BiographyDr. Adam S. Weissman is the Founder & Executive Director of the Child & Family Institute (CFI) in Scarsdale, NY and midtown Manhatttan. Dr. Weissman received his B.A. in Psychology and French from the University of Pennsylvania, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers University. He completed his pre-doctoral internship at the NYU Child Study Center/Bellevue Hospital Center and a 2-year post-doctoral clinical research fellowship in child/adolescent psychology under the mentorship of John R. Weisz, Ph.D., ABPP at Harvard University and Judge Baker Children’s Center, Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Weissman is a cognitive-behavioral therapist, trainer, supervisor, and consultant, and an expert in the treatment of a wide range of anxiety problems, including social anxiety, separation anxiety, school refusal, generalized worry, phobias, perfectionism, OCD, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress, and selective mutism, as well as depressive disorders, ADHD, learning disorders, disruptive behavior problems, tic/habit disorders, high functioning autism spectrum disorders, and related conditions. He has extensive experience treating children and adults, and training professionals in the community, using the latest advances in cognitive and behavioral therapies. Dr. Weissman is a nationally recognized expert in a new modular cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) approach designed to address symptoms of anxiety, depression, and/or conduct problems as they co-occur in children (MATCH-ADTC; Chorpita & Weisz, 2009), and has been certified by the treatment developers as a MATCH-ADTC Trainer and Senior Consultant.
Formerly an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva University and a Senior Clinical Consultant at Judge Baker Children's Center, Harvard Medical School, Dr. Weissman is currently on the Adjunct Clinical Faculty at Columbia University Teacher's College, where he trains/supervises advanced doctoral students in CBT with children and adolescents. Dr. Weissman is an accomplished clinical researcher with nearly 20 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, 3 edited books, and over 50 professional workshops and presentations, the majority focusing on cognitive-behavioral therapy and neuropsychological assessment for children and adolescents.
Dr. Weissman currently serves as President-Elect of the Westchester County Psychological Association (WCPA) Clinical Division (www.westchesterpsych.org) and he is an Ambassador for the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT), the world’s premier professional CBT association. He is President of ABCT’s Neurocognitive Therapies/Translational Research Special Interest Group and Executive Board member for the association’s Child & Adolescent Anxiety Special Interest Group. In 2011, Dr. Weissman was invited to serve on the American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology (AAPN) Empirically-Defined Disorders of Attention Work Group, tasked with advancing the differential diagnosis and treatment of childhood attention disorders.
In addition to his leadership, research, and advocacy on behalf of youth mental health, Dr. Weissman’s hobbies include service, sports, music, and travel. He co-founded a community service a cappella group at Penn in which he remains actively involved, and played college basketball in the South of France where he made his way to the National Championship game in Strasbourg. Since 1999, Dr. Weissman has spent his summers leading educational tours for teenagers across Europe, Hawaii, and the U.S./Western Canada as an Owner/Director of Weissman Teen Tours Inc. (www.weissmantours.com).
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Over the past decade, the study of attentional bias in anxious and depressed youth has received growing attention in the literature. Most recently, researchers have extended initial findings about the neurocognitive processes underpinning threat/depression bias to enhance our understanding of risk factors and mechanisms of anxiety and depressive disorders, and inform the development of novel applications for clinical assessment and intervention. These studies have indicated that selective attentional processing of threat/depression cues may be: a) causally and reciprocally linked to anxiety/depression vulnerability and pathogenesis, b) malleable and amenable to treatment, and c) an important mechanism of therapeutic change. In collaboration with Brian Chu, Director of the Youth Anxiety & Depression Clinic at Rutgers University, my research explores the clinical utility of experimental methods for measuring attentional bias in anxious and depressed youth. Specifically, we are examining attentional bias as a moderator of treatment outcomes with anxious/depressed youth, as well as the impact of CBT on pre-post changes in attentional bias. We are also comparing attentional biases in anxious and depressed youth with more general attention deficits (i.e., selective/sustained attention) in AD/HD children to help identify and differentiate the underlying processes of attention problems in these disorders – despite their potentially similar phenotypes – which in turn, may help inform differential diagnosis and subsequent treatment planning in these youths.
In this spirit, my colleagues and I are co-editing a book focused on the step-by-step evidence-based integration of neuropsychological assessment methods and clinical interventions for emotional and behavior disordered youth. A related text targeting adult disorders is in its early stages, a collaboration among past and present NT/TR SIG leaders.
In addition to my neurocognitive research at Rutgers, I am a clinical research fellow working with John Weisz at Harvard University, where I am co-director and MATCH-ADTC trainer & consultant for the Child STEPs Clinic Treatment Project-Maine. Our study seeks to improve the effectiveness and dissemination of evidence-based therapies for youth anxiety, depression, trauma, and conduct problems using a modularized manual-based treatment approach (Modularized Approach for the Treatment of Children-Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, & Conduct; MATCH-ADTC). Developed by John Weisz and Bruce Chorpita, MATCH-ADTC is beginning to revolutionize the field of youth interventions research, by integrating the most evidence-based components from four cognitive-behavioral protocols with the greatest empirical support in youth (Coping Cat for anxiety, PASCET for depression, TF-CBT for trauma, and Defiant Child for conduct disorder and AD/HD-related behaviors) and breaking them down into their core components or modules. The program employs a carefully designed flowchart to guide the flexible administration of appropriate modules, in “real-time”, to meet the unique needs and evolving symptom profiles of each individual child, even in the context of multiple co-occurring symptoms or diagnoses.
In general, my overarching goal as an emerging clinical scientist is to learn more about the neuropsychological processes underpinning emotional and behavior disorders, and help bridge the ever-narrowing gap between contemporary neurocognitive methods and research findings and the most current and applied evidence-based practices in youth.