Pediatric Mood Disorders Clinic



Treatment Mission

The Pediatric Mood Disorders Clinic specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of children and adolescents with mood disorders. The clinic provides specialized training for child psychiatrists, medical students, psychiatric nurses, psychologists and social workers in the specialty of pediatric mood disorders. Our treatment team works to provide evidence based treatments for children and their families affected by mood disorders. Cognitive behaviorally focused group and family treatment also interface with our PIRAMD research team led by Amy West, PhD, who leads a team investigating psychosocial treatments for children and adolescents with mood disorders. Our approach is to collaborate with diverse schools and families building upon family strengths as they navigate their way to health.

Multidisciplinary Team

  • Director: Child Psychiatrist: Mani Pavuluri, MD, PhD
  • Administrative Director: Advanced Practice Nurse: Julie Carbray, PhD, FPMHNP, PMHCNS, APN
  • Director of Psychosocial Research and Programs: Amy West, PhD
  • Director of Group Treatment Programs: Sally Weinstein, PhD
  • Child Psychiatry Fellows and Residents in General Psychiatry (MDs)
  • Psychology Interns and Externs
  • Social Work Interns
  • Advanced Practice Nursing Students
  • Medical Students

Treatment Menu

Diagnostic Evaluations: These comprehensive evaluations are completed by each of our multidisciplinary staff. We specifically serve children and adolescents with the spectrum of depression, bipolar disorders, and psychosis as it relates to mood disorders and comorbid conditions such as ADHD and anxiety as the rule than the exception.

Psychopharmacology: We provide evidence-based, step-wise management of medication to treat mania, depression, psychosis, aggression, comorbid ADHD and sleep problems in an organized systematic manner. We have researched this treatment method and gained promising outcomes from this careful approach.

Child and Family-Focused Therapy: Focused psychotherapy utilizes the following approaches to the treatment of mood disorders:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

Family Psychoeducation

Rainbow Group Therapy - Bipolar Disorder: This is child-and family-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program for children and adolescents with Bipolar Spectrum. Groups run a twelve week course with booster sessions that follow completion. Group members can learn:

  • How to monitor moods
  • How to manage mood instability and irritability
  • How to manage impulses
  • How to cope with school stresses
  • How to maintain self-esteem
  • How to use creativity

Parents join the group for 3 of the sessions. Parents are invited each week for the last five minutes of group while the children "show and tell" what was covered in-group. Parents will also participate in their own group with a therapist in learning about their child's progress. Parents learn to be coaches in applying their skills in helping the children.

Teen Girls Group - Depression This is a group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program for adolescent girls ages 13-18 with primary depressive spectrum disorders. The group runs for 12 weeks and focuses on coping with symptoms of depression, including:

  • Understanding the symptoms of depression
  • How to monitor moods
  • How to identify and change negative thoughts
  • How to communicate with peers and family
  • Developing relaxation and coping skills
  • Developing effective problem solving skills

Parents join the group for 3 of the sessions. Parents are invited each week for the last five minutes of group while the children "show and tell" what was covered in-group. Parents will also participate in their own group with a therapist in learning about their child's progress. Parents learn to be coaches in applying their skills in helping the children.

School Collaboration: We work with schools in joining their IEP meetings via teleconference. We actively liaise with teachers to provide quality education while offering counseling for parents with regards to the best learning environment suited for any specific individual.

The Autism Program (DHS)

The Autism Program of Illinois is a systems initiative, a network of resources for Autism Spectrum Disorders in the State of Illinois. The Autism Program of Illinois provides the strategy and framework for the State of Illinois to address the complex issues involved in diagnosis, treatment and research for the thousands of children in Illinois with ASDs.

The Autism Program of Illinois has developed an infrastructure to train, support, and coordinate the linkage of an informed provider network to help Illinois families.

Site: Cook County, IL
Website: www.theautismprogram.org

Pediatric Stress and Anxiety Disorders Clinic

The Pediatric Stress and Anxiety Disorders Clinic (PSADC) specializes in early identification, comprehensive evaluation, and evidence-based treatment of anxiety disorders in diverse youth from age 18 months through older adolescents. The PSADC has a multidisciplinary team that includes Sucheta Connolly, MD (Director); David Simpson, PhD., LCSW (Clinician and Clinic and Research Coordinator); Liza Suarez, PhD (Clinician and Research Director); program assistant Darnetta Byndum; and trainees in child psychiatry, psychology, social work, and medical students. Individualized treatment programming may include cognitive behavioral therapy, parent guidance, family therapy, interventions at school, and medication management.

Anxiety disorders treated include: Separation Anxiety Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Phobia, Selective Mutism, Specific Phobias, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Anxiety-related school refusal/school phobia behavior and adjustment to a variety of stresses or traumas including serious physical illness are addressed as well. Drs. Connolly, Simpson, and Suarez, collectively, have many years of experience treating anxious youth and their families. Additionally, more specialized assessment and treatment expertise includes Selective Mutism (Connolly), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Simpson) and Trauma and its comorbidity with Substance Abuse (Suarez). Clinicians and researchers work collaboratively in the PSADC to understand risk and protective factors in diverse youth with anxiety disorders, facilitate transportability of evidence-based practices for anxiety to the school and community, and explore neurobiologic correlates of childhood anxiety.

