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Center for the Study and Treatment of Anxious Youth


Director: Robert D. Friedberg, Ph.D., ABPP, ACT

Lab Chief: Krista Basile, MPH


The Center for the Study and Treatment of Anxious Youth (CSTAY) is a research lab emphasizing a cognitive behavioral approach to childhood anxiety disorders, dissemination and training in CBT, school-based services, mental health literacy, integrated behavioral health care for children and adolescents, behavioral healthcare policy and administration. CSTAY seeks to integrate clinical service, research, and training. CSTAY makes use of vertical teams where lab members hold varying levels of responsibilities for on-going projects. Lab members are expected to focus their dissertations around the topics described below.

Current topics focus on Accountability, Affordability, 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, their vita, and a brief writing sample.


CSTAY is privileged to share our work in publications as well as presentations at national and international conferences. Below is a brief sample of projects completed since Fall 2013.


Friedberg, R.D., Berlyant, M., & Mulati, S. (2014). CBT and Health Care Reform: A Congenial Union. Journal of Psychology and Clinical Psychiatry1, 1-2

Friedberg, R. D., Hoyman, L. C., Behar, S., Tabbarah, S., Pacholec, N. M., Keller, M., & Thordarson, M. A. (2014). We’ve come a long way, baby!: Evolution and revolution in CBT with youth. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 32(1), 4-14.

Friedberg, R. D., Thordarson, M. A., Paternostro, J., Sullivan, P. J., & Tamas, M. E. (2014). CBT with youth: Immodest proposals for training the next generation. Journal of Rational Emotive and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy,  32(1), 110-119.

Friedberg, R. D., Sullivan P., Paternostro, J., & Poggesi, R. M. (2014). OCD in children: Saying goodbye to private butt nugget and professor just right. In E. M. Crowe & A. R. O'Dell (Eds.), Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Symptoms, prevalence and psychological treatments (pp. 77-97). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

Friedberg, R.D., Tabbarah, S., & Poggesi, R.M. (2013). Therapeutic presence, immediacy, and transparency in CBT with youth: Carpe the moment! The Cognitive Behavior Therapist6, 1-10.

Friedberg, R., y Thordarson, M. (2014). Sesión inicial de terapia cognitiva conductual con niños y adolescentes en comps. In E. Bunge, M. Scandar, F. Musich, y G. Carrea (Eds.). Sesiones de psicoterapia con niños y adolescentes: Aciertos y errores. Porto Alegre, Brazil: Sinopsys

Sullivan, P. J., Keller, M., Thordarson, M. A., Trafalis, S., & Friedberg, R. D. (In press). The future is NOW!. In B. Myers (Ed)., Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: New Research. New York: Nova Science.

Thordarson, M. A., & Friedberg, R. D. (2014). To infinity and beyond!: Introduction to the special issue. Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 32(1), 1-3.

Thordarson, M.A., Keller, M., Sullivan, P.J.,, Trafalis, S., & Friedberg, R.D. (In preparation). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for immigrant youth: The essentials. In S.G. Patel, D. Reicherter, & J. Wong (Eds.).Psychotherapy for immigrant youth. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.


Bunge. E. & Thordarson, M.A. (2014, November). Multicultural training: Supervision and cultural competency. In R.D. Friedberg (Chair), New Directions in CBT with Youth: Oh the places you'll go! Clinical round table to be presented at the 48th annual convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Philadelphia, PA.

Friedberg, R.D., Sullivan, P., Paternostro, J., Behar, S., & Berlyant, M. (2014, Oct). School mental health services: Treating children where they work and play. Presentation as part of the Clinical Perspectives Panel,  R.D. Friedberg (Chair), CBT in schools, to be delivered at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, San Diego, CA.

Friedberg, R.D., & Keller, M. (2014, Nov.) Affective neuroscience and CBT procedures. Presentation to be delivered as part of the clinical roundtable, R.D. Friedberg (Chair), New directions in CBT with youth: Oh, the places you’ll go!. Association for the Advancement of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Philadelphia, PA.

Keller, M., Thordarson, M., & Friedberg, R. D. (2014, September)Cognitive behavioral family therapy with adult family members. In R. D. Friedberg (Chair), Start the revolution with me!: CBT in the new era. Symposium to be presented at the 16th World Congress of Psychiatry, Madrid, Spain.

Pacholec, N.A., Friedberg, R.D., Packman, W., & Beckum, L. (2014, Nov). Length of homelessness as a predictor of separation anxiety and impairment in homeless youth. Poster to be presented at the annual meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Philadelphia, PA.

Paternostro, J., Mulati, S., Brehm, L., & Friedberg, R.D. (Oct, 2014).Working with children in the era of Health Care Reform: Why being a CBT-oriented clinician helps. Poster to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association Institute on Psychiatric Services, San Francisco, CA.

Paternostro, J., Thordarson, M., Tamas, M., Tabbarah, S., Hoyman, L., Friedberg, R. (2014, November). Worries and Anxieties: It's Not Unusual - An Innovative Psychoeducational Presentation for Middle School Youth. Poster to be presented at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Thordarson, M.A. & Friedberg, R.D. (2013, October). Learning to love the ledge. In R.D. Friedberg & M.A. Thordarson (Chairs), Supervision of CBT with youth Clinical perspectives panel presented at 60th annual meeting of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Orlando, Fla.

Thordarson, M.A. & Friedberg, R.D. (2014, November). Supervision in CBT: Trials and tribulations from a supervisee. In R.D. Friedberg and M.A. Thordarson (Chairs), Training Clinicians in the Practice of CBT with Youth. Clinical round table to be presented at the 48th annual convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Philadelphia, PA.

Thordarson, M., Keller, M., & Friedberg, R. D. (2014, September). Simple as ABC, 123: CBT in schools. In R.D. Friedberg (Chair), CBT with youth: New directions and fresh perspectives. Symposium to be presented at the 16th World Congress of Psychiatry, Madrid, Spain.

Thordarson, M., Keller, M., & Friedberg, R.D. (2014, September).Evaluating child psychiatric fellows’ competence in CBT: Lead and gold standards. In R. D. Friedberg (Chair), Training child psychiatrists inCBT: Recommended metrics and methods.Symposium to be presented at the 16th World Congress of Psychiatry, Madrid, Spain.

Lab Members

5th year students

  • Nathan Chow, MS
  • Brandi Schmeling, MS

4th year students

  • Micaela Thordarson, MS, Immediate past Lab Chief
  • Marisa Keller, MS
  • Rosa Poggesi, MS
  • Sarah Tabbarah, MS

3rd year students

  • Max Berlyant
  • Jenna Paternostro
  • Simone Behar
  • Paul Sullivan

2nd year students

  • Szimi Mulati
  • Judy Feezer, Project Leader, Your Child’s Mind Matters
  • Laura Brehm
  • Trisha Karsten

Volunteer Lab Member

  • Anna Teague
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