Department of Psychiatry
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Clinician Educational Opportunities

Through our educational initiatives such as our annual conference, information, and training workshops, the Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre advances and disseminates knowledge of OCD and related disorders directly to professionals. Through these training opportunities aim to support networks of healthcare providers in building capacity and gaining greater expertise in treating OCD to provide first line evidence-based care in the community. Please check here for more information regarding future opportunities, there will be more educational events posted soon!

Current Educational Opportunities

ECHO Ontario – OCD

CAMH and the Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre, at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre are launching a new ECHO program on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

ECHOThis is a great opportunity for primary and community care providers to increase their competence in working with clients with OCD, while receiving continuing medical education (CME) credits. This free program begins on Thursday, April 19, 2018, and runs for 20 weekly sessions.

Please see below for more information, and don't hesitate to forward this email to your colleagues or anyone who may be interested in this program.

Click here to review the curriculum and register now! 

View the event flyer.

Practicum training program in clinical psychology 

Dr. Neil Rector, Ph.D., C.Psych.
Dr. Lance Hawley, Ph.D., C.Psych.

Dr. Marlene Taube-Schiff, Ph.D., C. Psych.

Learn more about the practicum training program by clicking the drop-downs below:

Overview of the Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre


Founded through a generous donation by Mr. Thompson, the Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre is dedicated to treatment and research of anxiety disorders, with a focus on obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and related disorders. The centre brings together expert clinicians and researchers, with the joint goals of offering state of the art care and generating knowledge through research.


Improving life for individuals with obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, and their families.

Clinical care

The Thompson Centre offers multidisciplinary compassionate care for clients with OCD and related disorders. To date, these have been ‘orphan' disorders, for which no other centre in Canada offers specialized care.


We are an epicentre for OCD research across Canada, home to a team of researchers investigating the neurobiological, genetic, and cognitive basis of OCD and other anxiety disorders. Clients of the Centre will have the opportunity to take part in research that will benefit sufferers of these conditions in the future.


We offer specialized training for mental health professionals. We organize workshops and lectures for both health care providers and the general public, and offer an annual conference for health care professionals. We also offer psychoeducation to clients, their families, and the public.


The Centre provides advocacy at local, provincial and national levels for individuals affected by OCD and related disorders. We serve as a voice both nationally and internationally, highlighting the need for increased expertise in treating and managing these conditions, and the need for increased funding for research and specialized clinical care.

Psychological training

The Frederick Thompson Centre offers a wide variety of training opportunities. We believe that our training affords individuals an opportunity to acquire extensive training across the full spectrum of OCD presentations (from mild to severe) .More specifically, the practica placements offered at the Frederick Thompson Centre can involve an extended placement within our intensive treatment services or a combination of experiences within both our outpatient services and intensive treatment services. The particular combination of training options will be determined based on trainee interest as well as the clinical needs of the program at any particular time. During this practica placement, clinical psychology students have the opportunity to develop their assessment, and individual and group treatment skills in empirically-supported treatments including CBT, DBT and ACT. Although our primary clinical focus involves providing assessment and treatment for clients experiencing OCD and related disorders, there are also opportunities to work with clients experiencing other mood and anxiety disorders. Related training goals include becoming proficient with administering the structured clinical interview for DSM (SCID) (outpatient service) or the MINI International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) (intensive service), and developing expertise in the assessment and formulation of treatment suitability for CBT and other CBT-umbrella interventions.

The Frederick Thompson Centre provides clinical services to clients who experience OCD and related psychological disorders, including:

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a chronic and frequently severe disorder characterized by intrusive disturbing thoughts that the individual cannot suppress and lead to anxiety. Most individuals also have rituals or repetitive behaviours such as washing, checking, or repeating actions over and over to alleviate their obsessional fears.


Hoarding disorder is a newly recognized condition often associated with OCD in which individuals have great difficulty discarding belongings, papers and objects to the point that clutter compromises their ability to live in their homes the way they would like to. In severe cases this can make homes uninhabitable and/or be associated with significant safety concerns such as fire or risk of falling.

