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Community Based Psychiatry

Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic at University of Colorado Hospital

​These award winning community based programs are designed to offer home-based therapy to children, adolescents and families.  The goal of Community Based Psychiatry is to help families make positive behavioral changes and preserve the family structure.

Community Based Psychiatry is comprised of four programs:  Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST) (specializing in youth with legal troubles), Early Childhood Intensive Family Therapy (ECIFT) (specializing in infant psychiatry), Intensive Family Therapy (IFT) (specializing in youth with mental health issues) and Rapid Response (RR) (supporting youth transitioning from hospital placement back into the home).

  • Community based therapist work with families to make positive changes for success in school, home and the community.
  • The goal of all community based work is the management of behaviors to prevent out of home placement in psychiatric hospitals, detention centers, or foster care.
  • Our interventions are designed to assist parents with increasing supervision of the youth and involve multiple "stakeholders" including: school, work, probation / diversion, social services, mental health clinicians, peers, church, and any other identifiable positive relationships.
  • It is a brief treatment (3 to 6 months) that has intense contact (6 to 12 hours per week) with families.
  • We provide follow-up care on a no-fee basis, to our former clients, depending on need and clinical appropriateness.

For more information on each treatment team, please clinic on the tabs below.

​Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST) is an evidenced based therapy with intense clinical supervision and consultation with our therapists that seek to understand the "fit" between the child/adolescents' problems and the factors that contribute to them.

  • MST targets youth involved in the legal system, ages 12 to 17, with co-occurring mental health issues.  Client's who are a ward of the state can be seen up to age 21.
  • Referrals primarily come from the Juvenile District, Municipal Court System, or County Department of Human Services for adjudicated youth.
  • Typical referral issues include: criminal activity, truancy/negative school performance, out of control behaviors in the home (including verbal and physical aggression), inefficient family functioning, low monitoring and supervision, substance use, gang involvement, negative peer associations, and poor management of psychiatric symptoms.
  • All clinicians are fully trained in the MST model.  UCH is a site licensed by MST Services of the Medical University of South Carolina.  MST is recognized nationally as a "best practices" model for adjudicated youth.

​Early Child Intensive Family Therapy (ECIFT) is family therapy that provides home-based interventions for young children at high risk for abuse or neglect.  ECIFT makes use of positive community supports for the youth and his or her family to create behavioral change.

  • The target population served by this program is children from birth to 6 years 11 months.
  • Typical referral issues include: low levels of parental structure / consistency in the home, inappropriate discipline, ineffective parenting techniques, poor school performance, low frustration tolerance, patients in need of infant psychiatry and interpersonal issues.
  • This is a parentally focused intervention aimed at the existing family structure.

​Intensive Family Therapy (IFT) uses an integrative approach that focuses on the most acute areas of need contributing to a family's clinical concerns.

  • IFT targets children and youth, ages 7 to 17, with mental health issues that disrupt his / her family or social relationships.
  • Referrals usually come from inpatient hospitalizations, or from outpatient clinicians / case workers / school staff seeking to avoid hospitalization.
  • Typical referral behaviors include:  low levels of parental structure / consistency in the home, inappropriate discipline, poor school performance, low frustration tolerance, significant mental health challenges and interpersonal issues.
  • Within the school, the therapist assists with issues related to:  acting out behaviors, impulsivity, inattentiveness, social skills deficits, truancy, tardiness, academic struggles, and others.
  • Therapists often attend IEP (Individualized Education Program) meetings to assist with advocating for the most appropriate services for the client's academic and/or behavioral needs.
  • Therapists assist families in connecting to appropriate community resources  / support systems.

​Rapid Response (RR) is an additional benefit provided to Medicaid patients being admitted to The Children's Hospital Colorado Inpatient Psychiatric Unit / Emergency Department.  Therapists assist with safety planning and psychiatric stabilization with a focus on a child / adolescent's transition to home and school.

  • Typical referral behaviors include:  self harm, severe acting-out, or other behaviors which contributed to safety concerns and hospitalization.
  • The therapist is tasked with outreaching the family within 48 hours of hospitalization to provide supportive services, provide intensive case management to the patient and assist with family's follow through of the discharge plan.
  • Rapid Response is short term intervention lasting up to 2 months, after which time the goal is for the family to be able to transition into our MST / ECIFT / IFT programs if they meet the criteria, or to a lower level of care.