Catalpa Health introduces innovative program to treat children with severe anxiety disorders

APPLETON, Wis(Jan. 26, 2017) – Catalpa Health, a mental health and wellness service provider for children and adolescents in the Fox Valley, is launching a brand-new program that will assist children suffering from anxiety learn to cope with related symptoms and provide specialized, individualized treatment plans from certified Catalpa providers.


The STARS program, Specialized Treatment for Anxiety and Related Symptoms, is for children ages 3 to 18 who have diagnoses of OCD, Tourette syndrome or other tic disorders, selective mutism, trichotillomania, excoriation, or specific or social phobias. Three clinicians, who all received specialized training through the National Behavior Therapy Training Institute, comprise the STARS program team: Erin VandenLangenberg, PhD, MPH, LP; Kim Charniak, MSW, LCSW and Gina Leonardelli, LPC, NCC.


“Many children and teens with these kinds of disorders avoid the things they love to do because of their anxiety symptoms,” VandenLangenberg said. “They miss school or isolate themselves from their families and friends and, if not treated, they can continue to experience symptoms into adulthood. Our goal is to help reduce symptoms of these anxiety disorders early on and help kids improve their functioning and get back to everyday life.”


Part of the program includes a specialized exposure therapy room where patients work with providers to overcome fears.


Children and adolescents currently being treated by a Catalpa clinician can be referred to the STARS program through their therapist, and new Catalpa patients can call (920) 750-7000 to connect with a member of the team and get started.


For more information on the services provided by Catalpa Health, please visit


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