Conditions We Treat

 

The Weill Cornell Psychiatry Specialty Center’s clinical faculty have expertise in treating a broad range of disorders across the lifespan. Our clinicians are experts in the evidence-based treatment of disruptive behavior disorders in children; child and adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD); tic disorders and Tourette’s Syndrome; anxiety; obsessive compulsive disorder; mood disorders; and eating disorders. We also specialize in working with families and couples and with patients who have complicated co-occurring disorders.

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

 

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders of childhood.  Typically, most symptoms appear early in life and can continue throughout adolescence and adulthood. The symptoms of ADHD — inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity — are present to some extent in most children; however, when these symptoms are developmentally inappropriate, pervasive and persistent they can interfere with relationships, school, and work.

Although individuals with ADHD can be very successful in life, without identification and proper treatment ADHD may have serious consequences, including substance abuse, delinquency, anxiety, depression, and academic and job-related problems.

There is no single test to diagnose ADHD, and many other disorders  including anxiety disorders, depression, oppositional defiant disorder, and learning disorders  can have similar symptoms.  Recognizing and treating ADHD early can lead to better outcomes for children and their families, with reduction in functional impairment later in life.

The Weill Cornell Specialty Center has faculty who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD. A comprehensive evaluation is performed, including a careful history and a clinical assessment of the individuals academic, social and emotional functioning, and developmental level.  We specialize in evidence-based treatments, pharmacotherapy, behavioral therapy, and parent education and support.  At the center, treatment of ADHD is tailored to the unique needs of each individual child and family.

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

 

The Weill Cornell Psychiatry Specialty Clinic offers comprehensive evaluation and evidence-based treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and related symptoms. Our team understands the complexity of autism spectrum disorders for the affected individual as well as his or her family. We are here to provide our expertise throughout the diagnostic process as well as guidance regarding decisions for educational placement and treatment.

Our team of psychologists and psychiatrists possess extensive expertise in assessment, including the gold-standard instruments of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, 2nd Edition (ADOS-2) and the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R).  Assessments include a thorough parent interview, as well as observations of the child. This typically includes cognitive and language assessment, academic assessment, as well as the ADOS-2. We assess individuals as young as 12 months and through the lifespan into adulthood.  Furthermore, our team is available for second opinions and consultation regarding treatment planning, educational placement decisions, medication management, and diagnostic clarification.

One of the most difficult decisions for parents with a child or children with autism is determining the most appropriate academic setting.  We are available to observe the child in their current school setting and to make recommendations on schools and programming for affected individuals.

Currently, our expert team in Manhattan includes a psychiatrist and psychologist, and we have a large network of providers for services beyond these specialties.  We offer psychopharmacologic consultation and treatment for symptoms associated with ASD as well as for individuals with co-morbid ASD and psychiatric disorders.  We specialize in early childhood treatment, behavioral therapies, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Childhood Behavioral Issues

 

Disruptive behaviors in children are often the common final pathway for a wide variety of childhood concerns.  They can arise from mood disorders, anxiety, poor impulse control and hyperactivity, learning disorders, speech and language disorders, substance abuse and issues in the home environment.

The first step in treating problematic behaviors, such as oppositionality and defiance, is a thorough diagnostic evaluation to assess for any contributing factors.  After a comprehensive evaluation your clinician can target interventions to address those factors that are specific to your child and your situation.  Treatment of behavioral problems in children includes support and training for parents and caregivers in how best to respond to the behaviors, in addition to addressing any underlying disorders present in your child.  Our team provides evidence-based approaches in parent training as part of the overall comprehensive treatment plan for disruptive behaviors.  In addition we can consult with your child’s school when appropriate to assure behavioral interventions are consistent across domains in your child’s life.

Depression and Bipolar Disorder

 

Mood disorders, including depression and bipolar disorders, can affect every aspect of an individual’s life, including school, work, relationships with family and friends, ability to parent, and ability to enjoy life. In a child, mood disorder symptoms can often interfere with normative social development and academic achievement, and can place entire families in a state of crisis. With accurate diagnosis and treatment, however, many of these concerns can be minimized or prevented.

In the Specialty Center's Mood Disorders Program, we offer comprehensive evaluations and individualized treatment for both depression and bipolar disorders. Diagnostic assessments are performed by seasoned clinical and research psychiatrists and include an extensive psychiatric interview, laboratory testing, and, when appropriate, neuropsychological testing and neuroimaging. When appropriate, the evaluating psychiatrist may suggest obtaining additional history from both family and previous treating psychiatrists and therapists.

Treatment planning tailors cutting-edge therapeutic modalities to the individual patient. Treatments are both evidence based and holistic. Biological treatments may range from psychopharmacology to neurostimulation, while psychotherapy treatments may include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy.  In addition, we offer an integrated program that can include family and couples' therapy, when appropriate, to address the impact of the patient’s illness on their relationships.

Please contact us for an evaluation. Phone: 646-962-2820

Eating Disorders

 

Eating disorders in children and adolescents can be caused by a variety of factors and can present in many different ways.  As a result, these conditions are often not diagnosed or treated until they have progressed to the point of significant impairment of a young person’s life.  Despite the frequency with which eating disorders may be overlooked, their incidence is in fact quite high.

