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SJHH / Health Services/ Mental Health & Addiction Services/ Mental Health Services/ Anxiety Treatment and Research Clinic (ATRC)

Anxiety Treatment and Research Clinic (ATRC)

What this program does...

The Anxiety Treatment and Research Clinic's (ATRC) mission is to provide excellence and leadership in evidence based clinical service, education and research for anxiety disorders.

Our team of experts offer comprehensive evaluations and proven treatments for anxiety-related conditions. Treatments at the ATRC include both medications and effective psychological treatments. Our interdisciplinary staff is available to consult with your family doctor, psychiatrist and other professionals who are involved in your care. A physician referral is required to access care at the ATRC – for more information on how to access the clinic, please review our Referral Section.

"Anxiety Disorder" is an umbrella term that covers several different presentations of anxiety characterized by irrational and excessive fear, apprehensive and tense feelings, difficulty managing daily tasks and/or distress related to these tasks. Research shows that up to one in four adults has an anxiety disorder sometime in their life, and that one person in 10 is likely to have had an anxiety disorder in the past year. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem in women, and are second only to substance use disorders in men.*

*Adapted from Anxiety Disorders: An Information Guide © 2009 Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

At the ATRC we care for people with the following conditions:

  • Panic Disorder
  • Agoraphobia
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Specific Phobias

And in some circumstances, we have limited treatment options for:

  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  • Illness Anxiety Disorder

How this program helps...

The good news about anxiety disorders is that they are treatable.

We provide treatments that have been evaluated by research to be effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders.  We also provide monthly "booster groups" for people who have completed our treatment program and want additional support.  See the booster group schedules listed in the Support Group section below. 

The ATRC is committed to providing learners from various health care disciplines with training in state-of-the-art assessment and treatment methods for anxiety disorders to develop the expertise of future health care professionals to address anxiety-related problems and increase the accessibility of treatment options. As such, psychology or psychiatry residents and other closely supervised trainees regularly provide assessments and treatments.

We continually evaluate the treatments that we provide, so in the course of your treatment you may be asked to complete questionnaires or participate in other studies. Participation in any research study is completely voluntary.  The Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and McMaster University has approved all studies conducted in our clinic.

We carry a full line of books on anxiety disorders and related topics for professionals and self-help.  You can purchase a book from our clinic's waiting room at the West 5th campus, or at the Outpatient Pharmacy located in the Main Lobby of St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, Charlton Campus. You may also find them at the public library, order them online, or from your local bookstore.  Please see the ATRC Bookstore section on this website for a list of available books for sale.

Contact

The Anxiety Treatment and Research Clinic is located on Level 1 at St. Joseph's West 5th Campus. Click here to download a Map and Directions.

The Clinic's Hours of Operation are: Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

For more information please contact:
Judy Odom, Patient Services Coordinator
Tel: 905-522-1155 ext. 33697

Patient Referrals can be faxed to: 905-521-6120

Director:
Randi E. McCabe, Ph.D., C. Psych

Medical Director:
Richard P. Swinson, MD, FRCPC

Research Director:
Martin M. Antony, Ph.D., ABPP

Referral Process

To be seen at the Anxiety Treatment and Research Clinic (ATRC), patients must have a referral from a physician (e.g., your family doctor, a psychiatrist, or another physician).

Click here to download the General Referral Form

Click here to download the Pediatric OCD Referral Form

Patient Referrals can be faxed to: 905-521-6120

Our staff reviews referrals and in some cases we may contact the patient to get further information. If the ATRC appears to be an appropriate service, an assessment visit is scheduled for a more detailed evaluation. Note that an assessment does not guarantee treatment at the ATRC. A copy of our assessment report and treatment recommendations will be sent to the referring physician.

To ensure continuity of care, all patients must have a General Practitioner to receive service from our clinic.

Information Sessions & Support Groups

ATRC Information and Support Group for patients referred to our clinic who are waiting for treatment to begin. This group provides an opportunity to discuss your questions and concerns while you wait for treatment. Feel free to bring a family member or friend for support.  Registration is mandatory.  Click here to view the Winter 2016 Schedule and Details. 

