The staff of the Binghamton Anxiety Clinic are committed to furthering knowledge of the nature and treatment of anxiety disorders. The majority of our efforts are dedicated to studying Social Phobia and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. We are interested in clarifying factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of these anxiety disorders and to improving the lives of individuals burdened by anxiety.
Our research on Social Phobia and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder broadly falls into three domains.
- Research examining predictors of symptom changes/vulnerability to anxiety
- Research examining the role of information-processing biases in anxiety
- Research examining means to improve treatment for anxiety disorders
Predictors of symptom changes/vulnerability to anxiety: Currently, we are actively studying factors that prospectively predict symptom changes in OCD. Research on OCD has generally emphasized treatment interventions and factors that maintain the anxiety. However, very little research has addressed potential psychosocial vulnerabilities to OCD. An increased understanding of malleable risk factors will benefit the development of prevention programs. Therefore, our recent research has evaluated cognitive theories of OCD regarding variables that would predict prospective changes in OCD symptoms—including particular beliefs and the occurrence of stressful life events. We are also conducting research examining the etiology of OCD-related beliefs, such as inflated responsibility.
Information-processing biases in anxiety: Our lab continues a strong tradition of examining the role of information-processing biases in anxiety. These biases include biases in interpretation, attention, and memory. Dr. Coles’ work has addressed the role of interpretation biases and memory biases in the maintenance of Social Phobia and other anxiety disorders. We have recently completed studies examining the role of repeated checking in influencing memory as it relates to OCD. We are also conducting a number of studies examining processing of faces and emotional expressions in Social Phobia. It is our belief that a better understanding of the basic biases underlying anxiety has great potential for improving treatment interventions.
Improving treatment for anxiety disorders: Our clinic provides detailed anxiety assessments and cognitive-behavioral therapy to adults and children with OCD and Social Phobia. We are encouraged by the substantial positive changes that many clients achieve from cognitive-behavioral therapy. However, we feel that there is room for improvement. First, we are interested in studying methods to further improve outcomes for individuals that receive treatment. Second, we are interested in methods to increase the number of patients that access cognitive-behavioral treatment for Social Phobia and OCD. Along these lines, we are conducting research on factors that influence attendance of an initial evaluation appointment and working to develop interventions to encourage attendance.
The facilities of the Binghamton Anxiety Clinic are located in Clearview Hall on the campus of Binghamton University, in Binghamton, NY. The clinic contains approximately 1000 square feet of research and clinical space. Our clinic contains three individual testing/clinical rooms, a large conference/group therapy room, two large workrooms, a waiting room, and two additional rooms used for study and treatment of OCD (a kitchen and full bathroom). Office spaces are also networked via state-of-the-art computers.