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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)

COVID-19 Update

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton is beginning to reintroduce surgical and outpatient services slowly using a gradual, phased approach.  Some individuals, based on the severity of their condition and care needs, are being scheduled for procedures and treatments.

If you are a patient, your care team will contact you with more information when you are rebooked or booked for your treatment.

Patients with an appointment at St. Joe’s clinics are asked to come alone. We need to secure as much space as possible for our patients. With physical distancing measures in place, we need to restrict our clinics to patients only when possible. If you need to bring a support person with you, please let your care team know before your appointment so that they can make arrangements. Support people accompanying patients will be asked to leave if they do not pass screening.

Click here for more information about the gradual reintroduction of visitors to inpatient areas.

If you have concerns, please call your family physician. If there is an emergency, please call 911 and go the hospital immediately. If you have an urgent issue, please go to an urgent care centre. If this is a mental health emergency, call 9-1-1, the Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST) at 905.972.8338 or online at; go to your nearest hospital Emergency Department. St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton has Emergency Psychiatry Services at 50 Charlton Avenue East, Hamilton.

We are doing our best to serve all patients as quickly as possible, while ensuring the safety of our staff, patients and community. Thank you for your continued patience.

Click here for more information about your appointment and the reintroduction of services.

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.


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:
Amber Elcock, Patient Services Coordinator
Tel: 905-522-1155 ext. 35372

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

Medical Director:
Dr. Luciano Minuzzi

Click here under 'Mental Health Resources' for mental health tips sheets during COVID-19 to view, download or print.

Referral Process

Referrals to this program, with the exception of Pediatric OCD referrals, are processed by Connect, St. Joe’s centralized intake service for Mental Health and Addiction Outpatient Programs.

For Connect Mental Health and Addiction Outpatient Program Referrals: 

Click here to access the Connect referral form for the Mental Health and Addiction outpatient programs.

For Pediatric OCD Referrals

Click here to download the Pediatric OCD Referral Form and fax to 905-521-6120.  For more information, please contact Amber Elcock - Tel: 905-522-1155 Ext. 35372.


Information Sessions & Support Groups**


Family Education and Support Group is being offered for family members of patients referred to our clinic and will be held on Thursday, March 5, 2020 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm.  Registration in advance is required.  For further details click here:  ATRC Family Education Group

A Family Education Series on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Children and Adolescents:  The ABC's of OCD Seminar (held quarterly)

Booster Groups  - View our 2020 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

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

Dr. Luciano Minuzzi

Social Work
Jennifer Robinson, MSW, RSW

Jane Reynolds, RN, BScN, CPMHN(c)

Occupational Therapy
Tanja Colonerus, OT Reg. (Ont)

Other Training
Randi E. McCabe, Ph.D., C.Psych


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

Does your loved one have Anxiety?

Is your loved one (e.g. family member, romantic partner) undergoing treatment at the Anxiety Treatment and Research Clinic? If so, we’d love to from you. We are conducting studies on how family members feel about the treatment process.

You have a chance to win a $50 Visa card for completing a 30-minute online survey!

If interested, please contact Olivia Merritt at 519-888-4567 ext. 38809 or for more information.

Click here to view the flyer: [flyer]


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.


Enhancing Parental Understanding of Engagement during Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Early Onset Pediatric Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Contact:  Carrie Bullard, RN, MN, CPMHN(C), or Ashleigh Elcock, Research Assistant

Early onset Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a mental health disorder that occurs in young children (10 years old and younger). Cognitive behavioral therapy is a short term therapy that involves the child completing activities to reduce obsessive-compulsive symptoms. The therapy is most effective when parents are involved in the treatment process; however, parents often do not participate. There is limited understanding from parents’ perspectives about their experiences during their child’s therapy. Better understanding about how parents are involved in their child's therapy will help to develop new and better ways to deliver this treatment in the community, to improve education and training for therapy providers, and to learn how nurses can better support parents during treatment. 

The purpose of this study is to understand what it is like for parents to engage in treatment for their child’s OCD when it is provided in the community or outpatient programs. This study will also explore the experiences of parents related to their engagement during treatment and the role of the nurse.  Follow this link for further information on this study.


Understanding Your Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Experience

Contact:  Christina Puccinelli, Ph.D. Student

The Anxiety Treatment and Research Clinic is currently seeking participants who experience symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  You may be eligible to participate if you:

  • have been diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and this is the primary concern for you currently.
  • have not recently been in therapy and are not currently in therapy.
  • are between the ages of 18 to 65.
  • have a smart phone with a data plan.

The purpose of this study is to explore how the underlying concerns in OCD affect various factors of the OCD experience. 

A complementary parking pass will be provided for the in-person study visit if needed. 

If you know anyone who may be interested and eligible for this study or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact Christina Puccinelli at or (905) 522-1155 ext. 31246.   Follow this link for more information regarding this study.