Our Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychologists are actively involved in professional training and education, the provision of clinical services, programmatic research, and public education/awareness activities. We have four Clinical Psychologists who specialize in the child/adolescent area: Cheryl King, Ph.D. ABPP, Michelle Kees, Ph.D., Cynthia Ewell-Foster, Ph.D., and Julie Kaplow, Ph.D. The contributions of these individuals are complemented by those of our pediatric neuropsychologists in the Neuropsychology Section.
Professional Training and Clinical Services
Our specialty provides professional training and clinical services in multiple areas: psychological testing and evaluation; intake diagnostic evaluations with case formulations and treatment planning; individual, family, and group psychotherapy; psychoeducation for patients and families; and consultation to other health professionals, educators, and social service providers. The emphasis is on an integration of science and practice, resulting in a best practices model. We conduct evidence-based diagnostic evaluations and psychological assessments, and we provide a variety of evidence-based psychosocial interventions and psychotherapies to youth and their families. In addition to integrating the latest clinical research findings, our Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychologists emphasize the developmental and systemic (family, school, community) contexts of child, adolescent, and family difficulties.
Our Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychologists provide substantial leadership for the evidence-based psychotherapy services provided within the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Section, functioning as seminar instructors, psychotherapy clinic supervisors, and consultants. Our area also provides evidence-based psychological and psycho-educational evaluations for children and adolescents in collaboration with the Neuropsychology Section of the Department of Psychiatry. Children and adolescents are typically referred for evaluation by their primary care physician, mental health professional, families, or schools due to questions about Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Learning Disabilities, impaired cognitive or developmental functioning, or the impact of psychiatric symptoms on youth educational and/or cognitive functioning. Evaluations are generally completed within one day and include a formal standardized assessment of cognitive functioning (IQ), academic achievement, and processes important to learning (e.g., attention, learning, memory, executive function skills, phonemic awareness). Children and parents also participate in an interview and complete standardized questionnaires. Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychologists provide parents with a written report that summarizes the evaluation along with detailed recommendations designed to be helpful for children’s academic planning. Personalized feedback and consultation with schools are also available.
Research and Clinical Interests Areas of Specialty Expertise
Within our group of psychologists, we have multiple areas of specialized research and clinical expertise. Dr. King is internationally recognized as an expert in youth depression and suicide prevention, with a particular emphasis on (1) suicide risk assessment and formulation, and (2) the development of new interventions to identify, link to treatment, and intervene with at risk youth. She also has advanced specialty training and substantial experience in cognitive-behavioral treatments for children, adolescents and families. Dr. Kees has an active research program in the area of child trauma and parenting interventions. In addition, she has advanced specialty expertise in cognitive-behavioral treatments for children, adolescents, and families, with a particular focus on cognitive-behavioral treatments for children who have experienced trauma and parent-child interaction therapy. Dr. Ewell-Foster has a strong interest in the treatment and prevention of mood disorders and suicidality in youth, as well as the impact of mood disorders on parent-child relationships. In addition to significant familiarity with a range of evidence-based treatments, Dr. Ewell-Foster has advanced specialty expertise in the psychological assessment/evaluation of children and adolescents. Dr. Kaplow’s primary research and clinical interests focus on the psychological consequences of childhood trauma and loss, with an emphasis on effective coping strategies that can help to inform interventions for children.
Cheryl King, Ph.D., ABPP, is Chief Psychologist and Director of the Youth Depression and Suicide Prevention Program within the Department of Psychiatry. A Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology, Dr. King completed her doctoral degree in psychology at Indiana University and her postdoctoral training at the Lafayette Clinic in Detroit. Her research program focuses on understanding suicidal behavior among adolescents and developing evidence-based psychosocial interventions for these youth. Dr. King is the current recipient of two research grant awards and a career development and mentorship award from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). She is evaluating the efficacy of the Youth-Nominated Support Team (YST) in a randomized controlled clinical trial, and she is developing a screening and treatment linkage intervention for adolescents at elevated risk for suicide. She was a member of the NIMH Scientific Advisory Board for the multi-site study, Treatment of Adolescent Suicide Attempters (TASA), and is on the Scientific Advisory Council of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Dr. King has published widely on youth suicide risk and prevention, and is a Past President of the American Association of Suicidology. She is current President of the Association of Psychologists in Academic Health Centers, and President-Elect of the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.
