sabina preter md psychiatry for adolescents, children and adults  Sabina Preter MD, PhD  212-713-5633
1160 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY (97th St.) 10029

Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry
Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst

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Dr. Preter was nominated Top Doctor in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, featured in New York Magazine in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
In addition, Dr. Preter received the Castle Connolly 2019 Exceptional Women in Medicine Award which is featured in the September 30, 2019 edition in New York Magazine.


Dr. Preter offers individualized assessments, second opinions and treatment within the field of child, adolescent and adult psychiatry.

Regardless of the age of the patient, Dr. Preter emphasizes a developmental perspective in her clinical work and assesses carefully how current difficulties relate to the patient's development, previous symptoms, and to the individual's and family's biography.

Dr. Preter performs a careful assessment of children who commonly present with one or more of the following symptoms or conditions:
anxiety disorders
Anxiety can present as generalized anxiety, panic attacks, separation anxiety disorder, and mixed-complex anxiety symptoms. Physical complaints can be part of the symptom picture, since children often express anxiety by experiencing symptoms in their body, such as stomachaches, headaches, etc.
mood disorders
Dr. Preter assesses and treats depressive disorders and performs a differential diagnostic assessment for bipolar disorder versus unipolar depression. Depression can present combined with anxiety, ADHD, or learning disabilities, among other conditions. In children, depression can present with more irritable, "crabby" mood, rather than the depressed mood we see in older teens and adults.
adjustment reactions
Adjustment reactions can occur in response to significant life events, such as parental divorce, arrival of a new sibling, departure of an older sibling for college, illness in the family, to name only a few examples. Adjustment reactions can present with anxious symptoms and / or depressed mood. It is also common for the child / teen to express their distress in a more disguised form, for example by misbehaving and behaving in oppositional ways.
attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder
ADHD manifests itself by difficulties paying attention, impulsivity, fidgetiness, underperforming at school, to name only a few symptoms. However, the symptoms of ADHD are non-specific and can mimic other conditions, such as anxiety or they can sometimes be an expression of a child feeling emotionally unattended. ADHD can co-exist with anxiety, learning disabilities, and depression.
developmental disorders, learning disabilities
Dr. Preter performs assessments of autism spectrum conditions and assesses children / teens for the possibility of a learning disability, as well as for psychiatric co-morbidities of learning disabilities, such as anxiety and depression. Dr. Preter does not perform neuropsychological testing (paper and pencil testing) but refers to trusted psychologists she has worked with for many years.
Dr. Preter's research background in Psycholinguistics makes her particularly suited to assess and treat individuals with specific learning disabilities, such as dyslexia and non-verbal learning disorders, among other learning disorders.
post-traumatic conditions
Dr. Preter assesses and treats children / teens who have experienced traumatic events (abuse, accidents, losses, traumatic medical interventions, to name only a few) and continue to suffer from the repercussions. The consequences can be far-reaching, including symptoms of depression, anxiety, panic, but also difficulties with family relationships, developing and maintaining peer, as well as romantic relationships and performing up to one's true potential, in school or at work.

Patients in these age groups can present with all the above-mentioned conditions. As increased independence is expected, new possibilities arise, and responsibilities increase, some young adults present with work or school-related inhibitions, difficulties with interpersonal relationships, such as struggles with authorities, as well as difficulties in their romantic and sexual lives. Body image problems and / or disturbed eating patterns (eating disorders) are common. This can often go along with clinical anxiety and depression. This phenomenon in young adults is nowadays sometimes referred to as "Failure-to-launch-syndrome". These patients are typically in their 20s but can still present in their 30s.

Dr. Preter evaluates and treats adults with persistent difficulties in their personal and intimate relationships, with work-related difficulties (such as work inhibitions or conflicts with authority figures), depressive symptoms, anxiety syndromes (including Generalized Anxiety, Separation Anxiety, Social Avoidance / Phobia, Post-traumatic conditions, Panic), among others. Dr. Preter offers psychotherapy or psychoanalysis and evaluates carefully whether medication treatment is indicated, but does not treat with medication alone.

Dr. Preter has a European educational background and has expertise and interest in working with international patients and families of any cultural background. Consultations in English, French or German are offered.

Dr. Preter offers the following treatment modalities, tailored to each individual's needs:
Psychodynamic psychotherapy
Play psychotherapy for younger children
Psychoanalysis (intensive, several times a week, long-term psychotherapy)
Parent guidance (in conjunction with individual psychotherapy for the child / teen)
Psychopharmacology (medication treatment): Dr. Preter typically does not conduct medication treatment as a stand-alone treatment but combines it with an individualized psychotherapeutic approach.

Every patient is comprehensively evaluated over a number of sessions. Dr. Preter is thoughtful about ruling out any medical conditions that could contribute to the presenting symptoms and often works together with pediatricians, internists, neurologists, and other medical specialists. After completion of the initial assessment, Dr. Preter presents her impressions and recommendations for treatment.