Cynthia R. Pfeffer, M.D.
Cynthia R. Pfeffer, M.D. is Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Childhood Bereavement Program at Weill Cornell Medical College. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology for the practice of child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry. Her private practice, within the Weill Cornell Physicians Organization, aims to offer compassionate clinical care to enhance the well being of patients. Dr. Pfeffer's clinical expertise includes psychotherapy and psychopharmacology for Anxiety and Mood Disorders in children, adolescents, college students, and adults as well as for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Learning Disorders and suicidal behavior in children and adolescents. She has broad experience and extensive clinical skills in assessing and treating bereavement and trauma in children, adolescents, and adults resulting from expected and unexpected death of loved ones.
Dr. Pfeffer provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment based on an understanding of a patient’s early and current experiences, development, medical status, and family background. Her private practice hours are accessible without lengthy waiting for an appointment. To schedule an office appointment in Manhattan, call 212-717-2334 and in White Plains, call 914-997-5849.
Dr. Pfeffer graduated from Douglass College of Rutgers University, summa cum laude, and from New York University Medical School. She completed her pediatric internship at Bellevue Hospital- New York University Langone Medical Center and general and child psychiatric residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She was the Director of the Child Psychiatry Crisis Service at Jacobi Hospital-Albert Einstein College of Medicine before joining the faculty at Weill Cornell Medical College. She was the Director of the New York Presbyterian Hospital’s Child Psychiatric Inpatient Unit for six to twelve year old children with severe psychiatric disorders. She established the Weill Cornell Childhood Bereavement Program to assist children and their families cope with grieving the death of a close relative.
Dr. Pfeffer’s academic work includes clinical research on childhood severe stresses, depression, posttraumatic stress, suicidal behavior, bereavement, and psychopharmacology. Her research was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and many nonprofit foundations. She served as a consultant to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee on the use of antidepressant and other medications to treat psychiatric disorders in children. She was an invited speaker at a United States Senate committee hearing in 2001 on the needs of children who suffered deaths of loved ones during the terror attacks on September 11, 2001.
Dr. Pfeffer received the Norbert and Charlotte Rieger Award for Scientific Achievement from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She lectured extensively in the United States and other countries. Her book, The Suicidal Child, has been praised for its helpfulness in understanding and preventing suicidal behavior in children. She has been listed in Best Doctors in New York by New York Magazine, Top Doctors in the New York Metro Area, and Who’s Who in America.
Insurance Plans Accepted
The following represents most of the managed care plans accepted by this physician. If your insurance carrier does not appear here please contact the physician’s office as they may have individual contracts not included on this site.
* indicates this physician is no longer accepting new patients with this insurance plan.
- Aetna - Weill Cornell [POS]
- Medicare [Medicare]
- Rockefeller University - CoreSource
Pfeffer CR: The Suicidal Child, Guilford Press, Inc., New York, New York; 1986.
Gabel S, Oster G, and Pfeffer CR: Difficult Moments in Child Psychotherapy, Plenum Publishing Corporation, New York, New York; 1988.
Pfeffer CR (Editor): Suicide Among Youth: Perspectives on Risk and Prevention, American Psychiatric Press Inc., Washington, D.C.; 1989.
Pfeffer CR (Editor): Severe Stress and Mental Disturbance in Children, American Psychiatric Press Inc., Washington, D.C; 1996.
Walker AM, Kaufman DM, Pfeffer CR, Solomon GE (Editors): Child and Adolescent Neurology for Psychiatrists. Walters Kluwer Health, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, Pa; 2008
Pfeffer CR, Lipkins R, Plutchik R and Mizruchi MS: Normal children at risk for suicidal behavior: A two-year follow-up study. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 27:34-41; 1988. Recipient of the Norbert and Charlotte Rieger Award, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Pfeffer CR, Klerman GL, Hurt SW, Kakuma T, Peskin JR, Siefker CA: Suicidal children grow up: Rates and psychosocial risk factors for suicide attempts during follow-up. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 32, 1:106-113; 1993. Finalist for the Nathan Cummings Foundation Award, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Pfeffer CR, Normandin L, Kakuma T: Suicidal children grow up: Suicidal behavior and psychiatric disorders among relatives. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 33, 8:1087-1097; 1994. Finalist for the Norbert and Charlotte Rieger Award, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Pfeffer CR, Hurt SW, Peskin JR, Siefker CA: Suicidal children grow up: Ego functions associated with suicide attempts. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 34:1318-1325; 1995. Finalist for the Nathan Cummings Foundation Award, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. .
Ceglia L, Pfeffer CR: Artists' representations of the impact of family suicide during childhood and adolescence. The Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 27:625-656; 1999.
Pfeffer CR, Karus D, Siegel K, Jiang H: Child survivors of parental death from cancer or suicide: Depression and behavioral outcomes. Psycho-Oncology, 9:1-10; 2000.
Pfeffer CR, Jiang H, Kakuma T: Child-Adolescent Suicidal Potential Index (CASPI): A screen for risk early onset suicidal behavior. Psychological Assessment, 12:304-318; 2000.
Pfeffer CR, Jiang H, Kakuma T, Hwang J, Metsch M: Group intervention for children bereaved by the suicide of a relative. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 41: 505-513; 2002.
Pfeffer CR, Altemus M, Heo M, Jiang H: Salivary cortisol and psychopathology in children bereaved by the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. Biological Psychiatry 61:957-965; 2007.
Pfeffer CR: The FDA Pediatric Advisories and Changes in Diagnosis and Treatment of Pediatric Depression. Editorial in American Journal of Psychiatry 164 (6): 1-4; 2007.
Pfeffer CR, Altemus M, Heo M, Jiang H: Salivary cortisol and psychopathology in adults bereaved by the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine 39: 215-226; 2009.
Pfeffer C.R.: From 9/11 to 2011: A brief overview from a child and adolescent psychiatry perspective. Adolescent Psychiatry 1: 197-203; 2011
Honors and Awards
- Charlotte and Norbert Rieger Award for Scientific Achievement, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- Mortimor Blumenthal, MD Annual Award from the Mental Health Section of the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York
- Sigmund Freud Award, American Society of Psychoanalytic Physicians
- Erwin Stengel Award for Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Suicide Prevention,International Association for Suicide Prevention and Crisis Intervention.
- Wilfred Hulse Award for Contributions in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York Council on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- Best Doctors in New York, New York Magazine
- Top Doctors: New York Metro Area
- Who's Who in America
- Speaker at the International Conference of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers at the Vatican, Rome Italy
- Adult Psychiatry
- Adjustment Disorder With Problems at School
- Autistic Spectrum Disorder
- Behavior Problem
- Bipolar Disorder
- Irritability and Anger
- Separation Anxiety
- Problem With Child Being Bullied
- Learning Disabilities
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Panic Attacks
- Monitor Parenting Skills
- Postpartum Depression
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Social Phobia
- Suicidal Behavior
- Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- M.D., New York University School of Medicine, 2014
- B.A., Douglass College, 2014