Researchers in the Centre for Collaborative Research on Hoarding come from a range of sub-disciplines within psychology and social work. We are joined by graduate students as well as talented undergraduate researchers who do directed studies and honours projects or serve as research assistants.

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Sheila Woody

Centre Director

Dr. Sheila Woody is a registered psychologist with many years of experience conducting research and therapy involving anxiety-based disorders. She supervises clinical psychology graduate students in research and clinical interventions (CBT) for hoarding.

Dr. Woody completed her PhD in Psychology in the clinical program at American University (1992). She did a postdoctoral fellowship at the UBC Department of Psychiatry before taking her first faculty position at Yale University. In 2000, she joined the faculty at UBC. Dr. Woody is currently a Professor of Psychology at UBC.

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Christiana Bratiotis

Associate Centre Director

Dr. Christiana Bratiotis is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at The University of British Columbia. Her pioneering research is in the formation and operation of multi-disciplinary community hoarding task forces, highlighted in her first book titled, “The Hoarding Handbook: A Guide for Human Service Professionals” published by Oxford University Press. She is a leading global authority on implementing community-based interventions for hoarding and hoarding behaviour. In mid-2020, Christiana co-authored her second book titled, “Hoarding: What Everyone Needs to Know” also published by Oxford University Press. Christiana has given more than 200 invited community lectures, keynote addresses, agency clinical trainings and academic presentations on hoarding.

Christiana earned her PhD in Social Work and Sociology from Boston University where she also completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at the school of social work. She holds a Masters of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Nevada, Reno, where she also earned her Bachelor of Arts in Social Psychology. Christiana completed a one-year post-MSW fellowship at the Yale School of Medicine, Child Study Center. Her work has been highlighted by media outlets including the Canadian Press, The Vancouver Sun, the New York Times, and the Boston Globe.

Centre Staff
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Chloe Sernasie

Research Assistant

Chloe completed her B.A. in psychology at UBC, where she gained valuable experience researching anxiety-related disorders. Since graduating, she has been involved in various mental health roles, working to improve access to mental health resources through her work at a local non-profit, as well as providing direct support to clients in community mental health settings. These diverse experiences have shaped her research interests, which encompass mental health, stigma reduction, barriers to treatment, and community-engaged research.

Chloe joined the research team at the Centre in 2022 and is currently pursuing her M.A. in Counselling Psychology at UBC.

Community Partners
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Lived Experience Advisor

I.P. has served as a Lived Experience Advisor since 2020.

As personally challenging as being a Lived Experience Advisor has sometimes been, I.P. has been proud to wholeheartedly participate in as many aspects of the research as she could. She has pushed us to look at the research from different angles, inspired us to stretch our thinking, and enthusiastically supported our work in whatever ways she could.

Karen Rowa


Advisory Team

Karen Rowa, Ph.D., C.Psych. is a psychologist and Clinical Director at the Anxiety Treatment and Research Clinic at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University. Dr. Rowa is active in education, clinical supervision, research, and clinical service focused on CBT for anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, and hoarding disorder. She is a fellow of the Canadian Association of Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies.

Dr. Rowa has published over 80 peer-reviewed articles and chapters, as well as two books in the area of anxiety disorders, hoarding disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder.

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Michael Tompkins


Advisory Team

Michael A. Tompkins, PhD, ABPP is a licensed psychologist (PSY 13822) and board certified in Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. Dr. Tompkins is the co-director of the San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy, and an adjunct faculty member for the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy. He is the author or co-author of numerous articles and chapters on cognitive-behavior therapy and related topics, as well as 14 books, including Digging Out: Helping Your Loved One Manage Clutter, Hoarding, and Compulsive Acquiring (with Tamara L. Hartl) (New Harbinger, 2009) and the Clinician’s Guide to Severe Hoarding: A Harm Reduction Approach (2015), a book for clinicians who work with people with severe hoarding behavior. Dr. Tompkins has presented nationally and internationally on cognitive-behavior therapy, hoarding, and related topics. He is the recipient of 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mental Health Association of San Francisco.

Learn more about the organizations we partner with in research.

Students and Alumni
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Sanjana Bedi

Undergraduate Honours Student

Sanjana is a fourth year student at UBC, and she is working on her Honours research with us. Her research focuses on stigma and social functioning of people with hoarding.

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Persephone Larkin

PhD Student

Persephone is a second-year PhD student in the clinical psychology program at UBC. She completed her BA in Psychology at Ryerson University in Toronto. Persephone’s MA thesis involved creating a measure to assess the most essential health and safety risks in hoarded homes. Her dissertation focuses on exploring the influence of stigma towards those who struggle with hoarding disorder on the utilization of large-scale interventions by community service providers.

Raymond Li

MA Student

Raymond is a first-year MA quantitative psychology student who is supervised by Dr. Jeremy Biesanz. Raymond’s research focuses on the application of machine learning methods for improving psychological research.

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Nancy Lin

PhD Student

Nancy Lin, MSW, RSW is a healthcare social worker and PhD Candidate at the UBC School of Social Work. Nancy’s research focuses on facilitating health inclusion for people with (dis)abilities. Her SSRHC-funded doctoral research aims to enhance mental health accessibility for people with acquired brain injury. Her work investigates cross-disciplinary methods of adapting psychosocial supports to accommodate brain injury-related (dis)ability. Nancy’s other interests include evidence-based practice and epistemological pluralism.

Graduate Student Alumni

Maria Bleier

Natalie Brown

Klint Fung

Sarah Heubert

May Luu

Kirstie Kellman-McFarlane

Kate Kysow

Mikayla Pachkowski

Boaz Saffer

Brent Stewart

Alex Terpstra

Alison Welsted

Jennifer Yip

Undergraduate Student Alumni

Bana Ashour

Carly Chui

Tom Chung

Jennifer Duong

Becca Ferguson

Niousha Gazor

Jordan Grubner

Patricia Jiang

Rajeena Kumar

Navio Kwok

Jacqueline Saint-Pierre

Dania Salih

Simon Sheppard

Briana Smirfitt

Jovana Ubiparip

Helen Wang