challenges. More often than not the child/teen and parents/guardians are interviewed separately for at least part of the first appointment. Sometimes family members are asked to complete questionnaires that focus on specific problem areas. The diagnostic evaluation often provides enough information to both derive diagnoses and formulate a treatment plan.

Clinic staff will send out a packet of parent and teacher questionnaires and other forms for the family to prepare prior to the first visit. We request that this information along with other relevant medical, mental health, and/or school information be completed and compiled prior to the family’s appointment. If there is adequate time (at least one week prior the appointment), the family may mail the materials to the clinic at the address above. Please add “Attn: Dr. Piehler” to the subject address line. If sending the information ahead of time is not possible, the family is requested to bring it with them to the first appointment.

For some children, the diagnostic evaluation is supported with additional psychological assessment which is usually conducted during subsequent appointments. This may involve administration of social-emotional, cognitive, neuropsychological screening, and/or achievement tests to the child/teen to further evaluate possible behavioral, social, emotional, and academic difficulties. The amount of time devoted to psychological assessment can range from several hours to many hours depending on the child/teen’s presenting problems and needs. Information from the diagnostic evaluation and psychological assessment is integrated to provide a comprehensive description of the child/teen’s struggles and a set of recommendations for the child/teen and family.

Intervention Services

Families have the option of participating in psychotherapy and medication management services implemented by Clinic staff. Family-focused psychotherapy services are provided within a context of weekly, 50-minute outpatient appointments. The exact number of sessions varies depending on the unique needs and circumstances of the child and family. These sessions typically focus on parent and family skills training including child behavioral management methods and strategies to facilitate the child's self-control, social, emotional, and academic skill development. Parents tend to be highly involved in psychotherapy services. Other intervention approaches are also often utilized to augment parent and family skills training.

Medical consultation and medication management by a child psychiatrist are also treatment options. In separate appointments, a child psychiatrist is available to consult with families regarding diagnostic issues and medication options. If a medication is prescribed, the child psychiatrist will carefully monitor the child/teen’s progress to obtain maximal benefit with minimal side effects.

Clinic staff also utilize other therapeutic strategies and treatment modalities, which may include the following:

  • Child-focused cognitive behavioral therapy for depression, anxiety or other emotional issues (e.g., poor self-esteem)
  • Consulting with schools to address learning and behavioral concerns
  • Accessing family and child support services in communities

There is coordination across practitioners in the Clinic and with other school- and/or community-based providers. 

Clinic Staff

Clinic Director: Timothy F. Piehler, Ph.D., L.P.
Medical Director: George M. Realmuto, M.D.

Consultant:

Michael L. Bloomquist, Ph.D., L.P.
Trainees: Advanced Clinical Psychology Interns under the supervision of Dr. Piehler, and Psychiatry Residents and Fellows under the supervision of Dr. Realmuto also provide services.

 

Referrals and Questions

Referrals are accepted from family members and school/health professionals. For further information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Intake at (612) 273-8710.

 

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