Current Research Projects

Online delivery of psychotherapy, tailored to patients' suffering from mental health problems due to COVID-19


Through this research, we offer 9 weeks of e-CBT modules for the overall management of the burden and stress caused or increased by COVID-19 pandemic. These modules are focused on coping skills and resilience building which have been shown to be effective in treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. We are using the Online Psychotherapy Tool (OPTT) (designed by Dr. Alavi), a secure cloud-based platform, to deliver therapy. We hypothesize that delivering these psychotherapeutic interventions in this manner will improve quality of life and decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety during this pandemic.

Feasibility and Effectiveness of Delivering Cognitive Behavioural Therapy through Online Psychotherapy Tool (OPTT) for Depression.


The purpose of this study is to determine the feasibility of delivering Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to treat depressive symptoms through an online, module-based program. The study also aims to measure the effectiveness of using the computer program OPTT to decrease depressive symptoms. This program includes 12 e-CBT sessions.

Determining the efficacy of online cognitive behavioural therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder compared to pharmaceutical interventions


The purpose of this study is to evaluate the usefulness of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in the treatment of anxiety delivered through a web-based platform called the Online PsychoTherapy Tool (OPTT). 12 Weekly sessions of e-CBT through OPTT will consist of approximately 30 slides. Each session is expected to last approximately 50 minutes. The slides will highlight a different topic each week and include general information, an overview of skills and homework on that topic.

Delivering Electronic Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to Patients with Bipolar Disorder and Residual Depressive Symptoms


This is a 12-week e-CBT program for individuals with diagnosis of bipolar II disorder suffering from current symptoms of depression. Weekly sessions of e-CBT consist of approximately 30 slides. The content and format of each weekly online session is designed to mirror in-person CBT. It consists of the same training as one would receive through a live session. These 12 sessions, along with the homework, will be completed through the fully secure environment. The modules will highlight a different topic each week and include general information, an overview of skills, and homework that is to be completed within that week.

Internet-based mental state monitoring using patient's textual data


Using the deep learning tools, now we would include speech of the individuals in the internet-based psychotherapy system. We are going to collect the text data from individuals enrolled in Online Psychotherapy.

Outcomes of involuntary hospital admission. Satisfaction with treatment and the effect of involuntary admissions on patients.


In this study we are aiming to explore the reasons involuntary admissions happen and assess their effectiveness for patients, assessing patients’ and physicians’ views of the justification of admission upon discharge and in 1 year follow-up and also the long term out-come after a year from discharge.  

Do clinicians use the common suicidal attempt predictors, in managing patients with suicidal ideation?


This study will have 3 steps. In this study we will look at interactional factors that shape both how clinicians conduct their decisions and their understanding of what ‘causes’ someone to harm themselves in assessing patients with suicidal ideation or behaviour.