Program for Anxiety, Cognition, and Treatment (PACT) Lab

Bethany A. Teachman
Department of Psychology
University of Virginia
Office Phone
102 Gilmer Hall, Rm. 207
Box 400400
Charlottesville, VA
22904 USA
207 Gilmer Hall
Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests Lab Members Publications
Haven & Joni Press

Clinical Work Lab Photos Books

MindTrails is a public web site
to study new programs to reduce
unhealthy thinking patterns

Project Implicit Mental Health (PIMH) is a
research and education website focused on
implicit attitudes about mental health topics

An overview of our research
Our lab investigates cognitive processes that contribute to the development and maintenance of anxiety disorders and other forms of emotion dysregulation. We are especially interested in how thoughts that occur outside of our conscious control contribute to anxiety and avoidance, and how we can change thinking styles to improve emotional functioning. If we want to understand why an intelligent, normally rational person with a spider phobia has refused to go down to her basement for ten years, why a person with social phobia sees only the one scowling face in a room full of smiles, why a person with panic disorder is convinced that the 200th panic attack is the one that will bring on a heart attack, we need to consider the role of automatic processing of emotional information in these disorders. Each of these seemingly irrational decisions, beliefs, and behaviors is likely fueled by some aspect of automatic cognitive processing, whereby anxious individuals interpret their environment in such a way that these maladaptive reactions make sense to them in the moment. Our research investigates how these processes contribute to the onset and persistence of psychopathology and how we can change these processes to relieve symptoms.

updated February 2017