Skip to Main Content

Psychology Clinic

The Psychology Clinic offers many services to St. Jude patients and their families. These include consultation, intervention, and psychological and neuropsychological assessments.

Services we provide

A psychologist may meet with your child when you first come to  St. Jude. Your child’s care team may also refer your child to the Psychology Clinic for help with transitions or to address a certain problem.

Consultation. A “consult” is your child’s first visit with a psychologist. This consult helps the psychologist understand how your child is doing. After the consult, you will work with the psychologist to develop a plan to support your child. This plan might include meeting with the psychologist regularly or referrals to other services, such as Child Life or Social Work. Referrals can also be made to services outside of St. Jude.

Intervention. Psychologists at St. Jude use specific interventions to help with emotional, behavioral, and mental health problems. They also support you and your child in dealing with things like diagnosis, treatment, and relapse. The psychologists work closely with your child’s care team to makes sure your child receives the best care possible.

Psychological and neuropsychological assessments. A psychologist may see your child for a psychological  or neuropsychological assessment. During this assessment, you and your child will talk with the psychologist. Then, your child will take some tests that measure thinking and related skills. You may complete questionnaires about your child’s behavior. The psychologist will also review your child’s medical records.

What to expect during your visit


The first meeting with the psychologist can take place in:

  • The Psychology Clinic
  • An inpatient room
  • Another area of the hospital

Psychological and neuropsychological assessments

Clinical trial assessment. A clinical trial assessment may occur as a standard part of your child’s clinical trial. Psychologists use these tests to answer specific research questions. The tests are the same for all patients who take part in the study. Following this type of assessment, the Psychology Clinic will give you a brief report with feedback. The psychology team may: 

  • Add more tasks
  • Suggest another appointment if they find areas of weakness
  • Suggest another appointment if you have concerns about your child’s thinking or learning 

Clinical trial assessments vary in length but are usually 3.5 hours long. 

Brief assessment. St. Jude  School Program academic coordinators may use a brief assessment to advocate for school-based services. A psychologist may see your child for a brief assessment:

  • When they first come to  St. Jude
  • At a time of transition
  • When finishing treatment  

If a brief assessment shows areas of weakness, a psychologist may recommend a more detailed assessment. Brief assessments last 1–2 hours.

Early childhood assessment. An early childhood assessment measures how children younger than 3 years develop. These assessments last 1–2 hours.

Neuropsychological assessment. A neuropsychological assessment is more complex. This assessment is typically done when you or your child’s care team have concerns about how the child’s illness or treatment might affect thinking and learning.  

Neuropsychological assessments vary in length but can take up to 6 hours.

Why assessments are important

Psychology assessments may help to address concerns about:

  • Attention
  • Development
  • Intelligence 
  • Language
  • Learning
  • Memory

Benefits of assessment may include:

  •  A smoother transition back to school or between grade levels
  • Confidence that your child is getting the right academic support
  • Guidance about jobs or further education as your child prepares to graduate from high school or college

How to prepare for Psychology Clinic assessments

There are a few ways you and your child can prepare for psychological testing:

  • Make sure your child has eaten and is well rested.
  • If your child has glasses or hearing aids, they should wear them for testing.
  • Continue giving your child all their usual medicines unless instructed otherwise by your care team.
  • Bring recent school documents such as report cards and education plans (504, IEP) when possible. 
  • Bring results of any psychological testing your child has had in the past.
  • Reassure your child that there will be no physical exam or needle sticks. 
  • Prepare your child to be away from you for portions of testing. 

After Psychology Clinic assessment

The Psychology Clinic team will give you feedback when the test is done, either right after the testing visit or during a separate feedback session. Feedback sessions may take place in the Psychology Clinic or over the phone.

A written report that describes your child’s results will be uploaded to MyChart. If recommendations are made, those recommendations will be uploaded to MyChart. This report is typically available within 1 month of testing.

Your Psychology Clinic team

The Psychology Clinic team has extensive training and experience working with children and teens who are facing serious illnesses. The Psychology Clinic team includes:

  • Licensed psychologists and neuropsychologists
  • Licensed psychological examiners
  • Trainees at all levels

To speak with St. Jude Psychology Clinic team or request an appointment at any time, call 901-595-3581 or toll-free 1-866-278-5833, ext. 3581.

Learn more