What It Is
The Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CUCARD)—Westchester specializes in standard and accelerated outpatient care for children, adolescents, and young adults whose lives are severely impaired by anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and related disorders, including tic disorders and trichotillomania. Treatment frequency is individualized and can range from once weekly to daily for several hours a day.
Who We Are
Part of Columbia University’s Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, CUCARD—Westchester is comprised of Ph.D. level clinicians, all of whom have specialized training in the assessment and treatment of OCD, anxiety and impulse disorders. The clinic is directed by Anthony Puliafico, Ph.D., who is an expert in the cognitive-behavioral treatment of OCD and anxiety disorders.
Listen to Dr. Puliafico discuss treatment options for children and teens with OCD on WNPR's Faith Middleton show. (Note: Interview begins at 24:38.)
Disorders We Treat
CUCARD—Westchester provides assessment and treatment services for the following disorders and concerns:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- School avoidance
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Social phobia
- Separation anxiety
- Panic disorder
- Specific phobias
- Selective mutism
- Tic disorders, including Tourette's syndrome
Where We Are
CUCARD–Westchester is located at 155 White Plains Road (West Bldg), Suite 200, in Tarrytown, NY. We are accessible by Metro North from Manhattan’s Grand Central Station, as well as by car from Westchester, Manhattan, Rockland County, and New Jersey.
For more information, please call 914-631-4618.
We are a fee-for-service clinic and do not accept insurance. Many families are eligible for out-of-network reimbursement; we encourage you contact your insurance company before your first visit to determine if you can expect out-of-network reimbursement. We will provide you with a receipt at the time of service that you can use to submit for out-of network reimbursement.
Please fill out the appropriate questionnaire and bring it with you to your first appointment.
Background Questionnaire for Children and Teenagers
(Ages 17 and under)
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 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 a) social anxiety and b) 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.
“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.