Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Child and adolescent psychiatry is the diagnosis and the treatment of disorders of thinking, feeling and/or behavior affecting children, adolescents, and their families. A child and adolescent psychiatrist uses a knowledge of biological, psychological, and social factors in working with patients. Initially, a comprehensive diagnostic examination is performed to evaluate the current problem with attention to its physical, genetic, developmental, emotional, cognitive, educational, family, peer, and social components.
Child and adolescent psychiatrists arrives at a diagnosis and diagnostic formulation which are shared with the patient and family. A child and adolescent psychiatrist then designs a treatment plan which considers all the components and discusses these recommendations with the child or adolescent and family. An integrated approach may involve individual, group or family psychotherapy; medication; and/or consultation with other physicians or professionals from schools, juvenile courts, social agencies or other community organizations.
In addition, a child psychiatrist is prepared and expected to act as an advocate for the best interests of children and adolescents. Child and adolescent psychiatrists perform consultations in a variety of settings (schools, juvenile courts, social agencies).
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