Hair Pulling (Trichotillomania) and Skin Picking Disorder

Hair pulling (Trichotillomania) and skin picking disorder are conditions now recognized as closely related to OCD. In these disorders individuals repeatedly pull hair or pick at their skin despite repeated efforts to stop. Over time these problems can cause very significant distress or impairment in their ability to function.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body dysmorphic disorder focuses on preoccupation with minor or at times imagined defects in one's appearance, such as the shape or size of one's nose, hairline, or blemishes in the skin. Many sufferers are unable to perceive any distortion in their perception of themselves, often describing themselves as extremely ugly, disfigured or worse, wreaking immense havoc in their lives.

Family and Friends

Families and friends also receive care at the Thompson Centre - they are not left out of the picture. Psychoeducation groups are available so that families and friends can understand their loved one's diagnosis and support their treatment. Even if their loved one is not receiving care at the Thompson Centre they can still enroll in our support /educational groups.

The Thompson Centre also offers treatment for OCD "spectrum" disorders, and it may be possible for students to become involved with these more specialized populations during the practica  placement. Please speak with your primary supervisor for more details.

Sunnybrook practica 

We will be offering up to six practica placements for each time period.

  • Fall/Winter: September 1 – April 30 (2-3 days/week, as per trainee availability)
  • Spring/Summer: May 1 – August 31 (4 days per week)

During the fall/winter practica, two individuals will have the opportunity to become immersed within the intensive training program throughout their practica experience. Our other four placements will offer individuals the opportunity to rotate through both the outpatient and intensive treatment services. Summer practica experiences will be determined by current clinical need within our centre.
Each year, the submission and notification dates for the Fall/Winter Practica and the Spring/Summer Practica are announced by the GTA Practica organizing committee.
Students have access to an office, a computer, and a telephone line. The Frederick Thompson Centre is part of the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and so students also have access to a wide variety of lectures, seminars, and symposia, provided by hospital staff. Further, students may have exposure to the various clinical research activities occurring in the program. Our intensive treatment program is offered on a satellite campus of Sunnybrook, less than 1 km from the main campus, at 175 Brentcliffe Avenue. It is housed in Bellwood Health Services.
This clinical practica provides clinical training in the context of a scientist-practitioner model. Within this framework, clinical service and research are seen as mutually enhancing activities. Students are expected to think critically about the services that they offer to individuals and to make clinical decisions based on objective data collected in the therapeutic/assessment context and informed by empirical research. In addition, students are encouraged to integrate research and clinical practice by allowing their clinical experiences to influence the questions that they seek to answer through research.
Consistent with this philosophy, this practica is designed to provide training in the four general domains of:

  • Knowledge of psychological theory and clinical research
  • Therapeutic intervention
  • Clinical assessment and testing skills, and
  • Professional ethics

Overview of clinical rotation

Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre
 Dr. Lance Hawley, C. Psych., Dr. Marlene Taube-Schiff
Rotation Consultant: Dr. Neil Rector, C.Psych., 

The clinical mandate of the Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre is to provide clinical services, research, and teaching for OCD and related "spectrum" disorders, including hoarding disorder, trichotillomania, compulsive skin picking and body dysmorphic disorder. The Thompson Centre brings together clinicians and researchers, with the joint goals of offering state of the art care and generating knowledge through research and improving life for individuals with obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, and their families.

Within the outpatient service, treatment consists of short-term, cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT). Treatment approaches are primarily group-based, and clinical practica students also provide individual therapy. Trainees will help to co-facilitate a structured, CBT group for OCD and will learn how to conduct exposure and response prevention (ERP) integrated with cognitive therapy approaches within a structured group setting. The opportunity also exists to co-facilitate an 8-week MBCT group for OCD.

Our intensive treatment program consists of residential services as well as day hospital treatment for individuals with severe symptoms of OCD. Within this treatment program, trainees will learn the delivery of intensive ERP. Furthermore, they will be able to co-facilitate a variety of groups, tailored to OCD, including CBT, ACT, DBT and Mindfulness. Individual therapy will also be available as well as learning more about family work for OCD.


Training of psychology practicum students includes administering structured clinical interviews for diagnostic assessment of Axis I disorders, developing clinical decision making skills, learning how to effectively communicate and collaborate with other health professionals, and training in empirically supported treatments. Given the clinical research role of this unit, clients are often participating in research trials which have a focus on the investigation of mechanisms underlying treatment response. The TADC also serves an important academic and teaching function for continued training of psychiatric residents and other mental health professionals who are interested in learning about the application of empirically validated treatment approaches. Supervision includes a minimum of two hours per week of individual supervision and group supervision, as well as weekly clinical rounds that are attended by all clinic staff.


