School Refusal Hope

You are not alone

School Refusal Hope is a site dedicated to helping families who are struggling with their child's school refusal.  We provide listings of different treatment programs around the country that can help children who avoid school. We also share the names of therapeutic and small boarding schools around the country where your child may thrive. We also provide support in the form of other families who have been down the same road as you.

Treatment programs

Inpatient, Partial Programs, and Outpatient

Rogers Behavioral Health - Inpatient, Partial and Outpatient -Multiple locations (see below)

OCD and Anxiety Center Children's Residential Care -Residential care for children 8-14 We specialize in children's behavioral health and those who need the extra level of care residential treatment offers. One of the first residential treatment facilities in the nation with comprehensive assessment and treatment for kids, we focus on children age 8 to 14.  Led by a full-time, board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist, each member of our treatment team excels at creating strong bonds with children and families. Individual care plans meet the specific needs of children. And when your child comes home, he or she is ready to be a kid again. 

While we emphasize treatment for OCD and related anxiety disorders, we can help children facing the following disorders: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) ,OC-spectrum disorders, anxiety disorders (GAD, Social Anxiety, Disorder,Separation anxiety, school refusal, co-occuring disorders (depression, ADHD) 

OCD and Anxiety Center Adolescent Residential Care-Residential care for adolescents 12-17

As a parent, all you want for your child struggling with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or related anxiety disorders, is hope. The specific fears, thoughts and anxieties of these disorders are difficult for both your child and your family. When your child faces the need for a more intensive level of care, where he or she can find the help to confront their challenges, we're here for you. Our outcomes show that our OCD and anxiety disorders treatment works. Our OCD and Anxiety Center for adolescent residential care is one of the few residential facilities in the country with a long-held commitment to serving adolescents age 12-17 facing OCD and related anxiety disorders.

Outpatient care options for OCD & anxiety -Partial hospitalization care (6 to 7 hours a day/4 to 5 days a week, 4 to 6 weeks Intensive outpatient care (3 hours a day/5 days a week, 6 to 8 weeks) Locations for OCD and anxiety outpatient services  Appleton, WI,  Brown Deer, WI, Kenosha, WI,  Madison, WI, Oconomowoc, WI,  West Allis, WI,  Chicago, IL,  Minneapolis, MN,  Nashville, TN,  Tampa, FL,  San Francisco, CA, Philadelphia, PA

Mountain Valley Treatment Center for Adolescents Struggling with Anxiety Disorders - (Inpatient) Plainfield, NH

Mountain Valley Treatment Center, with campuses in beautiful Pike and Plainfield, NH, offers empirically supported clinical care and an experiential approach to treating 13 to 20 year olds presenting with school and social avoidance due to generalized anxiety, social anxiety, specific phobias, panic disorder, separation anxiety, selective mutism and obsessive-compulsive disorders, including related disordered eating. We are an intensive, short-term, residential program grounded in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and focusing specifically on Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), in a supportive, co-educational environment. Recognizing that medication management and psychiatry can play an important role in the treatment of anxiety, we partner with Hanover Psychiatry, a comprehensive psychiatry and psychological assessment practice of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Geisel School of Medicine, to offer psychiatric services as well as comprehensive psychological assessments.

703 River Rd, Plainfield, NH 03781-5044 (603) 989-3500

Alexian Brothers / AMITA Health (Partial Program , Intensive Outpatient Program) Mulitiple locations in Illinois)

The School Anxiety/Refusal program at AMITA Health Behavioral Medicine Institute helps students overcome their school-related fears through proven medication and exposure and response (ERP) strategies based on real-world evidence of what works. In addition to a multidisciplinary team of anxiety experts and school refusal specialists, we also provide each student with an onsite school liaison to help ease their transition back to a typical school schedule.

Our program aligns with other treatment tracks for related conditions such as eating disorders, self-injury, autism, conduct disorders and chemical dependency. Our program may also include skills and process groups, including: Relaxation, Expressive therapy, Stress management, Peer refusal skills, Family contracting, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Exposure therapy, Family therapy

For most conditions, our care ranges from closely monitored inpatient hospital care to outpatient therapy. Treatment may include skills training groups and other types of innovative therapies. Shown below are the levels of care we offer for school anxiety and avoidance. Youth Inpatient Care, Child and Adolescent Partial Hospitalization – ages 9-17, Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Care – ages 13-17, including after school program, Outpatient Group Practice, AMITA Health GlenOaks Therapeutic Day School

AMITA Health Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital Hoffman Estates : 855.383.2224 , 855.MyAMITA (692.6482)

Plena (Partial hospitalization and Intensive outpatient), Northbrook , Illinois

Plena’s partial hospitalization program (weekdays 8:30 am - 3:30 pm) and intensive outpatient program (weekdays 3:30-5:30 pm) services children and adolescents (ages 7 to 16) who: Struggle to manage symptoms of anxiety, depression, or mood dysregulation, Experience challenges with social-emotional concerns, Engage in self-injurious behaviors, Refuse to attend school, and/or have difficulty with attention and focus.

