Dr. Melissa Ortega

Dr. Ortega received a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey. She earned her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at The New School in New York.

After graduation, Dr. Ortega worked in a variety of university research centres. Her research has included a pilot study on the generalization of speech for children diagnosed with Selective Mutism (SM). At the New York Psychiatric Institute, her research extended to provide evidence-based prescribing guidelines for child psychiatrists. Additional research areas covered autism spectrum disorder and the development of assessment and behavioral interventions for children with neurodevelopmental delays. Before coming to Hong Kong, Dr. Ortega was an associate psychologist at the Child Mind Institute (New York), and was instrumental in the development of Brave Buddies, a Selective Mutism Program created by Dr. Steven Kurtz, PhD, ABPP.

Dr. Ortega is the founding director of the CDT Selective Mutism Program and provides individualized and group treatments for children diagnosed with Selective Mutism and Social Anxiety Disorder, among other childhood anxiety disorders. She leads several one-day intensive throughout the year, in addition to a week-long intensive treatment program. The Confident Crew program, a multi-day intensive, is a replication of the Brave Buddies program and is the only one available in Asia.

In addition to this, Dr. Ortega specializes and provides empirically supported treatments for children with disruptive disorders, including Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) and Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED). She is a certified Level-1 trainer in a range of evidence-based, empirically supported treatment programs, including Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) and Teacher-Child Interaction Therapy (TCIT).

She is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA), the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT), the Selective Mutism Group (SMG), the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) and PCIT International.

Dr. Ortega can be seen by appointment at our Southside Clinic.

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