Pediatric Anxiety and Traumatic Stress (PATS) Clinic
Welcome! At the Pediatric Anxiety and Traumatic Stress (PATS) Clinic we are committed to providing your child and family cutting edge, scientifically supported care. As part of this commitment, we are a training clinic within a teaching hospital, dedicated to training future mental health care professionals and conducting innovative research aimed at better diagnosing and treating anxiety and related disorders. Understanding the critical role of prevention and early intervention in the lives of children who struggle with stress, anxiety and trauma, guides our treatment, policy, and education efforts.
We offer specialized clinical services and programs for youth ages 2-18, experiencing difficulties with anxiety, trauma, specific fears, shyness, selective mutism, panic, and other related disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorders, trichotillomania, tics and Tourette’s syndrome. Our comprehensive services will provide your family with a thorough evaluation of your child, and the most current and effective treatments for your child’s difficulties. Treatments may involve psychotherapy, including individual, group and family therapy, medication management, and adjunctive services such as, parent coaching and collaboration with your child’s school.
Our clinicians specialize in evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral treatments of anxiety disorders and we utilize a range of therapeutic interventions to meet the needs of your child and family. Evidence-based clinical services are provided by licensed clinical psychologists and board-certified psychiatrists, child and adolescent psychiatry fellows and postdoctoral psychology fellows, and advanced psychology doctoral students who work under the supervision of our faculty.
Comprehensive Diagnostic Evaluations
Understanding your child's diagnosis and available treatment options is an important first step in your ability to confidently make the best choice for your child and your family. All child and adolescent patients receive a comprehensive intake evaluation before they begin treatment. Our goal is to help you understand your child's behavior and specific difficulties, including any relevant diagnoses, and to provide you with recommendations for the most appropriate treatment plan to meet your family's needs. More
- The evaluation process will consist of an appointment in which the clinician will meet with you and with your child to gain an understanding of the symptoms and issues that are present.
- You may be asked to complete rating forms, either prior to your appointment or during your appointment.
- At the conclusion of the evaluation process, the clinician will review the findings of the evaluation including diagnosis, recommendations for further assessment if warranted, and treatment recommendations based on the best, scientifically sound interventions.
- You may opt to be informed about clinical research programs that you, your child, or your family may consider if available.
Outcomes of Evaluation:
- Completion: No further treatment is recommended.
- Consultation: Your Stanford clinician will provide consultation to your child’s current care team.
- Treatment Referrals: Resources for recommended pharmacotherapy (medication management), psychotherapy, or other treatments within the community will be provided.
- Treatment at Stanford: If available, medical management and/or time limited psychotherapy will be provided.
If treatment is recommended for your child, the clinician will provide you with the treatment options that are appropriate for your child’s care.
While we are making every effort to provide recommended treatment services at our clinic, we are currently working near or at capacity. If we are able to provide the recommended treatment services within our clinic, we will schedule your child with our next available clinician. If we are unable to provide the recommended services, then we will provide you with referrals within the community. You may also have the option of being added to our waiting list.
At this time, we cannot guarantee the provision of ongoing treatment services within our clinic.
Individual Psychotherapy Treatment
Our psychosocial treatments are based on cognitive-behavioral principles and involve several key components, including teaching patients and parents about the nature, consequences and maintaining factors associated with anxiety and related problems, how to manage symptoms and cope with challenges, and build skills to improve daily functioning and overall quality of life.
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and behavior therapy have been found by research to be the most effective and first line of treatment for most childhood anxiety problems. Treatment is often time limited (4-6 months) and focused on teaching children and their families how to become their own therapists so that they can successfully manage symptoms independently over time.
As a result, our treatment approaches are very active and typically involve patients practicing skills learned in treatment between therapy sessions to maximize generalization of these skills to daily life. Since each child and their needs are different, additional services beyond what we typically offer may be indicated. This will be discussed with you and when necessary, we will assist with connecting you/your child to a community provider.
CBT and behavior therapy encompass a wide range of treatments and we select specific interventions to use with our patients based on their unique symptoms and needs. The types of treatments we most commonly use include:
|For information regarding our trauma-related services, please see our Stress and Resilience Program link to this site: https://med.stanford.edu/elspap/patients-and-families.html)|
For some patients, treatment of anxiety also involves medication. Our clinic provides psychopharmacological consultation and treatment services, often as an adjunct to therapy services, to children and families for whom non-psychopharmacological treatments have been ineffective or inappropriate.
If available, evidence based, time limited medication management services will be offered. Upon stabilization, we typically work with families to transfer care to the child’s pediatrician or community provider.
Group Psychotherapy Treatment
We offer a series of group therapy programs throughout the year. Groups may include: OCD Group for Children; CBT Group for Parents of Anxious Children; CBT Group for Kids; CBT group for Socially Anxious Teens.
Please call our clinic to inquire about current group availability.
Young Child Treatment
Our team includes clinicians specializing in the assessment and treatment of young children (ages 2-6) and we offer specialized programs for those struggling with emotional and behavioral difficulties, including anxiety, depression and/or loss due to illness, incapacitation or death of family members, or other forms of disruption, and/or disruptive behaviors. In addition, we treat children who have been exposed to a wide variety of traumas, including trauma of invasive or recurrent medical treatments.
Young children may show withdrawing or disruptive behaviors and emotional difficulties due to a variety of causes. We offer comprehensive evaluations to understand young children’s symptoms and tailor treatment recommendations to that deeper understanding.
Young children often need different approaches from those appropriate for older children who are more advanced in their thinking and language skills. Young children often need play techniques incorporated into both assessment and treatment. Frequently, parents or other caregivers are active participants or observers within sessions.
Our team includes clinicians specializing in Individual or parent-child therapy. We incorporate structured and child directed techniques from play therapy, CBT Play Therapy and trauma focused therapies. We engage young children in the exploration of their experiences and understanding of their world as well as using techniques and strategies to build their ability to cope with feelings and to change behaviors as needed. We work directly to improve parent and child engagement and relationships to empower parents to help their children.
What to Expect
All new patients will need to complete a phone screen with a member of our Intake Team. We will then schedule an initial diagnostic evaluation and provide feedback and treatment recommendations.
While we are making every effort to provide recommended treatment services at our clinic, we are currently working near or at capacity.
If we are able to offer treatment within our clinic, we will schedule your child with our next available clinician. As a training clinic, treatment services may be offered by child and adolescent psychiatry fellows, postdoctoral psychology fellows, and advanced psychology doctoral students who work under the direct supervision of our faculty.
If we are unable to provide the recommended services within our clinic, we will we will provide you with referrals within the community. You may also have the option of being added to our waiting list.
Preferred, after school hours are prioritized for current patients. Please note, we cannot guarantee after school availability at this time.
We look forward to helping your child and family!
Obtaining Help for Your Child
For Clinical Services:
To inquire about our services or to be added to our waiting list, please contact our Intake Team:
(follow prompts for “Intake Staff”)
For Additional Questions
Elizabeth Reichert, Ph.D.
Isheeta Zalpuri, M.D