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.

Below is a list of our current clinical programs. 

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 attend weekly individual and group therapy sessions targeting anxiety management and consistent school attendance. In addition, parents attend weekly parenting workshops to learn the tools and behavior-management skills necessary to facilitate their children’s school attendance. The program offers additional support to families, including school consultation, school visits, and individual case support. CUCARD Westchester also offers “back-to-school” groups; these groups meet daily for one week in August to review anxiety-management skills and help children and teens prepare for the upcoming school year.

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 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 is offered for young adults struggling with anxiety. Groups meet weekly and focus on anxiety and social difficulties, and the unique ways in which these pose challenges during the transition into adulthood. Services are designed to help young adults identify and reach their individual goals.

Telehealth Sessions

CUCARD Westchester provides telehealth services, in which treatment sessions are held online via the use of HIPAA-secure web technology. Telehealth may be appropriate for:

  • Individuals and families who do not live near mental health services
  • College students
  • Home-based interventions, such as exposures or parent training

All telehealth services must take place within New York State.

ADHD Evaluation and 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.

Parent Skills Group

This group is intended for parents of children ages 8–14 who struggle to comply with directions, act defiantly, or engage in disruptive behavior. The group focuses on identifying behaviors to change, increasing desirable behaviors and decreasing problem behaviors, applying appropriate rewards and consequences for children’s behavior, generalizing progress across home and school settings, and helping parents with stress management and self-care. 

Student Athlete Program

CUCARD Westchester offers individual therapy sessions for athletes who are looking to increase satisfaction with their sport, overcome performance anxiety, frustration, or other difficult emotions that can interfere with optimal performance, enhance performance (i.e., develop routines, achieve optimal arousal), beat self-defeating thoughts relating to recovery and return from an injury, or develop their identify outside of their sport.