In order to provide our patients and families with excellent clinical care, our treatment team utilizes innovative and evidence-based interventions tailored to your child and family. Our approach aims to empower your child to become an active participant in managing their symptoms in the service of living their fullest life. Plena’s treatment team strives to create an atmosphere of open communication and collaboration with parents and guardians regarding your child’s diagnosis, medication recommendations, and symptom management. Plena provides parents and guardians with skills and information that enhance your ability to effectively provide healthy boundaries and emotional support to your child.

Prior to transitioning out of treatment, the clinical team collaborates with you and your child to ensure the creation of an individualized aftercare treatment plan that considers ongoing therapeutic interventions, school support, and medication management that will meet the distinctive needs of your family. Plena’s team consists of a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist, licensed clinical psychologist, licensed clinical social workers, licensed educational specialist, and a recreation specialist. (847) 562 5612

University of Nevada Las Vegas Child School Refusal and Anxiety Disorders Clinic,NV (Outpatient)

The UNLV Child School Refusal and Anxiety Disorders Clinic

The UNLV Child School Refusal and Anxiety Disorders Clinic is a research-based outpatient facility designed to assess and treat youths with school refusal behavior and/or related anxiety problems .We accept youths 5-16 years of age whose primary behavior problem is school refusal behavior and/or anxiety disorders. Common anxiety-related problems include social and separation anxiety, generalized anxiety/worry, panic, fears and phobias, selective mutism, perfectionism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and symptoms of post traumatic stress.

Parents may contact the Director of the Clinic, Dr. Christopher Kearney, via telephone (702-895-0183) or email ( for more information or for screening and possible assessment. Dr. Kearney is a Distinguished Professor of clinical child psychology at UNLV and an expert in the assessment and treatment of youths with school refusal behavior and related anxiety conditions. Treatment options for each case are discussed once the initial formal assessment is complete. The general goal in many cases seen at the Clinic is to return a child to full-time school attendance and to achieve significant reductions in distress.

Department of Psychology University of Nevada, Las Vegas 4505 Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154-5030 Telephone:  (702) 895-0183


The Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders, New York, NY and Westchester, NY (Outpatient)

The School Refusal Program offers an accelerated treatment program for children and adolescents who are struggling to attend school consistently due to anxiety. The School Refusal Program begins with a clinical psychologist interviewing the child and parents in order to determine the nature of the child's problems. Next, depending on the history of the child's problem with the school, a review of the child's school records as well as a consultation with the child's school may occur. Next, our staff psychologist will consult with the school refusal clinical team to review all of the information together and make the determination as to whether the School Refusal Program would be appropriate for the child and family as a treatment option. At times, referrals for neuropsychological or psychoeducational evaluation may be requested, if there is a suspicion of a specific learning issue affecting the child's ability to attend school comfortably.

Treatment is tailored to match the child's specific needs, with the immediate goal of returning the child to school as quickly as possible. Youth will attend weekly individual therapy sessions targeting consistent school attendance. Depending on the child's concerns, individual treatment may involve gradual exposure to feared situations, skills training, anxiety management training, or behavioral activation to combat depression. Parents are also involved in sessions as necessary to learn strategies for supporting their child’s progress.
In CUCARD Westchester’s School Refusal Program, parents attend weekly parenting workshops to learn the tools and behavior management skills necessary to facilitate their child’s school attendance. The program offers also additional support to families including school consultation, school visits, and individual case support. Clinicians are available “on-call” to provide phone coaching to families on school mornings (7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.), and participating youth are able to complete schoolwork in the clinic with guidance from CUCARD Westchester staff if they are unable to attend school on any given day. Phone 212-342-3800

Insight Behavioral Health Centers - School Refusal Partial Hospitalization Program

locations in: Austin, TX, Chicago, IL, Cincinnati, OH, Houston, TX, Sacramento, CA, San Antonio, TX, Seattle, WA, The Woodlands TX

Insight Behavioral Health’s School Refusal Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) is designed to treat adolescents struggling with school avoidance. We offer a collaborative approach provided by a treatment team composed of mental health professionals, parents and school staff. Our program addresses underlying anxiety and oppositional behaviors associated with school refusal.
Through a combination of the following approaches, we help the students overcome their avoidance of school:Exposure Response Prevention Therapy (ERP) is offered for adolescents struggling with anxiety, depression and fear relating to the school environment; Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is used to address the oppositional or behavioral symptoms that have prevented the adolescent from effectively engaging in school; Educational support and executive functioning skills training.

