Anxiety Program Clinical Services

The Yale Child Study Center Program for Anxiety Disorders specializes in the evaluation, treatment, and continuing care of children with anxiety disorders from preschool age until young adulthood.  The Program for Anxiety Disorders also specializes in other common childhood difficulties that often times are associated with anxiety disorders. These include selective mutism, school avoidance, and test anxiety.

Research Studies

Our services include:

We offer state of the art evidence based assessments for the purposes of diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment recommendations.  A number of the assessments were developed by members of the program team and are used in clinics throughout the world.

Our comprehensive evaluation includes a detailed interview that is given separately by expert clinicians to the child and primary caretaker. Our evaluation ensures that we are correctly identifying the anxiety problem or problems of your child, as well as the presence or absence of other possible problems such as depression or disruptive behaviors.  Children and the primary caretakers also complete a number of widely used questionnaires and several behavior-performance based tasks that relate to anxiety.

The Intake Evaluation results are reviewed by the program team and are summarized subsequently with the family. A brief written report summarizing the finding related to anxiety is also provided and will be prepared within a few weeks of the evaluation. Please note our intake evaluations do not involve IQ, educational disability, or projective personality testing (e.g., inkblots).

If desired and deemed appropriate, members of the program team can provide consultations to other health care providers and school personnel. The consultations could entail the need for additional services including classroom visits, home visits, and other observational sites.  All communication with outside professionals requires prior written consent by parents.

Prior to the clinic visit, an experienced team member will speak with you on the phone to gather initial information about your child. This allows us to determine whether the Program for Anxiety Disorders is likely to be helpful.  If appropriate, we will schedule an initial intake evaluation. When necessary, we provide alternative referral options.

Children suffering from anxiety that interfere with their academic, social, or family functioning will be offered treatments that are supported by strong scientific evidence.  Much of the evidence that underlies effective treatments for anxiety was obtained, and continues to be obtained, from program team members’ federally funded research projects.  

These treatments include Cognitive Behavior Therapy, which involves gradually facing anxiety provoking events and learning ways to cope with distressing thoughts and feelings.  

Additional treatments may include play approaches, web based interventions, computer based tasks, medication, and combined medication and cognitive behavior therapy. Depending on the specific needs of each family, treatment is provided in an individual or group format, or with parents and families.
Several workshops for children and parents are available that are aimed to help prevent the development of more severe anxiety and related problems.  These workshops, which may have rolling admissions, include child social skills training groups, child test anxiety and test taking skills groups, and parent psychoeducation groups.