C-OATS Spotlight on Dr. Catherine McNulty, Ph.D.
March 22, 2024
By Dr. Matthew Specht
By Dr. Matthew Specht

In celebration of Women’s History Month, an annual celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture and society, we’re putting Dr. Catherine McNulty, at center stage. 

Dr. McNulty joined the C-OATS team over a year ago and has quickly connected with her patients and their families.

Though she has decades of experience in Special Education, Dr. McNulty’s skills go well way beyond the classroom. Her extensive background combines a strong foundation of special education experience, clinical knowledge, expertise in child development, and evidence-based therapeutic interventions.

Expect high-quality, empathetic, understanding, and collaborative care with Dr. McNulty, who prides herself on open communication and the trust she builds with her patients.

While Dr. McNulty has over 20 years of extensive experience in the Special Education field, developing support and programming, she is one of the most exceptional clinicians I’ve ever worked with. Her compassionate and approachable demeanor is innate and makes it easy for her to develop relationships with patients. Her expertise, both in and outside of Special Education, makes her an invaluable resource for parents,” commented Dr. Matthew Specht, the founder of C-OATS.

Dr. McNulty’s Clinician Role at C-OATS

As a licensed child psychologist (and the mom of three school-aged children!), Dr. McNulty has a passion for supporting children. She’s highly committed to making a difference in the lives of her young clients and their families.

Quite often, during adolescence is when mental illnesses often emerge, and right now, we are seeing alarmingly high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression in young people. If we can diagnose and treat kids as early as possible, the more likely they are to achieve positive outcomes. It’s so rewarding when you can make a positive impact on a child’s life,” said Dr. McNulty.

Her role as a clinician at C-OATS is multifaceted and involves these duties and other functions:

  • Assessment and diagnosis of psychological disorders, functioning, emotional state, educational ability, behavior, etc.
  • Executing standardized tests, clinical interviews, and observation techniques 
  • Offering necessary interventions
  • Addressing learning disabilities and behavioral issues
  • Advocating for her patients’ health and well-being
  • Providing comprehensive treatment plans and strategies
  • Working with parents, families, educators, and other professionals to support the child 
  • Facilitating individual and group therapy sessions
  • Acting as a liaison within a family and providing guidance and counseling to parents/caregivers

My work is focused on fostering healthy development, resilience, and emotional growth. Through comprehensive assessments, evidence-based intervention like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and facilitating family support and communication, I take my role in empowering kids to thrive seriously.

Additionally, her experience in Special Education is unparalleled, having spent nearly two decades as a leader in the Special Services department in the Katonah-Lewisboro Union Free School District in Katonah, NY. She is equipped to provide psychoeducational evaluations, along with IEP and 504 support.

Dr. Specht commented, “The fact that Dr. McNulty is a skilled clinician alongside her vast experience in education makes her a highly-qualified and sought-after resource for families. While her Special Education experience is unmatched, she is equally skilled at assessing and treating other conditions that may impact a child’s mental health.

What to Expect When Working With Dr. McNulty

Every child and situation is unique, but the treatment process typically begins with a 90-minute initial evaluation, which includes both the parent(s) and the child. During the first part of the meeting, information will be gathered, and the second part will be spent discussing diagnoses and validated treatment options, recommendations, and planning.

After the evaluation, all appointments are typically 45 minutes, and are generally child-only, parent(s) only or parent(s) + child. Dr. McNulty and the C-OATS practice will often start with two patient and two parent(s) appointments/week for the best treatment gains. They are strong advocates that more frequent appointments PLUS parental guidance leads and involvement lead to more positive long-term outcomes at a more accelerated rate. 

Therapy sessions with Dr. McNulty will be tailored to the unique needs of each child, covering a range of topics such as challenges at home, school, or socially, managing anxiety and other disorders, building coping skills, enhancing self-esteem, managing anxiety or depression, resolving conflicts, or improving social skills. 

Therapy is always confidential and Dr. McNulty strives to create a safe and gentle environment where young people and families are empowered to communicate openly. During group/family therapy sessions, Dr. McNulty will be instrumental in facilitating the sessions positively and constructively so that all parties can achieve successful outcomes with every session.

As a child psychologist, she values the trust she builds with both her patients AND their families. Dr. McNulty understands the complexities that parents may be facing as they support their children, so she is highly committed to working very closely with them to address family dynamics, parenting strategies, behavioral patterns, and other factors that may impact a child’s well-being. 

I know that helping kids is way more than a job for me, it’s my mission,” Dr. McNulty commented. 

To see if Dr. McNulty would be a good fit for your child, click here to contact our office for a complimentary consultation.



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