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Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Youth and Young Adult Mood Disorders Clinic

Medical Director: Sheila M. Marcus, M.D.

All of our activities reflect a commitment to the prevention and treatment of clinical depression and bipolar illness. As such, we offer a full range of clinical services for youth and their families; we conduct research to improve our understanding of depression and its treatment; and we are committed to public education and professional training.

In our clinic, we provide comprehensive assessments, evidence-based treatment, and education for youth and their families.  Our treatment team includes faculty, experienced clinical staff, and many professionals in training. We train new generations of mental health professionals to gain expertise in youth depression.  We also invite families to participate in clinical trials as well as other types of research studies.

We know that twenty million Americans – including many youth – suffer from depression. In fact, as many as 1 in 5  youth will have experienced an episode of clinical depression by the end of their teenage years. These numbers are especially significant when you bear in mind that (1) depression is highly treatable; (2) the earlier one gets help, the sooner one will start to feel better; and (3) e arly intervention helps reduce the chances of recurrence later.

Youth and parent(s) or guardian(s) participate in a comprehensive evidence-based evaluation. This usually requires three to four hours, and includes a visit to the FRIENDS’ Depression and Education Resource Center.

Initial Evaluation

  • Standardized scales that assess current symptoms and adjustment in multiple domains.
  • Open-ended clinical interview by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker to assess developmental, family, medical, and social histories and to further understand current difficulties.
  • Evaluation feedback and opportunity to discuss recommendations.
  • Treatment review from an Attending Psychiatrist to discuss and further tailor treatment plan to family’s specific needs.


Individual Psychotherapy is recommended for the majority of youth in our clinic.  Two evidence-based therapies, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), are emphasized.

Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT) focuses on self-understanding of negative mood states and the identification and modification of negative, distorted thought patterns. It emphasizes problem-solving skills, communication skills, and more adaptive behavior patterns.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) strives to improve youths’ interpersonal functioning by improving self-understanding, problem solving, communication, and coping in the realm of relationships. It focuses on a chosen interpersonal problem area such as grief, a difficult role transition, an interpersonal conflict or role dispute, social skills deficits, or issues in step-parent families.

Medication Treatment is recommended as needed within our Youth and Young Adult Mood Disorders Clinic.  Reviews of medications are conducted more frequently at the start of a medication regimen and progress is reviewed on a less frequent basis after wellness is achieved and the phase of maintenance treatment is reached.  Discussion of tapering and/or discontinuing medications is part of ongoing care management.  For some youth with depression, extended treatment is necessary.

Group Treatmentis conducted within a CBT framework. It focuses on enhancing coping strategies to deal with depression and its effects on school, relationships, and self esteem.  We provide a 4 week CBT group for patients who would benefit from therapeutic interventions that can be started immediately versus waiting until an individual therapist is available. 

Family Therapy addresses family concerns and family interactions.  This often includes a focus on communication skill building, problem solving, and improving parenting skills.

Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT) may be recommended in those infrequent situations when symptoms are severe and do not respond to psychosocial interventions and several medication trials. The University of Michigan is a recognized leader in the current use of this effective and potentially life-saving therapeutic option.

Other Services

Parent Education enhances follow-through with treatment and reduces youths’ and families sense of self-blame and/or blaming of others. Family education can also help other family members identify their own health concerns and potential treatment needs. Educational resources available in our Friends Depression and Education Resource Center include videos, books, pamphlets and web access.  Educational Workshops are also conducted monthly to provide psycho-education to families and friends of persons affected by depression and bipolar illness. 

Support Groups offer opportunities to share ideas for coping, link with community resources, develop a support network, discuss issues of stigma and learn about depression and bipolar illness.  Support Groups for A: Adults with Depression and Bipolar Illness, B: Adolescents and College Aged Persons with Depression and Bipolar Illness, C: Family Members of Persons with Depression and Bipolar Illness are offered twice monthly, the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every Month.  Our Survivors of Suicide Support Group offers a safe and supportive environment for surviving family members and friends the 3rd Wednesday of every Month.

School and Community Consultation is sometimes incorporated into a patient’s care to facilitate the youth’s recovery in the community as a whole.

Ongoing review

Patient and family treatment and progress are reviewed through intermittent sessions with your individual clinician, consultation and review by the Youth and Young Adult Mood Disorders team, and follow- up by a care manager.

Appointment Number: 800-525-5188

Clinic location:
Rachel Upjohn Building
4250 Plymouth Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5734
Phone: 734-764-0231
Fax: 734-936-8907