The Consultative Specialty Service

Many patients, family members or treating clinicians request Consultative or second opinions from Attending Physicians who specialize in the treatment of complex psychiatric conditions. Our Attending Physicians specialize in the treatment of Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective, Bipolar Disorder with psychosis, First Episode Psychosis, and other related conditions with symptoms of psychosis. The Consultative Specialty Service provides an outpatient comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and specific treatment options for patients, families, and treating clinicians.

The Consultative Specialty Service consists of a comprehensive psychiatric diagnostic evaluations including an in-depth interview of the patient and family members, pharmacological review of current and past treatments, medical and psychiatric history, diagnostic testing such as laboratory studies, brain imaging, electroencephalography, psychological testing, if indicated.  Additionally, the Consultative Specialty Service provides assessment of cognition, trauma, alcohol and substance use; social, educational and occupational history and personal strengths, weaknesses and preferences as they relate to treatment options.

Upon completion of the comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, the Consultative Specialty Service will provide a detailed written summary of diagnosis, summary of patient and family interviews, results of any laboratory studies with pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment recommendations.

Metabolic Monitoring Clinic

Sean Conrin, M.D. and Robert Marvin M.D. are Co-Directors of the Metabolic Monitoring Clinic. It is well known that persons with psychiatric disorders have high rates of comorbidity for weight gain, diabetes and high cholesterol associated with the treatment with second-generation antipsychotic agents (SGA). Of major concern, coronary heart disease is among the primary causes of a 20% decreased life-expectancy among patients with schizophrenia compared to the general population. The Psychosis Treatment Program offers on-site medical evaluations and monitoring of weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. Aneet Ahluwalia M.D., a dual certified Psychiatrist and Internal Medicine specialist is available during the Psychosis Treatment Program Medication Clinic to provide general medical care. Appointments to see Dr. Ahluwalia can be scheduled on the same day as your appointment with your psychiatrist.


Research on Understanding and Treating Psychotic Disorders

The Psychosis Treatment Program has contributed significantly towards the understanding and development of new treatments for the serious psychiatric disorders for the past 40 years. These include research in biochemical, molecular, neuroimaging, and treatment modalities.

Anyone who has suffered from a psychotic disorder or who has a close connection with someone who has will probably know that there are many unanswered questions about why some people seem to be vulnerable to this kind of problem, what the underlying causes in the brain might be, which parts of the brain seems most affected by psychosis and its treatment, and how to best help people suffering from psychotic illnesses.

Researchers at the UIC Department of Psychiatry are actively working on all of these questions. All of the researchers hope that their work will help patients lead better, happier, healthier and more productive lives. Many of the researchers also work directly with patients, and our clinical team works very closely with the research team.

Researchers have known for quite some time that psychosis is not anyone's fault and certainly not caused by "bad mothering" or such nonsense. Patients and families are often told of one diagnosis which then is changed to another, which is frustrating and points to some of the challenges in not having accurate biologic tests to help clinicians with making a diagnosis. We offer research programs that look at new treatments for psychosis.

For more information on active and enrolling research projects please contact Cherise Rosen, PhD at (312) 355-5234.

Additional Resources

Family Support

King's College London, Institute of Pshychiatry
Free Online Course for Family Members & Caregivers

Families Healing Together connects families around the world in a shared purpose of broadening perspectives on mental health and emotional distress. Courses are facilatated by persons in recovery and have both personal and professional experience with mental health.


First Episode Psychosis

The NASMHPD Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) is a virtual resource center is designed to provide reliable information for practitioners, policymakers, individuals, families, and communities in order to foster more widespread adoption and utilization of early intervention programming for persons at risk for (or experiencing a first episode of) psychosis. The site includes information from a national RWJF-funded demonstration to identify and prevent the onset of psychotic illness – the Early Detection and Intervention for the Prevention of Psychosis Program (EDIPPP) ¬– as well as other early intervention initiatives.

Early Assessment & Support Alliance is a virtual resource center for practitioners, policymakers, individuals, families, and communities to provide up-to-date resources.


Peer Support

The Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) was developed by a group of people who experience mental health challenges. These people learned that they can identify what makes them well, and then use their own Wellness Tools to relieve difficult feelings and maintain wellness. The result has been recovery and long-term stability. Your WRAP® program is designed by you in practical, day-to-day terms, and holds the key to getting and staying well. It does not necessarily replace traditional treatments, but can be used as a compliment to any other treatment options you have chosen.

The SAMHSA-funded Recovery to Practice (RTP) initiative includes two complementary components: Recovery‐oriented training materials for the identified mental health professions and Resource Center for all mental health professionals complete with recovery-oriented web‐based and print materials, training, and technical assistance for professionals engaged in the transformation process. The Recovery to Practice project was created for more than those who provide peer support services; it was created for all of the professions involved in the delivery of mental health and behavioral health care.

