Separation Anxiety in Kids After Quarantine by Paula Yanes-Lukin, Ph.D

Updated: Sep 2




We are all anxious about school starting this fall. Families have spent a lot more time together since March 2020 and now we are entering into a new "normal" for school.


For the families that decided to send their children to school, they might be faced with a new challenge this fall - separation anxiety in their kids.


Here is great advice from expert, Paula Yanes-Lukin, Ph.D, who was recently featured in How to Handle Separation Anxiety Meltdowns in Kids by Christina Couch in the New York Times:


"Finding opportunities for children to exercise their “brave muscles” and safely practice being away from their parents is especially tough in quarantine, said Paula Yanes-Lukin, Ph.D., director of psychology in the Children’s Day Unit at the Youth Treatment and Evaluation of Anxiety and Mood Program at Columbia University. If you suspect that your child might struggle with an upcoming event, like starting remote learning, returning to preschool or an overnight visit with family, practicing the routine a few days before can help your child prepare".


Dr. Yanes-Lukin suggests that parents can also teach their kids strategies they can use in situations that make them anxious. "One way is by giving them a transitional object — something small and personal that reminds your child of home — that they can keep in their pocket or cubby and retrieve when they need to feel a connection to loved ones".


For more strategies on how to help your child handle separation anxiety, read How to Handle Separation Anxiety Meltdowns in Kids by Christina Couch in the New York Times.



Lukin Center Psychotherapy Offers Tele-Therapy

To help support our community, we are offering a 15% discount for new patients that are interested in getting started with tele-health to help manage feelings of anxiety and isolation during this time.



Dr. Paula Yanes-Lukin, Ph.D., is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist at Lukin Center for Psychotherapy, and her research and treatment focus on mood and anxiety related disorders. Dr. Paula Yanes-Lukin, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology in the division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center/New York State Psychiatric Institute. She is the Director of Psychology at the Youth Treatment and Evaluation of Anxiety and Mood (Y-TEAM) Program/Children’s Day Unit (CDU), a day treatment and research program that offers evidence-based assessments and treatments for children and adolescent who are struggling due to difficulties with mood and anxiety. She has received several awards, including the Mark Diamond Research Grant (two time recipient), and the Arthur A. Schomberg Fellowship. Dr. Yanes-Lukin’s clinical experience includes individual, group, and family therapy with adult and adolescent populations, in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and behavioral activation for depression, as well as CBT for anxiety disorders in adolescents and adults. She uses evidence-based techniques in a warm and accepting atmosphere to elicit the best outcomes for her patients.




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