The main focus of this practica involves collaborating with clinical psychology students in order to further develop their ability to provide a comprehensive multi-axial diagnosis, while considering optimal treatment suitability. During the practica, students develop strong case formulation skills, in order to optimally apply CBT principles to complex diagnostic presentations. Related training goals involve understanding the role of cognitive vulnerability factors, while considering the interaction between pharmacotherapy and psychological treatment of the disorder. Opportunities for participation in research are also available; however, this is determined on a case-by-case basis, in consideration of the students' overall caseload as well as considering additional clinical opportunities offered in this clinical service that the student may choose to be involved in.
We believe we will be able to offer you a unique training opportunity and look forward to receiving your application. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have.


Clinical practicum faculty supervisors

Neil A. Rector, Ph.D., C.Psych.

Dr. Neil A. Rector is a Clinical Psychologist and Senior Research Scientist at the Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI), Director of Research at the Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre and Director of the Mood and Anxiety Clinical Research program in the Department of Psychiatry at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Dr. Rector was a former staff psychologist and Director of the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at CAMH from 1998-2008.

Dr. Rector’s research interests focus on the study of cognitive and behavioural mechanisms of vulnerability in the development and persistence of anxiety, mood disorders and OCD and related disorders and their treatment with cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). His research has received funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Ontario Mental Health Foundation.

Dr. Rector’s recent awards include: Scholarship and Research Award (2011) from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI-Pennyslvania) (With A.T. Beck, Stolar & Grant); The Harvey Brooker Award For Excellence in Clinical Teaching from the Ontario Psychological Association (2011); The Paul E. Garfinkel Award for Excellence in Fellowship Supervision, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto (2010); The Colin R. Woolf Award for Excellence in Teaching, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto (2010); and The Psychotherapy Award for Academic Excellence, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto (2009).

In addition to having an active CBT practice, Dr. Rector trains and supervises psychology and psychiatry students, runs workshops nationally and internationally, and is past Co-Director of the University of Toronto’s Continuing Medical Education Intermediate and Advanced CBT courses. He is a certified trainer/consultant of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy (USA).

Lance L. Hawley, Ph.D., C. Psych.

Dr. Hawley is the staff psychologist for the Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. He completed his Ph.D. in clinical psychologyat McGill University.

In terms of his professional roles, he previously worked as a staff psychologist in the CAMH Mood and Anxiety Outpatient Service (2008-2014) as well as the CAMH Work Stress and Health Service (2013-2014), while maintaining a private practice role. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, and an Associate Graduate Faculty member with the University of Toronto, Scarborough. Dr. Hawley has provided training, workshops and supervision to mental health professionals, primarily utilizing CBT and Mindfulness Based CBT (MBCT) approaches for the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders.

His clinical interests involve providing empirically informed treatment to adults experiencing mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Hawley's research focus involves understanding factors which contribute to improved treatment response and symptom alleviation in cognitive behavioural therapy. He is the current Director of the University of Toronto’s Continuing Medical Education CBT introductory training course, and Co-Director of the Intermediate and Advanced CBT courses.

For more information, email:

Marlene Taube-Schiff, Ph.D., C. Psych.

Dr. Marlene Taube-Schiff is a clinical psychologist who recently joined the Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre.

Prior to this she worked in the adult mental health program at North York General Hospital. She has also worked in the bariatric surgery program and psychiatric inpatient unit at University Health Network. She has extensive experience providing cognitive behavioural therapy to individuals experiencing acute and severe mental health issues. She is an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, and an adjunct member to the graduate program in psychology at York University. She has provided training to mental health professionals in group facilitation skills and behavioural activation interventions.

Her current clinical and research interests include:

  • Program development and evaluation (qualitative and quantitative)
  • Provision of best-practice mental health care in inpatient and outpatient settings
  • Clinical outcome research in naturalistic treatment settings.

She has been supervising students for approximately ten years and uses a developmental approach when working with trainees.

Clients receiving care from the TADC may also be involved with allied healthcare professionals - our multidisciplinary staff including counsellors, social workers, psychiatry residents and physicians who provide assessment and treatment to clients experiencing mood and anxiety disorders.

Application procedure

We will be offering up to two practica placements for each time period

  • Fall/Winter: September 1 – April 30
  • Spring/Summer: May 1 – August 31

Each year, the submission and notification dates for the Fall/Winter Practica and the Spring/Summer Practica are announced by the GTA Practica organizing committee.

