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Center for the Study and Treatment of Anxious Youth (CSTAY)


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Director: Robert D. Friedberg, PhD, ABPP
Co-Director: Sandra Trafalis, PhD.
The Center for the Study and Treatment of Anxious Youth (CSTAY) is a research group emphasizing a cognitive behavioral approach to integrated pediatric behavioral healthcare, childhood anxiety disorders, dissemination and training in CBT, school-based services, mental health literacy as well as behavioral healthcare policy and administration. CSTAY seeks to integrate clinical service, research, and training. CSTAY makes use of vertical teams where group members hold varying levels of responsibilities for on-going projects. Research group members are expected to focus their dissertations around the topics described below.   Current topics focus on AccountabilityAffordability, and Accessibility in Pediatric Behavioral Health Care. Under the broad domain of Accountability, CSTAY studies genuine evidence-based intervention and clinical training in anxiety disorders and other psychiatric conditions in youth. Measurement-based care is emphasized. Cost-effective, cost-offset, and physician leveraging in pediatric behavioral health care delivery initiatives represent the affordability dimension.  True accessibility is dependent on accountability and affordability. Increasing mental health literacy, dissemination of authentic evidence-based practices to professionals (Business to Business Marketing principles), direct-to-consumer marketing of EBPS to patients, and innovative service delivery designs (integrated pediatric behavioral health care; school-based prevention projects, etc) reflect our interests in accessibility. Applicants should submit a letter of interest and their vita.

CSTAY is privileged to share our published work. Below is a brief sample of projects completed since Fall 2018.

Publications: (2018 to present, Lab Members below in bold)

Friedberg, R.D., Thomas, J, Tiller-Ormord, J., Korte, C., Brown, K., Mendez, E., Movahedi, Y., & Zelcer, H. (In Press). Parents' and children’s intolerance of uncertainty and their reactions to COVID-19: A story of remarkable similarity. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry.


Friedberg, R.D., Goodman, C., Choate, E., Zelcer, H., Mendez, E., Movahedi, Y., Trafalis, S., Xie, I., Neelley, M., & Zucker, J. (2022). Intolerance of uncertainty in pediatric patients: A transdiagnostic pathway to multiple disorders. Medical Research Archives, 10 (11). Doi:10.18103mra.v10i11.3314

Friedberg, R.D., Rozmid, E.V., Atasuntseva, A., Mosley, C., Wilberding, N., LaPrade, R., Wister, A., & Feezer, J. (2022). Project Chill: Program description and session feedback data from a proof-of-concept study of a school-based psychoeducational program using creative media. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 29, 400-410. 

Korte, C., Friedberg, R.D., Wilgenbusch, T., Paternostro, J.K., Brown, K., Kakolu, A., Tiller-Ormord, J., Baweja, R., Cassar, M., Barnowski, A., Movahedi, Y., Kohl, K., Martinez, W., Trafalis, S., & Leykin, Y. (2022). Intolerance of uncertainty and health-related anxiety amid the COVID-19 pandemic: Understanding and weathering the current storm. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 29, 645-653. 


Brown, K., Korte, C., Tiller-Ormord, J., & Friedberg, R.D. (2021). Using CBT spectrum approaches with anxiety and depression in pediatric patients diagnosed with gastrointestinal disorders, asthma, and headache pain. In A Columbus (Ed.), Advances in Psychology Research Vol. 146 (pp. 1-49). New York: Nova Science.

Tiller-Ormord, J., Korte, C., & Friedberg, R.D. (2021). Helping pediatric patients tolerate uncertainty during unprecedented times: Translating findings from new research on developmental psychopathology and two new promising measures. Journal of Translational Science, 7, doi: 10.15761/JTS.1000444

Trafalis, S., Giannini, C., Joves, J., Portera, S., Toyama, H., Mehta, A., Basile, K., & Friedberg, R.D. (2021). A pediatrician-friendly review of three common behavioral health screeners in pediatric practice: Findings and recommendations. Pediatric Investigation, 5, 58-64. 


Atasuntseva, A., Basile, K., LaPrade, R., Wilberding, N., Friedberg, R.J., Wister, A., & Friedberg, R.D. (2020). Public perceptions of behavioral health care for youth: Promotion and product dimensions. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 51, 507-516. 

Brown, K., Barnowski, A., Korte, C., Tiller-Ormord, J., Trafalis, S., & Friedberg, R.D.. (2020). Identifying and treating intolerance of uncertainty amid the COVID-19 pandemic: A potentially useful clinical heuristic. APAHC Grand Rounds, Fall,  3-4.

Friedberg, R.D., Nakamura, B.A., Kakolu, A., Trafalis, S., Thomas, J., & Cassar, M. (2020). CBT with youth: These are a few of our favorite things. In Friedberg, R.D., & Nakamura, B.A. (Eds.), CBT with youth: Tradition and innovation. New York: Springer.

Korte, C., Kakolu, A., Brown, K., Thomas, J., Cassar, M., & Friedberg, R.D. (2020). What’s going to happen?: Managing young patients’ uncertainties and anxieties in the peri-pandemic period. The Specialist, 46, 58-61.