Family Education and Support Group is being offered for family members of patients referred to our clinic and will be held on Saturday, May 28, 2016.  Registration in advance is required.  For further details Click Here. 

Booster Groups  - View our booster group schedules for those people who have completed our treatment program and want additional support:

Booster Group Schedule for OCD       

Booster Group Schedule for Panic, Social Anxiety, or Excessive Worry

Booster Group Schedule for PTSD

Teaching and Training

The clinic is involved in the training of health-care professionals. It is possible that psychiatric residents, clinical psychology residents, or other closely supervised trainees may provide some of your assessments and treatments.

Our commitment to providing clinicians with specialized training in the treatment of anxiety will increase the range of treatment options available to people suffering from anxiety problems.

Contacts for Training at the ATRC:

Clinical Psychology
Randi E. McCabe, Ph.D., C.Psych
Email: rmccabe@stjoes.ca

For information about Residency and Practicum Training in Psychology at St. Joseph's Healthcare, follow the links:

Clinical Psychology Residency Program
Clinical Psychology Practicum Training

Psychiatry
Richard Swinson, MD, FRCP
Email: swinsonr@mcmaster.ca

Social Work
Jennifer Robinson, MSW, RSW
Email: jrobinso@stjoes.ca

Nursing 
Jane Reynolds, RN, BScN, CPMHN(c)
Email: reynoldj@stjoes.ca

Occupational Therapy
Tanja Colonerus, OT Reg. (Ont)
Email:  tcoloner@stjoes.ca

Other Training
Randi E. McCabe, Ph.D., C.Psych
Email: rmccabe@stjoes.ca

Research

We are continually trying to learn more about the causes of anxiety and the best ways to help people to overcome their anxiety problems. Our staff is internationally known for publishing numerous books and scientific papers on the nature and treatment of anxiety disorders. Through research at the ATRC and similar clinics around the world, there have been enormous advances in the treatment of anxiety in recent years.

Eligibility for participation in these studies is determined by clinical and research staff following your initial assessment.  Participation is never mandatory, and a decision to decline study participation will in no way detract from or interfere with your treatment.

All studies at the ATRC have been reviewed and approved by the Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board at St. Joseph's Healthcare, Hamilton and McMaster University.

Current Projects at the ATRC

Exploring Strategies For Reducing Repetitive Negative Thought in Social Anxiety

Contact: Dee Gavric, Ph.D., C.Psych. (supervised practice)

Description:  People with Social Anxiety Disorder often engage in repeated negative thinking about how a social event went even after the event is over. This study is looking to explore different strategies for reducing repetitive negative thinking and evaluate the impact of these strategies on mood, anxiety, and self-perceptions.

This study is open to individuals who have been diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder and are waiting to begin treatment at our clinic. Interested participants will be asked to come to the clinic and complete some questionnaires, a brief speaking task, and will be provided with some instructions for how to deal with negative repetitive thoughts following social events. This part of the study will last approximately one hour. Participants will also be asked to complete some brief questionnaires online or by phone 1, 7, and 30 days later. Participants who complete the study will receive a $10 Tim Horton’s gift card as a token of appreciation for their time as well as a complementary parking pass.


Treatment and Research Study on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Contact:  Kelsey Gahagan, Research Asssistant
Email:     kgahagan@stjoes.ca

Description:  We are recruiting participants for a research study to investigate whether treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and/or Exercise can improve the anxiety and mood symptoms and cognitive function of persons with OCD. 

This study is open to individuals who are diagnosed with OCD. Interested participants will be asked to complete assessments before, midway, after, and at a 3-month point following treatment. Participants will also complete a fitness test at these time points. Participants will also be asked to complete a neuropsychological test better before and after treatment. At the outset of treatment, participants will be randomly assigned to a 12-week structured aerobic exercise program, a 12-week individual CBT program, a combination of CBT and exercise, or a 12-week waiting period. All individuals will eventually receive individual CBT treatments. These will occur once per week for 12 weeks, lasting 1 hour each. For participants assigned to the exercise component, these will occur 3 times per week and last approximately 30-45 minutes each time. Participants will be compensated with $20 and a course of individual CBT. In addition, participants completing the exercise component will receive a free 3-month membership to Goodlife Fitness Gym.