McLean Anxiety Mastery Program

Helping kids and teens manage their anxiety. Contact us today to talk to our admission staff about treatment options.

At the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program (MAMP), we work closely with children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 who present with anxiety disorders, such as social anxiety, specific phobias, panic attacks, separation anxiety, agoraphobia, and obsessions and compulsions.

Our outpatient clinic provides group cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) sessions with an emphasis on exposure and response prevention (ERP). These treatment methods help kids and teens learn the skills they need to understand and manage their fears and anxieties.

For more information about admission, please call 617.674.5310.

MAMP is ideal for children and teens who:

  • Are experiencing social anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, separation anxiety, and other similar conditions
  • Would benefit from the program’s delivery of care via group therapy
  • Display a willingness to attend the program and engage in the treatment

Our program is offered through a combination of in-person and virtual care. The program runs in-person on Mondays at our clinic located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The remainder of programming takes place online.

Treatment Approach

MAMP strives to provide effective, short-term mental health care that is supported by research.

Treatment is delivered primarily in a group format in order to enhance motivation and learning through observation of and interaction with fellow group members. To provide individualized attention during exposure activities, our program has a high staff-to-child ratio.

Treatment plans are tailored to each child’s needs. Individual differences in family background, culture, medical history, symptom presentation, individual strengths, and other considerations are incorporated into the treatment planning process.

Youth participate in comprehensive initial evaluations and ongoing assessments during treatment to track the course of their symptoms.

Family involvement is emphasized as we recognize that anxiety and OCD affect the whole family. Clinicians update caregivers at the end of each group session.

Treatment at MAMP includes:

  • Comprehensive evaluations
  • Individualized exposure treatment plans
  • Exposure and response prevention therapy
  • Anxiety education
  • Cognitive coping skills
  • Mindfulness and relaxation skills
  • Relapse prevention
  • Psychiatric consultation and medication management
  • Family meetings
  • Caregiver guidance groups
Teens in group therapy

Group-based treatment is an important focus of treatment at MAMP

Program Schedule

Participating children and adolescents attend the program four days per week for at least four weeks. Group programming is held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 2pm to 4:30pm.

Family meetings and psychiatry appointments, with the child and at least one parent, are held virtually on Tuesdays. These sessions are scheduled in the afternoon between 1pm and 5pm. The appointment times adjust weekly to accommodate all families in the program. The Tuesday appointment schedule is emailed each week.

In addition to the weekly family meeting held on Tuesdays, caregivers also attend our parent/caregiver guidance group on Wednesdays from 3:40 to 4:30pm. All caregivers are welcome; however, only one is required to attend.


The McLean Anxiety Mastery Program is a group-based treatment program for children and adolescents ages 6-19 with anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Our program is ideal for young people with social anxiety, specific phobias, panic attacks, separation anxiety, and obsessions and compulsions who are appropriate for outpatient care.

Please note that MAMP is unlikely to be a fit for youth with active suicidal ideation or self-harm behaviors, substance use, symptoms of psychosis, aggressive/defiant behavior, eating disorders other than avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

MAMP requires the following from all participants:

  • Parent/caregiver and child must be interested and willing to participate in a group-based treatment program with a combination of in-person and virtual programming
  • The child must be willing to participate in treatment 4 days a week for at least 4 weeks (with the potential to extend treatment depending on clinical recommendations and family preference)
  • Participants in our program must have an established relationship with an outpatient behavioral health provider and/or be on a waitlist for outpatient care – if your child does not currently have outpatient behavioral health care, please contact us for a list of potential referrals
  • Parent/caregiver must be willing to participate in the family work components, weekly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays via virtual sessions

For further information about our program or to make a referral, please contact:

Phone: 617.674.5310
Email: [email protected]

As a reminder: please do not send any confidential information via email.


The program is primarily self-pay, however some components may be covered by insurance.

The cost for the portion of the program that insurance will not cover is $6,000 for four weeks. There is also a one-time treatment planning session fee of $200.

Needs-based scholarship funding may be available to help support the self-pay cost of the program.

More information on insurance providers accepted by McLean Hospital may be found on the Mass General Brigham website. You may also find it beneficial to review McLean’s patient billing and financial assistance information.

Program Application

We review potential patients to determine whether the program is a good fit for the individual. Parents/caregivers should fill out and submit the program application below (submission instructions are found on the first page of the form).

Once the form is received, we will be in touch to continue the screening process. If you need assistance with the form, please contact the program at the email address above.

Please note: For eligible patients, there is a $100 nonrefundable fee in order to be added to the wait list.

Learn More About Kids and Anxiety

Treatment Team

Program Leadership

R. Meredith Elkins, PhD

R. Meredith Elkins, PhD, Co-Program Director

Dr. Elkins is a clinical psychologist specializing in the cognitive behavioral treatment of anxiety, mood, and related disorders in children, adolescents, and young adults. She is experienced in providing evidence-based interventions through individual, group, family, and behavioral parent training formats. Dr. Elkins has established integrated lines of research encompassing the development, identification, and treatment of anxiety disorders in childhood.

Photo of Jacqueline Sperling, PhD

Jacqueline Sperling, PhD, Co-Program Director

Dr. Sperling is a clinical psychologist, who specializes in implementing evidence-based treatments such as cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), and works with youth who present with anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). In addition, she is experienced in providing parent guidance on how to manage children with internalizing and externalizing behavior issues.

Photo of Paulina Loo, MD, MPH

Paulina Loo, MD, MPH, Medical Director

Dr. Loo provides evaluation and medication management for the children and adolescents who are treated at MAMP. She also collaborates with the clinical staff at a local high school. Dr. Loo has a strong interest in health care disparities as well as resilience in children.

Staff and Associates

Our multidisciplinary staff is composed of child and adolescent specialists with extensive background in the care of young people with anxiety disorders.

They are trained and experienced in a wide array of treatments including cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and exposure and response prevention therapy (ERP). Staff members have experience working with patients from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.

The McLean Anxiety Mastery Program is part of the Nancy and Richard Simches Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry led by Daniel P. Dickstein, MD, FAAP.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program located?

The program is located at the Sancta Maria Nursing Facility at 799 Concord Avenue, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The program delivers care both online and in-person.

For more information on directions and parking, please visit our Maps & Directions page.

Who benefits most from MAMP?

Our outpatient program focuses on treating children and adolescents with social anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, separation anxiety, and other similar conditions.

Individuals who are willing to attend the program and engage in the treatment receive the most benefit. In addition, those who practice the exposures assigned at home each night typically make greater gains by strengthening what they have learned.

Please note: MAMP is not appropriate for youth with active suicidal ideation or self-harm behaviors, substance misuse, symptoms of psychosis, aggressive and/or defiant behavior, eating disorders (other than avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder), or PTSD.

Is family involved in treatment?

There is a big emphasis on family involvement as we recognize that anxiety and OCD can impact the whole family.

The program includes weekly family meetings and two weekly parent/caregiver guidance sessions. In addition, clinicians check in with and update caregivers regularly.

Is smoking permitted?

Our program is non-smoking.

Are cell phones allowed?

Cell phone use is strongly discouraged during treatment and in the waiting room to prevent disruption of the program and others.

Can former patients access their medical records?

All requests for medical records should be directed to McLean’s Health Information Management Department.

Are support groups offered?

To complement our programs’ services and encourage individuals’ initiatives in their own treatment course, many self-help groups are hosted by McLean.