The Certified Recovery Support Specialist (CRSS) is a credential for persons with lived experience of mental health challenges, who wish to provide support to others in their recovery journey. A person with the CRSS credential uses unique insights gained through personal recovery experience. The CRSS credential assures competence in advocacy, professional responsibility, mentoring, and recovery support. Persons with the CRSS credential are employed specifically to use their personal recovery experiences to facilitate and support the recoveries of others and to help shape the mental health system to be more person-centered and empowering.

A web site for young people who have had mental health issues that emphasizes peer support and networking. “The Icarus Project envisions a new culture and language that resonates with our actual experiences of 'mental illness' rather than trying to fit our lives into a conventional framework.”


Other Resources

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill national web site

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Greater Chicago

Information about schizophrenia from a very reliable websource.

The oldest – and probably best – schizophrenia site that is managed by a family member.

A world renowned rehabilitation program with many faculties and programs in the greater Chicago area.

This is the Illinois department of mental health website that can get you started on services and policies for persons with serious mental illness living in Illinois.

This is the most extensive international resource on hearing voices you can find on the web. This information includes both ways of overcoming the difficulties faced by people who hear voices, as well as the more positive aspects of the experience and its cultural and historical significance.

Is a nationally-based networks around the world joined by shared goals and values, incorporating a fundamental belief that there are many ways to understand the experience of hearing voices and other unusual or extreme experiences. It is part of an international collaboration between professionals, people with lived experience, and their families to develop an alternative approach to coping with emotional distress that is empowering and useful to people, and does not start from the assumption that they have a chronic illness.

Group Therapies

Psychosis Treatment Program
Group Therapy

Symptom Management Group (Fee for service)

Wednesday   3:00pm - 4:00pm

This group is for patients with a chronic illness - schizoaffective, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder. The focus is symptom identification and management using both Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy in a recovery process. The goal is to help patients better manage symptoms, improve functioning, and develop social skills. This is a good transition group for people leaving the Community Reintegration Program or other Intensive Outpatient Program.

Contact: Robert Marvin MD, (312) 413-1718, rmarvin@psych,uic.edu

Schizoaffective Group (Fee for service)

Wednesday   2:00pm - 2:45pm

This long-term support group is for patients who experience psychotic symptoms. Patients learn to identify and report symptoms early to avoid relapse and decrease the rate of hospitalization. They learn social skills and have the opportunity to practice new behaviors in order to effectively interact with families and the community. A resident physician is on hand to address medication and medical issues.

Contact: Patricia Smith RNMS, (312) 996-7707, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SMART (Symptom Management and Recovery Therapy) (Fee for service)

Monday   2:00pm - 3:00pm

This is an open group for adults within the first five years of onset of psychosis. The SMART group is grounded in strengths-based care, supporting individuals as they identify and achieve personal recovery goals and collaborating to actively develop resilience, coping and self-help strategies, and skills to manage symptoms of psychosis.

Contact: Clare Tessman APN, (312) 996-6664, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tobacco Cessation Support Group (Free)

Every 1st and 3rd Monday   12:30pm - 1:30pm
Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday 2:30pm-3:30pm

This is an open group for any adults who are interested in tobacco cessation or currently in the process. This group setting will help facilitate discussions on coping mechanisms for cravings, treatment options and finding the appropriate resources to create a successful quit-smoking plan. No referral is required.

Group Leader: Shiyun Kim PharmD

Health and Wellness Peer Support Group (Free)

Every 2nd Monday   2:00pm – 3:00pm

This group is open and offered at no charge. The underlying philosophy of this group is grounded in peer support and health and wellness decision making tools to support a healthy lifestyle. As part of the group experience participants will engage in a collaborative effort in sustaining health and wellness. Topics that will be explored include, health and wellness goal setting, managing stress, diet, exercise, sleep, relationships and support network, reframing negative thinking patterns by using the 3C’s ~Catch-It Check-It Change-It, and spirituality as it relates to health and wellness.

Contact: Cheryl Farney CRSS, (312) 355-3593, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) (Free)

Contact Cheryl Farney, CRSS to enroll for the WRAP 8 week sessions.
Monday   1:00pm – 2:00pm

WRAP is a closed group that is available to UIC Psychiatry adult clients and the community at large. WRAP is a tool for persons in recovery from mental illness to use to bolster their recovery process and improve their understanding of their own being during times of illness and wellness. WRAP is an eight week evidence-based group which provides participants with wellness tools (Wellness Toolbox), helping them define “me well” and to create a daily maintenance plan, as well as develop action plans for: 1.) triggers that interfere with daily life, 2.) during early warning signs, 3.) and for crisis and post-crisis situations.

Contact: Cheryl Farney CRSS, (312) 355-3593, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Community Reintegration Program (CRP) services
Community Reintegration Program (CRP) is a time limited psychiatric rehabilitation program dedicated to providing the supports and services necessary for mental health consumers to achieve their optimal level of social and occupational functioning. CRP provides therapeutic, social, and recreational opportunities that promote the achievement of mental health and recovery-oriented goals.

The program meets four days per week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9:30am to 3pm.
For more information please contact Adriana Magana at 312-996-9986.