Patient Information
Child & Adolescent
College Mental Health Program


Child and Adolescent Outpatient Service

Three Kids

The Child and Adolescent Outpatient Service at McLean Hospital is a clinical program for helping young people and their families cope with psychiatric illness and the challenges it often brings.

Services are primarily available for those who are stepping down from the McLean-Franciscan Child and Adolescent Inpatient Program and the McLean Acute Residential Treatment Program for Adolescents.

Treatment focuses on diagnosis of the developmental problems and psychiatric illnesses affecting children and adolescents. Treatment plans are tailored to each patient and may include individual or group therapy and, when needed, psychopharmacology. As with McLean's other outpatient programs, clinical services are stabilization-focused. Should longer-term treatment be necessary, assistance is provided in finding appropriate community resources. Some longer-term treatment is provided in the form of group psychotherapy.


The Child and Adolescent Outpatient Service provides an initial evaluation that may lead to additional services, such as:

Child and Adolescent Testing Service (CATS)

The Child and Adolescent Testing Service (CATS) provides evaluations for children and adolescents who have neuropsychological and/or psychological difficulties that are interfering with their ability to manage demands at home, at school, and/or with their peer group. The goal of the evaluation is to help parents better understand why their child is struggling and how to be helpful. This can involve providing a diagnosis along with specific recommendations that can be used by parents, the school, and other professionals who are working with the child. The evaluation includes an interview with the parent, 2 days of neuropsychological, psychological, and academic testing with the child, and a follow up meeting to review the results with the parents. A written report with specific results and recommendations will follow within a month from the feedback meeting. (Full details)


At McLean, treatment may include multiple modalities. Groups help young people develop social and other skills that can directly benefit them at home, at school and in relationships. Group therapy provides adolescents with peer support as well as skills to help them deal with their illness. Individual therapy ranges from play therapy for younger children to insight-oriented models for older adolescents. Cognitive, behavioral and psychopharmacologic therapies are applied when needed. Parent guidance and support educates and informs parents about their child's illness and helps foster new parenting skills.


The staff of the Child and Adolescent Outpatient Service are experienced clinicians in the study and treatment of psychiatric disorders and substance abuse in children. The staff includes psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and advanced practice nurses. Psychiatry residents, psychology post-doctoral fellows and interns also provide care within the child outpatient department.

For Information

For information concerning availability of outpatient services, call (617) 855-3537, Monday through Friday. McLean Hospital accepts Medicare, Massachusetts Medicaid, Blue Cross and many other private health insurance plans. The hospital also has working arrangements with many managed-care companies. Insurance coverage may be limited for some services, especially for residential and longer-term treatment please see our policies for Financial Responsibility.