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
Dr. Ouimet is a founding faculty member of the Sex and Anxiety Research Group (SAX-RG). The SAX-RG is currently supported by the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).
SAX-RG research focuses on the relationship between anxiety and sexual response, including the role of social anxiety in sexual interactions. You can learn more about the SAX-RG by clicking here: https://socialsciences.uottawa.ca/sex-anxiety-research-group/.
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!
- New review paper by Dr. Ouimet and former CADRe Lab members Titania Dixon-Luinenburg and Molly Rooyakkers in the International Journal of Cognitive Therapy's special issue focused on CBT at the Crossroads! Read our reflections on how experimental psychopathology has advanced CBT, and what it needs to move forward here!
- Dr. Ouimet is excited to get started on her recently-awarded SSHRC Insight Development Grant entitled Towards a culturally-informed understanding of emotion regulation: Knowledge synthesis and international expert consensus, in collaboration with Gioia Bottesi, Marta Ghisi, Monnica Williams, Susan Humphrey-Murto, and Patrick Labelle!
- Read Dr. Ouimet's and Nancy Bahl's work with researchers at McMaster University's Youth Wellness Centre testing the efficacy of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills Group and Motivational Enhancement for emerging adults with emotion dysregulation. Therapy helped - and motivational enhancement improved psychological distress! Article is currently freely available.
- Watch Dr. Ouimet explain how our research on anxiety can help us cope during a pandemic!
- Huge Congratulations to Jessica Tutino, who successfully defended her PhD dissertation this Spring!
- Congratulations to Eldar Eftekhari, who won the SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Doctoral Scholarship to conduct his dissertation research in the CADRe Lab!
- We are so excited that Titania Dixon-Luinenburg will be entering the Clinical Psychology PhD program at the University of British Columbia in the Fall! Titania has contributed to many projects in the CADRe Lab, and we wish her all the best at UBC!
- How do safety behaviours impact potential cognitive mechanisms of anxiety during a speech task? Read all about it in our recently published article in Journal of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy! This project was part of Jessica Tutino's dissertation, with collaboration from Ryan Ferguson.
- Is Comprehensive Behavioral Therapy of Trichotillomania effective across cultural groups? Read the case series with three Italian women that Dr. Ouimet collaborated on with Dr. Gioia Bottesi and colleagues at the University of Padova to find out! Our article is Open Access and freely available in Frontiers in Psychology.
- Congratulations to CADRe Lab member Olivia Gardam, who was awarded the NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (NSERC-USRA) to conduct research in our lab this summer!
- Congratulations to CADRe Lab member Nancy Bahl, who will be beginning her pre-doctoral internship in Clinical Psychology at the Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences in Whitby, Ontario in September 2020!
- Dr. Allison Ouimet offered advice to a CBC Ottawa Morning listener tackle their body focused "bad habit". Listen here!
- 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!!