Kesley Ramsey, Ph.D.


Advisor: Joseph F. McGuire, Ph.D.
Division: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Department: Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Institution: The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine


  • B.Sc., Psychology, Graduated with Honors
    Brown University, Providence, RI
  • M.A., Psychology
    The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
  • Ph.D., Clinical Psychology (Concentration: Children, Families, and Cultures)
    The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. 

Research Interests

I am broadly interested in risk and resilience factors that influence developmental psychopathology, specifically anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and obsessive-compulsive related disorders (OCRD). I am curious as to why some patients flourish while others do not show significant improvement in response to intervention. I am dedicated to asking research questions that focus on mediators and moderators— identifying risk and resilience factors for children and families experiencing psychopathology, as well as gaining a better understanding of what elements of treatment programs contribute to successful outcomes. By investigating mechanisms of therapeutic change and examining the impact of risk and resilience factors, I hope to guide the development of evidence–based interventions targeting anxiety and OCRD by elucidating what treatment works best for whom.

Clinical Interests

I am a child clinical psychologist who is passionate about working with young patients and their families managing psychopathology, particularly OCD, OCRD, and anxiety. I use evidence-based assessment in order to gain a better sense of a client’s strengths and areas of challenge, while also collaboratively establishing treatment goals with the child and his or her family. I implement evidence-based interventions, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure/response prevention (ERP), habit reversal training (HRT), cognitive behavioral intervention for tics (CBIT), and acceptance commitment therapy (ACT) in order to assist child and adolescent patients, and their families, make meaningful changes in their lives.


  • Tourette’s Association of America Young Investigator Travel Award
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, The Catholic University of America
  • Beryl Anderson Award for Graduate Student Conference Travel, The Catholic University of America
  • Thomas Verner Moore Scholarship, The Catholic University of America
  • Davids Book Prize in Psychology, Brown University
  • Joslin Award Nominee, Brown University
  • Dean’s Discretionary Grant Recipient, Brown University
  • Academic All-American, 1500m Run Outdoor Track & Field, Brown University
  • Member of Academic All-American Team, Cross Country, Brown University


  1. McGuire, J. F., Piacentini, J., Storch, E. A., Ricketts, E. J., Woods, D. W., Peterson, A. L., Walkup, J. T., Wilhelm, S., Ramsey, K., Essoe, J. K.-Y., Himle, M. B., Lewin, A. B., Chang, S., Murphy, T. K., McCracken, J. T., & Scahill, L. (2021). Defining tic severity and tic impairment in Tourette Disorder. Journal of Psychiatric Research133, 93–100.
  2. Ramsey, K. A., Essoe, J. K.-Y., Storch, E. A., Lewin, A. B., Murphy, T. K., & McGuire, J. F. (2020). The role of affect lability on tic severity and impairment in youth with Tourette’s disorder. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders27, 100578.
  3. Ramsey, K. A., Essoe, J. K.-Y., Storch, E. A., Lewin, A. B., Murphy, T. K., & McGuire, J. F. (2020). Urge Intolerance and Impairment Among Youth with Tourette’s and Chronic Tic Disorders. Child Psychiatry & Human Development
  4. McGuire, J. F., Ginder, N., Ramsey, K., Essoe, J. K.-Y., Ricketts, E. J., McCracken, J. T., & Piacentini, J. (2020). Optimizing behavior therapy for youth with Tourette’s disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology45(12), 2114–2119.
  5. Geller, D. A., Abramovitch, A., Mittleman, A., Stark, A., Ramsey, K., Cooperman, A., … & Stewart, S. E. (2017). Neurocognitive function in pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder. World Journal of Biological Psychiatry, 19, 142-151. doi:10.1080/15622975.2017.1282173
  6. Abramovitch, A., Abramowitz, J., Mittelman, A., Stark, A., Ramsey, K., & Geller, D. (2015). Research review: Neuropsychological test performance in pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder — A meta-analysis. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 56, 837-847. doi:10.1111/jcpp.12414
  7. Berman, N., Stark, A., Ramsey, K., Cooperman, A., & Abramowitz, J. S. (2014). Prayer in response to negative intrusive thoughts: Closer examination of a religious neutralizing strategy. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy: An International Quarterly, 28, 87-100. doi:10.1891/0889-8391.28.2.87
  8. McGuire, J. F., Lewin, A. B., Geller, D. A., Brown, A., Ramsey, K., Mutch, P. J., … & Storch E. A. (2012). Advances in the treatment of pediatric OCD: Rationale and design for the evaluation of D-cycloserine with exposure and response prevention. Neuropsychiatry, 2, 291-300. doi:10.2217/npy.12.38