Recovery & Support for Anxiety Disorders in Children

Childhood anxiety disorders tend to be chronic unless properly treated. In addition to offering therapy and medications, specialists at the Child Study Center, part of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, provide support services to help your child manage symptoms. Our child and family support services and resilience programs are provided through Sala Institute for Child and Family Centered Care.

OCD Summer Program

Children from 9 to 12 years old with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can participate in the OCD Summer Program (also called the NYU Explorers Program), which provides a supportive and fun environment for children who struggle with upsetting thoughts and time-consuming rituals.

During the program, our specialists use research-based techniques to treat anxiety, including exposure and response prevention, and skills training. Children also participate in group games and field trips.

The program exposes children to real-life situations that trigger anxiety symptoms. Each child is assigned to a psychologist and a counselor, who is a psychology graduate student, so that he or she receives individual attention and learns new behaviors and skills. The program is held from 9:00AM to 4:00PM from Monday through Friday. Check with the Child Study Center staff for upcoming dates.

Shy and Socially Anxious Youth Group

The Shy and Socially Anxious Youth Group was designed for adolescents aged 13 to 19 who have social phobias, such as a fear of being humiliated during social encounters; performance anxiety, such as nervousness about public speaking; or excessive shyness.

Our specialists use cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to help these teens gain experience using their social skills. They teach them how to initiate conversations, invite others to get together, and be assertive. Skills are refined through modeling, collaborative role-playing, and real-life practice.

The program is held at the Child Study Center and lasts for about 14 weeks.

Selective Mutism Program

Camp Courage, a summer program, and Camp Courage Adventures, a weekend program held once a month, help children with selective mutism learn how to communicate in difficult situations.

These programs use research-based techniques, including graduated exposure to communicating openly, repeated practice, and rewards to help children conquer their fears and participate more fully in their everyday lives.

Children can learn communication strategies in a fun and supportive atmosphere. They can practice their new skills simulated classroom settings, while doing arts and crafts, during playdates, and during sports and movement activities. Trained counselors work one-on-one with children to help them relax.

The summer program occurs one week each summer, and the weekend adventure program is held on one Sunday each month from 10:00AM to 1:00PM.

Parent Workshops

Our clinicians offer workshops for parents of anxious children or those who are receiving therapy for anxiety. The workshops are designed to provide parents with information about childhood anxiety, including common symptoms and behaviors, and teach them strategies to help their children cope with fears and encourage independence.

Parents learn how to talk to their child about his or her worries and coach him or her through difficult activities to build confidence and reduce stress. Workshops are held in small groups and last four to six weeks.

Resources for Anxiety Disorders in Children
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