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Pediatric Psycho-Oncology Professionals
Brenda Bursch

First Name: Brenda

Last Name: Bursche

Position Title: Professor, Clinical Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, and Pediatrics

& Clinical Director, Pediatric Psychiatry Consultation Liaison, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Job Responsibilities: Teaching, Administrative, Research & Patient Care

Education/Training: Psychology

About Me/My interests: As Clinical Director of the Pediatric Psychiatry Consultation - Liaison Service, I work closely with Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. 

I have an interest in the impact of contact with the medical system on parent and patient health beliefs, coping and disability, physical symptoms, medical outcomes, and utilization of services.  It is my hypothesis that, for some individuals, the medical system promotes symptoms and illness-related disability.  I am interested in understanding who is vulnerable to over-medicalization, how it is possible to identify those at high risk, and how to reduce over-medicalization and improve outcomes. Consequently, I am interested in high risk populations, high utilizers of medical services, and those who do not seek health care services.  Diagnostically, this interest translates to a focus on current concepts of somatization and functional symptom disorders, iatrogenic trauma, terminal illness, and factitious disorders.

Teaching has always been my first priority and favorite activity. One of the most enjoyable aspects of teaching for me as been the need to continually learn and improve my teaching approach along with changing technology, the emerging evidence base, and training needs.  I am also interested in influencing medical and psychological education in order to improve the care received by medically ill children. 

Training Opportunities: Yes – Pediatric Psychology APA-approved Internship

My Contact Information:

Address: UCLA Division of Child Psychiatry, 760 Westwood Plaza, Semel 48-253C

Los Angeles, California 90024-1759


Topics of Interest for Collaboration: Somatization and functional symptom disorders; iatrogenic trauma; terminal illness; factitious disorders; medical and psychological education

Publications that may be of interest to others:  

Bursch, B.  (2010). Pediatric Pain.  In Richard J. Shaw & David Ray DeMaso (Editors) Textbook of Pediatric Psychosomatic Medicine. American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.

Bursch, B. & Stuber, M. L. (2010).  Pediatrics. In Levenson, J. L. (Editor) Textbook of Psychosomatic Medicine: Psychiatric Care of the Medically Ill, Second Edition. American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.

Drews, A. & Bursch, B.  (2010). Somatoform Disorders & Chronic Pain.  In Jay Thomas & Michel Hersen (Editors) Handbook of Clinical Psychology Competencies.  Springer.

Stuber, M. L., & Bursch, B.  (2009). Psychiatric care of the terminally ill child.  In Chochinov, H., M. & Breitbart, W. (Editors) Psychiatric dimensions of palliative medicine, 2nd Edition.  Oxford University Press.

Moore, B. A., Bursch, B & Walshaw, P. (2007). Termination of Psychotherapy with Children. In William O'Donohue & Mike Cucciare (Editors) A Clinician’s Guide to the Termination of Psychotherapy.  Routledge.


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