At the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program (MAMP), we work closely with children and adolescents ages 7 to 19 who present with social anxiety, speciﬁc phobias, panic attacks, separation anxiety, agoraphobia, and obsessions and compulsions.
Located on the campus of Sancta Maria Hospital in Cambridge, 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.
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
MAMP in the News
Listen to Dr. Kathryn D. Boger talk about kids and anxiety on McLean’s podcast Mindful Things.
The Wall Street Journal interviews Dr. Jacqueline Sperling about the question, “Does Your Child Need Therapy?”
Watch Dr. Boger in this TEDx presentation on the epidemic of pediatric anxiety.
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.
Participating children and adolescents attend the program four days per week for at least four weeks. The first hour of each group includes skills training with the remaining time dedicated to ERP. Those who practice the exposures assigned at home each night have the opportunity to make greater gains by strengthening what they have learned.
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. Parents are invited to attend a weekly parent guidance group, and one weekday is reserved for individualized family meetings.
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
- Medication evaluation and consultation
- Family meetings
- Parent guidance groups
Admission & Cost
The McLean Anxiety Mastery Program is a group-based treatment program for children and adolescents ages 7-19 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.
MAMP requires the following from all participants:
- Parent/guardian and child must be interested and willing to participate in a group-based treatment program
- The child must be willing to participate in treatment 4 days a week for at least 4 to 6 weeks
- Parent/guardian and/or another primary caregiver must be willing to participate in the family work components, weekly on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays
For further information about our program or to make a referral, please contact:
As a reminder: please do not send any confidential information via email.
We review potential patients to determine whether the program is a good fit for the individual. Parents or caregivers should fill out and submit the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program Application (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.
The program is primarily self-pay, however some components may be covered by insurance.
While the program is running virtually, the cost for the portion of the program that insurance will not cover is $4,800 for four weeks. There is also a one-time treatment planning session fee of $200.
Additional fees apply for specialty services including individual parent coaching sessions and applicable home-based sessions. Other additional costs depend on insurance coverage.
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.
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.
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.
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 Center of Excellence in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry led by Joseph Gold, MD.
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. For more information on directions, parking, and local accommodations, please visit our Maps & Directions page.
Please Note: During the COVID-19 pandemic, MAMP is operating virtually. Postal mail can be sent to McLean’s main campus:
McLean Hospital - McLean Anxiety Mastery Program
115 Mill Street
Belmont, MA 02478
Who benefits most from the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program?
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 have the opportunity to make greater gains by strengthening what they have learned.
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 a weekly parent guidance group, a weekly family meeting, and a weekly exposure demonstration session that includes family members. In addition, clinicians check in with and update caregivers at the end of each group session.
When family isn’t involved in treatment, caregivers may wait in the waiting area
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.