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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the Prevention

of Paranoia in Adolescents at Risk


Paranoid thoughts are a common occurrence, but in excess they can become very stressful and cause anxiety, social withdrawal, and confusion about what is real. This study evaluates the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to prevent paranoid thoughts from becoming problematic. CBT helps participants sharpen their logical reasoning skills and learn to recognize and change the patterns of thinking that contribute to paranoid feelings.

Our CBT program has three distinct parts, which teach adolescents and family members practical skills that they can continue using on their own after the completion of the program. 

In group sessions, adolescents are provided with a safe environment in which they receive support from other adolescents who have shared experiences similar to their own. They also learn to develop effective skills for coping with their experiences.

In family group sessions, parents and relatives learn to better understand their family members' experiences. Parents learn the same CBT skills as their children so that they can help support, encourage, and reinforce these skills at home. 

In individual sessions, adolescents apply the skills they have learned to their own situations and work towards personal goals with the therapist.

This study specifically targets adolescents who experience anxiety, social withdrawal, and unusual suspicious thoughts as well as recurring concerns about the following:

  • Hidden threats or put downs from what people say or do
  • Worrying that other people are watching them, talking about them, or intend to hurt them
  • Worrying that people drop hints about them or say things    with a double meaning
  • Feeling confused about what is real and what is imaginary
  • Holding beliefs that other people find unusual
  • Becoming more socially isolated

We are currently seeking individuals, ages 12 to 25 years old, who have these experiences and are interested in participating in this 15 week CBT study to develop a better understanding of their experiences as well as improve their logical skills in order to prevent the formation of stressful paranoid thoughts or beliefs. Participation in this study is completely free of charge and will not interfere with any other treatment or therapy being received concurrently. Compensation will be provided for participation in this study.



An initital study of this treatment found that after 15 weeks, adolescents reported fewer paranoid thoughts, less anxiety and depressed mood, and demonstrated better social functioning and improved self-esteem. Parents and family members reported enhanced communication with their child and greater confidence in their ability to help their child. If you are an adolescent or a family member of an adolescent who is concerned about hidden threats or put-downs, stressful beliefs, increasing social isolation, or feelings of suspicion and anxiety, please contact us.

Individuals who wish to participate should have no diagnosis of the following:

  • Moderate to severe learning disability
  • Substance dependence
  • Organic impairment
  • Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective disorder

If you are interested in becoming a participant, please fill out our questionnaire:

For more information, please download our brochure or contact us:

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