Parents engage in weekly Multi-family DBT groups and ERP skills training to assist their adolescents in overcoming barriers to school reintegration.

Multiple locations: 877-711-1878

Center for Anxiety and Behavioral Change, Rockville, MD (Outpatient)

We offer a comprehensive treatment program for school refusal, which consists of four main components. These components include specialized assessment of the school refusal, child-focused behavioral treatment, parent management training, and school consultation.

During the assessment phase, care is taken to understand the nature of the anxious avoidance, the underlying function(s) of the school refusal, and to provide diagnostic clarification. The child-focused treatment consists of psychoeducation, coping skills training, and direct exposure (in a controlled, gradual format) to situations that the child/adolescent fears. Parent management training (PMT) is conducted in a 6-week parent group and provides education to parents regarding evidence-based skills and techniques that can be utilized (many of which are counterintuitive) to help reduce the child’s experience of anxiety and to improve school attendance. Lastly, the school consultation component consists of a school meeting to discuss specific methods and accommodations that the school personnel can utilize to assist the child in his/her rapid reintegration into school. Phone (301) 610-7850










Boston University Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, Boston MA (Outpatient)

The Child and Adolescent Treatment Program at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders offers clinical services to young people experiencing difficulty with fears, anxiety, shyness, and other related disorders such as depression.

The program provides comprehensive evaluations and state-of-the-art cognitive-behavioral and other evidence-based treatments for children and adolescents between the ages of 3 and 17. For certain child populations and disorders, the program provides behavioral parent training as well as live and interactive Internet-based services delivered directly to the home of families.

BU’s Dr. Donna Pincus has recently started a research project where they will study the use of web based interventions to deliver CBT to youth 11-17 dealing with anxiety and panic in school. Adolescents and their parents are provided with access to a web-based course that teaches cognitive behavioral skills for coping with panic and anxiety. Therapists from Boston University conduct video conferencing with youth after they complete each learning module of the program.



CAMAT, Child and Adolescent Mood and Anxiety Treatment, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL (Outpatient)

The CAMAT program offers weekly individual psychotherapy sessions as part of research studies and on a fee-for-service basis.  These sessions typically occur one time per week for 45 to 60 minutes.

They also offer group treatment as part of their research on youth with an emotional disorder, including any fear, anxiety, OCD or depression-related concern. Treatments are offered in small groups with several clinicians, and meet weekly or bi-weekly for about 10-15 sessions. Cognitive behavioral treatment is provided in a fun, creative, environment and includes parent involvement over the course of therapy. Groups typically begin in September and February.

They also offer on a case by case basis, an intensive treatment options for particular conditions including Specific Phobias, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Panic Disorder.  Intensive Treatment typically means the client participates in multiple sessions per day, for several days in a row, depending on the type of presenting problem.  Such services may be an appropriate option for individuals who do not have access to weekly cognitive behavioral treatments in their hometowns, or for individuals who seek a more rapid resolution of symptoms. Intensive treatments are typically offered to adolescents.




Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders Program at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN(Inpatient)

Our research goals are to increase our understanding of childhood anxiety and develop state of the art treatments for severe anxiety that are easily available to children and families. Clinically, we specialize in our ability to integrated cognitive-behavioral and pharmacological assessments and treatments


Kansas City Center for Anxiety Treatment, University, Overland Park, KS (Outpatient)

They provides quality treatment for school refusal/school avoidance which commonly co-occurs with anxiety and depression. KCCAT staff are specifically trained in the use of Cognitive Behavior Therapies (CBT) and Exposure and Response/Ritual Prevention (ERP), a first-line, evidence-based treatment for OCD and anxiety disorders. They provide a broad range of diagnostic and treatment services targeting anxiety, mood, and behavioral health challenges across all age groups (from age two through adults). Symptoms may present in numerous forms that KCCAT staff are trained to detect and treat, whether you are experiencing recent onset or have longstanding difficulties. An added benefit is that they are often able to help inform treatment direction even in cases where other providers may have considered a condition as unresponsive to care or “treatment refractory.”

They also offer support and education surrounding a loved one’s symptoms, even if they are reluctant to or refusing treatment. They arrange one or more consultation sessions for individuals or families separately or prior to pursuing evaluation and enrolling in clinical treatment. During a consultation you will meet with a member of the clinical staff to review general aspects of symptom education and discuss what an evidenced-based care approach or techniques might look like for a described situation

Treatment is individualized to type and levels of need and can vary substantially—ranging from brief and focused skill building and education plans to intensive home-based services. Upon completion of the assessment process and team review, they will discuss impressions of what options or structure for treatment may be most likely to meet your needs, whether at KCCAT or elsewhere.

