Katharina Manassis @katharina-manassis ?active 1 year, 4 months ago
Child & Adolescent
Psychiatrist, Senior Associate Scientist
Hospital For Sick Children
555 University Avenue
Room 1154 Elm Wing
Katharina Manassis graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, in 1986. There she obtained her Diploma in Child Psychiatry in 1990 and her Diploma in Psychiatry in 1991. She became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada (FRCPC) in 1991.
She is a Staff Psychiatrist and Senior Associate Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, where she founded and continues to work in an Anxiety Disorders Program for children and youth. The program focuses on the development and scientific evaluation of cognitive-behavioral treatments.
Dr. Manassis is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, an Associate Member of the Institute of Medical Science, and a member of the Human Development and Applied Psychology Department at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. These appointments allow her to supervise graduate students, residents, and fellows in the treatment and study of childhood anxiety. Dr. Manassis leads several funded research studies to better understand and treat childhood anxiety disorders. She has published over 60 papers in professional journals in this field, and is the author of two widely read books for parents entitled “Keys to Parenting Your Anxious Child” and “Helping Your Teenager Beat Depression”. Recently, she has also written books for child mental health professionals on cognitive behavioral therapy and on problem-solving.
She is the mother of two wonderful teenage children.
Dr. Katharina Manassis’ research goals are: 1) to elucidate the cognitive, familial, and genetic mechanisms underlying childhood anxiety and its comorbidities; and 2) to test the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural treatments for these disorders to reduce the morbidity associated with childhood anxiety.
Etiological studies included examining: attachment and behavioral inhibition as risk factors in offspring of anxious parents; familial and psychological risks for impaired functioning and poor coping in anxious children; linguistic and cognitive antecedents of selective mutism; emotional perception in relation to child anxiety; and cognitive factors associated with comorbid ADHD and anxiety disorders. Collaborations include genetic studies of generalized anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (Dr. C. Barr, Dr. P. Arnold), neurodevelopmental problems and anxiety (Dr. H. Kristensen, Oslo), and a number of smaller projects focused on specific interests of students and colleagues.
Given the dearth of cognitive behavioral therapists for children with internalizing disorders, her studies in this field have focused largely on group treatments. She has led or co-led four randomized controlled trials in this area to examine (respectively): the effect of parent involvement on anxious children’s outcomes; the benefits of group versus individual treatment for anxiety; the effect of parental involvement in treating early onset depression; and the effectiveness of school-based cognitive behavioral interventions for children at risk of anxiety or depression. Also, based on my experiences working with parents in these studies, she wrote two parenting books (“Keys to Parenting Your Anxious Child” 1st Ed. 1996; 2nd Ed. 2008; Canadian bestseller; “Helping Your Teenager Beat Depression”, 2004). She continues to study the long term effects of these treatments and their translation for use in community settings.
Creative professional activities have largely focused on dissemination and translation of cognitive behavioral interventions (CBT) for children for use in community settings. For mildly affected children, use of her two parenting books (see above) can ameliorate much of their suffering. She has also developed and evaluated a school-based intervention for children at risk for anxiety and depression (“Feelings Club”) for this population. For children with moderate impairment, she developed an award-winning institute to teach child CBT to community practitioners and subsequently a group supervision model for learning child CBT in greater depth (“Coping Communities” program) which became the basis of her third book (“Doing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Children: A Guide for the Community Practitioner”). Together with Dr. K. Bennett (McMaster University), she is also studying community translation of interventions for anxious adolescents.
To guide psychiatrists in managing all children affected by anxiety, she represented Child Psychiatry in the Canadian Anxiety Treatment Guidelines initiative, chaired the Research and Scientific Program Committee of the Canadian Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, has written numerous review papers on specialized topics in childhood anxiety, reviews for national and international granting agencies and journals (see above), and presents regularly on childhood anxiety to professional and lay audiences.
Hospital for Sick Children, Institute of Medical Science, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (Human Development and Applied Psychology)