Behavioral and Mental Health Services

La Rabida treats the whole child.

We offer comprehensive psychological services to patients and families who are challenged by chronic disease, disability, trauma and abuse. We focus in three areas: pediatrics/chronic illness, child maltreatment/trauma, and general child clinical psychology.

Our Therapeutic and Support Services

  • Individual and family psychotherapy
  • Psychological testing
  • Specialized behavioral programs
  • Pediatric interventions/consultation
  • Pain management
  • Case management
  • Advocacy

We provide trauma and abuse-related services at four sites including the La Rabida Children's Advocacy Center in Park Forest and the Chicago Child Trauma Center, south of the hospital’s lakeside campus in Chicago.  

These programs operate under the auspices of La Rabida’s Behavioral Sciences Department.  One of the largest hospital-based department of its kind in the nation; its pioneering programs have served as the model for hospitals across the U.S.

Directed by a psychologist, our behavioral sciences staff of nearly 40 includes psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, postdoctoral psychology fellows, predoctoral psychology interns, a family advocate, a case manager, and child life specialists. We collaborate with the medical team to deliver integrated services to patients and their family.

Just as each patient is unique, so too are the families we serve.  We approach our mission with sensitivity, knowing that our families represent a broad spectrum of cultures and experience. For some, it’s their first time inside a children’s hospital. We are professional and compassionate.

Coping with Chronic Disease
Individual assessment and treatment services are available for children and families facing the challenges of living with chronic illness. These include adjusting to the onset and diagnosis of the condition, complying with a treatment plan, coping with psychological factors affecting physical health, and pain management. Members of our Behavioral Sciences staff are part of the multidisciplinary health care teams for numerous medical conditions including burns, diabetes, sickle cell disease and traumatic brain injury.

Resolving Behavioral Problems
We offer individual psychological assessment and treatment for a wide range of problems of childhood typically seen in pediatric practices and schools. These include relational and attention difficulties, problems with behavioral regulation, depression and mood disorders, and adjusting to life stressors.

Group treatment is also available in the following areas:

  • Controlling Anger Program (CAP) The group helps children learn appropriate ways to control and express their anger. 
  • Parenting Extra Active Kids - Plus (PEAK plus)/PEAK Jr (3-6 yrs) This groups helps parents learn to control overactive behavior.  Topics covered in parents’ group include effective commands, praise and establishing appropriate consequences.  Children’s groups focus on cooperation, taking turns and personal space.

Treating Victims of Child Trauma and Abuse
Children who have experienced trauma or abuse require more than medical services. We serve children under age 18 who have experienced physical abuse or neglect; violence or trauma or sexual abuse.

La Rabida’s Chicago Child Trauma Center (CCTC) provides direct trauma-focused services for children who have experienced medical trauma or who have been exposed to the full range of potentially traumatic events including severe physical abuse, sexual abuse, fires, violent crime and witnessing domestic violence. The CCTC is the only agency in Chicago that specializes in trauma focused assessment and psychotherapy for the full range of potentially traumatic events experienced by children.

The CCTC is a Community Treatment Services site of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). To learn more about the NCTSN, click here.

La Rabida’s child trauma/abuse program also provides specialized services for young children with sexual behavior problems.

Outreach and Training Services
La Rabida also provides an array of outreach and training services, including:

  • Community outreach
  • Treatment of multiply traumatized foster children
  • Consultation to medical and other health providers
  • Training opportunities for behavioral and mental health professionals   

Contact Us
Call 773.256.5721 to direct an inquiry to the Behavioral Sciences Department about our services.