Outpatient Psychiatric Services

The outpatient services program provides more than 18,000 clinical visits each year. Children are referred for a wide variety of concerns, including, anxiety disorders, psychoses, behavior problems, school problems, affective disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, developmental delay, intellectual disabilities and a range of adjustment problems.

Diagnostic Evaluation

Through individual child and family interviews, the assessment clinician examines your child’s current challenges, strengths and functioning level, as well as their developmental, educational, family, medical and psychiatric history.

Psychological, neuropsychological, developmental, or speech and language testing may supplement a diagnostic evaluation. We provide referrals to diagnostic and treatment services at the hospital for children experiencing neurological, medical or surgical problems.

When appropriate (and with parental permission), an evaluation may include information gathered through interviews with, or reports from, teachers, pediatricians, caseworkers, counselors, lawyers and other professionals who have played a key role in the child’s life.

Special Approaches

Children and teens that may benefit from our outpatient psychiatry services face one or a combination of the following problems:

  • Adjustment reactions to medical illness​
  • Aggressive, Oppositional or Disruptive Behavior
  • Attention Deficits
  • Bedwetting or Soiling
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Developmental disorders including autism
  • Difficulties with Family or Peer Relationships
  • Fears or Anxiety
  • Feeding disorders 
  • Hyperactivity
  • Learning problems
  • Psychological effects of physical or sexual abuse
  • Psychosis
  • Sadness or Depression
  • School-related problems
  • Sleep problems
  • Speech and language problems
  • Stress associated with a traumatic event


For each child, our primary treatment goals are to relieve troubling symptoms, enhance psychological development, and improve functioning at home, school, and in the community. Specific goals include helping children to:

  • Identify and manage painful emotions
  • Cope adaptively with stressful situations
  • Control troublesome behavior
  • Improve learning abilities
  • Communicate more effectively
  • Form and maintain positive relationships
  • Make use of innate talents and abilities

Each child follows an individualized treatment plan composed of treatment modalities to best meet their needs. The treatment plan considers the child’s diagnostic, family, cultural, social and educational situations. Treatment modalities may include:

  • Crisis intervention
  • Short-term individual psychotherapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Medication
  • Specialized services for child victims of traumatic events
  • Remedial services for communication disorders
  • Behavior management training for parents

A Multidisciplinary Professional Staff

Our clinical staff includes child and adolescent psychiatrists and psychologists, all of whom hold faculty appointments at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Staff also includes social workers, a speech and language pathologist, and advanced pediatric nurses. Each professional brings dedication and specialized expertise to the individualized care every child and teenager receives. Clinicians review each child’s progress and refine the treatment plan as needed. Throughout treatment, clinicians may provide consultation to schools and community agencies as needed.

Make an Appointment

To schedule a first-time appointment, call 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDS DOC) or visit our Appointments page for more information.

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