Behavior Therapy and Research Lab

Researcher - Dr. Douglas Woods


The Research

Guided by Dr. Douglas Woods, the Behavior Therapy and Research Lab (BTRL) is dedicated to research on obsessive-compulsive related disorders, such as Tourette’s disorder and trichotillomania.  Research in the lab includes work on (1) understanding biopsychosocial factors underlying, maintaining, and exacerbating these disorders; (2) developing and testing treatments for these disorders; and (3) studying how to effectively disseminate treatments.  If you’re interested in participating in the lab’s research or if you’re just interested in learning more about the lab’s current research projects, click the “Current Projects” tab.


The Research Team

WoodsDirector: Dr. Douglas Woods

Dr. Douglas Woods is currently Professor of Psychology and Dean of the Graduate School at Marquette University. Prior to that, he was Head of Psychology at Texas A&M University from 2013-2015, and a faculty member, Chair of Psychology and Associate Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 1999-2013. Dr. Woods received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Western Michigan University in 1999. Dr. Woods has authored or co-authored over 260 papers or chapters, and authored or co-authored 9 books on Tic Disorders, Trichotillomania, and other repetitive behavior problems. Dr. Woods has received nearly $4 million in extramural funding from the NIMH and other funding sources. Dr. Woods is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.


Lab Members

Brandon Pitts, B.S.

Brandon PittsBrandon Pitts, M.S.
Title: 
Graduate Student
Email address: brandon.pitts@marquette.edu 
Brandon's CV

Brandon Pitts graduated with departmental honors from the University of Kansas (KU) in 2020 with a B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience, minors in Philosophy and Psychology, and a Mind and Brain Certificate. He began the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at Marquette University in the fall of 2021, working under the advisement of Dr. Douglas Woods.

While at KU, he assisted with a game theory study, with Dr. Richard Yi, investigating the role race (Black or White) plays in a person’s decision-making when playing a 3-person Ultimatum Game. At KU, he also conducted a neuroscience study, with Dr. Amber Watts, examining the relationship APOE ε4 has on executive function, verbal memory, and attention in the mildly cognitively impaired versus the cognitively unimpaired. In the summer of 2019, he worked with Dr. Michael Malek-Ahmadi at The Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, where he served as the principal investigator on 3 research projects done to improve the understanding of the role white matter hyperintensity plays in Alzheimer’s disease pathology.

Brandon’s current research interests include (1) examining the role environmental stimuli play in the presentation of tics in children and adults with tic disorders, (2) improving behavioral interventions and treatments for people with OCD-spectrum disorders, (3) and exploring the relationship between Tourette syndrome and impulsivity.

Jordan Stiede, M.S.

Jordan StiedeJordan Stiede, M.S.
Title:
Graduate Student
Email address:
jordan.stiede@marquette.edu
Jordan's CV

Jordan Stiede graduated summa cum laude from Ripon College in 2017 with a B.A. in Psychobiology and a minor in Spanish. He entered the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at Marquette University in the fall of 2017, working under Dr. Doug Woods’ advisement. In the spring of 2020, he completed his master’s thesis, which explored cultural differences in reactions to tics and tic severity. Jordan’s research interests include understanding, improving, and disseminating behavioral interventions for children and adults with tic disorders. He is currently working on his dissertation, which is examining the preliminary efficacy of an enhanced version of an online-delivered behavior therapy for tics called Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics – Enhanced (CBIT-E). Jordan is also overseeing a project aimed at investigating the impact of social interactions on tic frequency.

Kristine Vo, B.A.

Kristine VoKristine Vo, B.A.
Title: Graduate Student
Email address: kristine.vo@marquette.edu
Kristine's CV

Kristine Vo is a second-year graduate student in the Behavior Analysis program at Marquette University. She received her B.A. in Psychology at the California State University of Northridge. Kristine has two years of experience working with individuals diagnosed with ASD and developmental disabilities at an agency and the SSAIL lab. Currently, she is working as a graduate research assistant in the Tic Disorders Treatment Clinic under the supervision of Dr. Doug Woods and SSAIL lab under the supervision of Dr. Stephanie Hood at Marquette University. Her goal is to provide behavioral treatment to children and adolescents with tic disorders and other psychiatric disorders.

 

Current Projects

Online-Delivered Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics-Enhanced (CBIT-E)
Pilot Study

What is the purpose of this study?

The purpose of this study is to examine the preliminary efficacy of an enhanced version of an online-delivered behavior therapy for tics called Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics – Enhanced (CBIT-E).

 

What will I be asked to do as part of this study?