Trafalis, S., Thomas, J., Kakolu, A., Cassar, M., Friedberg, R.J., & Friedberg, R.D. (2020). Direct-to-consumer marketing of evidence-based psychotherapies: The time to hesitate is through. In L.T. Duncan (Ed.), Advances in Health and Disease (Vol. 18) (pp. 181-210). New York: Nova Science


Friedberg, R.D., Mehta, A., Toyama, H., Portera, S., & Giannini, C. (2019). Securing psychology’s place in integrated pediatric behavioral health: Get on the Bus, Gus! In N. Columbus (Ed.), New Directions in Psychological Research (pp.137-164). New York: Nova Science.


 Wilberding, N., & Friedberg, R.D. (2018). The case for integrated pediatric behavioral health care: Translating research into policy and practice. Journal of Translational Science, 4, 1-2 

Paternostro, J.K., Rozbruch, E.V., & Friedberg, R.D. (2018). Integrating Psychosocial Interventions with Pediatric Patients with Gastrointestinal Disorders in Primary Care and Specialty Care Services, Internal Medicine Review, 4, 1-18 

Internship Positions Obtained by CSTAY Members
  • Jennifer Paternostro,  Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR
  • Krista Basile, UCLA Semel Neuropsychiatric Institute, Los Angeles, CA
  • Paul Sullivan, New York University Child Study Center/Bellevue Hospital, New York, NY
  • Micaela A. Thordarson, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
  • Erica V. Rozbruch, Lincoln Memorial Hospital and Mental Health Center, Bronx, NY
  • Cameron Mosely, University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, Knoxville, TN
  • Marisa Keller, Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami Medical School, Miami, Fla.
  • Aniya Atasuntseva, UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco, CA
  • Szimi Mulati, Kennedy Krieger Hospital/Johns Hopkins Medical School, Baltimore, MD
  • Laura Brehm, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA
  • Simone Behar, Friends Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
  • Andrea Wister, University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Maxwell Berlyant, Wellspan Behavioral Health System, York, PA
  • Nathan Chow, Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center, Fresno, CA
  • Nicole Wilberding, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA
  • Nina Pacholec, Wellspan Behavioral Health System, York, PA
  • Rebecca La Prade Alexian Brothers Hospital, Chicago, Ill.
  • Rosa Poggesi, VA Lexington, Lexington, KY
  • Brandi Schmeling, VA Iowa City, Iowa City, IA
  • Erika Eckermann So. Arizona Psychology Center/La Frontera Center
  • Sarah Tabbarah, Aspenpointe Community Mental Health Center, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Jeremy Joves, Wellspan  Behavioral Health Health Systen, York, PA
  • Hannah Toyama Jackson Memorial Medical Center/University of Miami Medical School, Miami, Fla. 
  • Saige Portera Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA
  • Courtney Giannini , Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA.
  • Jasmine Thomas Texas Child Study Center/Dell Medical School
  • Anusha Kakolu Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Marissa Cassar, Allina Medical Center,
  • Anika Mehta, Greater Hartford VA, Hartford, CT.
  • Josh Tiller-Ormord, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon
  • Kimberly Brown, Medical College of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
  • Ciera Korte, Geisinger Medical Center/Geisinger Health, Danville, PA
  • Aggy Barnowski, NYU Langone/Bellevue Hospital, New York, New York
Post-doctoral Positions Obtained by CSTAY Members
  • Erica Rozmid, UCLA-Harbor Hospital/CBT-CA, Los Angeles, CA
  • Jennifer Paternostro, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR
  • Rebecca La Prade, McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • Aniya Atasuntseva, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA
  • Paul Sullivan, New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell University School of Medicine, New York, New York
  • Micaela A. Thordarson, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA
  • Cameron Mosely, Augusta University, Savannah, GA.
  • Andrea Wister, University of Utah Neurospsychiatric Institute, Salt Lake City, UT.
  • Maxwell Berlyant, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Santa Rosa, CA
  • Laura Brehm, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, 
  • Nathan Chow, Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center, Redwood City, CA
  • Maxwell Berlyant Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center
  • Marisa Keller, Cadence Child and Adolescent Clinic, Seattle, WA
  • Nina Pacholec, Wellspan Behavioral Health System, York, PA
  • Rosa Poggesi, VA Santa Rosa, Santa Rosa, CA
  • Brandi Schmeling, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, Beaverton, OR
  • Simone Behar, Private Practice, San Francisco, CA
  • Szimi Mulati  Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School
  • Nicole Wilberding Kaiser Permanente Medical Center
  • Krista Tabuenca UCLA Semel Institute, Los Angeles, CA
  • Courtney Giannini Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • Hannah Toyama Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Pediatric Behavioral Medicine Clinic, Santa Clara, CA
  • Saige Portera, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Pediatric Behavioral Medicine Clinic, Santa Clara, CA
  • Jeremy Joves, Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center, Sacramento, CA.
  • Marissa Cassar Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Pediatric Behavioral Medicine Clinic, Santa Clara, CA
  • Jasmine Thomas, Dell Medical Center/Medical School, Austin, TX