Child & Adolescent Anxiety Clinic

Michael Garron Hospital's (MGH) anxiety clinic specializes in evidence-based individual and group psychotherapy for children and youth up until their 18th birthday who have an anxiety disorder. Additional services include medication follow-up and computer-based interventions.

Anxiety disorders are among the most common and most treatable mental health conditions impacting children and teens. 

Founded in 2009, the child and adolescent anxiety clinic is one of only a few government-funded services of its kind in Toronto. We provide treatment for separation anxiety, social anxiety, generalized anxiety, panic attacks, specific phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and other related conditions. 

Although our primary goal is clinical care, we also conduct research into anxiety and are active in providing training for psychiatry residents and other students. Our staff are published in academic journals and have received grants and awards in this field.

Our interdisciplinary team includes child psychiatrists, psychiatry residents and trainees from a variety of other disciplines.

The Anxiety Clinic can be accessed through referral by a primary care physician.

SERVICES

The anxiety clinic wait list for all services opens twice a year on January 1 and July 1. Some services may be open throughout the year. Click on the services below to see if referrals are currently being accepted.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that integrates theories of cognition and learning with treatment techniques derived from cognitive therapy and behavior therapy. CBT assumes that thoughts, feelings and behaviour are interconnected. Treatment focuses on thoughts; identifying them, understanding them better and, if interested – changing them. This, in turn, affects the way we feel and what we do.  

CBT is an evidence-based therapy and is considered the first line treatment for anxiety disorders, especially in children and adolescents. CBT can be tailored for specific disorders, for example, Exposure and Response Prevention (ER/P) for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Prolonged Exposure (PE) or Trauma Focused CBT (TF-CBT) for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). CBT can be practiced in different ways, for example: group therapy (in which a therapist leads a group of clients through a therapeutic process to overcome a common difficulty) or individual therapy (in which a therapist meets with one client).

THE FOLLOWING SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE AT OUR CLINIC:

Individual CBT tailored for all anxiety disorders including therapy for preschoolers, Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), OCD and PTSD. Now accepting referrals for trauma therapy. Please click here for  a downloadable referral form.

Group CBT:

  • Teen Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) (for ages 13-18). Now accepting referrals. Please click here for  a downloadable referral form.
  • Cool kids for ages 7-9 (addresses a variety of anxiety disorders). Not accepting referrals.
  • Cool kids for ages 9-12 (addresses a variety of anxiety disorders). Not accepting referrals.
  • Teen Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) (for ages 13-18). Not accepting referrals.
  • Parenting Group for Anxious Preschoolers (P-GAP) for ages 0-6. This group helps parents address an anxious temperament in their young children. Not accepting referrals.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) for ages 9-18 (specific age range may vary in accordance with the clients referred at the time). Not accepting referrals.
  • Trichotillomania for ages 9-18 (specific age range may vary in accordance with the clients referred at the time). Now accepting referrals, please click here for a downloadable referral form.

Consultation

A one-time meeting with a psychiatrist for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

Not accepting referrals.

Medication Follow Up

Recurring visits with a psychiatrist/nurse for the sole purpose of medication adjustment and follow up. These visits are shorter and less frequent than CBT.

Not accepting referrals.

Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback training is brainwave biofeedback. During typical training, a couple of electrodes are placed on the scalp and one or two are usually put on the earlobes. High-tech electronic equipment provides real-time, instantaneous audio feedback regarding brainwave activity. The electrodes measure the electrical patterns coming from the brain, much like a physician listens to the heart from the skin surface. Brain electrical activity is relayed to the computer and recorded.

Ordinarily, a person cannot reliably influence their brainwave patterns because they lack awareness of them. However, when feedback is administered a few thousandths of a second after brainwaves occur, the ability to influence and change brainwaves is regained.

Neurofeedback is offered at the moment in our clinic only as part of a research study. Please contact Dr. Adler directly at 416-469-6580 ext. 3229 for further details.

Now accepting referrals, please click here for a downloadable referral form.

Physicians:

Was this page helpful?