Cognition and Anxiety Studies Laboratory

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Anxiety, guilt and shame are experienced almost everyone. These emotions are influenced by and can influence our thoughts, and behaviours. This relationship may play an important role in the development and maintenance of anxiety and stressor-related disorders and other types of mental health problems. The Cognition and Anxiety Studies Laboratory (CASL) is interested in exploring the relationship between thoughts, behaviours, and the negative emotions across a range of domains.

One domain that we are interested in studying is the development and maintenance of extreme psychological distress that can arise following events that transgress one’s moral values, a concept known as moral injury. More specifically, we are interested in understanding if moral injury is different from PTSD.

Another domain of research is cognitive processes that interact and influence the experience of anxiety. Such processes include how memories change over time and post-event processing.

Our lab is also interested in studying how anxiety influences sexual responses. In particular, we are interested in exploring the conditions under which anxiety might facilitate versus impede sexual response and behaviour. We are particularly interested in how appraisals and interpretations of anxious bodily sensations might contribute to feelings of sexual arousal and the likelihood of engaging in risky sexual behaviour. Dr. Ashbaugh is presently directory of the Sex and Anxiety Research Group. For more information on this research group go to the Sex and Anxiety Research Group webage.




Congratulations to Drs. Leanne Kane and Stephanie Houle for successfully defending their dissertations!

Conferences that we presented at in 2022:

Stephanie Houle - European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies, Barcelona, Spain

Leanne Kane - Canadian Association of Cognitive and Behaivoural Therapies, virtual conference


Houle, SA, Ashbaugh, AR, Williamson, V, & Murphy, D. Workshops and/or Round Tables. (2022, September). "Understanding, assessing, and addressing moral injury in clinical practice". International European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies, Barcelona, Spain.

Dobson, KS, Sungur, M, Ashbaugh, AR, Sivrioglu, Y, MacDonald, H, Kovmak, D. Workshops and/or Round Tables. (2022, September). "Training and Supervision: Reimaging the future of CBT". European Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies, Barcelona, Spain.



Ashbaugh, Andrea

Andrea Ashbaugh


Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 4813
Work E-mail:

Andrea Ashbaugh is a licensed clinical psychologist. She obtained her Master's and PhD from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University and the Douglas Mental Health University Institute. In addition to being assistant professor at the Univeristy of Ottawa, Andrea Ashbaugh is also an Adjunct Scientist at the Institute of Mental Health Research, Associate Editor for the Journal of Behaviour Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, and on the editorial board of Behaviour Research and Therapy. Her research focuses on the interplay between anxiety, cognition and behavior with the aim of better understanding various forms of psychopathology to point the way towards more efficacious psychological treatments. When she's not working you can usually find her reading, singing, or playing piano!

Graduate Students

Aberback, Ryan

Ryan Aberback

Graduate Student in Experimental Psychology

BA in Psychology, Concordia University

Work E-mail:

Ryan is a second year PhD student in the Experimental Psychology program. He completed his undergraduate degree in Honours Psychology at Concordia University in Montreal. His current research focusses on understanding the relationships between negative thinking styles across different psychopathologies (e.g., social anxiety and depression). Some of the current techniques he is using include meta-analysis and network-analysis. In the past, Ryanhas worked in the fields of behavioural endocrinology and eating disorders. When he is not working, he enjoys reading, cooking, exploring art museums, and traveling.”

Inhaber, Joe

Graduate Student in Clinical Psychology

BA in Psychology, Concordia University

Work E-mail:

Joe completed his Honours B.A in psychology at Concordia University in 2019 where he studied the roles of beliefs about losing control and self-focused attention in social anxiety. He is entering his first year of the M.A. – Ph.D. program in clinical psychology. His primary research interest  is centered on the study of the mechanisms that underlie and/or maintain psychopathology. In this regard, he is particularly interested in investigating the roles of cognitive variables (e.g., focus of attention, maladaptive beliefs, memory, and pre/post event processing) in the aetiology and maintenance of social anxiety disorder.

Novielli, Julia

Julia Novielli

Graduate Student in Clinical Psychology

BA in Psychology, University of Ottawa

Work E-mail:

Julia received her B.A. with Honours in Psychology from Concordia University in 2020 where she investigated the relations among perceived responsibility, thought-action fusion beliefs, and feelings of shame in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Her research interests are centered around better understanding the cognitive and emotional processes involved in the development and maintenance of moral injury. She is interested in elucidating the mechanisms that underlie moral pain (i.e., shame and guilt) with the overarching goal of identifying treatment targets for moral injury.
Honours Students

Fonesca, Karina

Research Assistants
  • Birch, Michelle Jenny

  • Ferguson, Ryan

UROP Students

There are no results for this content list.

