Locations and Appointments
- Child Psychology
- Tourette's Disorder
- Tic Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Separation Anxiety
- Nail Biting
- Skin Picking Habit
- Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT)
Clinical & Academic Positions
- Associate Attending Psychologist - NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
- Associate Professor of Psychology in Clinical Psychiatry - Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University
Education & Training
- Ph.D., Idaho State University, 2005
- M.S., Idaho State University, 2003
- B.S., University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, 1998
Dr. Specht has expertise in Tourette's disorder, obsessive-compulsive (OCD), non-OCD anxiety disorders, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). He also has expertise in stereotypies (typically including hand-flapping/finger-wriggling) in normally developing persons and various body-focused repetitive behaviors including hair-pulling, nail-biting, and skin picking. His consultations focus on thorough evaluation of complex clinical presentations to clarify treatment targets and develop a robust multidisciplinary treatment plan to address threats to development. Treatment routinely includes individual therapy and parent sessions.
Matthew W. Specht, PhD is an Associate Professor of Psychology in Clinical Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and an Associate Attending Psychologist at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Westchester Division. Prior to joining the faculty at Weill Cornell (2016), Dr. Specht spent 10 years in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Specht's clinical investigation has focused on the intersection between basic science and clinical practice. He is primarily interested in quickly translating new discoveries into innovative assessment and treatment approaches of neuropsychiatric disorders, namely OCD and Tourette's disorder to achieve better outcomes more rapidly.
Trained as an adult psychologist, he began his pediatric career at Johns Hopkins in 2006 as a project coordinator and lead therapist for the NIMH-funded behavior therapy for children with Tourette's disorder trial which established behavioral treatment as the front-line treatment for Tourette's. He later served as the Johns Hopkins site Principal Investigator for the Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics Study (CBIT, 2010-2016). He has also served as a Co-Investigator (2010-2016) for the NINDS-funded Tourettes Syndrome Association (TSA) Genetic Linkage Study. Dr. Specht was the Principal Investigator for the Prolonged Tic Suppression and Habituation to the Premonitory Urge grant (Tourette Association of America, TAA, 2008-2009) and is the site Principal Investigator for the Determining the Long-term Effects of Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics: A Nine Year Follow-up (TAA, 2015-2017).
As a faculty member for the Tourette's Association of America Center of Excellence at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Specht developed and directed the Repetitive Behavior Disorders Clinic (RBDC) at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The RBDC was designed to provide care to persons affected by tics and other body-focused repetitive behaviors (i.e., hair-pulling, nail-biting, and skin-picking). He co-developed and directed the Pediatric OCD and Tourette's Specialty Clinic (POTSC) at the Kennedy Krieger Institute which was designed to provide care to psychiatrically complex, multiply affected persons with Anxiety and Tourette's disorders across the age-spectrum. Much of his work focuses on providing comprehensive integrated care that focuses on the critically important role of parents in treatment, particularly for treatment resistant and transitional age (16-28 years of age) youth with anxiety disorders.
Dr. Specht continues his long-time involvement in training and dissemination. For many years, he has been involved in post-doctoral and resident training programs at Johns Hopkins. He has collaborated with many Mid-Atlantic academic institutions to provide training opportunities for students. Dr. Specht is also a faculty member for the Tourette Association of America's (TAA) Behavioral Training Institute and the TAA-Center for Disease Control (CDC) dissemination initiative.
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
- Rockefeller University - CoreSource
Honors and Awards
Honors and Awards
Research and Training Grant designed to examine the effects of prolonged tic suppression., TSA, 2008
Early-career scholarship, TSA 5th International Scientific Symposium in recognition of this work., 2009