Applications for the Sunnybrook Psychology Practica should include:

  • Completed practica application form
  • Cover letter, including information about the applicant’s training goals.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • All graduate transcripts
  • Two letters of reference (preferably from an academic supervisor and from a clinical supervisor).

If you have any questions regarding the application process, contact:

Dr. Neil A. Rector, Ph.D., C.Psych.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue, Suite F327
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-6100 ext. 62233
Fax: 416-480-5345

Dr. Lance Hawley, Ph.D., C.Psych.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue, Suite K3W46
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-6100 ext. 684076
Fax: 416-480-5766

Application form

PDF icon Download the practica application form 

Please prepare two copies of your application; send one copy to Dr. Hawley and a second copy to Dr. Rector.

Observerships/Training in Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders

» View all upcoming events

Past Educational Opportunities

What's new in Hoarding?

A conference aimed at individuals with hoarding difficulties, their loved ones, and service providers to share emerging knowledge. Details and registration form.

Promoting Brain and Health Through Treatment and Technology

Thompson Awards

Advanced Training in Managing OCD

Practicum Training Program in Clinical Psychology

4th Annual Conference - March 18, 2016
The Future is Now: Evolving Best Practices for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders & Anxiety

Hoarding Conference - June 11, 2015
Managing Hoarding in the Community

3rd Annual Conference - March 6, 2015
Enhancing Outcomes in Anxiety & OCD

Past training opportunities

Advanced Training in Managing OCD

Learn more about the training program by clicking the drop-downs below:

Course description

The Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre is developing long lasting partnerships with clinicians interested in treating OCD. As part of this partnership, we are offering exclusive and intensive training through an accredited and highly subsidized University of Toronto certificate course. This certificate course is aimed at building your capacity to effectively and confidently care for patients with OCD.

We will be selecting a small cohort of clinicians to participate in training, including comprehensive workshops (across 2 weekends) and extensive small group supervision (over 6 months). The course will foster expertise in the assessment and diagnosis of patients with OCD, and the formulation of biopsychosocial management plans. You will learn to deliver effective evidence-based psychopharmacologic treatment; to provide a course of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) specific to OCD; and to address related family and work-place issues. Upon completion of this course, you will have the opportunity to be recognized as a preferred partner with ongoing opportunities for specialized education, supervision and support.

This unique course consists of:

  • Two comprehensive pharmacotherapy and CBT workshops on the weekends of October 15th & 16th and December 3rd & 4th 2016
  • Six evenings (6 – 9:15 PM) of monthly small group supervision January – June 2017
  • Optional individual phone supervision FREE to course registrants
    • Up to 12 sessions of clinical case supervision over a 6 month period with a flexible start date
    • Must be initiated within 1 year of course completion

Course objectives

By attending this course, participants will learn to:

  • Assess and confidently diagnose Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Related Disorders
  • Prescribe first-line evidence-based medication and have extensive knowledge of second-line options for patients
  • Deliver specialized CBT for a range of different OCD presentations

The skills you will acquire include:

  • Assessment and Diagnosis
    • Diagnose OCD and Related Disorders
    • Identify and formulate treatments for a range of different OCD presentations
    • Deliver different models of psychoeducation personalized to the patients’ need
  • Biological Treatment
    • Knowledgeably describe and prescribe first and second line pharmacology
    • Learn augmentation strategies for less responsive patients
    • Identify when alternative biological treatment options may be necessary and be familiar with these treatment options for highly refractory cases
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
    • Implement Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)
    • Integrate cognitive therapy strategies with ERP treatment regimen
    • Know how and when to combine pharmacotherapy and CBT

Expert Faculty

  • Peggy M.A. Richter, MD, FRCPC
  • Neil A. Rector, Ph.D., C.Psych.
  • Steven Selchen, MD, MSt, FRCPC
  • Lance Hawley, Ph.D., C.Psych.
  • Eliza Burroughs, M.C., R.P.


The heavily subsidized cost per person is only $995.00
Space limited for 12 MD participants


To register, please complete this form & submit to Kristin Crandlemire.

For more information, please contact call 416-480-6100 ext. 689256 or fax 416-480-5766.

Please note

Getting Started: Learning About OCD & Related Disorders Information Group is no longer being offered. We will notify you with any future changes when they are available.