Meet the Lab

The missions of the Florida Exposure and Anxiety Research (FEAR) Lab are:

1 To enhance our understanding of factors that impact treatment outcome during cognitive-behavioral therapy for children and adults with OCD, anxiety, and related disorders.

2 To improve our understanding of what contributes to different presentations of individuals with OCD, anxiety, and related disorders.

3 To educate the next generation of scientists and clinicians in psychology, medicine, and other health-related fields in research that contributes to evidence-based practice.

The principal investigator of the FEAR Lab is Joe McNamara, PhD. Dr. McNamara is also the co-director of the UF Health OCD Program, a clinical program that offers intensive and weekly cognitive-behavioral therapy with exposure and response prevention for patients with OCD and anxiety disorders. Many of our studies recruit participants from this real-world clinical program and tracks outcomes as they occur to provide ecologically valid research with immediate implications for improving the assessment and treatment of individuals with OCD and anxiety disorders.

Dr. Joseph PH McNamara, PhD

is a licensed psychologist and director of the UF Exposure and Anxiety Research Lab. He conducts clinical research that focuses on factors related to improving treatment outcomes for patients with OCD and related disorders. He has been the research mentor for 10 graduate students and has clinically supervised 120 graduate students, interns, and postdoctoral fellows, as well as 60 psychiatry residents

McNamara Headshot

Dr. Andrea Guastello, PhD

is a licensed psychologist and co-director of the UF Florida Exposure and Anxiety Research Lab. In her role as a clinical faculty member, Dr. Guastello provides clinical supervision to psychology and psychiatry trainees as well as research mentorship to graduate students with areas of specialty in Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders and Parent Child Interaction Therapy.

Andrea Headshot

Lacie Lazaroe, MS

is a is a sixth-year doctoral student and pre-doctoral intern in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at UF in the Pediatric Psychology track. Lacie’s research and clinical interests include the utilization of cognitive behavioral therapy with exposure response prevention in treating OCD and anxiety disorders. She is the Outreach Director for Fear Facers Summer Camp, a week-long full-day summer therapeutic camp aimed at reducing OCD and anxiety symptoms.

Lazaroe Headshot

Danielle Laine Cooke, MS

is a sixth-year doctoral student in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at UF who is currently completing her predoctoral internship at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in the Department of Behavioral Psychology. She identifies strongly with the scientist-practitioner model. She is a 2018 recipient of the TL1 predoctoral training grant from UF’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Danielle’s research and clinical interests are in cognitive behavioral therapy with exposure response prevention in treating anxiety-spectrum disorders, OCD and eating disorders. She has a secondary research interest in psychometric testing and transdiagnostic factors, particularly executive functioning and sleep. Clinically, she has worked with OCD and related disorders, eating disorders and anxiety disorders across the lifespan. She has also served as an instructor to over 1500 undergraduate and graduate students since beginning graduate school.

Danielle Cooke Headshot

Ryan McCarty, MS

is a third-year graduate student in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Florida. He is interested in understanding the role social factors, such as stigma, have in OCD and anxiety disorders. Ryan is also interested in identifying methods to augment exposure and response prevention to improve treatment adherence and treatment response.

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Seth Downing, BS

is a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at UF. His research interests include investigating factors that impact treatment outcome and increasing utilization of evidence-based treatments for anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive and related disorders. He is also interested in understanding patients’, clinicians’, and family members’ perspectives on these disorders and the treatment they receive.

Seth Downing Headshot

Tannaz Mirhosseini, MS

is a first-year graduate student at the University of Florida in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology in the Pediatric Psychology track, and studies under the mentorship of Dr. Joseph McNamara. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of Florida with a major in Psychology. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she began her masters at Cleveland State University under the supervision of Dr. Ilya Yaroslavsky in the Mood and Emotion Regulation Lab. She primarily researched parenting practices and emotion regulation use within families. She also began researching the benefits of child rights education in elementary classrooms upon her involvement in The Cleveland Child and Adolescent Research in Education lab. Additionally, she finished a yearlong practicum at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court Diagnostic Clinic. In this position, she administered intellectual and personality assessments

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Dr. Megan Barthle-Herrera, PhD

has extensive training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Exposure and Response Prevention (CBT-E/RP). She specializes in the treatment of Anxiety, OCD, and related disorders. She has a specific interest in anxiety and OCD related to pregnancy and the postpartum period. Dr. Barthle-Herrera’s research interests include treatment outcomes for CBT-E/RP treatment interventions, as well as topics associated with OCD and related disorders. Dr. Barthle-Herrera is the clinical coordinator for the Division of Psychology OCD Program.

Megan Headshot

Ashley Ordway, MEd/EdS, LMHC

has specialized training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Exposure Response Prevention to treat patients with OCD, Anxiety, and Related Disorders across the lifespan. She is the clinical coordinator for the Center of OCD, Anxiety, and Related Disorders and is passionate about bridging the gap between clinical practice and research.

Ashley Headshot

Lab Alumni

  • Dr. Andrew Guzick, PhD – graduated 2020
  • Dr. Adam Reid, PhD – graduated 2016
  • Dr. Amanda Balkhi, PhD – graduated 2016

Our current all-star roster of undergraduate research assistants includes:

  • Alejandra Sanchez-Sarmiento
  • Alexandra Garcia
  • Alexandra Mikhailau
  • Amanda Prem
  • Aqueena Fernandez
  • Avery Scrabis
  • Carina Copley
  • Elianne Rodriguez
  • Emlyn Muska
  • Grace Parker
  • Hannah Scales
  • Isabella Schultz
  • Katlyn Reynolds
  • Kendall Robinson
  • Kortney Gauger
  • Marilyn Shandor
  • Melinda Westfall
  • Morgan Colwell
  • Naomi Youakim
  • Rachel Walton
  • Rayon Uddin
  • Sierra Budd
  • Sophia Leon
  • Valeria Castrol-Ariza