We provide treatment to adults, adolescents and children for the gamut of anxiety disorders, as well as many other conditions. Although our primary expertise is in anxiety disorders, our talented clinicians have an array of specialties and are able to provide outstanding, effective clinical treatment for a variety of mental health issues. Treatment is tailored to each patient’s individual circumstances, and progress is tracked using our assessment tools to ensure improvement. Our evidence-based approach to care ensures that patients receive the optimal treatment to reduce symptoms and make dramatic improvements in their daily lives.
We treat the following conditions:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a very common mental disorder that begins in childhood and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. It makes it hard for a child to focus and pay attention. Some children may be hyperactive or have trouble being patient. For children with ADHD, levels of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behaviors are greater than for other children in their age group. ADHD can make it hard for a child to do well in school, socialize with their peers, or behave at home.
Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy, and ability to function. The mood episodes associated with the disorder persist from days to weeks or longer, and can be dramatic, with periods of being overly high and/or irritable to periods of persistent sadness and hopelessness. Severe changes in behavior go along with the mood changes. These periods of highs and lows, called episodes of mania and depression, can be distinct episodes often recurring over time, or they may occur together in a so-called mixed state. Often people with bipolar disorder experience periods of normal mood in between mood episodes.
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is characterized by significant difficulty with regulating one’s emotions, leading to impulsivity, reckless and sometimes dangerous behavior, self-injury, anger, volatile mood swings, and unstable interpersonal relationships. People with BPD may also experience transient paranoia or dissociation (feeling detached from themselves). Symptoms tend to respond poorly to medication and are generally chronic until treated with a course of intensive Dialectical Behavior Therapy.
Childhood Behavioral Problems
Disruptive behavior disorders are among the easiest to identify because they involve behaviors that are readily seen such as temper tantrums, physical aggression such as attacking other children, excessive argumentativeness, stealing, and other forms of defiance or resistance to authority. These disorders, which include Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Conduct Disorder (CD), often first attract notice when they interfere with school performance or family and peer relationships, and frequently intensify over time.
Chronic Worry (GAD)
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worry about everyday things and physiological distress such as muscle tension, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and migraine headaches. People with GAD often anticipate disaster and may be overly concerned about money, health, family, work, or other issues. The disorder often begins gradually, though the risk for onset is highest between childhood and middle age. People with GAD tend to function well in life (e.g., socially, occupationally) but live with distress, and when anxiety is severe they may have difficulty carrying out daily activities.
Depression is a condition in which a person feels discouraged, sad, hopeless, unmotivated, or disinterested in life in general. Most people will experience these emotions for short periods of time, and then return to normal functioning. When such feelings last for more than two weeks, and the feelings interfere with daily activities such as taking care of family, spending time with friends, or going to work or school, it’s likely a major depressive episode. Some people may experience these symptoms more mildly, but for longer periods of time. This may be dysthymia, which involves low mood in conjunction with two other symptoms of depression, lasting at least two years, without a period of two weeks or more in which the patient is asymptomatic. Although it is less severe than major depression, it involves the same symptoms as major depression, mainly low energy, poor appetite or overeating, and insomnia or oversleeping.
Eating Disorders involve significant disturbances in eating behavior including overly-restricting and/or purging food intake (Anorexia), excessive emotional-eating (Binge-Eating Disorder), and combinations of excessive eating and purging (Bulimia). Core features include low self-esteem, disruptions in how one perceives body weight or shape, and strained family dynamics, and these conditions typically co-occur with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive, mood, and other disorders. Moreover, they can cause serious medical and physical problems. Our comprehensive treatment approach for these conditions involves individual sessions, family sessions, and/or consultations with outside prescribing physicians and dietitians.
Excoriation Disorder (Skin Picking)
Also known as Dermatillomania, Excoriation Disorder is an impulse control disorder characterized by the repeated urge to pick at one’s own skin, often to the extent that damage is caused. Dermatillomania can be treated in a similar manner to Trichotillomania, also using CBIT and Habit Reversal Therapy.
Sometimes referred to as health anxiety or illness anxiety disorder, hypochondriasis is characterized by excessive worry about becoming or presently being ill. Individuals with hypochondriasis often interpret benign bodily sensations or minor symptoms as indicative of a dangerous disease, and avoid situations or activities that may create even a modicum of risk for illness. They also tend to seek excessive reassurance from medical professionals in the form of doctor’s appointments and Internet research, but their worries persist even when examinations reveal no real medical concerns. Hypochondriasis has been conceptualized as a form of OCD, and it is highly treatable with behavior therapy.
Insomnia is related to, and can be caused by, many factors, including poor sleep habits, depression, anxiety, lack of exercise, chronic illness, or certain medications. Symptoms may include difficulty falling or staying asleep and not feeling well-rested. Insomnia can be treated with Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for Insomnia (CBT-I) and consists of improving sleep habits, behavior therapy, and identifying and treating underlying causes.