(913) 649-8820


Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Partial Program at Lindner Center of HOPE ( Partial Hospitalization)

Their partial hospitalization program (PHP)serves patients age 12 to 17 with diagnoses including, but not limited to: Mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder, Anxiety disorders, Eating disorders, Adjustment disorders, Thought disorders not requiring hospitalization, such as paranoia and hallucinations

Individuals who will benefit from this program typically are experiencing emotional and behavioral issues significant enough to affect daily functioning or quality of life.

Adolescent Partial Hospitalization (PHP) operates Monday through Friday: 9:00a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This is a full-day program where the adolescent attends five days per week. The treatment team will work with patients and families to design the right program for each situation.

Average duration of the program is 7 to 10 days. The treatment team will make a recommendation regarding length of attendance based on the individual needs of each patient. Program includes Group therapy, Family treatment meeting(s), Pharmacotherapy and medication management, A psychiatrist will see the patient individually, Lunch and afternoon snack are provided For admissions to Adolescent Partial Hospitalization, call 513-636-4124.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital -The Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Inpatient Service offers comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and treatment of children and adolescents (typical age ranges from 5-17 years old) with a variety of emotional and behavioral problems including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, severe disruptive behavior, and suicide attempts.

The inpatient treatment team includes psychiatrists, psychologists, registered nurses, special education teachers, child life specialists, social workers, and occupational and recreational therapists. In addition, pediatricians from a full range of medical subspecialties are available for consultations. The multi-disciplinary staff emphasizes a family-oriented approach and parents and care-givers are encouraged to be active participants in the treatment team throughout a child’s stay.

The program offers developmentally appropriate therapeutic activities in a closely supervised environment. Extensive opportunities for observation, assessment, and intervention are possible in this intensive setting. Specialized assessments including neuropsychological testing, speech and language testing, and occupational therapy assessments are all available.

Treatment plans typically include a combination of individual psychotherapy, behavior management, family counseling and medications. Staff members develop an individualized treatment plan emphasizing safety for each patient during the hospital stay. The plan is closely coordinated with families, outpatient providers, and resource programs to coordinate aftercare plans and facilitate a smooth transition to home.

The Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program (AIOP) at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center is a unique after school program for adolescents ages 12 through 17. The program offers: Complete psychiatric and psychosocial evaluation, Psychological and educational testing, Occupational therapy, Nursing support, Daily group therapy and behavior modification, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy-influenced skills training . 410-550-7173

Outpatient Anxiety Disorders Clinic Our program offers a through assessment with diagnostic clarification, individual and family work that includes cognitive behavioral therapy, and pharmacological intervention when indicated. Psychiatrists and psychologists work together to provide this coordinated care. 410- 955-5335


Behavioral Institute School Refusal Program, Great Neck , NY (Long Island) Intensive Outpatient and Outpatient

Their School Refusal Program offers intensive outpatient treatment for children and adolescents who are struggling with academic attendance due to a variety of factors. They have seen that the intensive programs work better than weekly sessions for many individuals. The program emphasizes individual rather than group treatment. This one-on-one care allows our clinicians to meet each person's unique treatment needs and goals. 

An intensive program may be recommended to those who have tried individual therapy in the past and did not attain their goals. In addition, it may be recommended for those who are severely struggling to function in their daily life, such as interference with attending school and work or are having difficulty caring for themselves or their homes. Others may need to achieve their goals during a set time period in order to return to their daily life; for example, students who want to start or return to school, 

Bio Behavioral Institute’s School Refusal Program is designed to help children and adolescents who struggle to attend school on a regular basis. We provide a comprehensive evaluation process to determine the underlying cause or the child’s refusal to go to school, whether it may be contamination fears, separation anxiety, embarrassment of tics, or a fear of vomiting, to name a few. We strive to determine the causes and create treatment plans to help alleviate symptoms for each individual child.

