Department of Psychiatry
Penn Behavioral Health

Penn Psychosis Evaluation and Recovery Center (Penn PERC)

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About PERC

Our multidisciplinary program offers consultations on diagnosis, treatment, supports, and skill development for adolescents and young adults who exhibit warning signs of emerging psychosis or early psychosis characterized by one or more the following symptoms:

  • overvalued ideas that can reach the level of delusions
  • perceptual disturbances, such as hallucinations
  • confused thinking, poor attention and memory
  • decreased emotional reactivity
  • social isolation

The purpose of the program is to provide state-of-the-art comprehensive diagnostic assessment to persons with early psychosis and, for those interested, offer a 6-month course of intensive multimodal treatment with the goal of symptomatic improvement and stabilization of functioning. Key elements of the program are supported by a Mental Health Block Grant (MHBG) provided through the State of Pennsylvania.

Customized consultations may include the following

  • interview and evaluation by a psychiatric expert in early psychosis
  • standard physical and neurological examination, and blood work testing to detect possible medical disorders that may produce behavioral symptoms
  • review of previous records, prior treatments, and treatment responses
  • comprehensive neuropsychological assessment
  • brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to evaluate brain structure and connectivity
  • functional MRI to assess resting-state activity and brain response to cognitive challenge
  • electroencephalography (EEG) to assess brain function and processing
  • formulation and discussion of treatment and support plan

We provide written reports on our diagnoses and treatment recommendations that can be useful for the patient, the family, and their other providers. Treatment plan recommendations may include one or more of the following: psychotherapy, medication treatment, cognitive remediation, other psychological treatments (cognitive behavioral therapy, supportive therapy, social skills work), vocational rehabilitation, family and other community supports.

We can provide recommendations on where to find these services, and we can provide follow-up consultations to patients, families, and other providers to help monitor treatment effectiveness, assess progress towards therapeutic  goals, and modify treatment plans as necessary in order to make them as helpful and effective as possible.


For interested participants and their family members the program will offer a 6-month course of intensive multimodal personalized treatment, including psychotherapy and medication management, group based cognitive and affective remediation, community and family support interventions with the purpose of achieving maximal early improvement in clinical symptoms, cognition and preservation of functioning.