Dr. King’s clinical interests are in evidence-based cognitive-behavioural treatments for children and families, the differential diagnosis of children and adolescents with affective and related disorders, suicide risk assessment and formulation, and the care management of youth at risk for suicidal behavior and suicice. She provides clinical supervision and seminars for psychology and psychiatry fellows in each of these areas, and provides leadership for the Psychotherapy Training Clinic with in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Section.
Michelle Kees, Ph.D., is a Psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Outpatient Program. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from SUNY Stony Brook, with an internship at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center on Child Abuse and Neglect at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Dr. Kees is a cognitive-behavioral therapist and provides therapy for childhood anxiety disorders, child trauma and grief, and parenting. She also has an active research program in the area of child trauma and parenting interventions.
In addition to her own work as a clinical provider, Dr. Kees is actively involved in the teaching and supervision of child psychology and psychiatry trainees. She provides clinical supervision and conducts seminars in the areas of child and adolescent development, cognitive-behavioral treatments, including parent behavior management training and specialized interventions for children who have experienced traumas, and parent-child interaction therapy.
Cynthia Ewell Foster, Ph.D. completed her post-doctoral training in child clinical psychology at the University of Michigan. Her pre-doctoral internship in child clinical psychology was completed at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis-St. Paul. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Loyola University-Chicago. Dr.Ewell Foster is a Clinical Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry. She coordinates the Psychological Testing Service for child clinical psychology post doctoral fellows and is involved in clinical training for Psychiatry Residents.
Dr. Ewell Foster’s research interests include the treatment and prevention of mood disorders and suicidality in youth, the impact of mood disorders on parent-child relationships, and the development and evaluation of community-based interventions for youth and families. Dr. Ewell Foster has published scholarly articles on the relations between maternal depression, aspects of parenting, and youth adjustment. She is currently the Principal Investigator of a foundation-funded project aimed at increasing mental health awareness, reducing stigma, and improving rates of help-seeking among African American youth.
Julie B. Kaplow, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology. Dr. Kaplow received her B.A. in psychology at the University of Michigan. After receiving her doctoral degree in clinical psychology at Duke University, she completed a clinical internship at the Children’s Hospital in Boston. She then received specialized training in the assessment and treatment of traumatized children at the Center for Medical and Refugee Trauma at Boston University Medical Center. Dr. Kaplow served on the faculty in both medical center settings (Boston University Medical School, New Jersey Medical School) and psychology departments (John Jay College of Criminal Justice) before returning to the University of Michigan.
Dr. Kaplow’s primary research and clinical interests focus on the psychological consequences of childhood trauma and loss, with an emphasis on effective coping strategies that can help to inform interventions for children. Dr. Kaplow has published scholarly articles on the development of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and associated mental health outcomes in children who have experienced traumatic events, including that of abuse, neglect, physical injury, and most recently, bereavement. She has co-authored two books, “Collaborative Treatment of Traumatized Children and Teens: A Trauma Systems Therapy Approach” and a children’s book, “Samantha Jane’s Missing Smile: A Story about Coping with the Loss of a Parent.” Dr. Kaplow has served on the Traumatic Grief Task Force of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. She is currently the Principal Investigator of an NIMH-funded career development award examining childhood bereavement and related psychological and physiological health outcomes in children who have lost a parent. She is particularly interested in the causes and consequences of childhood traumatic grief (the overlap of posttraumatic stress symptoms and grief) in bereaved children.