In order to help your child get back on track and back to school, the clinical staff at Bio Behavioral Institute provide the following services and tailor their treatment plans to meet each individual child’s specific needs: Intensive outpatient therapy as needed, Home Visits, Weekend and Evening appointments available, Telephone and Skype Sessions, Early morning sessions to take child to school, if necessary, School consultation and Child Study Team meetings, Psychological and educational assessment, Organization training, Relapse prevention, Maintenance treatment  

(516) 487-7116

Mid Island Psychology Associates Treatment of School Refusal - Intensive Outpatient, Outpatient Jericho, NY

We take school refusal seriously as it can lead to higher rates of dropping out, social difficulties, academic difficulties, and an increased sense of anxiety that can be generalized to other situations. With the use of CBT and coming up with a plan for return to school for the client, and with the assistance of parents and the school district; most children are able to successfully return to school or an educational program. You may be wondering to yourself “How are these doctors going to actually get my kid to go to school?” Each doctor takes a collaborative approach and gradually exposes the child to the school or the feared classroom, even accompanying the child in the building and driving them to school and staying with them for a predetermined amount of time. Yes, that even means that we will pick them up at 7 in the morning to drive them to school when the time comes. Doctors also place importance on coming up with an appropriate educational plan and can help to navigate school meetings, such as determining 504 placement and Committee on Special Education (CSE) meetings. Our goal at Mid Island Psychology Associates is to return your child to an educational program as quickly as possible, while also taking into account the specific needs of each child.  We use ERP, DBT and ACT. We also offer in-home sessions for those whose conditions prohibit them from getting to the office, as well as for those whose target behaviors are predominantly in the home.



Hartford Hospital Institute of Living -The Anxiety Disorders Center/Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Intensive Outpatient/Partial) Hartford, CT

The School Refusal Program begins with an initial diagnostic evaluation, as well as a consultation with the child's school. During the evaluation and subsequent consultations, we seek to identify the function of school refusal in order to determine an appropriate treatment.   
Treatment is tailored to match the child's specific needs, with the immediate goal of returning the child to school as quickly as possible. Depending on the child's concerns, treatment may involve gradual exposure to feared situations, skills training, anxiety management training, or helping parents with limit setting and rule enforcement. The treatment team will work closely with school personnel to assist them in providing an appropriate transition plan back to school for the child. By the beginning of the second week, it is expected that the child will begin to attend school at least part time. 
The School Refusal Program at the Anxiety Disorders Center/Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an intensive treatment program that includes 15 sessions of CBT, delivered five days per week for three weeks. Each session lasts 1.5 to 2 hours. CBT is provided individually or with the child's parents or guardians.

Anxiety Disorders Center. 200 Retreat Avenue. Hartford CT 06106 Phone: 860.545.7685

Lifespan at Bradley Hospital - Providence , RI - Partial Programs

our clinical team uses a form of cognitive behavioral therapy called exposure with response prevention (ERP). The treatment of choice for individuals with OCD, ERP strengthens a child’s ability to manage anxiety by gradually facing fears and reducing the repetitive rituals of OCD.

Our clinicians create an individualized, age-appropriate treatment plan for each child. Parents and family members contribute to this plan, starting with the child’s evaluation and throughout treatment. Conditions we treat include: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), Panic disorder, Social anxiety, Separation anxiety, Phobias, Hypochondria/health anxiety

Treatment takes place Monday through Friday at Bradley Hospital. Program hours depend on a child’s level of care. We offer a full-day partial program with community-based sessions every day, and a half-day program with community-based sessions 2 days a week. The average length of treatment is approximately 8 weeks.


Dominion Hospital -Falls Church , VA Intensive Outpatient, Inpatient and Partial Program

Choices School Refusal Program for ages 13-17. Dominion Hospital's School Refusal Program is rooted in a model of individualized, clinically-driven, and evidenced-based care. The program is based on a cognitive behavioral model. Our multidisciplinary team will work with you and your child to develop an individualized plan of care, which will address and treat specific symptoms that prevent your child from attending school. The primary program goal is to reintroduce a child to the academic setting and achieve full-time attendance with minimal distress. Key Program Components: CBT and DBT Skills Training, Parent Training, Mindfulness, Exposure Therapy, Psychoeducation, Therapeutic Homework and Logbooks, Expressive Therapy. Program Outcomes: Ease Re-entry into School, Develop School and Anxiety-based Coping Skills, Build Social Skills, Decrease Social Anxiety, Change Negative Thinking Patterns, Teach Parents Skills to Address Non-compliance, Empower Parents Better Support their Child, Reduce Family Conflict, Increase Rewards for Going to School, Decrease Awards for Missing School. Program hours Monday - Friday / 8:45 AM - 3:00 PM 

Inpatient Program When 24/7 monitoring is needed, our inpatient program offers 24-hour nursing care and full psychiatric services in a safe and structured environment. Medical supervision by highly qualified mental health professionals, many of whom are board-certified in adolescent psychiatry, means teens receive appropriate individual assessment, intervention, education, supportive therapies and discharge planning.

