GI Psychosocial Services
We recognize the impact that gastrointestinal conditions can have on your child’s well-being and on your family. Our team of pediatric psychologists, social workers, and child life specialists strives to help you and your child successfully cope with gastrointestinal symptoms and associated challenges.
What we do
We work together with your gastroenterology providers to:
- Help children and teens better understand their gastrointestinal conditions and adjust to new diagnoses
- Promote effective symptom management strategies so that children and teens can attend school regularly and participate in activities they enjoy
- Help young patients cope with medical appointments, tests and procedures
- Develop ways to make it easier to follow a medical treatment plan
- Address anxiety, mood, and behavioral factors that may impact coping with gastrointestinal symptoms
- Support toileting for children and teens with constipation
- Facilitate the return to school following lengthy hospitalizations or periods of absence
- Support the transition from pediatric to adult care
- Connect patients and families to community resources
- Prepare children for procedures in the Endoscopy Suite or when hospitalized
Who we are
We are a team of pediatric psychologists, social workers, and child life specialists who work together with your child’s gastroenterologists, nurse practitioners, nurses and dieticians in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (GI).
- Betsy Turner, PhD
- Kari Baber, PhD
- Kelly Rodriguez, PhD
- Margo Szabo, PhD
- Tina Holbein, PhD
- Sarah Mayer-Brown, PhD
- Caroline Wilkes, PsyD
Child life specialists
Members of our team are available at many of the CHOP Gastroenterology sites. These include:
- Main Hospital Gastroenterology Clinic, Buerger Building, sixth floor
- King of Prussia Specialty Care Center
- Brandywine Specialty Care Center (in Glen Mills, PA)
- Bucks County Specialty Care Center (in Chalfont, PA)
- Voorhees Specialty Care Center
- Princeton Specialty Care Center
Specialty programs and clinics
We offer a number of programs and clinics that highlight the importance of the integrative approach to treatment within the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. These include:
- Chronic Constipation Program (CCP) — Parents and children meet with a GI psychologist and nurse practitioner every two weeks for constipation treatment.
- I-SIT Group (Intervention for Soiling, Incontinence, and Toileting) — Families meet in a group setting with psychologists to develop behavioral strategies for managing constipation and soiling.
- IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) Clinic — Children, adolescents and families meet with psychologists, gastroenterologists, nurses, dieticians and social workers for IBS treatment.
- Support groups — Our team facilitates support groups for many GI conditions including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), celiac disease, and eosinophilic esophagitis EoE)).
- Education Days — Our team participates in many GI Education Days that occur throughout the year that include IBD, celiac disease, EoE and motility disorders.
- GI Psychology — If you are interested in scheduling an appointment with one of our GI psychologists, please consult with your gastroenterology medical team. Our GI psychologists only meet with children and teens followed by CHOP Gastroenterology. You can call the GI scheduling number at 215-590-3630 or schedule with our administrative coordinator, Cierra Ruffin, at 445-428-4055.
- Social Work — If you would like to talk with one of our social workers, you can ask a member of your child’s GI care team to connect you.
- Child Life — If you would like to talk with one of our child life specialists, you can ask a member of your child’s GI care team to connect you. Child life services are currently only available at Main Campus.