Clinical Research

The Child CBT program provides state-of-the-art cognitive-behavioral therapy to children, adolescents, and young adults with a range of emotional and behavioral problems, while advancing the scientific understanding of CBT approaches, and fostering the dissemination of CBT to patients, families, and professionals.

About This Program:

The Child CBT Program integrates state-of-the-art clinical care for youth ages 3-24 years with training, dissemination and research. We provide the following services:

Clinical Care
We provide well-established, short-term, problem-focused CBT treatments for school-age children and adolescents with mood, anxiety, and disruptive behavior disorders. In addition, we provide specialized cutting-edge services, including treatment of:

  • preschool and early elementary school-age children with anxiety disorders
  • children with severe anxiety disorders such as OCD
  • children of all ages with autism spectrum disorders and comorbid anxiety and mood disorders
  • transition-age youth with autism spectrum disorders
  • adolescents and young adults with bipolar disorder
  • preventative services for children at risk for mood and anxiety disorders

We also offer diagnostic and treatment consultations for children already receiving psychosocial treatment, and collaboration with other treatment professionals, including psychiatrists, social workers, and teachers.

Learn more about our skills group for young people

What to Expect
When you call our program, we will ask preliminary information about you, your child, and your reasons for seeking treatment. Our staff will review this information and if it seems that our program would be a good fit for your child, we will schedule an initial appointment with one of our clinicians.

During this appointment, we will do a comprehensive evaluation to evaluate treatment needs. If CBT would be an appropriate treatment to meet your child’s needs, we will begin a course of CBT. This treatment is usually time-limited (on average 12-16 sessions), and may involve practice of skills between sessions. Although most therapy sessions are held individually with the child, sessions may also be held with parents or the family. In addition, we have group treatment options. Because of the emphasis in CBT on measurable results, we will regularly evaluate your child’s progress to determine whether additional treatment is needed.

Training/Dissemination
We offer seminars and courses to licensed professionals from the community, and more intensive training for professionals who wish to specialize in CBT, via didactic seminars and ongoing supervision. We also offer training and supervision to predoctoral psychology fellows as part of the MGH Psychology Internship and to child psychiatry fellows as part of the Child Psychiatry Fellowship at the MGH/Harvard Medical School.

Research
Our research goals are to evaluate the efficacy of novel CBT treatments for youth, to improve the efficacy of CBT interventions, and to develop treatments to help children who do not respond to traditional CBT approaches. We are also interested in understanding predictors of treatment response, including genetics, neuroimaging, family factors, and in identifying the neurobiological underpinnings of treatment response to clarify how CBT exerts its effects on the brain.