Partial Program Choices adolescent partial hospitalization program is a short-term, intensive program serving adolescents ages 13 to 17. The program provides a flexible treatment option for those that may need a more gradual transition from an inpatient stay. The partial hospitalization program can also be utilized as a preventive measure to an inpatient admission for individuals experiencing an increase in symptoms and require a more intensive treatment structure than traditional outpatient therapy can provide.

They also provide education services to support our inpatient and partial school-age patients during their admission. Dominion Hospital offers patients access to their schoolwork; however, we are not a school and do not provide direct instruction or give grades. Dominion supports patients’ engagement with learning.

Potomac Behavioral Solutions - Arlington, VA , Partial and Outpatient Programs

The Intensive Program is specialty designed for children and adolescents who would benefit from more targeted treatment of OCD and anxiety-related symptoms. The  Intensive Program identifies and addresses triggers to obsessions and helps patients prevent mental and behavioral compulsions. Our approaches include Exposure with Response Prevention (ERP)Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). The  Intensive program runs for five hours, five days weekly. Each patient and their family meets one-to-one with providers. Our team includes a psychiatrist and therapists treating specific phobias, Social Anxiety, and School Avoidance

Initial intake and pre-commitment with individual Provider (4-6 weeks of once weekly individual 45-minute sessions) Psychoeducation (including family members), Psychological assessment, Structuring the environment, Learning non-avoidant coping, Treatment planning and case formulation, Development of exposure hierarchy, . Intensive Week (9-2pm Tuesday-Monday), Review assigned homework exposures, Exposure and skills development protocols, Assign homework for the evening,  Follow ups 45-minute sessions focused on relapse prevention


Youth Anxiety and Depression Clinic (YAD-C), Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ (Outpatient)

This is an outpatient specialty program at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology of Rutgers University, focusing on the treatment of child and adolescent anxiety and depression. Therapists are advanced doctoral students from the clinical and school psychology programs who are trained and supervised by Director, Dr. Brian Chu, who is a licensed psychologist and a faculty member of the Department of Clinical Psychology. He has been practicing for over 20 years and training evidence-based clinicians for nearly as long. They specialize in providing diagnostic assessment and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for youth ages 9-17. Youth experiencing any of the following symptoms would be good candidates for treatment: Sad, down, blue, or irritable mood, Withdrawal from friends, school/work, and social activities, disinterested in things you used to like, Pervasive, persistent worries about multiple topics (i.e. school/work performance, family, health, future), Difficulty separating from home, parents, or loved one, Excessive fear or embarrassment in social situations, Problems at home, school/work, or with peers as a result of mood or anxiety,

I include this program because it is run and supervised by Dr. Brian Chu, who is involved with research relating to school refusal and exposure response therapy.

Phone (848) 445-3905 and email


Westchester Child & Family Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology , Scarsdale, NY (Outpatient)

Behavioral health center for youth specializing in integrated group and individual cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), neuropsychological assessment, and clinical psychopharmacology services for children, adolescents, and young adults.

Westchester Office: 2 Overhill Rd, Suite 400, Scarsdale, NY 10583

Phone: 914-439-5759

NYC Office: 20 East 49th St, 2nd Floor, New York, NY  10017



New York State Psychiatric Institute New York State Psychiatric Institute, part of the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, NY (Outpatient Day Hospital Program

Children's Day Unit

The Children's Day Unit (CDU) is an outpatient day hospital program located at the New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University Medical Center. The CDU is comprised of research participants and adolescents ages 13 to 18 years from the community who require intensive outpatient care. The Children’s Day Unit specializes in the treatment of: Obsessive-compulsive disorder, Generalized anxiety disorder, Social phobia, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Depression, Bipolar disorder, School refusal

Adolescents enrolled in the CDU receive a comprehensive evaluation before entering our structured therapeutic program. The CDU also partners with the New York City Board of Education to provide an education for our students during the academic year. At public school PS186X, located on our unit, students attend class daily and are eligible to earn school credits. The CDU also provides educational support and tutoring during our 6-week summer program in July and August. Adolescents at the CDU can expect: Daily academic classes with personalized tutoring, Short-term individual and group psychotherapy, Social skills training, Recreational and art therapy, Neurospychological testing when indicated, Medication treatment when indicated, Discharge planning for outpatient treatment and assistance with school placement, All assessment and treatment services offered at the CDU are free of charge.

If you would like to learn more about the services provided at the Children’s Day Unit.

