Youth Anxiety Center

Advancing the Understanding and Treatment of Anxiety in Teens and Young Adults

World-Renowned Psychiatric and Behavioral Health Care

At the Youth Anxiety Center, we provide outpatient therapy, intensive day treatment, partial hospitalization, and other treatment programs specifically designed to meet the unique needs of adolescents and young adults.

An Integrated Approach to the Care of Young People with Anxiety

NewYork-Presbyterian’s Youth Anxiety Center advances effective ways of diagnosing, treating, and helping young people that suffer from anxiety disorders through research, treatment, and education. Our team of experts has extensive knowledge about how anxiety affects adolescents and young adults, particularly as they transition away from home into independent living. Our treatment programs and services are designed to assist young people and their families facilitate the transition and creating the lives they want to live on their own.

Our program is a unique collaboration of researchers and clinicians who are all focused on the same goal: understanding the root causes of anxiety, which in turn leads to the development of better treatments offering young people and their family’s real reasons to be optimistic about the future.

Treatments and Services We Offer

Launching Emerging Adults Program (LEAP). The Youth Anxiety Center offers an enhanced form of cognitive-behavioral therapy called the Launching Emerging Adults Program (LEAP). This new treatment expands on traditional cognitive behavioral exposure therapy by integrating skills needed to help young adults thrive in adulthood. Therapy includes specific progressive modules added as appropriate to engage parents and young adults to work together to better communicate and meet developmental goals. “Failure to launch” is one of the issues addressed by the LEAP program, which helps families and their young adults make the transition to independent adulthood. Through the LEAP program, therapists assist parents in letting go of their emerging adults and help them encourage their son or daughter to take on the challenges of becoming independent.

Outpatient therapy. Patients are treated during therapeutic sessions between a therapist and an individual. The focus of treatment is to improve symptoms that significantly interfere with at least one area of interaction such as those with family, peers, school, or in the workplace. The goals, frequency, and duration of outpatient treatment vary according to individual needs and the response to treatment. In addition to individual outpatient therapy, patients are offered the opportunity to join group therapy sessions with peers.

Intensive day treatment or partial hospitalization program. The partial hospitalization program at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell offers specialized, intensive treatment to adolescents and young adults with severe and debilitating anxiety. The goal is to achieve rapid stabilization of acute symptoms with an emphasis on restoring the patient’s health and preventing future setbacks while the patient continues to reside at home. These short-term, full-day treatments are unavailable elsewhere on an outpatient basis and serve as an alternative to, or a step-down from, an inpatient hospitalization program. Treatments include individual therapy, group therapy, parent and family meetings, and medication management. Aspects of the program include education about psychiatric illness and its treatment, behavior modifications, and coping skills that generate solutions to problems at home, at work, or during life transitions.

The multi-disciplinary treatment team in the partial hospitalization program will coordinate with any existing outside providers to ensure a smooth transition back to regular outpatient care. When a patient leaves the partial hospitalization program, a follow-up treatment plan is provided to enhance continued symptom relief and improved function.

Funding provided by the Youth Anxiety Center to the partial hospitalization program has enabled additional psychologists to join the multidisciplinary treatment team. These doctors are experts in treatments for anxiety, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and exposure and response prevention for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

In addition to providing specific treatment services to older adolescents and young adults with anxiety in the partial hospitalization program, the clinicians train psychiatry residents and social workers in these treatment modalities.

Parent group therapy. The Youth Anxiety Center offers a six-week educational program for parents of anxious emerging adults. This group is ideal for parents whose emerging adults are experiencing distress and anxiety at the thought of leaving home. Parents are provided skills and more importantly, educated on when and how to help their son or daughter try to independently overcome obstacles and fears, so they may successfully transition into independent and confident adulthood.

College Readiness Program. The Youth Anxiety Center offers a four to six-week group therapy program designed to educate young adults who are preparing to leave for college. Students are educated about anxiety and trained in how to use new techniques and tools to best manage their anxiety and time, as well as learn how to manage difficult emotions and frustrations they may experience in their new environments away from home. Techniques include role-play and real-life rehearsal. For instance, a student under a therapist’s supervision may go to a local college medical center to make an appointment with a doctor or find a pharmacy that could fill his or her monthly prescriptions. The role play also includes having professors from Columbia University come to therapy sessions so that students can practice interacting with them. Ultimately, the student learns ways to successfully manage these previously stressful situations.

Our Locations

NewYork-Presbyterian Youth Anxiety Center

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