  • Ashley, Marilyn

  • Gabor, Lina

  • Narraway, Ella

  • Walters, Lucas


Graduate Students

  • Leanne Kane (2016-2022)

Leanne completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Ottawa in 2022 under the supervision of Dr. Ashbaugh. Her doctoral research focused on the role of post-event processing in the maintenance of social anxiety symptoms. She also collaborated on multiple research projects in the areas of anxiety and sexual health. She completed her internship at the Centre for Psychological Services and Research (CPSR) with an external rotation at the Ottawa Hospital. She is completing her supervised practice year under the supervision of Drs. Emma Dargie and Deanna Drahovzal at Gilmour Psychological Services. She provides evidence-based individual therapy services and psychodiagnostic assessments to adults with a range of mental health and health conditions, including working with people who are coping with anxiety, depression, trauma, chronic health conditions, cancer, and sexual health difficulties.

  • Stephanie Houle (2015-2022)
  • Keera Fishman (2015-2021)

Keera completed her Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Psychology at Queen's University in 2015. She began her graduate studies in the CASL Lab in September 2015 under the supervision of Dr. Ashbaugh. She completed her residency in Clinical Neuropsychology at Baycrest Hospital in Toronto. Currently, she is a Clinical Neuropsychologist at Baycrest Hospital. She conducts neuropsychological assessments for individuals in the Psychiatric Day Hospital and Geriatric Assessment Clinics, supervises neuropsychology residents, and delivers cognitive rehabilitation interventions (e.g., Memory and Aging Program, Learning the ROPES for Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment). She also conducts neuropsychological assessments for individuals in the Geriatrics units at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences via Baycrest Health Sciences. She engages in differential diagnosis of cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, fronto-temporal lobar degeneration, Parkinson’s disease, alcohol use, depression, and neurodevelopmental conditions (e.g., schizophrenia). Last, she is completing her postdoctoral fellowship serving as the Neuropsychology Lead for the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative (ONDRI). In this role, she trains coordinators on neuropsychological instrumentation (administration, scoring, data entry), engages in data monitoring, develops clinical/neuropsychology protocols, establishes licensing agreements, contributes to data steering and data curation committee meetings, and collaborates on manuscripts.

  • Julia Marinos (2014-2021)

Honours Thesis

  • Michelle Jenny Birch (2021)
  • Kirstin Beaudet (2021)
  • Sarah Crookall (2020)
  • Hannah Zhang (2019)
  • Khaoula Louati (2018)
  • Amanda Dezenosky (2018)
  • Ila Lennips (2018)
  • Olivia Simioni (2017)
  • Bronwyn O'Brient (2017)
  • Amanda Dewsbury (2016)
  • Alex Vance (2016)
  • Olivia Provost-Walker (2015)
  • Allison Jordan (2015)
  • Judith Fortier (2015)
  • Nicholas Mazzuka (2015)
  • Brad Bujaki (2014)
  • Elizabeth Janette Smith (2014)
  • Stacy MacGregor-Dennique (2014)
  • Sarah Bellamy (2013)
  • Da Eun Jin (2013)

Research Assistants

  • Idu Azogu (2014)
  • Elise Quint (2016-2017)
  • Enya Levaque (2015-2016)
  • Olivia Simioni (2019-2022)
  • Lucas Walters (2020-2022)

Prospective Members

Graduate Students
Honours Students

I am accepting Honours thesis students for the 2023-24 year.

UROP Students

At the present time I am not accepting UROP students.

Research Assistants

At the present time I am no longer accepting research assistants for my lab.


At the present time I am no longer accepting volunteers for my lab.


Journal Articles

Houle, SA.; Inhaber, J; Jetly, Rakesh;Ashbaugh, AR.,(in press)An examination of negative cognitions in the context of suicidality among military members and Veterans experiencing distress in response to a potentially morally injurious event,Journal of Military, Veteran, and Family Health.

Kane, L; Ashbaugh, AR,(in press)A retrospective study of negative and positive post-event processing following stressful and pleasant social interactionsJournal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry.

Kane, L;Ashbaugh, AR.(2022)Ecological momentary assessment of post-event and anticipatory processing in between two speech tasks: Relationships with anxiety, performance appraisals, and memory,Behaviour Research and Therapy159.,31-40

Litz, BT, Plouffe, RA, Nazarov, A, Murphy, D, Phelps, A, Coady, A, Houle, SA, Dell, L, Frankfurt, S, Zerach, & Levi-Belz, Y, and the Moral Injury Outcome Scale Consortium. (2022). oral Injury Outcome Scale Consortium (2022). Defining and Assessing the Syndrome of Moral Injury: Initial Findings of the Moral Injury Outcome Scale Consortium.Frontiers in Psychiatry, 13, 1-16. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2022.923928

