Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety & Related Disorders (CUCARD)—Westchester
The Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CUCARD)—Westchester is dedicated to delivering evidence-based interventions for anxiety disorders, OCD, and related disorders, including tic disorders and trichotillomania. We provide cognitive behavioral treatment, which is focused on modifying behavior and thoughts through active therapeutic interventions.
Along with providing standard individual and group-based outpatient care, CUCARD Westchester specializes in providing accelerated therapy services for individuals requiring a higher level of outpatient care. Patients can be seen up to five times weekly and for several hours per day to treat highly impairing symptoms. A more intensive treatment approach is often appropriate for children, adolescents, and young adults whose disorders are significantly impairing school or work attendance or performance, or the ability to complete daily tasks (e.g., washing, eating, leaving the home). We also provide intensive treatment services for individuals or families who travel from out of town for specialized care.
School Avoidance Program
CUCARD Westchester offers an accelerated treatment program for children and adolescents who are struggling to attend school consistently due to anxiety. Youth will attend weekly individual and group therapy sessions targeting anxiety management and consistent school attendance. In addition, parents will attend weekly parenting workshops to learn the tools and behavior management skills necessary to facilitate their child’s school attendance. The program offers additional support to families including school consultation, school visits, and individual case support. Clinicians are available “on-call” to provide phone coaching to families on school mornings (7:00 am–9:00 am), and participating youth are able to complete schoolwork in our clinic with guidance from CUCARD Westchester staff if they are unable to attend school on any given day.
Accelerated OCD Treatment Program
Accelerated treatment programs are offered for children, adolescents, and young adults who are suffering from acute and highly impairing OCD symptoms. Accelerated programs typically involve 2–5 weekly treatment sessions for a period of 1–3 weeks. Treatment focuses on exposure and ritual prevention (EX/RP), in which individuals will gradually and repeatedly face feared situations while learning to more consistently resist ritualistic behaviors.
Group Treatment for Social Anxiety
Group treatment focuses on providing group members with skills to more effectively manage anxiety in social and interpersonal settings. As part of group treatment, members will gradually face feared social situations within a supportive setting. Group treatment is appropriate as a supplement to individual cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or for patients who have already completed a course of CBT.
Young Adult Anxiety Group
Weekly group treatment will be offered for young adults struggling with anxiety. Groups will meet weekly and will focus on anxiety and social difficulties, and the unique ways these pose challenges during the transition into adulthood. Services are designed to help young adults identify and reach their individual goals. The Young Adult Group will include two tracks focusing on 1) social anxiety and 2) social/life skills. Individuals in the Social Anxiety Track will learn about the nature of anxiety, engage in exposure therapy tasks, and build anxiety management skills.
ADHD Evaluation & Treatment
Evidence-based assessment and treatment services for children and adolescents with ADHD include:
- Diagnostic evaluations
- School observations
- Medication consultation and management
- Parent-child interaction therapy
- Parent management training
- Organizational skills training
Because many children and adolescents struggle with both ADHD and anxiety or mood concerns, our clinicians aim to provide flexible treatment that is evidence-based and meets the unique needs of each child.
“Pointers for Parents” Workshops
CUCARD Westchester provides weekly workshops for caregivers of children and adolescents struggling with anxiety and related difficulties. Workshops focus on topics relevant to caregivers and include psychoeducation about anxiety, depression, and OCD, strategies for responding to anxious and oppositional behavior, information on navigating the educational system, and medication options for children and adolescents.