Contact Kelsey Hill at (646) 774-5793

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Adolescent Acute Partial Hospitalization Program -Pittsburgh PA

The Adolescent Acute Partial Hospitalization Program (AAPHP) provides an intensity of treatment similar to that available on an inpatient unit, in a less restrictive, community-based setting. This short-term, intensive level of care allows adolescents to benefit from consistent, structured treatment while maintaining their usual living arrangements with their families in their communities. Acute partial hospitalization programs can provide a “step down” level of treatment for adolescents discharged from inpatient programs, or a “step up” level when outpatient treatment is not effectively meeting an adolescent’s needs.

We serve adolescents ages 13 to 18 (12 on a case-by-case basis) who are struggling with depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, poor impulse control, psychosis, unsafe coping skills, combined with family, social, and school difficulties. We provide family, individual, and group therapy as well as medication management and school transition support.

The AAPHP also offers school support to adolescents and their families. AAPHP employs certified educators with a wealth of experience in school avoidance, special education, IEPs, and school transition. These educators serve adolescents by providing academic support as well as facilitating face-to-face and virtual school meetings. These meetings are designed in collaboration with the treatment team and the adolescent to develop a plan for the adolescent to transition back to school with success.



Child and Adolescent Anxiety disorders Clinic (CAADC) at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA (Outpatient)

Currently the CAADC is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to carry out several research programs assessing treatments for child anxiety, individual psychotherapy, family psychotherapy,  or some combination of these approaches

Phone (215) 204-7165 for details. 


The Center for the treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (Outpatient)

The Center offers specialized treatment for children, adolescents, and adults with anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, and trauma- and stressor-related disorders. Treatment at the Center is cognitive-behavioral in orientation and typically time limited (10 to 20 sessions). Patients meet one-on-one with a therapist for one or more sessions each week.

Patients are interviewed at length and complete a number of specialized assessment forms to ensure an accurate diagnosis. The information gathered during this evaluation is used to determine if the person has an anxiety or stress problem and which treatment best matches the patient's needs.

We employ Cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) that has been shown to be effective for anxiety and related disorders. CBT is based on the core principle that thoughts, behaviors, and emotions are interconnected such that changes in one domain affects changes in the other two domains. For example, if we change how we behave in response to a stressor, we can change how we think about it as well as how we feel about it. In CBT, there is an emphasis on learning to be your own therapist through completing exercises in session with your clinician as well as completing homework exercises to practice the skills you are learning outside of sessions. 

In treatment for anxiety and related disorders, exposure therapy (a type of CBT) is used to help you face your fears (instead of avoiding them), which helps to change the way you think about the fears and the likelihood of experiencing a negative outcome. This, in turn, affects the anxiety you feel when you think about or are in that situation. In exposure therapy, you choose to gradually expose yourself to feared situations repeatedly, until your thinking about it changes and it no longer triggers fear and anxiety. This can be done via “imaginal exposure” (i.e., confronting the feared situation in one’s mind), or via “in vivo exposure” (i.e., confronting the feared situation in real life). Exposure therapy is most effective when it is done frequently and lasts long enough for the fear to decrease. Your clinician will create a personalized treatment plan with you that will outline the steps to take to make treatment most effective and will work with you throughout treatment on helping you to approach feared situations systematically.

(215) 746-3327



Child Mind Institute

Pediatric OCD Program, Intensive OCD Program, and the Anxiety and Mood Disorders Center, New York, NY (Intensive Outpatient Day Program)

Individualized Treatment Program, Dr. Jerry Bubrick, director of the OCD Service, is directly involved in every child’s treatment, providing an initial diagnostic evaluation, overseeing and participating in exposure therapy and meeting with parents weekly to discuss progress and homework. Dr. Bubrick is assisted by Alnardo Martinez, MS, our behavioral technician, who works individually with each child providing exposure therapy. To ensure that your child will continue receiving support even after he completes the intensive treatment program, Dr. Bubrick will also be in contact with any outside professionals who are involved in his treatment, including psychologists, psychiatrists and teachers.

One-on-one treatment sessionshile most intensive OCD programs combine group therapy, individual therapy and self-guided work, our program is dedicated exclusively to individual treatment sessions — your child and a team member working one-on-one in exposure and response prevention therapy, distress tolerance skills and cognitive therapy to change irrational thinking into more rational thinking. Research has demonstrated that individualized treatment produces the most improvement in a child’s condition — with symptoms diminished or eliminated. ­­­­­­­­

Before starting our intensive OCD program, all patients receive a thorough diagnostic evaluation. The evaluation starts with an hour-long clinical interview with Dr. Bubrick to determine if the program is appropriate for your child. If you are located outside of the New York metropolitan area, we can conduct this interview via telecommunication and complete the evaluation in person when you arrive for the program. During this evaluation Dr. Bubrick will also determine what level of intervention your child should receive. If Dr. Bubrick concludes that this program is not appropriate for your child, he will provide recommendations for next steps along with a written summary of the evaluation.

