Anita Saltz Institute for Anxiety & Mood Disorders

Anxiety and mood disorders are among the most common mental health problems affecting children and teenagers. These conditions are highly treatable, yet many children do not get the care they need.

At the Anita Saltz Institute for Anxiety and Mood Disorders at the Child Study Center, our mental health experts assess your child’s behavior and emotions, and tailor a treatment plan to their needs.

Dr. Rebecca Lois

Dr. Rebecca Lois is part of a team of child and adolescent psychologists who help children manage stress and anxiety.

Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, separation anxiety disorder, social anxiety, selective mutism, specific phobias, tics and Tourette disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Mood disorders include depression, bipolar disorder, persistent depressive disorder, and disruptive mood dysregulation disorder.

Treatment for Anxiety and Mood Disorders

The Child Study Center, part of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, offers a variety of specialized treatment programs, including the following.

Behavioral Activation for Depression

Behavioral activation for depression is grounded in cognitive behavior therapy. It emphasizes the principles of behavioral activation, which highlight the powerful role our actions take in causing or maintaining depression. We aim to help teens recognize unhelpful patterns that are used to manage negative moods, including avoiding or withdrawing from friends, family, activities, and other responsibilities. After these patterns are understood, teens are supported as they make changes and to re-engage in their lives in a way that creates more positive outcomes.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a short-term treatment for children and adolescents with anxiety disorders that is usually offered once a week for three to five months. The goal of this approach is to ease symptoms by changing beliefs that cause the anxiety.

A specially trained therapist helps your child change unwanted feelings or behaviors by teaching them how to respond differently in certain situations. As your child is gradually exposed to images or situations that promote anxiety, they learn to avoid compulsive behaviors that may result from the trigger.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based treatment option for teens dealing with suicidal thoughts, self-injuring behaviors, substance abuse, impulsivity, and difficulty regulating emotions, as well as those who engage in frequent and intense conflict with peers and adults.

Treatment includes individual therapy, phone coaching to help patients better regulate their emotions in real time, and a multi-family skills group, which includes multiple sets of teens and their caregivers. Participants learn a variety of skills, including how to be more mindful and aware of ways to regulate emotion, better tolerate distress, build meaningful relationships, and manage conflict.

Explorers Summer Program

Through group treatment, children, adolescents, and young adults learn to confront their fears and worries. They practice new skills in a real-world environment through fun and engaging exposures out and around New York City.

Help for Shy and Socially Anxious Youth

Our cognitive behavioral social phobia group called BOOST: Bringing Out Our Shy Teens is offered to teenagers experiencing shyness and social anxiety. The program lasts 14 to 16 weeks.

Intensive Program for School Refusal and Avoidance Behavior

We work with children and teens who refuse to go to school or have difficulty remaining in class the entire day. Treatment often includes cognitive behavioral therapy, DBT, and acceptance and commitment therapy.

Intensive Treatment for Anxiety (Including OCD)

We develop intensive treatment plans for children with anxiety, OCD, and phobias. Research has shown that increased frequency and length of sessions can be effective in achieving progress and reducing symptoms of anxiety.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Depression

Interpersonal psychotherapy reduces symptoms of depression by increasing social support and improving your child’s ability to manage his or her situation. The therapist figures out what triggers your child’s depression and then helps your child develop skills that can improve his or her ability to manage and improve interactions with others.

Workshops for Parents of Anxious Children

We host a series of four workshops for parents who have anxious children. During the sessions, you develop a better understanding of childhood anxiety and learn strategies to help your child cope with his or her fear.

Leaders in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Research

As leaders in research for conditions affecting children’s development and mental health, we identify, develop, and evaluate evidence-based treatment to improve patient outcomes. Investigators at the Child Study Center conduct research studies to learn the cause of anxiety and mood disorders in children and to predict youth suicide risk.

Contact Us

To schedule a consultation or to learn more about our services, please contact our care management team at 646-754-4958 or email us at