Dr. Lichtin is a graduate of Vassar College and earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology, with specialization in Neuropsychology, from the Graduate Center of CUNY. She trained at the NYU Child Study Center, Bellevue Hospital Center, and completed her clinical internship at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where she split her time between the ADHD Center and the Seaver Autism Center. Dr. Lichtin has a background in ADHD research, having studied with some of the leading researchers in the field, investigating the neuroanatomical correlates of ADHD, factors predicting outcome in young children with the disorder, and the development of novel, neurodevelopmentally-informed treatments to improve the developmental trajectory of ADHD.
Dr. Lichtin specializes in neuropsychological assessment, as well as the psychosocial (i.e., non-medication) treatment of ADHD and related disorders, including anxiety disorders and pervasive developmental disorders. In psychotherapy she draws on behavioral, cognitive, systems, and coaching techniques, informed by neuropsychology and evidence-based practice. Dr. Lichtin is one of a small number of therapists in the NYC area who specialize in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for adolescent and adult ADHD. She enjoys working with children (as young as preschool-age), adolescents, and adults. Treatment planning is highly individualized and invariably multifaceted, often involving consultation with schools and meetings with parents and spouses.
Q: What motivated you to become a psychologist?
I was always interested in the brain. Prior to becoming a clinician, I worked in neuroscience research. A project on the neuroscience of ADHD introduced me to the parents of children with the disorder, who were desperately in need of answers and help. I wanted to be able to help them. At the time, neuroscience research and clinical practice were progressing largely in parallel, with little intersection between the two. Pioneers in field were just beginning to explore translational research, in other words, translating research on the brain to clinical practice. I hoped to one day be able to help people with ADHD by implementing what science taught us about them and their brains.
Q: What triggered your interest in the field of ADD?
There are so many people afflicted with ADHD who have such potential yet who struggle to channel their strengths in their academic, professional, and personal lives. Well-treated, these individuals go on to do incredible things; without the right tools, though, ADHD leads to too much suffering. There’s nothing more rewarding than helping people find their way to success and happiness.
Q: Why did you choose to practice at The Hallowell Center?
I’ve always recommended Dr. Hallowell’s book, “Driven to Distraction,” to patients with ADHD and their families. His strengths-based approach offers a non-judgmental look at ADHD – it views individuals with ADHD not as inferior, just different, than their non-ADHD peers. As with everything, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. This positive attitude toward ADHD, The Center’s strong reputation, and the unique and skilled clinicians it employs, made me want to become part of the group.
Q: What do you see as the most common misperceptions about ADD?
That it doesn’t exist. It’s not hard to see how so much media coverage about misuse of medication, video games, and other hot topics can lead people to form ideas about the disorder. But, ADHD is very much a real disorder, characterized by neurobiological differences in brain areas responsible for attention, inhibition, and executive function. It has a profound impact on the lives of those who live with it (albeit one that can be remediated with medication and psychosocial treatments, and that does confer its own blessings in disguise), such that denying its existence is both insensitive and ill-informed.
Q: What was your favorite book (or books) when you were young?
Amelia Bedelia, The Big Jump, and Strega Nona.