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Rush Physician May/June 2011

Cognitive Therapy Center Now Treats Children and Adolescents

With the addition to its staff of pediatric psychiatrist Amer Smajkic, MD, the Cognitive Therapy Center at Rush recently broadened its array of services to include the treatment of children and young adolescents.

"This really rounds out what we can offer patients," says Ira Halper, MD, the center’s director. "We now can provide a full spectrum of services to people of all ages." These services comprise evidence-based psychological treatments, including cognitive therapy for depression and cognitive-behavioral approaches to the treatment of anxiety disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, trichotillomania, skin picking and other psychiatric disorders.

The center focuses on treating children, adolescents and adults who want to avoid medication as well as those interested in combining medication with psychotherapy.

"One of the positive features about cognitive behavioral therapies is that they work well with and without medication,” says Halper, who, like Smajkic, has dual interests in psychopharmacology and psychotherapy. "Instead of attributing depression or an anxiety disorder to only a chemical imbalance or to past experiences, cognitive behavioral approaches recognize that these problems can arise from an interaction of biological and psychological factors."

For more information or to refer a patient to the Cognitive Therapy Center at Rush, call (312) 226-0300.


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