Populations We Serve

The patients we see at the Weill Cornell Psychiatry Specialty Center range from children to older adults. We also provide services for couples, teens, young adults, new parents, and individuals.

Children & Adolescents

Children and adolescents frequently experience emotional and/or behavioral problems that can interfere with development and functioning. In fact many adult illnesses, including mood and anxiety disorders, first appear in childhood. Children can present with difficulties related to numerous areas of their life including school, family and social relationships, and these areas often interact with each other. We understand the complex interplay between these domains of a child’s life and the need to take a holistic and developmentally informed view when assessing a child’s presenting issues. Early identification and treatment of childhood emotional and behavioral problems can prevent years of difficulty and accumulated dysfunction.

The Weill Cornell Psychiatry Specialty Center provides expert diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of disorders affecting children and adolescents. Our center specializes in evaluation and treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), disruptive behaviors, school related issues, depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), tic disorders, and difficulties with life transitions (i.e. divorce, graduation). Our team of expert psychiatrists, psychologists, neuropsychologists and licensed clinical social workers use the most up to date evidence-based approaches available, tailoring your child’s treatment to their specific needs. We work closely as a team and collaborate with external providers (i.e. pediatricians, nutritionists, occupational therapists, outside therapists). Treatment providers at the Specialty Center are happy to communicate with the child’s school and advocate for appropriate supports and services. Services for children and adolescents offered at the Specialty Center include individual psychotherapy, family therapy, group therapy, neuropsychological and educational testing, and medication management. Short-term and long-term intensive outpatient treatment options are also available.

Teens and Young Adults

As they progress from college to the workforce, young adults often find themselves navigating difficult, anxiety-producing situations. The Weill Cornell Psychiatry Specialty Center is equipped to support young people at this crucial stage with both individual and group therapy through our Youth Anxiety Center. This center offers programs for young people ages 18 through 28 to help them negotiate this stressful transitional period as they progress from high school through their entry into the workforce. 

The Youth Anxiety Center has three locations in Manhattan, including a partial hospitalization program to provide specialized treatment to youth with more severe and debilitating anxiety who would benefit from short-term, full-day treatments. To date, the Center’s clinics have seen more 300 patients with more than 3,500 combined individual, group, and family sessions. (Find out more about the Youth Anxiety Center.)

A major component of the Youth Anxiety Center’s treatment program is a transition-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approach developed by Anne Marie Albano, PhD, ABPP, Co-Clinical Director, and her colleagues. According to  Dr. Albano, “This approach recognizes that young adults with anxiety disorders face unique, age-related challenges. Along with applying core components of CBT, we added specific therapy procedures designed to address patient-caretaker dependency, role transitions, and the attainment of behaviors necessary for independent adult functioning. Patients are helped to figure out what they fear most and taught how to manage their anxiety better and understand the automatic thoughts that may be leading to some of the anxiety.”

Dr. Albano stresses that anxieties do not abate without treatment. “They build steam. They evolve and become more complex. Separation anxiety can lead to generalized anxiety and together they can lead to depression and so forth, so by the time you get to adolescence you’re dealing with a much more complex condition. And many of our young adults are at an age of great risk for other disorders taking hold too, such as depression and substance abuse. So we want to be there to intervene now.”

Women

A woman’s emotional and physical needs are constantly changing as she transitions through various phases of life. Her treatment requires that her providers be attuned to these unique situations and work collaboratively with the patient and her other medical providers. Our women's program focuses on psychotherapeutic and pharmacologic treatment of mood disorders in the context of infertility, pregnancy, the postpartum period, lactation, premenstrual symptoms and perimenopause. We treat women with pre-existing mental health concerns, as well as those presenting with new symptoms or concerns. We also specialize in working with women and their partners around the transition to parenthood. 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.

Families

Families are complex and dynamic systems that should provide support and nurturance; they also often experience stress and conflict, which can affect every member of the family as well as overall family cohesion. Emotional, psychiatric and behavioral issues affect all members of a household, and optimal treatment includes fully understanding and supporting the family system. We recognize that incorporating the strengths and resources of a family is central to the treatment of children, adolescents and adults. Family based interventions have been found to play an important role in the successful treatment and prevention of relapse for many conditions, such as OCD, anxiety, eating disorders, psychotic disorders, depression, bipolar disorder and childhood disruptive behaviors. The Weill Cornell Psychiatry Specialty Center offers providers trained in family therapy who are experienced with working across the lifespan and with a range of diagnoses.

Couples

Relationships are constantly evolving; they can bring great joy and fulfillment but at times can also bring significant stress and pain. Life transitions, work demands, health concerns, parenting, sexual intimacy and finances are just a few factors that may affect these relationships. Conflict is a natural part of any relationship over time, thus conflict resolution is important to sustaining relationships. The Specialty Center provides a supportive environment for couples to receive therapeutic guidance while navigating challenges in their relationships. Our clinicians are trained in and experienced with multiple psychotherapeutic techniques including psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, and the Gottman method allowing us to tailor our approach to your specific needs as a couple.

New Parents

Becoming a parent is always a life-changing event, but for some individuals and couples it can be a confusing source of new stress. There is no need to suffer through post-partum depression or relationship issues on your own. Our faculty includes experts in this transitional time in life and can provide treatments to ease anxiety, alleviate depression, and help new parents work through new or existing issues in their relationship.

Adults & Older Adults

Who are “older adults” and what are their unique needs?
Individuals over the age of 65 are generally referred to as “older adults”.  Despite this convention, individuals of this age can expect to live well past their 70s.  Many older adults are also quite healthy, but the risks of developing chronic medical illness and cognitive impairment do increase with age. 

Depression is the most common mental health condition among older adults.  Depression is even more common among those with chronic medical conditions, pain, disability, and limited social contacts.

Which treatments work?  
The good news is that depression in older adults is treatable.  Evidence-based treatments for depression in older adults include antidepressant medication and several talk therapies including Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, Problem Solving Therapy, and Interpersonal Psychotherapy. 

Appropriate treatment relieves depressive symptoms for 70% of older adults.   Individuals who receive proper treatment for depression will be better able to engage in daily activities.

Adulthood is not a single static phase in a person's life. Individuals face very different challenges and tasks at different points in adult development. As such we provide a spectrum of services that are tailored to your specific needs based on where you are along the developmental continuum of adulthood. Our Youth Anxiety Center specifically focuses on issues related to anxiety in emerging adulthood and young adulthood. Anxious emerging adults differ substantially from older anxious adults. The most striking differences lie in the potential impact of avoidant behaviors on academic, professional, and social functioning during the critical transition to an independent adulthood. Beyond early adulthood we provide a full range of evidence-based treatments for middle adulthood and have specialized services designed to address the particular challenges faced by older adults. We provide treatment for older adults with mood, anxiety and substance use disorders employing the most current evidence based approaches including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT).