New outpatient service
Behavioral disorders associated with the pressures of modern life can now be detected even in 3-year-olds. Next month a new outpatient service opens at LMU which aims to provide better psychotherapeutic care for children and adolescents.
The patients treated by Tanja Kretz-Bünese, who will head the new outpatient facility for psychotherapy at LMU, are often very young. They include babies who are difficult to pacify and cry or scream for much of the day, small children who for various reasons have become abnormally anxious and dependent, and mentally disturbed children of traumatized parents. “Unfortunately, many parents consult us only when they themselves have reached the end of their tether,” she says. However, the LMU outpatient service can provide help and advice for parents even at a stage when they are unsure whether or not their child actually needs treatment. “That is part of our job – to assess whether children or their parents require professional support,” says Kretz-Bünese.
The primary symptoms that lead parents to consult a child psychologist are sleep and digestive disorders, failure to thrive and problems relating to the parent-child relationship. However, the new unit is equipped to deal with the entire spectrum of psychological and psychosomatic conditions that can arise in the course of a person’s development up to the age of 21. This ranges from anxiety, compulsive behaviors, physical tics, eating disorders, social and/or emotional difficulties through attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), problems at school, aggressive or otherwise disruptive behaviors, sleep disorders and bed-wetting to psychological stresses associated with chronic physical illness, physical symptoms with no ascertainable biochemical cause, adjustment disorders, traumatic experiences and self-harm. In addition, the new resource provides diagnostic and treatment services for psychologically disturbed children of parents who have themselves suffered psychological traumas and crises, or been subjected to other mentally distressing events.
Patients will benefit from the latest scientific advances and the links between the new facility and ongoing research studies in the neurosciences at the University. “The new unit also fills an existing gap in the provision of psychotherapeutic services,” Kretz-Bünese points out. “University courses in psychotherapy devote very little time to the treatment of children under the age of 4, and this has led to a relative lack of outpatient care for younger children.”
The new outpatient service opens on September 1st, but appointments for consultations are already being accepted. For further information, see www.psy.lmu.de/kiju-hochschulambulanz