Steven Kurtz, PhD, ABPP is an internationally recognized and leading clinician in the treatment of children’s behavioral problems and disorders. He is a renowned mentor and teacher of innovative and empirically-supported treatments for children with disruptive disorders such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder and has been a cutting-edge pioneer in the development and dissemination of evidence-based treatments for internalizing disorders including the social anxiety disorder Selective Mutism (SM). He is a widely respected clinical researcher and child psychologist, one of only 21 Certified Global Trainers in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy endorsed by PCIT International. Dr. Kurtz is a tireless advocate for children with special needs.
As an assistant professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine, Dr. Kurtz served for 10 years as the inaugural clinical director of the NYU Child Study Center’s Institute for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity and Behavior Disorders. He was also the founder of the NYU Child Study Center’s intensive treatments for selective mutism and developer of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy Adapted for Selective Mutism (SM).
Dr. Kurtz was pivotal in the development of the Child Mind Institute where he served from 2010-2014 as the inaugural Senior Director of the ADHD Center and Director of the Selective Mutism Program. During his tenure at NYU and CMI, he created the Brave Buddies Program, a weeklong intensive day treatment program for children with SM. The Brave Buddies model pairs counselors with children, one-on-one, in a simulated, analog school classroom where brave talking is shaped, nurtured, and reinforced while social anxieties are lessened. Our model for treating SM happens twice each year and has been adopted at the NYU Child Study Center, the Child Mind Institute, Boston University, Florida International University, Adventure Camp in the Chicago area, and other places worldwide.
As a PCIT Global Trainer, Dr. Kurtz actively trains clinicians worldwide in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy ~ a gold standard treatment for young children with disruptive behaviors. PCIT is an amazingly innovative and effective treatment model where parents are coached live, via bug-in-ear technology, by the therapist standing behind a one-way mirror while the parent and child practice playing and calm, effective discipline strategies. Dr. Kurtz has also pioneered and published on PCIT adapted for young children with anxiety disorders, including SM, separation anxiety, generalized anxiety and other conditions. Dr. Kurtz also has specialization in the assessment and treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Dr. Kurtz earned his PhD in 1985 from Washington University in St. Louis and is Board Certified as a Specialist in Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology, for which he also serves as a volunteer examiner. He serves as Chair of the Continuing Education Task Force and was Chair of the Treatment Adaptations Task Force on the Advisory Board of PCIT International and a board member of the Selective Mutism Association (SMA), the nation’s leading advocacy group for SM. He is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA), the New York State Psychological Association (NYSPA), the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) and a fellow in the American Academy of Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology.
Dr. Kurtz’s team has also pioneered efforts to bring the teacher equivalent of PCIT to schools in a model called Teacher-Child Interaction Therapy (TCIT). TCIT is a school-based, live coaching model to help teachers with preventive discipline strategies. The aim is to let teachers teach and ensure that disruptive behavior does visited schools to train educators in new discipline strategies and behavior management techniques, an empirically supported approach called teacher-child interaction therapy (TCIT). Dr. Kurtz’s research has shown that teachers trained in TCIT are better able to serve children with special needs in a mainstream, general education setting.