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Anxiety Treatment and Research Clinic

The Anxiety Treatment and Research Clinic (ATRC) at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton is a specialized outpatient program dedicated to clinical service, education, and research in the area of anxiety disorders. Located in a large community hospital affiliated with McMaster University, the ATRC receives over 2000 referrals each year and provides comprehensive assessment and treatment services. In addition to offering state-of-the-art assessments and treatments for anxiety disorders, the ATRC is one of Canada’s leading centres for education and research in the area of anxiety. Each year, 15 to 20 students from various disciplines (psychology, psychiatry, nursing, social work) complete clinical and research training at the clinic, making it an exciting hub of activity with numerous opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The ATRC houses a network of established investigators with international collaborations researching various aspects of anxiety disorders. Research in the ATRC encompasses studies designed to further our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the etiology and maintenance of anxiety disorders as well as the development and evaluation of new assessment methods and treatment approaches. 


Current research projects include:

  • The effects of exercise in augmenting CBT treatment response in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). A CIHR funded multi-site study in collaboration with Sunnybrook Health Sciences, CAMH, and Ryerson University.
  • Profiling the gut microbiome in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): Comparing patients with GAD to health controls. In partnership with the Department of Gastroenterology, McMaster University.
  • Neuropsychological underpinnings of hoarding disorder in youth.
    Stress reactivity and recovery in hoarding disorder.
  • Fitness level as a predictor of hippocampal neurogenesis in an exercise treatment study for OCD.
  • The impact of different cognitive strategies on post event processing in social anxiety disorder.
  • The use of safety behaviours across anxiety disorders.
  • The efficacy of Group Cognitive Processing Therapy for veterans with PTSD. In partnship with the Operational Stress Injury Clinic, Parkwood Hospital London.
  • Development and Evaluation of a group CBT intervention for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and the impact of CBT on the gut microbiome. In partnership with the Department of Gastroenterology, McMaster University. Conducted by Dr. Matilda Nowakowski, recipient of the TD Medical Excellence Postdoctoral Fellowship.
  • The efficacy of a Transdiagnostic Behaviour Therapy Intervention for anxiety disorders.
  • Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for OCD: Augmenting the effects of CBT.
  • An imaging study to understand brain chemistry and brain activity in pediatric OCD – Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorders (POND) Network site.

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