Marriage & Relationship Discord
More than 50% of marriages in the United States end in separation or divorce. Further, happiness and satisfaction within marriage have decreased substantially in recent years, as have levels of intimacy and connection. Our positive approach to relationship discord draws from both attachment theory and behaviorism, to provide couples with effective skills to navigate and resolve conflicts, reduce strain, and rekindle love and connection with one another.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Individuals with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) suffer from unwanted and intrusive thoughts that they can’t seem to get out of their heads (obsessions), and/or they repeatedly perform ritualistic behaviors and routines (compulsions) to try and ease their distress. Most people who have OCD are aware that their obsessions and compulsions are irrational, yet they feel powerless to stop them. Some spend hours at a time performing complicated mental or behavioral rituals involving hand-washing, counting, or checking to ward off persistent, unwelcome thoughts, feelings, or images. We offer a free monthly OCD Support Group in our Manhattan and Brooklyn offices. Click here for more information.
Panic disorder is diagnosed in people who experience spontaneous, seemingly out-of-the-blue panic attacks and are preoccupied with the fear of an attack recurring. Women are twice as likely as men to have panic disorder over the lifespan. Most people with panic disorder develop agoraphobia, which involves avoiding situations or places in which one has previously had a panic attack due to fear of having another attack, such as supermarkets, shopping malls, driving through tunnels, or social events.
An episode of psychosis is when a person has a break from reality that often involves seeing, hearing (hallucinations) and believing (delusions) things that aren’t real. Approximately 3 in 100 people will experience an episode of psychosis during their lives. Psychosis may occur as a result of a psychiatric illness like schizophrenia. In other instances, it may be caused by health conditions, medications, drug use, trauma or extreme stress. Young adults are placed at an increased risk to experience an episode of psychosis because of hormonal changes in the brain that occur during puberty, but a psychotic episode can occur at any age. We offer a free monthly support group – Living with Psychosis – in our Manhattan location. Click here for more information.
Previously called School Phobia, school refusal is the refusal to attend school due to emotional distress. School refusal differs from truancy in that children with school refusal feel anxiety or fear towards school, whereas truant children generally have no feelings of fear towards school, often feeling angry or bored with it instead. Children with school refusal may complain of physical symptoms shortly before it is time to leave for school or repeatedly ask to visit the school nurse. If the child is allowed to stay home, the symptoms quickly disappear, only to reappear the next morning. In some cases a child may refuse to leave the house.
Selective Mutism is a complex childhood anxiety disorder characterized by a child’s inability to speak and communicate effectively in select social settings, such as school. These children are able to speak and communicate in settings where they feel comfortable, secure, and relaxed. More than 90% of children with Selective Mutism also have Social Phobia or Social Anxiety.
Separation anxiety is normal in very young children. Kids often go through a phase when they are “clingy” and afraid of unfamiliar people and places. When this fear occurs in a child over 6 years old, and the fear is excessive, lasting longer than four weeks, the child may have Separation Anxiety Disorder. Separation Anxiety Disorder is a condition in which a child becomes fearful and nervous when away from home or separated from a loved one — usually a parent or caregiver — to whom the child is attached. Some children also develop physical symptoms, such as headaches or stomachaches, at the thought of being separated.
Shyness & Social Anxiety
Social Anxiety Disorder is characterized by the excessive fear of negative evaluation by others in social or performance situations. People with this disorder, also known as Social Phobia, almost always have trouble speaking in front of groups of people, and often have limited growth in their professions and social/romantic relationships as well. In children, social anxiety can result in school refusal, clinging behavior, tantrums, and even selective mutism. Although individuals with social anxiety generally recognize their fears of others are excessive, they feel unable to surmount their fear of being embarrassed. Social anxiety disorder usually begins in childhood or adolescence, and often co-occurs with depression.
Specific Fears & Phobias
At any point in time, nearly 9% of the population has a specific phobia, involving marked and persistent fear and avoidance of one or more specific objects or situations (e.g., flying, driving, heights, dogs, spiders, medical/dental procedures). Phobias can develop during childhood, adolescence or adulthood, and most arise unexpectedly and are not directly related to a traumatic event. Although people with phobias realize that their fears are irrational, even thinking about it can often cause extreme anxiety and distress.
Tics & Tourette Syndrome
A “tic” is an involuntary movement or vocalization that is usually sudden, brief, repetitive, and stereotyped but non rhythmical in character. Tics frequently imitate normal behavior, occur out of a background of normal activity, are associated with a premonitory sensation or “build up” sensation to perform the specific movement, and are usually associated with the sensation of relief once performed. Tics can be classified as motor or vocal. Motor tics are associated with movements, while vocal tics are associated with sound. Tourette Syndrome is diagnosed when an individual has multiple physical (motor) tics and at least one vocal (phonic) tic.
Trichotillomania (Hair Pulling)
Trichotillomania is a disorder that involves recurrent, irresistible urges to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows or other areas of your body, despite trying to stop. Hair pulling from the scalp often leaves patchy bald spots, which causes significant distress and can interfere with social or work functioning. People with trichotillomania may go to great lengths to disguise the loss of hair and can often experience various feelings of distress, including shame. Trichotillomania can be treated with a specific form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, called Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT) and through Habit Reversal Therapy.