Members of Children’s Hospital Boston Department of Psychiatry team are always working to improve therapies, either by improving current treatment options or by creating entirely new approaches. Some of the changes come from basic science discoveries, while others come from clinical research. We also look externally, advocating for our patients and their rights, so that they are able to live the highest quality life.
By making changes on all fronts, we are able to advance today’s treatments for tomorrow’s children.
Here are some examples of why our program is special and how we’ve initiated essential change over the years:
- Children’s was one of the first pediatric psychiatry programs in the world to introduce the concept of integrated, collaborative health care—offering mental health services within several other Children's departments and services:
We operate a thriving research program with projects that focus on:
- behavioral techniques to assist with chronic pain management
- children’s emotional and biological development
- the impact of parenting techniques on children’s psychological treatment
- interventions for children with family histories of depression
- psychiatric symptoms in children with epilepsy
- psychopharmacological treatments for children with bipolar disorder
Children's uses battling spaceships to help kids overcome anger
Advances in neurobiology and computer science have made it possible for our clinicians to design special interventions that strengthen children's ability to control emotions. Children’s Psychopharmacology Clinic chief Joseph Gonzalez-Heydrich, MD,working with social worker Peter Ducharme, LICSW, and postdoctoral fellow Jason Kahn, PhD, has developed a computer game called “RAGE-Control (Regulate And Gain Emotional Control).”
Using the popular arcade staple “Space Invaders” as a model, RAGE-Control teaches children to simultaneously focus, react, inhibit impulses and keep their heart rate down in the context of the traditional space battle game. RAGE-Control is part of a clinical trial onChildren's Inpatient Psychiatry Service,and Gonzalez-Heydrich and his colleagues hope to develop a multi-user module that allows parents and siblings to participate in the game and adapt healthy emotional strategies, too.