The 2020 ADAA Virtual Fall Forum focuses on anxiety and worry in youth, a transdiagnostic issue affecting children, teens, and emerging adults and addresses the ways in which technology can be harnessed to address these challenges. An interdisciplinary group of speakers presented on biological and psychosocial mechanisms and interventions.
"Will My Child be Permanently Affected?" A Developmental Approach to Helping Anxious Youth and Their Caregivers Meet the Challenges of These Times
Sandra Pimentel, PhD
A look at how developmental milestones have been disrupted by COVID-19 with particular effects on anxious youth (e.g. social anxiety). The speaker discusses the impacts of isolation and quarantine, the uncertainty of youth returning or not returning to schools, the feelings of relief from the removal of social task demands, as well as the impacts of new challenges from increased virtual activity.
Innovations in Child and Adolescent Anxiety Treatment
Mona Potter, MD
This session provides a brief overview of the current landscape of evidence-based treatment for pediatric anxiety disorders and OCD. The speaker then touches on updates and innovations in treatment of pediatric anxiety disorders and OCD in three areas: 1) treatment delivery and therapeutic approach, 2) digital therapeutics, and 3) select complementary and alternative interventions
Panel Discussion: The Intersection of Technology and Youth Anxiety
Eli Lebowitz, PhD, Krystal M. Lewis, PhD, Lynn Lyons, LICSW, Jamie Micco, PhD, ABPP, and John T. Walkup, MD
This panel focuses on the ways in which technology has aided the development of innovative new treatments for anxious children and adolescents (e.g., teletherapy, therapy apps, computerized interventions) and has helped to normalize the experience of anxiety through targeted social media messaging. The panel also discusses the ways in which technology has contributed to the significant increase in youth anxiety disorders and possible mechanisms involved in this correlation.
Sandra Pimentel, PhD is Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychology, Associate Director of Psychology Training, and Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She launched and is Director of the Anxiety and Mood Program (AMP), a specialty training program in the Child Outpatient Psychiatry Department, and co-directs the Becoming an Emerging Adult at Montefiore (BEAM) Program, offering developmentally- and transition-focused care across the medical center system. Dr. Pimentel specializes in cognitive behavioral treatments (CBT) for children, adolescents, and young adults with anxiety, mood, trauma, and behavioral difficulties. She provides comprehensive assessments and consultations and individual, group and family therapy. Advanced training, mentorship, and community engagement are at the core of Dr. Pimentel's professional interests.
Mona Potter, MD, is medical director of McLean’s Child and Adolescent Outpatient Services including the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program, School Consultation Service, and Adolescent DBT Outpatient Service. She also serves on the leadership team for the McLean Institute of Technology in Psychiatry (ITP) and is the Associate Training Director for the MGH/ McLean Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship. Dr. Potter has particular interest in the treatment of pediatric anxiety disorders, OCD, mood disorders, and borderline personality disorder, with a focus on collaboration with pediatricians, schools, and families.
Professor Lebowitz studies and treats childhood and adolescent anxiety at the Yale School of Medicine, Child Study Center. His research focuses on the development, neurobiology, and treatment of anxiety and related disorders, with special emphasis on family dynamics and the role of parents in these disorders. Dr. Lebowitz is the lead investigator on multiple funded research projects, and is the author of research papers, books and chapters on childhood and adolescent anxiety. Dr. Lebowitz’ work has been recognized by private and public organizations including the Brain and Behavior Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health and The National Center for Advancing Translational Science. He is also the father of three great boys.
Krystal M. Lewis, Ph.D is a clinical psychologist with the Section on Development and Affective Neuroscience (SDAN) at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). In addition, she is a member of the Stigma Scientific Interest Group (SIG) and the Anti-Racism Task Force at NIH. She specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for pediatric anxiety and has interest in identifying mechanisms of treatment for anxiety disorders in youth. Dr. Lewis has experience in delivering evidence-based therapies and collaborating with schools, families, and providers to disseminate scientific information which helps inform clinical practice and promote implementation of evidence-based treatments.
Lynn Lyons specializes in the treatment of anxious children and their parents with a special interest in interrupting the generational pattern of worry in families. She is the author of several books and articles including Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous and Independent Children and the companion book Playing with Anxiety: Casey’s Guide for Teens and Kids.
In addition to her private practice in Concord NH, she presents internationally to mental health and medical providers, educators, school nurses, and parents.
Jamie Micco, Ph.D. is Co-Founder of The Concord Center in Concord, MA, and Lecturer of Psychology (Part-Time) at Harvard Medical School. She is Board Certified in Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology through the American Board of Professional Psychology. She specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety, obsessive-compulsive, and mood disorders. She has first-authored or co-authored peer-reviewed publications on topics related to child/adolescent anxiety and depression, CBT, and information-processing biases. She is also the author of “The Worry Workbook for Teens" (New Harbinger). An active member of ADAA, Dr. Micco currently serves as Chair of its Professional Education Committee.
John T. Walkup, MD, is Head of the Pritzker Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and a Margaret C. Osterman Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science. He also serves as Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
His scholarly activity covers three main areas of investigation. His work with movement disorders, specifically Tourette syndrome and the other tic disorders, uniquely spans psychiatry, child psychiatry and neurology. His expertise in child and adolescent psychiatry clinical trials focuses on the development and evaluation of psychopharmacological and psychosocial treatments and lastly, he has been involved in developing and evaluating interventions to reduce the large mental health disparities facing Native American youth, specifically drug use and suicide prevention.