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Title: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the Prevention of Paranoia in Adolescents at Risk

PI:Yulia Landa, PhD

Institution: Weill Cornell Medical College

IRB #: 1007011164

IRB Expiration Date: 9/25/2012

Study Description: Paranoid thoughts are a common occurrence but in excess they can become very stressful and cause anxiety, social withdrawal, and confusion about what is real. This study evaluates the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to prevent paranoid thoughts from becoming problematic. CBT helps participants sharpen their logical reasoning skills and learn to recognize and change the patterns of thinking that contribute to paranoid feelings.
Our CBT program has three distinct parts: in group sessions adolescents receive support from other participants who have had similar experiences and learn effective coping skills; in individual sessions adolescents apply these skills to their own situations and work towards personal goals; and in family group sessions parents and relatives learn to better understand their children's experiences. Parents learn the same CBT skills as their children so that they can help support, encourage, and reinforce these skills at home. The three-part program teaches adolescents and family members practical skills that they can continue using on their own after the completion of the study.
Our pilot feasibility study using this method found that after 15 weeks adolescents showed decreases in paranoid thoughts, anxiety, and depression and demonstrated better social functioning and improved self-esteem. Parents and family members reported enhanced communication with their child and greater confidence in their ability to help their child.
If you are an adolescent or a family member of an adolescent who is concerned about hidden threats or put-downs, stressful beliefs, increasing social isolation, or feelings of suspicion and anxiety, please contact us.

Involvement: Group and individual sessions for adolescents, and group sessions for family members

Age: 12-21 years

Eligibility: No diagnosis of moderate to severe learning disability, organic impairment, substance dependence, schizophrenia, or schizoaffective disorder.

Commitment: Weekly sessions for 15 weeks

Compensation: Up to $290 per family

Contact: Dr. Yulia Landa or our research team at 212-821-0623 or

Sponsor(s): National Institutes of Health (NIH)