Children Adolescents & Young Adults

Children and Adolescents  |  Young Adults

Emotional problems in children and teenagers are quite common, occurring in about one quarter of children in any given year. Many children and teens encounter stressful events that may lead them to need short-term intervention. A death in the family, divorce, and anxiety about school or friendships respond well to short-term cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is also effective for treating more severe symptoms that significantly impact functioning at home and in school.

Research studies conducted over the last fifty years have consistently shown how effective cognitive-behavioral therapy is at addressing many mental health and life problems. CBT for children and teens focuses on helping them build important skills for meeting all kinds of life challenges. These skills are aimed at helping children and teens act more effectively (the behavioral part of CBT) and think more effectively (the cognitive part of CBT). Our clients learn skills for being successful in school, getting along with their peers, and managing the stress of a demanding and often confusing modern life.

At AICT, our child and adolescent specialists provide individual therapy and family therapy for children (ages 2-12), teens (ages 3-18), and their families. When necessary, we also provide short-term parent skills training and support for parents having difficulty managing behavior in the home. All treatment is evidence-based, which means that the treatment models we use have been repeatedly tested in research and clinical settings, and have been found to be effective in improving the problems they’re designed to treat. Our licensed clinical psychologists are extensively trained in CBT, Trauma-Focused CBT, parent skills training, family therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).

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Problems we treat at AICT:

  • Anxiety Disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, and specific phobias
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Behavior Problems including temper tantrums, physical aggression, and noncompliance
  • Coming out issues
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge-Eating Disorder
  • Enuresis and encopresis
  • Disorders related to significant life stressors (divorce, death of a loved one)
  • Insomnia, nightmares, and night terrors
  • Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder and related disorders, such as Body Dysmorphic Disorder, hair-pulling, and skin-picking
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Problems related to adoption
  • School refusal
  • Suicidality and self-harm

How we work with parents:

Working with parents is an integral part of treatment at AICT. Parents may be involved through participation in regular or as-needed family sessions, regular or as-needed separate meetings with their child’s therapist, or by participating in parent skills training. In addition, your child’s therapist is available for between-session consultation and support. Parents with pre-school, elementary school, and middle school children should expect to be regularly involved in treatment. Parents of teens may participate less, but will have regular contact with their child’s therapist and be involved in making decisions about treatment.

How we work with schools and other service providers:

Because children are often involved with so many systems and adults other than their parents (teachers, coaches, tutors, other mental health and medical professionals), AICT child therapists often work with or provide consultation to other professionals. For example, we regularly work with teachers to make the school environment more conducive to learning or good behavior. We will also consult regularly with your child’s psychiatrist if your child is taking medication.

AICT Staff who work with children and adolescents:

Susan Trachtenberg Paula, Ph.D., Director of Child and Adolescent Program, is a New York State licensed psychologist with extensive experience in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and cognitive-behavioral play therapy.She works primarily with clients of all ages, from very young children to adults, and with families. Dr. Paula specializes in the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and emotional dysregulation in children and adults.  She also treats and specializes in mood and anxiety disorders across the life span and in helping parents develop effective skills for managing difficult behavior in their children.

Heather Glubo Ph.D, Director of Behavioral Medicine, Clinician, is a New York State licensed clinical psychologist with extensive experience in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and specialized training in health psychology. Dr. Glubo’s clinical health psychology training focused on the mind-body connection in treating neurological and medical conditions. She completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship and a predoctoral internship (APA Accredited) in Clinical Neurorehabilitation Psychology at New York University Langone Medical Center, Rusk Rehabilitation. Dr. Glubo uses a biopsychosocial approach in her practice. She considers the biological, psychological and social factors that influence the way her clients feel, think and act, and how those factors impact overall health. Her behavioral medicine work is informed by evidence-based treatments used to help those suffering from concussion, traumatic brain injury (TBI), headaches, pain, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and heart disease. Additionally, she provides neuropsychological evaluations to assess cognitive functioning, which is used to inform her cognitive treatment aimed at improving attention, memory, processing speed, language, visual-spatial skills, and executive functions.

Melissa D. Horowitz, PsyD, Director of Clinical Training, Director of Eating Disorders and Weight Management Program, is a New York State licensed psychologist with extensive experience in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), social problem-solving, motivational interviewing and mindfulness-based approaches. She works with adolescents, college students, adults and families. Dr. Horowitz specializes in the treatment of eating disorders (binge eating disorder, bulimia, anorexia) and body-image and weight-management issues in both men and women. She also specializes in the treatment of mood disorders (depression, bipolar disorder), anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety, social anxiety, separation anxiety, panic disorder, phobias), and obsessive compulsive and related disorders (trichotillomania, skin-picking, body-dysmorphic disorder). Additional areas of expertise include insomnia, grief, procrastination, perfectionism, substance abuse, personality disorders and chronic health issues. Dr. Horowitz has been intensively trained in working with individuals struggling with regulating their emotions, impulsivity, poor problem-solving skills, interpersonal conflicts and self-injury.

Helpful Resources

For more information on children and adolescents please see the following chapters that you can download below:

Helpful Links for a discussion on evidence-based treatments for children. –  The American Psychological Association’s Report Young Children’s mental health – Recognizing Mental Health Problems in Children

Cognitive Therapy
Substance Abuse Miniseries by
Dr. Graham Reynolds