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Pediatric OCD, Anxiety, and Tic Disorders Program


The Weill Cornell Pediatric OCD, Anxiety and Tic Disorders Program (POCAT) is a specialty clinic led by Avital Falk, PhD that provides a team-based approach to treating children and adolescents utilizing state-of-the-art evidence-based practices.  

We provide specialty care across a range of settings. In Manhattan, we have outpatient and intensive outpatient programming through our Weill Cornell Specialty Center, as well as insurance-based options for outpatient and partial hospitalization at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Finally, we have an OCD track on our inpatient service at our Westchester Campus. Our programs address each family’s needs, and include both individual and group therapy approaches. Please see details about each program below.

Treatment modalities include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure with Response Prevention (ERP), Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT), group therapy, parent guidance, and medication evaluation and management. The structure of the programs allow for flexibility in treatment planning, rapid assessment in crisis situations, prompt access to your providers, and a high level of privacy and discretion.

Adolescent Inpatient Hospital Services - NewYork-Presbyterian Westchester Behavioral Health Center

The program utilizes Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), which are the gold standard treatments to target symptoms.

Adolescent Partial Hospital Services - NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center

We offer an OCD Specialty Track within the Partial Hospitalization Program for children and adolescents with OCD and related anxiety disorders. This option is best suited for adolescents, aged 13 to 18, with moderately to severely impairing OCD symptoms who can be treated outside the inpatient setting. The program provides a fully accredited school program in conjunction with therapeutic services for acute stabilization. Our OCD Specialty Track provides a team-based approach consisting of up to 15 hours a week of active treatment, including group, individual and family therapy components. It is one of the only intensive-treatment programs for Pediatric OCD that accepts insurance. The goal of the program is to provide short-term intensive treatment to target symptoms using Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (CBT) and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) treatment strategies. We provide evaluation, psychoeducation, group therapy, individual therapy and family consultation led by a postdoctoral fellow in psychology. Additionally, board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrists with expertise in this area are available for medication assessment and management, as needed. As with all of our services, we work with patients and their families to transition back to their community and work collaboratively to create a personalized aftercare plan that defines strategies for dealing with challenges. Outpatient Services: Weekly or bi-weekly specialized CBT and ERP in our outpatient clinic.

Adolescent Outpatient Hospital Services - NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center

We offer outpatient child and adolescent OCD services within the insurance based Child & Adolescent Clinic at Weill Cornell Medicine. Services include weekly individual and group therapy that promotes evidence-based approaches including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Exposure with Response Prevention. We also offer services through the Weill Cornell Psychiatry Specialty Center, a team of academically oriented clinicians drawing on the resources of Weill Cornell Medical College and our affiliated hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian for assessment and treatment.

Intensive Treatment Program

POCAT provides one of the only Intensive Treatment Programs for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Anxiety in the region. The intensive program consists of up to ten hours of active treatment per week, with an emphasis on group treatment.   We provide short-term intensive treatment to target symptoms using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) treatment strategies.  We provide evaluation, psychoeducation, group therapy, individual sessions, parent sessions, and the option for medication evaluation and management.  Our program addresses OCD as well as other non-OCD anxiety disorders, such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Separation Anxiety Disorder, Social Phobia, Selective Mutism, and specific phobias and is appropriate for a broad range of children and teens with moderately to severely impairing symptoms, and their families. This model of intensive care can be an alternative to hospitalization or step down from hospitalization. In addition, it provides a way for families without easy access to expert treatment to receive intensive care in a time-limited manner, and then return to their home community.  We provide a specific and thorough plan for aftercare for all families.  For those returning to home communities outside New York City, this includes a plan for continuing to practice newly learned skills to maintain treatment gains, coordination with a treatment provider in your home community for continuity of care, and the opportunity for follow-up visits with us by phone or in person, if needed. For those in nearby communities, we provide the option of ongoing follow-up treatment.

POCAT Webinars: Parenting Strategies for Challenging Times

Many of us are experiencing anxiety due to the coronavirus pandemic, especially parents as they spend consecutive days inside trying to balance it all – work demands, child care, homeschooling – all while keeping their own and their child’s worries under control. With access to so much parenting advice and resources, it’s hard to put advice into practice.

Weill Cornell Medicine’s Child Psychology Team is hosting evening webinars including a Q&A to discuss practical skills aimed to support parents and help children thrive during this challenging time. Click the link above to view previously recorded webinars and more information on upcoming webinars.