Welcome to the Cognition and Anxiety Disorders Research Laboratory (CADRe Lab)!
We are a research lab devoted to understanding the development, maintenance, and treatment of anxiety disorders. We are particularly interested in how different types of thinking contribute to the experience of anxiety. Moreover, we are hopeful that we can use this knowledge to continue to refine cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for these problems.
Main Areas of Research
We like to believe that as humans, we form opinions, make decisions, judge situations, vote for political leaders, and choose our behaviours based on complex, logical, and most importantly, controlled cognitive processes. However, a surge of research in the last 15 years has demonstrated that much of our seemingly “rational” decision-making is based on ‘implicit’ or ‘automatic’ cognition—or at the very least—the interplay between implicit and explicit cognition. Our research is focused on applying this idea directly to understanding anxiety and anxiety-related behaviour, specifically as it relates to CBT. We are also interested in understanding how these two types of thinking may be related to how we pay attention to, make meaning of, and remember things in our environment.
To this end, we focus on developing and refining measurement of implicit cognition as it relates to anxiety, understanding how people use explicit processes (e.g., reappraisal) to override implicit impulses (e.g., urges), figuring out when implicit and explicit cognition are more likely to impact people’s anxiety-related behaviour, and integrating this information with CBT models both to understand limitations in current treatment (i.e., why some people don’t get better) and to provide potential interventions (i.e., to target both implicit and explicit processes). We feel very fortunate to conduct much of our research at the University of Ottawa’s state of the art INSPIRE Laboratory.
Other Areas of Research
We also conduct research (or are in the process of developing new research!) related to anxiety disorders in the following areas:
- Emotion regulation, and specifically, the way that beliefs about emotions contribute to anxiety
- The use of psychophysiological measures as they relate to information processing in anxiety
- Check back soon!
- Dr. Allison Ouimet offered advice to a CBC Ottawa Morning listener tackle their body focused "bad habit". Listen here! (create links to CBC Ottawa Morning and to the Listen here part).
- Read about Innovations and Advances in Cognitive Behavioral therapy: Insights from Experimental Psychopathology in the Special Collection in Journal of Experimental Psychopathology Guest Edited by Dr. Allison Ouimet! You can find her editorial co-written by Ryan Ferguson here! It's all Open Access!!
- Congratulations to Ryan Ferguson who received the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program (CGS)—Doctoral Scholarship!
- Click to see our recently published research paper: A review of experimental research on anxiety and sexual arousal: implications for the treatment of sexual dysfunction using cognitive behavioural therapy
- Congratulations to Dr. Allison Ouimet who is now the Editor of the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science
- Dr. Allison Ouimet gave a talk at Craft Beer Market about thinking and anxiety for Pint of Science in Ottawa!
- We will be presenting 3 posters at the WCBCT convention in Berlin, and Dr. Allison Ouimet will be moderating a panel entitled “Open Science & Reproducibility in CBT Research: Where do we go from here?”.
- We are pleased to announce that Dr. Allison Ouimet (along with Dr. Andrea Ashbaugh & Krystelle Shaughnessy) was recently awarded a one-year grant from the Faculty of Social Sciences at uOttawa to establish a feasible and sustainable method for engaging with people with anxiety disorders who are interested in participating in research. We are very excited to get started on this project!
- Check out Dr. Ouimet’s alumni page on Concordia University’s website!