The Child & Family Institute (CFI) is an interdisciplinary behavioral health center and faculty practice for youth, specializing in integrated group and individual cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), neuropsychological assessment, educational and academic consulting, clinical psychopharmacology, whole health and nutritional counseling, and speech and occupational therapy services for children, adolescents, and young adults with emotional and behavioral disorders. Founded in 2011, CFI was among the first private interdisciplinary CBT centers in the nation exclusively dedicated to youth mental health assessment, treatment, and advocacy. CFI is most notably known for developing innovative treatment programs for youth anxiety disorders, including our new “Brave Voices” Selective Mutism program described below.

The “Brave Voices” Program

“Brave Voices” is an innovative, highly specialized CBT program for Selective Mutism in youth, that was designed to help your child cultivate the resources and skills he/she needs to bravely get his/her voice back. “Brave Voices” employs an individualized, evidence-based treatment approach that uses both individual and group therapy formats, integrating both home and school contexts. Depending on your child’s age, treatment may include:

  • Cognitive Restructuring
  • Mindfulness and Relaxation
  • Coping Skills Training
  • Parent Training and In-Session Participation
  • Community-Based Exposure Therapy
  • Coordination with Your Child’s School
  • Selective Mutism/Social Anxiety CBT Group Sessions
  • Speech Therapy

School Coordination

Many of our children with SM experience the most anxiety and difficulty within the school setting. Due to this, we spend a great deal of time working with your child’s school. We typically do this by developing a “key person” or one school staff member that becomes our eyes and ears in the school. We will coach them to implement our strategies inside the school walls. They also serve as the coordinator for other school staff that your child comes into contact with on a daily basis. If needed, we also help to develop:

  • Structured behavioral plans
  • 504 Plans
  • Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)

What Else?

Because SM can have a complex presentation, with potential co-occurring diagnoses, we offer a wide range of other services that can be paired with traditional treatment. These include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Groups for Social Anxiety and Social Skills
  • Psychiatry and Medication Management
  • Comprehensive Neuropsychological Assessment & Educational Advocacy
  • Parent Training
  • Speech Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy

CFI Clinical Faculty & Associate Faculty

Clinical Faculty

Adam S. Weissman, Ph.D.

Executive Director, The Child & Family Institute; Senior Director/Clinician, Brave Voices Selective Mutism Program,

Dr. Adam S. Weissman is the Founder & Executive Director of the Child & Family Institute (CFI) in Scarsdale, NY and midtown Manhatttan, where he oversees the “Brave Voices” Selective Mutism program. 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 youth anxiety problems, including selective mutism, social anxiety, separation anxiety, school refusal, generalized worry, phobias, perfectionism, OCD, panic attacks, and post-traumatic stress, as well as depressive disorders, ADHD, disruptive behavior problems, tic/habit disorders, high functioning autism spectrum disorders, and related conditions. He has extensive experience treating children and adolescents, 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 CBT approach designed to address symptoms of anxiety, depression, and/or behavior 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. 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 also an accomplished clinical researcher with over 20 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, 3 edited books, and over 50 professional workshops and presentations, the majority focusing on cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxiety and related disorders and neuropsychological assessment for children and adolescents.

John J. DiLallo, M.D.

Medical Director/Senior Consulting Psychiatrist, “Brave Voices” Program,

john_dilallo_150x200John J. DiLallo, M.D. is the Medical Director and Senior Consulting Psychiatrist for the “Brave Voices” program at CFI. He is a board certified child and adolescent psychiatrist with over 15 years of clinical experience helping children and families with emotional and behavioral disorders, including Selective Mutism. Dr. DiLallo attended medical school at McGill University in Montreal, and he completed residency and research training at the Harvard Medical School—Cambridge Hospital in 2000. Dr. DiLallo is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at New York University. His publication and presentation topics have included best prescribing practices for children and adolescents, adolescent Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Enhancement techniques, personality subtypes among disruptive adolescents, developmental trauma, and orienting family court justices to psychiatric treatment plans.