Shaughnessy, K; Fehr, CJ; Ashley, M; Braham, J; Labelle, P; Ouimet, AJ; Corsini-Munt, S; Ashbaugh, AR; Reissing, E. (2022) Technology-Mediated Sexual Interactions, Social Anxiety, and Sexual Wellbeing: A Scoping Review,European Journal of Investigation in Health Psychology and Education, 12, Issue 8,904-932. Open Access,doi: 10.3390/ejihpe12080066

Fox, MH, Seto, MC, Refaie, N, Larinsek, S, Hall, V, Surry, S, Ashbaugh, AR, Levaque, E Fedoroff, JP, Bradfor, JM, & Lalumière, ML. (2022) The relationship between the paraphiliac and anxiety in men: A case-control study,Archives of Sexual Behavior,51,Issue8,4063-4084(April 2022) doi: 10.1007/s10508-022-02346-z

Marinos, J; Simioni, O; Ashbaugh, AR. (2022)Verbal manipulations of learning expectancy do not enhance reconsolidation,PlosOne,17(8): e0241943.

Ashbaugh, AR, Provost-Walker, O, Levaque, E., Kane, L., Marinos, L., & Lalumière, ML. (2022). Anxiety induction and sexual arousal in men and women.Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 3, 314-318,

Easterbrook,B, Plouffe, RA, Houle, SALiu, A, McKinnon, M, Ashbaugh, AR, Mota, N, Afifi, T, Enns, M, Richardson, JD, & Nazarov,(2022) Risk Factors for Moral Injury Among Canadian Armed Forces Personnel,Frontiers in Psychiatry,13: 892320. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2022.892320,0-1

O'Brien, B, Kane, L,. Houle, SA, Aquilina, F, Ashbaugh, AR. (2022). Recall, response bias and recognition are differentially impacted by social anxiety irrespective of feedback modality.Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 74.

Houle, SA; Pollard, C; Jetly, R; Ashbaugh, AR, (2022) Barriers and facilitators to help-seeking in. Morally Injured Canadian Forces Veterans and Service Members: A qualitative anlaysisCanadian Journal of Military, Veteran, and Family Health, Volume 8, Issue 358-71 (November 2021)

Ashbaugh, AR, Cohen, JN., & Dobson, K. (2021). Training in Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT): National Training Guidelines from the Canadian Association of Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies.Canadian Psychology, 63(3), 239-251.

Fishman, KN, & Ashbaugh, AR. (2022). Mind the age gap: A comprehensive examination of apathy, depression, and cognitive functioning in young adults.Canadian Journal of Behavioural Sciences, 54, 40-51.

Fishman, KN, Ashbaugh, ARSwartz, RH. (2021). Ready, Set, Goal: Goal Setting Improves Cognitive Performance in a Randomized Trial of Chronic Stroke Survivors.Stroke, 52, 458-470.

Houle-Johnson, S, Vincent, CJetly, R, & Ashbaugh, AR. (2020). A Qualitative Analysis of the Impact of Potentially Morally Injurious Experiences in the Canadian Forces.Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health, 6, 67-69.

Ashbaugh, AR, Fishman, K, & Houle-Johnson, S. (2019). Intrusive social images in individuals with high and low social anxiety: A multi-method analysis.Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy

Fishman, KN, Ashbaugh, ARLanctôt, KL, Cayley, ML, Herrmann, N, Murray, BJ, Sicard, M, Lien, K, Salas, DJ., & Swartz, RH. (2019). The Role of Apathy and Depression on Verbal Learning and Memory Performance After Stroke.Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 34(3), 327-336. doi:10.1093/arclin/acy044.

Ouimet, AJAshbaugh, AR, & Radomsky, AS. (2019). Hoping for more: How cognitive science has and hasn't been helpful to the OCD Clinician.Clinical Psychology Review, 69, 14-29.

Kane, L, Dawson, S, Shaughenssy, K, Reissing, ED, OuimetAJ, & Ashbaugh, AR. (2019). Turned on or turned off? Reviewing experimental research on the impact of cognitive-behavioural components of anxiety on sexual response.Journal of Experimental Psychopathology

Houle-Johnson, S, O'Brien, B, & Ashbaugh, AR. (2019). Negative verbal self-relevant feedback is recognized with greater accuracy than facial feedback regardless of depression or social anxiety.Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 64, 1-8. doi:10.1016/j.jbtep.2019.01.003.