PSADC is accepting referrals for enrollment in a treatment programs for teens aged 13-17 who have experienced trauma and are using drugs or alcohol.

Referrals to this clinic can be made by calling 312-996-7723.

General Diagnostic Clinic

Children and adolescents may be referred to IJR’s General Diagnostic Clinic for a wide variety of concerns, including problems with disruptive behavior, anxiety, and/or mood, school functioning, adjustment to trauma or other sources of stress, and developmental delays.

Diagnostic Evaluation

Evaluations in our General Diagnostic Clinic include a comprehensive assessment of each youth’s current strengths and difficulties, family functioning and family, medical, school, and psychiatric history. When appropriate (and with permission of the youth’s legal guardian), we may also gather information from teachers, pediatricians, caseworkers, counselors, and other adults who play key roles in the youth’s life.


Following each evaluation, we provide feedback to children, adolescents, and their families and propose our treatment recommendations. Our individualized treatment plans are intended to be responsive to the particular values, needs, culture, and resources of the youth and families whom we evaluate.

Treatment may include:

  • Evidence-based individual therapy, family therapy, and/or group therapy
  • Crisis intervention services
  • Evidence-based medication management
  • Assistance with strategies for parenting children / adolescents who engage in disruptive, oppositional, and/or defiant behavior
  • Assistance with school advocacy
  • Consultation with children’s/adolescents’ teachers

When further assessment of particular problems is warranted, we may refer youth for additional evaluation (for example, neuropsychological testing, speech / language testing, or evaluations of medical problems).

Multidisciplinary Staff

Our multidisciplinary clinical team includes the following UIC faculty and trainees:

  • Kathleen Kelley, MD - Child and adolescent psychiatrist, Associate Clinical Professor, Program Director - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency Training Program
  • Sally Mason, Ph.D., LCSW, Social worker, Professor of Clinical Social Work in Psychiatry, Director of Social Work Training
  • Jesse Klein, Ph.D. – Clinical Child Psychologist – Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry

Our trainees include advanced psychiatry, psychology, and social work trainees (i.e. child psychiatry fellows, child psychology externs, social work interns, general psychiatry residents), and medical students, all of whom are supervised by GDC faculty members.


To make an appointment in UIC’s General Diagnostic Clinic, call (312) 996-7723.


The Disruptive Behavior Disorders Program


IJR’s Disruptive Behavior Clinic provides evidence-based outpatient treatment to children and adolescents who are having difficulties at home, at school, or in the community due to problems with oppositional, defiant, or otherwise disruptive behavior (i.e. tantrums, aggressive behavior, ignoring/breaking rules, etc.). Many of the children treated in our clinic also struggle with other difficulties including mood problems, anxiety problems, adjustment to trauma or other stressors, problems with attention and hyperactivity, developmental delays, and various medical problems.


Children, adolescents, and their families are offered a range of services, which may include a comprehensive diagnostic assessment, evidence-based individual, family, and/or group therapy, as well as medication evaluation and monitoring, case management, and consultations with teachers. Treatment provided by clinicians in the Disruptive Behavior Clinic is typically family-focused, and targets problems that occur in a variety of settings (e.g. homes, schools, neighborhoods, etc.).

Many of the families that we see in our clinic benefit from participation in our Disruptive Behavior Group. Children, adolescents and their parents participate in a series of 10 weekly group sessions, during which we meet separately with parents and their children/adolescents, respectively. In the parenting group, we provide instruction in strategies for managing youth disruptive behavior. In the child/adolescent group, we address skill deficits that are common among children that we treat in our clinic. Children/adolescents participating in these groups typically range in age from six to fourteen years.

Topics covered in the Disruptive Behavior Group for parents include:

  • The importance of praise and positive attention to promote good behavior
  • Strategic use of rewards and consequences
  • Effective use of incentive programs to promote good behavior
  • Communication skills
  • Collaborative problem-solving skills
  • Coping and stress management skills
  • Strategies for communicating with teachers
  • Effective use of time-out

Topics covered in the Disruptive Behavior Group for children/adolescents include:

  • Understanding emotions
  • Self-regulation skills
  • Social skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Effective communication skills

STRONG Families is a specialty treatment program within the IJR’s Disruptive Behavior Clinic that is designed to serve families of youth with co-occurring disruptive behavior problems and child trauma that live in urban neighborhoods with high violence rates. Families participate in a multi-modal intervention that includes psycho-educational multiple family groups, concurrent parent and child groups, and family therapy sessions. These core services are supplemented by school consultation, case management (especially community resource linkages), psychopharmacology, and crisis interventions. Topics covered during treatment in the STRONG Families program include

  • Psycho-education about traumatic stress, community violence and disruptive behavior
  • Behavior management and parenting skills
  • Stress management and relaxation skills
  • Affective expression, modulation, and self-regulation
  • Cognitive coping and processing strategies
  • Traumatic stress narrative about community violence exposure
  • Family communication skills and effective family problem-solving
  • Enhancing community safety
  • Grief and loss related to community violence

This strength based approach focuses on resilience and transcendence, as well as maximizing community-based resources, with an emphasis on cultural sensitivity.

The clinical team is led by Jesse Klein, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, and Jaleel Abdul-Adil, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology.


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