UW Today

March 7, 2011

UW researchers seek volunteers for study on anxiety disorder therapies

News and Information

Researchers at UWs Behavioral Research & Therapy Clinics seek adults who have difficulty regulating their emotions and who are struggling with depression or anxiety disorders. The study will assess therapy approaches intended to improve coping skills for problematic emotions.

“Sometimes emotions get in the way of leading a healthy, enjoyable and productive life and make every day life seem more like a struggle,” said Andrada Neacsiu, a UW psychology graduate student whos leading the study.

Severe anxiety can hinder school performance, shame can prevent people from sharing opinions at work and then impede career advancement, anger can make people push away loved ones and sadness can drain away energy, she said.

UW researchers hope that coping skills training will help adults suffering from depression and anxiety. Photo: raymaclean, Flickr

UW researchers hope that coping skills training will help adults suffering from depression and anxiety. Photo: raymaclean, Flickr

Even positive emotions such as intense love can be troublesome and distracting.

“For all of these people, emotional misery seems uncontrollable,” Neacsiu said.

Shes investigating two different approaches to help people gain control over their extreme and problematic emotions. In one approach, participants will receive resources that will help them decide how best to regulate their emotions. In another approach, participants will be taught specific techniques that others have found to improve emotions.

Both treatments will be provided in group sessions that meet for two hours every week over the course of four months. Participants must be able to come to the UW campus in Seattle for the sessions.

Volunteers will also complete four assessments, including interviews and questionnaires, throughout the treatment and two months after the treatment ends. Volunteers will receive up to $100 for their participation as well as a report of their diagnostic profile.

The study is funded by the American Psychological Association and the University of Washington. To volunteer for the study, contact Neacsiu at 206-616-9187 or andrada@uw.edu.