Since 2008 Dr. DiLallo has directed the oversight of psychotropic medication prescribing practices for the approximately 13,000 children residing in foster care under the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). In this role he has helped to direct an NYU Child Study Center project to disseminate trauma-informed practices in the child welfare system, and he has represented NYC on the New York State Psychotropic Medications Quality Improvement Collaborative, the New York State Medicaid Redesign Team, and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Justices Psychotropic Medications Committee.

Associate Faculty

Elana Dumont, Psy.D.

Post-Doctoral Fellow/Group Leader/Clinician, “Brave Voices” Program,

elana_dumont_150x200Dr. Elana Dumont is a Senior Post-Doctoral Fellow and the Director of Group Therapy for the “Brave Voices” program. Dr. Dumont has extensive experience using cognitive behavioral interventions with children, adolescents, and their families with a wide range of anxiety disorders in both individual and group formats. Dr. Dumont currently runs customized Social Anxiety Mastery & Skills for Success (SAMSS) groups for children, preteens, adolescents, and young adults struggling with a range of social anxiety and/or selective mutism diagnoses. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree at Queens College with a major in Psychology, and her doctorate in School-Clinical Child Psychology at the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva University/Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Dumont completed an APA-Accredited Pre-Doctoral Internship at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx where she treated adults with severe mental illness on psychiatric inpatient units, worked as part of the Consultation Liaison service providing psychiatric evaluations to patients with medical illness, and in the Family Advocacy Program, an outpatient clinic for children and families with a sexual abuse history. Dr. Dumont has a wide range of experience working with children and adolescents with anxiety and mood disorders; currently, as a post-doctoral fellow at CFI, she is specializing further in the treatment of Social Anxiety, Selective Mutism, GAD, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and anxiety symptoms as a result of trauma.

Dr. Dumont’s other training experiences include clinical externships at the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC) at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Kings County Hospital Center’s inpatient adolescent unit, and a one year placement at the Munsey Park Elementary School as a school psychology extern. She was also part of an intensive CBT practicum where she was trained in a new modular CBT approach designed to address symptoms of anxiety, depression, and/or behavior problems as they co-occur in children (MATCH-ADTC; Chorpita & Weisz, 2009). In addition to her work in the “Brave Voices” program, and at CFI, Dr. Dumont currently works at The Chapin School on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, as the Middle School Psychologist. She also has experience and training in Mindfulness, particularly in an inpatient setting, and is currently collaborating on an article looking at the benefits of mindfulness on young adults with severe mental illness.

Yuri Lee, M.S.

Senior Doctoral Fellow/Group Co-Leader/Clinician, “Brave Voices” Program,


Kristy Castaldo, M.A., CCC-SLP, TSHH

Speech-Language Pathologist, “Brave Voices” Program,

Kristy Castaldo is a licensed and certified Speech and Language Pathologist and the Consulting Speech-Language Therapist for the “Brave Voices” program. Kristy has nearly 15 years of clinical experience working with children across a wide range of school and clinical settings. She received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in speech and language pathology from The George Washington University in Washington D.C. In addition to her role at CFI, Kristy is a part-time speech and language pathologist for a public school in Westchester County servicing elementary school students. She has worked as an evaluator, a CPSE/CSE committee member, and currently conducts private speech therapy for children across home and school settings. Kristy also has a specialty in younger children and is an Early Intervention and preschool age provider in New York for children ranging from birth to five years. Kristy is experienced in working with children with many SM comorbidities, including childhood apraxia of speech, articulation/phonological disorders, social and pragmatic language issues, receptive and expressive language delays/disorders, auditory/language processing difficulties, higher level language skills, and reading/auditory comprehension. She currently lives in Rye Brook, New York with her husband and two young children.

The Child & Family Institute
Westchester Division: 2 Overhill Road, Suite 400, Scarsdale, NY 10583
NYC Division: 20 East 49th Street, 2nd Floor, NY, NY 10017