Current Research

Have you experienced a negative social event? Help researchers understand the long-term consequences

Negative social events are experiences that could be perceived as a threat to a person’s reputation or self-esteem, and are often experienced as humiliating, embarrassing, or distressing (e.g., being harshly confronted over a mistake, freezing during a presentation, having rumors spread about you). Experiences of this kind are common in everyday life, but affect people differently. Some individuals may feel distressed for a long time after a negative social event while others may not.

The purpose of this study is to examine how people view and respond to negative social events and how these events impact well-being and general adjustment over time.

Participating in this study includes completing online questionnaires upon entry into the study, as well as at one month, three months, and six months later. For each completed set of questionnaires, participants are entered into a draw to win one of four $50 credit card gift-cards.

You are eligible to participate if you are 18 years of age or older, live in Canada or the United States, and have experienced a negative social event.

For more information, please read this consent form.

If you have further questions or would like to participate, please send an email to with the subject line: negative social events study.

This study was reviewed and approved by the University of Regina Research and Ethics Board.

Exposed to trauma and looking for treatment?

A CIHR-funded project being conducted by the Anxiety and Illness Behaviour Lab at the University of Regina is inviting individuals between the ages of 18 and 65 years who have encountered traumatic events and subsequent distress and impairment to participate in a study examining ways to increase the effectiveness of treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The front-line treatment for PTSD today is cognitive behavioral therapy, a variant of which is prolonged exposure therapy, which involves safely and gradually confronting stimuli which cause stress and fear within the security of a therapy session. As effective as this type of therapy is, we are curious of ways to make things better for clients. A recent development has shown that aerobic exercise can reduce PTSD symptoms (see for a brief description). Since we know that both aerobic exercise and prolonged exposure can help persons affected by PTSD, we want to see if combining the two is as effective, or more effective, than either one alone.

The current research involves persons receiving in-person treatment at the University of Regina Anxiety and Illness Behaviors Laboratory for 12-weeks. This service would cost between $2000 and $2600 if obtained through community practice and would typically require persons to be on a waitlist for services for up to 6 months; however, this treatment is offered at the Anxiety and Illness Behaviors Laboratory free and is available immediately for those who are eligible. Our services are provided by trained therapists and supervised by Drs. Gordon Asmundson (R.D. Psych.) and R. Nicholas Carleton (R.D. Psych.). Services are confidential and your privacy and safety is taken very seriously. Please note that services offered through this study are not intended for legal or insurance purposes. PTSD is real, it’s serious, and it’s treatable!

If you or somebody you know is interested in the current study please contact the Anxiety & Illness Behaviour Lab at:

(306) 337-2473

Experience anxiety in social situations? Participate in self-help treatment

We invite you to participate in a Canadian Institutes of Health Research-funded treatment study examining the efficacy of a self-compassion training program if you experience anxiety in social settings. Self-compassion training involves learning how to be kind and compassionate towards oneself instead of harshly judging oneself and being overly self-critical about personal failings or social shortcomings. Research suggests self-compassion training is effective at improving psychological well-being and may be particularly helpful for individuals with social anxiety.

Participation in this research includes independently working through a weekly session of self- compassion training or applied relaxation via the Internet for 6 weeks, practicing daily exercises, and completing questionnaires via the Internet. These programs are completed in the comfort of your home and will teach you skills to help manage your anxiety.

For more information about this study and to determine whether you might be eligible to participate please follow the link below:

Or contact:

Michelle Teale Sapach
Anxiety and Illness Behaviour Lab
University of Regina
(306) 337-2473

This study has been reviewed and received approval through the Research Ethics Board, University of Regina, file number 2017-017.

Were you a victim of bullying and are still bothered by that experience?

Bullying victimization is directly associated with various longstanding mental health difficulties, but no comprehensive victim-tailored interventions exist that explicitly target the impact of bullying. Evidence from both neurobiological and psychological research suggests that victims experience bullying as trauma. Treating the distress associated with bullying victimization as trauma may, therefore, be beneficial.

In this doctoral dissertation project we are comparing a specific trauma based treatment called Cognitive Processing Therapy to general treatment and a waitlist condition. This aims of this study are to a) develop an effective treatment for victims of bullying that is also flexible, accessible and affordable, and b) examine the risk and resilience factors associated with persisted distress from bullying victimization.

Participants in this study receive 12 sessions of free online therapy. They are supported through weekly contact with trained therapists supervised by Dr. Gordon Asmundson (R.D.Psych). Services are offered through the secure web server of the University of Regina Online Therapy Unit and are confidential. Protecting your privacy and safety is taken very seriously.

If you or somebody you know is interested in the current study please contact the Anxiety & Illness Behaviour Lab at:

(306) 337-2473 or