Research

Current Projects

We specialize in the evaluation and treatment of children, adolescents, and young adults.  Our research aims to improve the understanding, assessment, and treatment of young people who experience anorexia, anxiety, OCD, misophonia, trichotillomania (hair-pulling), tics and related conditions.

If you would like to help us learn more about these conditions, and how best to help patients and families overcome them, please consider participating in one of our on-going research studies.

Please email us at coach@jhmi.edu, and our research coordinator will follow-up with you.

Any information you share with us will NOT be provided to anyone (including your insurance/ health care provider) without you formally submitting a written request that we do so. We strictly follow the data collection and storage policy as outlined by The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in order to protect your privacy and the confidentiality of the information you provide.

Can I still participate without these conditions?

Yes! Even if you do not have any of these conditions, you can still help us learn more about how best help patients and families overcome them.

Scientific research often required what is a called a “control group.” In our research, data that “control” participants contribute help us understand a specific condition better. Participants are compensated for their time!

We are currently recruiting participants who are:

  • male, and between ages 8-17
  • female, and between ages 8-26

Please email us at coach@jhmi.edu, and our research coordinator will follow-up with you.

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Anorexia Nervosa Study

  • The purpose of this study is to find out whether individuals with Anorexia Nervosa learn differently compared to individuals without any psychiatric concerns.
  • Females age 13-26 with or without Anorexia Nervosa may be eligible to participate.
  • If eligible, participation may total 6 hours across 2 visits including completion of a computer task using immersive virtual reality.
  • Participants will be compensated up to $100 for their participation.

Please email us at coach@jhmi.edu, and our research coordinator will follow-up with you.

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Tourette’s and Tic Disorder (TD) Studies

Tourette’s Disorder in Youth Treatment Study

  • The purpose of this study is to determine whether youth with Tourette’s and tic disorders learn differently compared to individuals without any psychiatric conditions. We are also exploring whether these learning processes are related to improvement from behavior therapy.
  • If eligible, participation may total 20 hours, including 3 interviews over Zoom, 3 in-person visits to our lab, and 8 free hours of evidence-based behavior therapy conducted over Zoom.
  • Participants will also complete a computer task using immersive virtual reality.
  • Participants will be compensated up to $150 for their participation.

Tourette’s Disorder in Adults Treatment Study

  • The purpose of this study is to determine whether adults with Tourette’s and tic disorders learn differently compared to individuals without any psychiatric conditions. We are also exploring whether these learning processes are related to improvement from behavior therapy.
  • If eligible, participation may total 20 hours, including 3 interviews over Zoom, 3 in-person visits to our lab, and 8 free hours of evidence-based behavior therapy conducted over Zoom.
  • Participants will also complete a computer task using immersive virtual reality.
  • Participants will be compensated up to $150 for their participation.

Detecting Tics using Machine Learning

  • The purpose of this study is to determine whether a program can accurately detect tics in patients with Tourette’s disorder or a persistent tic disorder. We are exploring whether machine learning can be used to enhance virtual diagnosis and treatment options.
  • If eligible, participation may total 7 hours, including one video call interview, four in-person visits to our lab, mental health questionnaires, and video observations of tics.
  • Participants will be compensated up to $200 dollars for their participation.

Please email us at coach@jhmi.edu, and our research coordinator will follow-up with you.

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Phobia Treatment Study

  • The purpose of this study is to examine the benefits of using immersive virtual reality exposures to treat children and adolescents that have specific phobias.
  • Participants age 8-17 with an intense fear of specific objects or situations (e.g, spiders, heights, public speaking, etc.) may be eligible to participate.
  • If eligible, study participation may last up to 8 hours over 4 visits – including a free 3-hour session of evidence-based exposure therapy.
  • Participants and their parents will be compensated up to $150 collectively for their participation.

Please email us at coach@jhmi.edu, and our research coordinator will follow-up with you.

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Studies Coming Soon

Misophonia Study

Misophonia is a condition characterized by sound sensitivities to selective auditory stimuli. These stimuli elicit strong emotional and behavioral responses such as distress, anxiety, disgust, anger, irritability, and avoidance. Individuals with misophonia can experience significant impairment and impaired functioning when encountering triggers in daily activities.

If you would like to help us learn more about how best to help patients and families overcome misophonia, please email us at coach@jhmi.edu, and our research coordinator will follow-up with you once the study is ready for recruitment. We will be recruiting participants between ages 8-17.

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OCD Study

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)  is characterized by obsessions and compulsions.

Obsessions are persistent thoughts, urges, or images that are intrusive and unwanted. Obsessions often cause individuals marked anxiety and/or distress.

Compulsions are repetitive or ritualistic behaviors (or mental acts) that are performed in response to an obsession. Compulsive behaviors are often performed to reduce and/or prevent distress triggered by an obsession. Sometimes avoidance behaviors serve the same function as a compulsive behavior.

If you would like to help us learn more about how best to help patients and families overcome OCD, please email us at coach@jhmi.edu, and our research coordinator will follow-up with you once the study is ready for recruitment. We will be recruiting participants between ages 8-17.

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Trichotillomania Study

Trichotillomania (TTM, also known as hair-pulling disorder) is characterized by the recurrent pulling out of one’s own hair, and repeated attempts to decrease hair pulling. For many individuals with TTM, hair pulling causes significant distress and impairment in functioning (e.g., problems at work, difficulties at school, health-related problems).

If you would like to help us learn more about how best to help patients and families overcome TTM, please email us at coach@jhmi.edu, and our research coordinator will follow-up with you once the study is ready for recruitment. We will be recruiting participants between ages 18+.

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