Yeterian, JD, Berke, DS, Carney, JR, McIntyre-Smith, A, St. Cyr, K, King, L, Kline, NK, Phelps, A, Litz, BT, & Members of the Moral Injury Outcomes Project Consortium. (2019). Defining and Measuring Moral Injury: Rationale, Design, and Preliminary Findings from the Moral Injury Outcome Scale Consortium.Journal of Traumatic Stress. doi:10.1002/jts.22380

Ashbaugh, AR, Marinos, J, & Bujaki, B. (2018). The impact of depression and PTSD symptom severity on trauma memory.Memory, 26, 106-

Fishman, KN, Ashbaugh, ARLanctôt, KL, Cayley, ML, Harrmann, N, Murray, BJ, Sicard, M, Lien, K, Sahlas, DJ, & Swartz, RH. (2018). Apathy, not depression, as a predictor of semantic and phonemic fluency task performance in stroke and transient ischemic attack.Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 40(5), 449-461.

Kane, L, & Ashbaugh, AR. (2017). Simple and Parallel Mediation: A Tutorial Exploring Anxiety Sensitivity, Sensation Seeking, and Gender.Quantitative Methods for Psychology.

Mahabir, M, Ashbaugh, ARSaumier, D, & Tremblay, J. (2016). Propranolol's impact on cognitive performance in posttraumatic stress disorder.Journal of Affective Disorders, 192, 98-102.

Ashbaugh, AR, Houle-Johnson, S, Herbert, C, El-Hage, W, & Brunet, A. (2016). Psychometric validation of the English and French versions of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for the DSM-5 (PCL-5).PlosOne

Brunet A, Thomas E, Saumier D, Ashbaugh ARAzzoug A, Pitman R, Orr S, & Tremblay, J. (2014). Trauma reactivation plus propranolol is associated with durably low physiological responding during subsequent script-driven traumatic imagery.Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 59(4), 228-232.

Book Chapters

Kogan, C, Ashbaugh, AR. (2019, February). Classification of Anxiety Disorders. In Simon, N, Hollander, E, Rothbaum, B, Stein, DJ (Eds.), The American Psychiatric Association Textbook on Anxiety, Trauma, and OCD Related Disorders. Washington DC, United States: American Psychiatric Association. (Accepted)

Ashbaugh, AR, McCabe, R, Antony, MM. (2019, January). Social Anxiety Disorder. In Antony, MM, Barlow, D (Eds.), Handbook of assessment and treatment planning for psychological disorders (3rd ed.). Guilford Press. (Accepted)

Ouimet, AJ, Ashbaugh, AR. (2017). Anxiety. In W. O'Donohue, L., James, C. Snipes (Eds.), Practical strategies and tools to promote treatment engagement (pp. 253-275). Reno, United States: Springer.

Encyclopedia Entries

Lonergan, M. & Ashbaugh, A.R. (2015). Dysmorphophobia. In Phobias: The Psychology of Irrational Fear, An Encyclopedia, 118-119. ABC CLIO. Author Contribution: 30% (manuscript feedback and revision)

Ashbaugh, A.R. (2015). Agoraphobia. In Phobias: The Psychology of Irrational Fear, An Encyclopedia, 7-10. ABC CLIO.

Lonergan, M. & Ashbaugh, A.R. (2015). Emetophobia. In Phobias: The Psychology of Irrational Fear, An Encyclopedia, 122-123. ABC CLIO. Author Contribution: 30% (manuscript feedback and revision)

Lonergan, M. & Ashbaugh, A.R. (2015). Flooding. In Phobias: The Psychology of Irrational Fear, An Encyclopedia, 181-182. ABC CLIO. Author Contribution: 30% (manuscript feedback and revision)

Ashbaugh, A.R. (2015). Fear Survey Schedule. In Phobias: The Psychology of Irrational Fear, An Encyclopedia, 177. ABC CLIO.

Ashbaugh, A.R. (2015). Social Learning Theory. In Phobias: The Psychology of Irrational Fear, An Encyclopedia, 355-358. ABC CLIO.

Ashbaugh, A.R. (2015). Behavioral Experiment. In Phobias: The Psychology of Irrational Fear, An Encyclopedia, 59-61. ABC CLIO.

Ashbaugh, A.R. (2015). Triskaidekaphobia. In Phobias: The Psychology of Irrational Fear, An Encyclopedia, 400-401. ABC CLIO.

Ashbaugh, A.R. (2015). Claustrophobia. In Phobias: The Psychology of Irrational Fear, An Encyclopedia, 77-79. ABC CLIO.

Ashbaugh, A.R. (2015). Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. In Phobias: The Psychology of Irrational Fear, An Encyclopedia, 35-36. ABC CLIO.

Ashbaugh, A.R. (2015). Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule. In Phobias: The Psychology of Irrational Fear, An Encyclopedia, 23-24. ABC CLIO.

Contact us

Cognition and Anxiety Studies Laboratory

School of Psychology
Faculty of Social Sciences
University of Ottawa
136 Jean-Jacques Lussier
Vanier Hall, Room 4005
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 6N5