(212) 308-3118 

Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone Intensive Program for School Refusal and Avoidance Behavior -Outpatient - New York, NY

At the Anita Saltz Institute for Anxiety and Mood Disorders at the Child Study Center, our mental health experts assess your child’s behavior and emotions, and tailor a treatment plan to his or her needs.

We work with children and teens who refuse to go to school or have difficulty remaining in class the entire day. Treatment often includes cognitive behavioral therapy, DBT, and acceptance and commitment therapy. At the Child Study Center, our diverse team of psychiatrists, psychologists, neuropsychologists, social workers, developmental pediatricians, nurse practitioners and other mental health professionals are leaders in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry. Our knowledge and skill ensure that your child receives evidence-based care aimed at improving your child and family’s quality of life.

As part of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, we care for children and their families on an outpatient basis through our specialized programs

(646) 754-5000

McLean OCD Institute for Children and Adolescents (OCDI Jr.) Middleborough, MA (Inpatient)

Treatment Planning Process At OCDI Jr. we value a collaborative approach with children and families taking an active role as members of the treatment team. Treating children and adolescents 10-18 yrs. old. Upon admission, each child is assigned a behavior therapist and psychiatrist who are in regular consultation with one another and our broader clinical team. In addition, our staff includes a full-time psychiatric nurse, several licensed clinical social workers, and a large staff of highly trained exposure and response prevention coaches called community residence counselors. We also contract with a licensed teacher who liaises with each child’s school and provides several hours of instructional time to all residents. Our twelvebed facility allows children to live on the premise and receive intensive treatment in both individual and group settings. This program is ideal for children with moderate to severe OCD and comorbid conditions who may not have had access to evidence-based care for OCD, and who have had limited success with past treatment. Core Treatment Components OCDI Jr. utilizes evidence-based treatment, including exposure response prevention (ERP), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), and medication therapy.

(774) 419-1182

 Duke Child and Family Study Center, Program in Child Affective and Anxiety Disorders (PCAAD) Durham, NC (Outpatient)

High quality clinical care for children and adolescents suffering from a range of anxiety and affective disorders. The PCAAD program provides comprehensive, state-of-the-art treatment based on current research in the area of childhood anxiety and mood disorder

(919) 681-1100



Judge Baker Children’s Center, an Affiliate of Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (Outpatient)

The Center for Effective Child Therapy (CECT) at Judge Baker Children's Center.CECT works with children ages 4-17 to help them cope with anxiety, depression, traumatic stress, and disruptive behavior.  Treats the following disorders: Anxiety and related disorders, Acute Stress Disorder,Agoraphobia,Generalized Anxiety Disorder,Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, School Refusal, Selective Mutism, Separation Anxiety Disorder, Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder), Specific Phobias, Trichotillomania, Depressive and related disorders, Dysthymic Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Minor Depressive Disorder, Disruptive behavior disorders and related problems, ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder

617-278-4288 /clinicalcare/services

The Koch Center- Englewood and Waldwick, New Jersey (Outpatient)

 We base our program on a cutting edge treatment protocol for school refusal called “Dialectical Behavior Therapy – School Refusal” (DBT-SR). DBT-SR uses multiple modalities to directly address the emotional and behavioral dyscontrol that drives and maintains school refusal behavior. Unique to this treatment is that it uses web-based coaching to help students and parents negotiate the morning, which is typically the most difficult and crucial time of day with respect to school refusal. Our School Refusal Program also addresses both the positive and negative reinforcers that are associated with school refusal behavior and any comorbid psychiatric disorders.

We offer a comprehensive evaluation that allows us to establish an intensive individualized treatment plan for school refusers and their families. This program is for children of any age (Elementary School through High School) who exhibit full or partial school refusal behavior. Our treatment protocol includes: DBT Skills Group Training, Individual DBT Therapy for the Child, Weekly Parent Meetings, Web & Phone Based Coaching in the Morning, Collaboration with School Personnel
and any other necessary resources to meet each family’s unique needs. If you would like to schedule an initial evaluation or if you have any questions, please call Dr. Cyndi Koch at 201-670-6450 x1 or email


Disclaimer:  This site is designed by School Refusal Hope to assist parents, family, friends and other caregivers with finding resources to understand and cope with school refusal, as well as to increase public awareness regarding school refusal.  The contents of this website are presented for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing on this website is to be construed as professional advice on medical, legal, technical or therapeutic matters.  By accessing and using the information on this site, you agree to waive any rights to hold the site developer(s), or any individual and/or group associated with this site, liable for any damage that may result from the use of the information presented.