At Rady Children’s Hospital, we recognize that children confronting serious illnesses, such as cancer or blood disorders, navigate a challenging journey that extends well beyond medical treatment. Within the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, our dedicated pediatric psychology team is committed to providing comprehensive support, addressing a spectrum of emotional, social, cognitive, behavioral, and physical health needs that patients and their families may encounter.
Our team offers brief/targeted psychotherapeutic interventions designed to assist both the child and family in adapting to the challenges of diagnosis and treatment. Additional services encompass family support groups, consultations with the medical team, participation in comprehensive clinics, and more. Our staff is readily available in both inpatient and outpatient settings, ensuring that we can effectively manage the unique needs of our patients.
We recognize that while many children adjust well to diagnosis and treatment, there are various other psychological challenges that may arise. Our psychologists and mental health providers play a crucial role in helping patients and families cope with these challenges, manage stress, and navigate periods of adjustment. Our psychology and behavioral health resources are designed to assist in a variety of ways, including:
- Dealing with emotions and adjusting to illness and life changes
- Coping with treatments and side effects
- Following medical plans such as taking medicines, wearing masks, or doing rehabilitation exercises
- Reducing distress during medical procedures
- Managing sleep problems
- Identifying and treating depression and anxiety
- Addressing developmental delays and cognitive function
- Providing academic testing and support
- Providing talking therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Motivational Interviewing (MCP).
- Assisting with end-of-treatment transitions
- Supporting families and relationships
- Informative group or private trainings on behavioral modification/interventions
- Advocacy in the medical setting for child’s unique needs
- Helping families cope with grief and loss
- Facilitating connections with community resources and referrals to provide additional support.
Our psychology team at Rady Children’s Hospital includes individuals who have experience in dealing with crises and support, ensuring that our patients and their families receive expert care during these challenging times.
Christina Baker, Psy.D., received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of New England and her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Florida Tech. She completed her internship at Western Youth Services, and her post-doctoral fellowship at Sovereign Youth Services. She also completed additional training experiences with Children’s Medical Services, Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital, and in a private practice for neuropsychological testing. Dr. Baker is a member of the society for pediatric psychology who enjoys working in the intersection of mental health and traditional medicine. It is in this unique collaboration that she sees the most benefit to children undergoing treatment for oncological and hematological diseases. Dr. Baker believes parents to be the expert in their kids, her in psychological tools, and when brought together make an individualized plan of care to best support the patient at hand. She has assisted in designing the new comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Clinic, creation of novel support groups, and community trainings to broaden the availability of community providers who have knowledge in the needs of pediatric oncology patients. She created and is the primary supervisor of the new psychology practicum program within HemOnc.
Helen Giang, Psy.D., earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of California, Irvine and doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Alliant International University. She completed her internship at the Indian Health Care Resource Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and post-doctoral fellowship at Sutter Center for Psychiatry in Sacramento. Her experiences also include evaluation of developmental disabilities, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, at the San Diego Regional Center. Dr. Giang specializes in pediatric psychology, working with children, adolescents and young adults who have cancer and blood disorders. Caregiver mental health is often impacted just as much, if not more, than the child diagnosed with cancer or blood disorders. Dr. Giang believes that collaboration with families is important in promoting optimal adjustment within the whole family unit, therefore, she strives to partner with families who can also provide a unique perspective to treating their child. She utilizes evidenced-based treatment to address adjustment and emotional and behavioral aspects of living with a medical illness. Furthermore, she offers support to patients with hemophilia and their caregivers (individual and/or group), increasing opportunity for patients and caregivers to share their experiences and learn skills to make an overwhelming situation manageable.
Our Resources pages contain a collection of support materials for both parents and patients. Click the link below to find out more about educational materials, coping strategies, and community support links.
If you have questions or would like to explore how our pediatric psychology team can support your child and family, please contact the psychology team at 858-576-1700 ext.s 221557 and 223202
Physical Address: 3010 Children’s Way, San Diego, CA 92123