Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy and Psychopharmacology

Jeanette E. Cueva and David Sert Krakow office

Dr. Cueva is a highly trained psychiatrist and therapist experienced at working with children and adolescents who are exhibiting emotional and/or behavioral problems. Her areas of expertise include Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Psychotic Disorders, Mood Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, and ADHD, all of which may express themselves through such symptoms as behavioral disturbances, emotional lability, irritability, social withdrawal, anxiety and poor home and/or school functioning.

While parents rely on their pediatrician to monitor their child’s physical health, many are hesitant about conferring with a psychiatrist when they observe behavioral or emotional problems. An astute observer and skillful diagnostician, Dr. Cueva believes firmly in the benefits of mental health assessments for youngsters who are demonstrating difficulties at home and/or at school particularly children and teens with a family history of mental illness.

Working in close collaboration with a child’s referring pediatrician, internist, social worker and/or psychologist ensures that a treatment plan is developed that is cohesive and complementary. Dr. Cueva's understanding of each child’s social-cultural environment is crucial to interpreting, and addressing his/her symptom presentation. This involves addressing issues intrinsic to the child, along with external factors such as family, friends and school that may contribute to the child’s difficulties. Thus, when she receives a referral from a specialist or from another patient, Dr. Cueva schedules a series of three assessment meetings for the purposes of making a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation.

If the child is aged five through 12 years, Dr. Cueva meets initially with the parent/s. This is followed by a session with the child exclusively, and, then, a final meeting with the parents. Occasionally the doctor invites the child to attend this last session if she feels the child’s presence is warranted. In the case of teenagers, Dr. Cueva’s evaluation once again involves three meetings, but the teenager is asked to decide whether he/she wants to attend the first meeting—allowing the teenager some control.

As a result of the evaluation process, Dr. Cueva makes a determination on the need for treatment based upon her findings, including her assessment of the child’s current problems, history, level of development, ability to cooperate in treatment, and what interventions are most likely to help with the presenting concerns.

Psychotherapy is often used in combination with medication. When Dr. Cueva recommends medication, she will discuss in detail the risks and benefits with the parents and monitor the efficacy throughout the period of treatment. Monitoring the effectiveness of treatment (whether therapy alone or medication) involves frequent contact with the family and, when appropriate, the school. Dr. Cueva therefore makes herself available as much as is required to help the child learn how to manage his/her emotions and behaviors in a pro-social and healthy manner.

Dr. Cueva is skilled at providing an environment in which youngsters can express disturbing thoughts and feelings, and be guided to understand and find more adaptive ways to deal with them. Dr. Cueva strives to establish a therapeutic alliance with the youngster and family in order to allow the youngster to thrive and reach his or her full potential.

To contact Dr. Cueva, email: or call 212.685.5373, 914.385.0200 X 11.