In the study, approximately 20 children with tic disorders will be randomized to one of two groups: CBIT-E or a waitlist control (WLC). For those randomized to CBIT-E, treatment will be administered according to the standard CBIT manual, but there will be two modifications. CBIT, which is the most well-supported nonpharmacological treatment for children with tics, typically consists of the implementation of strategies to help manage the environment related to tics and the implementation of an exercise to engage in when an individual feels the urge to tic. CBIT-E will include these same techniques, plus additional in-session and out of session practice of the exercises that individuals use when they feel the urge to tic.

Treatment will be delivered over Microsoft Teams, which is a secure video conferencing system. The therapist will administer treatment from a private room in the Marquette University Tic Disorder Specialty Clinic, while participants will be at their home. Treatment will include a screening visit, baseline assessment, 11 weeks (9 sessions) of CBIT-E, a post treatment assessment, and a three-month follow up assessment. Further, starting after session 3, there will be four 15-minute practice periods scheduled each week between sessions. During these practice periods, your child will meet over Microsoft Teams with the therapist or a research assistant.

Individuals randomized to the WLC will not receive treatment during the 11-week period. Instead, they will be placed on a waitlist to receive standard CBIT following the end of the study period. Participants in this group will complete a screening visit, baseline assessment, and a final assessment, which will occur approximately 11 weeks after baseline.

 

Who do I contact if I am interested in getting additional information about this study?

Please call (414) 288-6177 for more information. Upon calling, you will be asked to complete a 20-minute phone interview. This phone interview will help us determine whether you will be able to participate in the study. You may also email jordan.stiede@marquette.edu with any questions about the study.

Examining the Impact of Social Interactions on Tic Frequency

Description: The purpose of this study is to determine if social interactions impact tic frequency. The study consists of three 10-minute conditions. For one of the conditions, you will be asked to sit quietly without talking.  For another condition, you will be asked to talk with the researcher about anything you want that is not related to your tics.  For the last condition, you will be asked to talk only about your tics with the researcher. The study will be completed online over Microsoft Teams, and it will be audio and video recorded to ensure accuracy.

 

To be eligible for the study, you have to:

  • Meet criteria for Tourette’s disorder or a persistent motor/vocal tic disorder
  • Age 8 – 65
  • Speak English as a primary language
  • Have access to a computer and secure Internet connection

For more information about this study:
Contact Jordan Stiede at (414) 288-6177 or jordan.stiede@marquette.edu.

 

Join the Lab

Information for Aspiring Undergrad RAs

The lab is currently seeking undergraduate research assistants (RA) to assist with ongoing research projects. If you’re interested in potentially being an RA in the lab, please send an email to Brandon Pitts (brandon.pitts@marquette.edu) informing him of your interest in working in the lab. Please be sure to include a completed "Behavior Therapy Research Lab Undergraduate Research Application" in your email.

Information for Aspiring grad students

Dr. Woods will be considering new students for the 2022-23 academic year.

 

Lab Alumni

Lab Alumni

  • Jennifer Alexander, PhD. - Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Minnesota Department of Psychiatry
  • Ellen J. Teng, Ph.D. – Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine
  • Andrea Begotka, Ph.D. – Psychologist at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
  • Brook A. Marcks, Ph.D. – Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology at University of Memphis
  • Melissa Norberg, Ph.D. – Senior Lecturer, Macquarie University, Sydney Australia
  • Michael B. Himle, Ph.D. – Associate Professor of Psychology and Assistant Director of Clinical Training at University of Utah
  • Chad T. Wetterneck, PhD. – Psychologist at Rogers Memorial Hospital in Oconomowoc, WI
  • Christopher A. Flessner, Ph.D. – Associate Prof of Psychology at Kent State University
  • Christine A. Conelea, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at University of Minnesota School of Medicine
  • Michael R. Walther, Ph.D. – Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University Medical School
  • Emily J. Ricketts, Ph.D. – Assistant Clinical Professor at UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior
  • Matthew R. Capriotti, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor at San Jose State University
  • Flint M. Espil, Ph.D. – Clinical Assistant Professor within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Ivar Snorrason, Ph.D. – Instructor of Psychology (Psychiatry) at Harvard Medical School
  • David C. Houghton, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston
  • Michael P. Twohig, Ph.D. – Professor of Psychology at Utah State University
  • Amanda C. Adcock, M.S., Ph.D. – Clinical Psychologist at VA Maine Health Care System in Augusta, ME.
  • Benjamin T. P. Tucker, M.S. – Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and founder of Open Spectrum Behavior Therapy in San Francisco, CA