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Prof. Dr. med. Christine M. Freitag image

Department of pediatric and adolescent psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine and psychotherapy

Prof. Dr. med. Christine M. Freitag
pediatric and adolescent psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine and psychotherapy

About the department

The department of pediatric and adolescent psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine and psychotherapy at University Hospital Frankfurt am Main of Goethe-University is a clinical, academic, and scientific facility for children and adolescents with mental illnesses. On the scientific side of work, local researchers are investigating the effectiveness of new therapies (therapy studies) or the basics of mental disorders under 18 y.o. For example, the department has already been able to identify genetic patterns that play an important role in autism or develop new training for parents with autistic children. Other achievements include designing guidelines, developing psychotherapy manuals, and new therapy methods such as tDCS, sports, or light therapy. For these purposes, three laboratories function in the department: Laboratory for Molecular Genetics, Laboratory of Neurophysiology, and Laboratory of Neuroimaging. There are 7 inpatient wards and numerous outpatient clinics for medical care. 

Speech disorders, Autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, Elimination disorders, and other young-age specific conditions are the priorities for medical care at the department. The therapeutic methods vary, including individual, group, in/outpatient therapies, and training sessions for patients and their parents.

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Treatment and diagnostic focus of the department

Mental health disorders in children and adolescents:

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Conduct disorders
  • Disorders of emotion regulation and impulse control
  • Selective mutism
  • Elimination disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorders and tic disorders
  • Acute psychiatric illnesses 
  • Patients in psychosocial crises
  • High risk of suicide
  • Anorexia 
  • Emotion regulation disorders
  • Children and young people with language acquisition problems, pronunciation problems, or reading and spelling difficulties
  • Children and young people with fluency disorders (stuttering/cluttering)
  • Children and adolescents with voice disorders (vocal nodules, hoarseness)

Treatment offered:

  • A-FFIP – Autism-Specific Therapy in Preschoolers
  • Small-Group Early Intervention (A-FFIP)
  • Social skills training in a group (SOSTA)
  • Parent Training (FAUT-E)
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Adolescents (inpatient)
  • Occupational therapy
  • Ergotherapy
  • Nutritional therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Logopedic therapy
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Doctor profile

Education

  • 10/1997 / 03/1999 United States Medical Licencing Examination Step 1 / Step 2 
  • 03/1990 - 10/1998 FU and HU (Charité) Berlin, Staatsexamen (German State exam for MDs) 
  • 10/1988 - 07/1994 Protestant Theology, Master of Arts (“Diplom”) and “1. Kirchliche Dienstprüfung”. Eberhardt-Karls-Universität Tübingen. 
  • 10/2010 Certificate in Medical Biometry, Postgraduate Training, Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg: Linear and logistic regression models: Missing values, and comparison of analysis strategies of a child psychiatric dataset. 
  • 06/2007 Habilitation (“second” Ph.D.) in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Saarland University Hospital, Homburg: Autistic Disorders – Genetic and Phenotypic studies. 
  • 01/2000 MD (equivalent to Ph.D.) in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Charité Berlin: Psychosocial risk factors and behavioural disorders in adolescents from immigrant and German families

Experience

  • Since 12/2008 Director, Department of pediatric and adolescent psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine and psychotherapy at University Hospital Frankfurt am Main of Goethe-University  
  • 2006 Board Certificate Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy 
  • 11/2003-11/2008 Associate Professor (C1), Consultant, Clinical Training, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Universitätsklinikum des Saarlandes, Homburg 
  • 1/2003 – 10/2003 Clinical Research Worker & Clinical Training in Child Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Klinikum der Universität Zu Köln 
  • 8/2001 – 12/2002 Post-Doctoral Researcher, Genetic Epidemiology Section, Department of Biometry, Informatics, and Epidemiology, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn 
  • 8/2000 – 7/2001 Clinical Research Worker, IMGSAC, Institute of Psychiatry, London 
  • 2/1999 – 7/2000 Clinical training in Pediatric Neurology and Pediatrics, Research on Epilepsy, Universitätskinderklinik Heidelberg 
  • 1996 – 1998 Part-time teacher for Nurses in Training, Jewish Hospital Berlin 
  • 1992 – 1996 Temporary nursing assistant, night shifts, Neuköllner Krankenhaus, Berlin 
  • 3/1988 – 8/1988 Full-time nursing assistant, Center for People with Disabilities, Ziegler’sche Anstalten, Wilhelmsdorf 
  • 8/1987 – 2/1988 Full-time nursing assistant, German Old People’s Home, London 
  • 1985 - 1998 Temporary organist (church services) with C & D German organist degree

Awards, memberships, publications

  • 2011 Call W3 Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Würzburg, declined 
  • Since 2010 Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of Autismus-Deutschland; chair 2015-2017 
  • Since 2009 Chair of the S3-AWMF Clinical Guidelines Committee on Diagnostics and Intervention of Autism Spectrum Disorder (www.awmf.org) 
  • Since 2009 Editorial Board member: Journal of Neural Transmission, ADHD 
  • 2008 Call W2 Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Dresden, declined 
  • 2007 Award: August-Homburger Preis 
  • 2006 Award: Alois Lauer-Förderpreis für Medizin
  • Author of 500 publications
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