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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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.

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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.

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 at the Centre. Her research focuses on stigma and social functioning of people with hoarding.

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Kate Kysow

PhD Student

Kate is in her final year of the doctoral program in clinical psychology. Her dissertation focuses on clean-outs and evictions in cases of hoarding. She is interested in multidisciplinary interventions for hoarding and the impact of hoarding behaviour in social housing buildings. Kate completed her psychology residency at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre.

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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.

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Nancy Lin

PhD Student

Nancy Lin, MSW, RSW is a doctoral student at the UBC School of Social Work. Nancy’s master’s research explored social work students’ perceptions of evidence-based practice. Her doctoral dissertation is focused on adapting psychosocial supports for people with acquired brain injuries, an area of passionate interest growing out of her clinical experience as a healthcare social worker. Nancy received a highly-competitive SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship to support her doctoral studies.

Smiling image of May Luu

May Luu

PhD Student

May is completing her final year in our clinical psychology doctoral program. She is originally from Calgary, Alberta and completed her BA (Honours) in Psychology at the University of Calgary. Her dissertation focuses on identifying and comparing vulnerability factors for excessive acquisition in hoarding and other populations. Her master’s thesis examined predictors of poor living conditions (i.e., squalor and disrepair) in hoarded homes. May completed her psychology residency at the Waterloo Region Psychology Consortium (WRPC).

Graduate Student Alumni

Maria Bleier

Natalie Brown

Klint Fung

Sarah Heubert

Kirstie Kellman-McFarlane

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