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 understanding the mechanisms that underlie the etiology of and treatment for different psychiatric conditions, 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 how clinicians can enhance treatment outcomes for patients across a variety of clinical populations, as well as gaining a better understanding of what elements of treatment programs contribute to successful outcomes. By investigating the underlying etiology of psychiatric conditions and mechanisms of therapeutic change, I hope to enhance patient outcomes for evidence–based interventions targeting anxiety, OCRD, and other psychiatric conditions.

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.


  • Launch Award, Society of Clinical Child Psychology & the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology
  • 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. Patrick, A.K., Ramsey, K.A., Essoe, J.K.-Y., McGuire, J.F. (Accepted). Clinical Considerations for an Evidence-Based Assessment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Psychiatry Clinics.
  2. Essoe, J. K.-Y., Patrick, A. K., Reynolds, K., Schmidt, A., Ramsey, K. A., McGuire, J.F. (2022). Recent Advances in Psychotherapy with Virtual Reality: Closing the Research-to-Practice Gap. Advances in Psychiatry and Behavioral Health 2:79-93.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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