Columbia Day Program
The Columbia Day Program offers structured, state-of-the-art therapy 3-5 days per week for people struggling with depression, anxiety, substance use, and/or personality disorders that are seriously affecting their ability to go to school or work. Our expert providers use evidence-based treatments to help people develop skills to improve relationships patterns and coping skills to help them get back on their feet to return to educational and professional pursuits.
Founded thirty-five years ago, the clinic offers a multidisciplinary, evidence-based group therapy treatment approach for adults aged 18 and over. Our Department is currently ranked #3 in psychiatry by U.S. News & World Report and our providers are leading clinicians in the New York metro area.
Our patients may experience depression, bipolar disorder, mood swings, anxiety/panic attacks, substance use disorders, and other psychiatric disorders. We provide scheduling flexibility for those who want to stay involved in school, work or other activities. We collaborate with Columbia’s Lieber Recovery Clinic to help patients with executive functioning issues such as memory, concentration, and problem-solving.
In addition, we work closely with parents, siblings, and partners.
Treatments and Services
- Day Program Summer Session
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) [for various diagnoses]
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy
- Relapse Prevention Therapy
- Psychodynamic (Exploratory) Therapy
- Life Skills Enhancement
- Trauma-focused Therapy
- Mindfulness-based treatment
- Executive Functioning Support
- NYU Consolidated
- New York Presbyterian Hospital's Employee Plan
- Columbia University Employee Plan
Our patients are aged 18 and over and interested in developing new coping skills to help them in school, employment, and relationships. We help individuals who may be facing one or more of the following challenges:
- Major functional impairment in life roles (e.g., work, school, and/or home life)
- Mood, anxiety, personality disorder, and/or substance use disorders that may have been resistant to prior treatments
- Self-defeating behaviors (e.g., substance abuse, abnormal eating, self-harm, or suicidality)
- Maladaptive interpersonal behavior, often involving and affecting the family
Our Approach to Treatment
Integrated, comprehensive care
Our clinical philosophy underscores the importance of utilizing patient strengths to improve social, occupational, and educational functioning that is developmentally appropriate. Coordinators collaborate with patients to develop an individualized and comprehensive treatment plan. Therapists and psychiatrists referring their patients can continue to see their patients while they are in the program. The coordinator serves as a liaison to these other treatment providers and the family to ensure communication across the entire team.
If a patient needs a therapist or psychiatrist, we will help you find a provider with either one of our experienced providers or another provider that suits your needs. To ensure continuity of care once treatment at the Columbia Day Program is completed, we do require that all of our patients in our program have weekly therapy with an individual provider. Please be aware that your start date in the Columbia Day Program could be delayed if an outside treatment team is not secured by the time your initial evaluation is scheduled.
Groups foster sharing and hopefulness, teach planning and accountability, encourage confrontation of fears and appropriate risk taking, and enhance compassion and sensitivity to others. They enable members to learn about the impact they have on others, acquire new social skills, develop adaptive behaviors, and consider peers’ solutions to common problems and challenges. Groups have the power to question an individual’s isolation and pessimism, to challenge the reliance on blaming others and lying, and to confront examples of intolerance and insensitivity. Group therapy can also enhance self-esteem by presenting opportunities to understand and help others.
As groups are most effective when members share life experiences and challenges we have created two tracks: College/Young Adult and Adult.
College/Young Adult Track
Patients are usually between the ages of 18 and 30 and are struggling with college and/or the initiation of their careers, sometimes requiring a leave of absence. We prepare young adults to return to school or their job, focusing on promoting independence. When patients are ready to return to college, we will collaborate with school mental health services and related administration to help facilitate return to school.
Patients are usually over the age of 30. Many have experienced setbacks after starting or ending a relationship, getting married or divorced, finishing school, taking on or leaving a job, having a child, or managing other difficult situations. We help them to develop satisfying relationships and to restore their career and/or life goals.
Involving Families & Family Therapy
Having a family member struggle with a major mental health problem is almost always a time of crisis for families, and illness experienced by one person in the family affects all persons in the family. We include the family during intake and provide multifamily psycho-education groups where families learn together and support one another. Careful attention is devoted to issues of autonomy and privacy. We also offer family therapy and couples therapy.
What is the process to apply for the Columbia Day Program?
- Call 212-305-6001 or submit our online form (see above).
- Free phone consultation with one of our intake specialists. During this call we will obtain brief background information, clinical history, and request any relevant medical records.
- Our intake specialist will speak with your current treatment team and when appropriate, family members in order to help confirm the Columbia Day Program is an appropriate setting.
- Finally, an in-person evaluation will determine what, if any, services should be recommended going forward.
Please note: Our treatment team balances responding to referrals quickly and taking special care to conduct as thorough an evaluation as possible. As such, the amount of time it takes to join begin the Columbia Day Program will vary. Nevertheless, we will attempt to work as quickly as possible on your behalf and many people can start the program within 1 – 2 weeks.