Dr. Meena Dugatkin, Psy. D
Dr. Meena Dugatkin received her Master’s of Clinical Psychology at Murray State University and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Child, Adolescent, and Families track) from Spalding University. Before joining Light on Anxiety, Dr. Dugatkin completed her internship and post-doctoral training working with children, adolescents, and families in the community, including home and school-based settings.
Dr. Dugatkin has expertise in and a passion for working with the following age groups: Infants and Toddlers (0-3), Preschool (3-5), Middle Childhood (6-8), Preteens (9-12), and Young Teens (12-14). She uses evidence-based treatment of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) to treat children struggling with anxiety disorders (Generalized Anxiety Disorder, School anxiety/refusal, Social Anxiety Disorder, Separation Anxiety Disorder, Selective Mutism, Specific Phobia, Panic Disorder), Complex Grief, and obsessive-compulsive and related disorders (OCD, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Trichotillomina/Excoriation Disorders).
She also treats children with anxiety who present with ADHD/Executive Functioning, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Adjustment Disorder, PTSD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Communication Disorders, Major Depressive Disorder, and Persistent Depressive Disorder. She supports children recovering from grief, divorce, bullying or social exclusion, and racial discrimination/microaggressions.
Dr. Dugatkin provides parent coaching and parent-child dyadic therapy to facilitate management of anxiety and comorbid disorders. She integrates Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE), and Barkeley’s “Defiant Child” program within treatment. She frequently works with parents to increase understanding of their children’s symptoms, manage behavioral problems in the home, respond rather than react, and increase parenting confidence, all with compassion for the struggles parents experience. During parent-child dyadic therapy, Dr. Dugatkin facilitates emotional communication and identifies solutions to conflict to strengthen parent-child attachment and provide both parties with skills to handle stressors.
Within CBT/ERP treatment, Dr. Dugatkin seeks to build a positive bond with children and enhance their motivation in treatment by incorporating play, positive reinforcement, and motivational interviewing techniques. She uses a non-judgmental, validating, and collaborative approach to treat anxiety and related disorders with particular attention to the child’s needs for autonomy, relatedness, and competence. She seeks to empathically challenge the children she works with to face their fears and engage fully in their lives. She believes all children possess the courage to reach their goals and is excited and honored to take on the journey towards overcoming anxiety together.