The candidate, Dr. Kate Wolitzky-Taylor, is proposing to receive training in (a) effectiveness research methodology;and (b) clinical and research issues in treating comorbid anxiety disorders in substance using populations. The purpose of acquiring training in these areas is for the candidate to develop a program of work aimed at (a) increasing access to cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) for anxiety disorders among those with substance use disorders;(b) adapting CBT protocols for anxiety disorders to be suitable and appropriate for delivery to persons with substance use disorders;(c) ensuring that these adapted CBT protocols are consistent with and fit into the culture of typical addictions treatment settings;and (d) examining the effectiveness of these interventions in real-world clinical settings such as Intensive Outpatient Programs in community addictions treatment centers. Previous Experience: The candidate has received extensive training and experience in the research and treatment of anxiety disorders. She has excelled in both conducting research in the treatment of anxiety disorders and in delivering CBT for anxiety disorders to a wide variety of patients. Her experiences include an undergraduate research assistantship at the Trauma and Anxiety Recovery Program at the Emory University School of Medicine, doctoral training in clinical psychology at the Laboratory for the Study of Anxiety Disorders at the University of Texas at Austin s Department of Psychology, completing a research-oriented clinical internship in the Department of Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina in the Traumatic Stress Track, and her current postdoctoral research fellowship at the Anxiety Disorders Research Center at the University of California-Los Angeles Department of Psychology. Career Goals: The candidate aspires to obtain a tenure-track faculty position in a psychology department in which she can build a research program that incorporates her current expertise in anxiety disorders with her burgeoning interest in the treatment of comorbid anxiety and substance use disorders (SUDs) and the evaluation of CBT protocols in real-world clinical addictions settings. Research Career Development Plan: The primary goals of the career development plan are to (a) learn about both evidence-based and typically delivered treatments for SUDs, both broadly and in the context of anxiety-SUD comorbidity and (b) develop skills needed to adapt CBT for anxiety disorders to a community clinical setting providing addictions treatment and secondary goals include (a) learning methodology of effectiveness research and (b) advanced statistical training in approaches for analyzing data from effectiveness trials. These goals will be accomplished through directed readings, clinical experiences, consultation, coursework, and participation in seminars and conferences. Research Project: The candidate is proposing to (a) adapt the CALM Tools for Living CBT program for anxiety disorders that demonstrated effectiveness in a large-scale effectiveness study in primary care (NIMH-funded U01;PIs Craske and Roy-Byrne are mentors on this proposal);and (b) examine the effectiveness of the adaptation in an outpatient addictions treatment clinic. The adaptation will be designed to be appropriate for a substance use disorder population and feasible for integration and adoption into a typical outpatient addictions treatment program. The effectiveness trial will be a pilot study to assess preliminary effectiveness and feasibility. Institutional Environment: The UCLA community provides a wealth of relevant training opportunities. The UCLA Department of Psychology receives considerable federal funding for research, and the clinical psychology program is consistently ranked as the top program in the country. In addition, UCLA s School of Public Health, Health Sciences Research Center, Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, and Institute for Social Research are highly regarded and will all be utilized as resources for completing training objectives.
Those with anxiety and substance use disorder comorbidity are rarely treated for their anxiety disorder, and treating anxiety in this population may reduce anxiety symptoms as well as improve substance use outcomes. The proposed research aims to investigate the effectiveness of a cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT) program for anxiety disorders to be delivered in community outpatient substance abuse treatment centers. Addressing anxiety disorders with evidence-based treatments in real-world clinical addictions settings is likely to have significant public health implications, reducing symptoms of both anxiety and substance use disorders.