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

Bethany A. Teachman

Department of Psychology
University of Virginia

102 Gilmer Hall, Rm. 207
Box 400400
Charlottesville, VA
22904 USA

Office Ph.: 434-924-0676
Fax: 434-982-4766


Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests Lab Members Project Implicit Mental Health
Teaching Haven & Joni Publications
Clinical Work
Lab Photos
Our lab investigates cognitive processes that contribute to the development and maintenance of anxiety disorders. We are especially interested in how thoughts that occur outside of our control or conscious awareness contribute to fear and anxiety. 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 anxiety problems and whether it is important to change these processes in order to ameliorate anxiety.

updated June 2014