After a comprehensive evaluation of the causes and manifestations of your child’s problematic eating behaviors, your clinician can target interventions to respond to those factors that may be contributing to the condition, as well as to reverse its course.  Often, treatment of eating disorders in children and adolescents includes participation of parents and it is important for a clinician to coach caregivers in how best to address problematic behaviors, in addition to targeting any underlying disorders present in your child.  Our team provides evidence-based approaches in family-based treatment as part of the overall multi-disciplinary treatment plan for eating disorders, which often includes working with a team of practitioners, such as psychologists and social workers, as a supplement to the care provided by our medical staff.

Learning Issues

 

School can be a struggle for children with challenges of attention and focus, executive function, working memory, and other learning disorders. Accurate diagnosis is a critical first step in developing an effective treatment plan, which is why our services start with thorough neuropsychological testing and psychoeducational assessments. The results of these evaluations will help determine the academic supports and services a student needs, including the services specified in Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and 504 Plans. Find out more about Neuropsychological Testing and Evaluation.

 

 

OCD and Anxiety Disorders

 

Anxiety disorders are among the most common psychiatric illnesses for children, adolescents, and adults. High levels of anxiety can affect every aspect of a person’s daily life. Anxiety can prevent a person from meeting their daily goals, establishing and maintaining relationships, maximizing their potential at school or work, and fulfilling their dreams. Anxiety presents differently across the course of normal human development and requires specialized approaches at each stage. Anxiety disorders also frequently occur along with other disorders including tic disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mood disorders including depression, and substance use disorders.

Effective and established evidence-based treatments do exist for the treatment of anxiety and related disorders.  The Weill Cornell Psychiatry Specialty Center has leaders in the field of anxiety and related disorders across the lifespan and we can provide the most state-of-the-art and developmentally appropriate treatments for anxiety. Our faculty specialize in treating anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder (formerly social phobia), separation anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, and selective mutism. We also specialize in treating related disorders including tic disorders, Tourette’s disorder, depression, bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We specialize in evidence-based treatments including pharmacotherapies, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure with Response Prevention (ERP), Habit Reversal Therapy (HRT), and Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT).

Please contact us for an evaluation.

 

Tic Disorders and Tourette's

 

Tics are sudden, repetitive, stereotyped body movements or vocalizations (sounds).  They are considered semi-voluntary or “unvoluntary” because many people with tics are able to suppress them for periods of time, though not forever.  Tics are common in normal child development and usually do not last or interfere.  When tics persist and cause interference or impairment in a person’s life a tic disorder may be present and treatment may be warranted.  In addition, tics often co-occur with common childhood disorders including anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), behavioral disorders, and learning disorders.

Tic disorders including Tourette’s Disorder are not as common as some childhood onset disorders, such as anxiety and ADHD, but can cause significant interference and distress for affected individuals and the people in their lives.  They are often misunderstood, and treatment for tic disorders has evolved greatly over time because of shifting views on their origins.  Tics disorders now are viewed as neuropsychiatric disorders with variable expression related to strong combined contributions from neurological and environmental/psychological factors

Our team is able to provide thorough comprehensive evaluations of new onset and persistent tics, as well as evaluation for co-occurring disorders.  We are then able to integrate these components into a comprehensive treatment plan that may include Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT), Habit Reversal Therapy (HRT), parent/family interventions, medication management, and school liaison and consultation.  We can also provide up to date evidence based treatments for the most common co-occurring disorders as necessary for a given individual.  We are available to provide one time and second opinion consultations, coordinate with existing providers and provide ongoing care as appropriate.

 

 

Transition to Adulthood

 

In recent years the lives of people from age 16 to 28 have changed so dramatically that a new stage of life has developed called “emerging adulthood,” which differs greatly from both the adolescence that came before it and the adulthood that follows.  This new phase of life comes with a great deal of demands and expectations and with them comes significant anxiety. The needs of older teens and young adults with anxiety disorders have not been fully understood and their treatment needs have been underappreciated. Anxious emerging adults differ substantially from anxious children and anxious adults. The most striking differences lie in the potential impact of avoidant behaviors (a key coping strategy associated with anxiety) on academic, professional, and social functioning during a critical developmental period – the transition to an independent adulthood.

The experts at the Youth Anxiety Center are committed to finding a better understanding of anxiety disorders as they develop over time, especially through adolescence into adulthood, and to develop innovative treatment strategies to address the needs of this special population of anxious youth. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE YOUTH ANXIETY CENTER.

 

Women's Issues & Reproductive Psychiatry

 

Our women's program has nationally recognized clinicians and researchers providing specialty care that meets the unique needs of women throughout the lifecycle. The women's program has a particular focus on mood disorders related to peripartum period, menstrual cycle, and perimenopause.Some women may experience a new onset of symptoms associated with pregancy or menopause, while others with prior mental health concerns benefit from specialized care during these times.  Our faculty work as a team with the patient's primary physician and healthcare providers to coordinate care and ensure smooth delivery of services and comprehensive care. Services may include consultations and ongoing management of medication during pregnancy, lactation, and treatment for infertility.