OptEx Study for Social Anxiety and Panic Disorder

The Optimizing Exposure Therapy (OptEx) Study is designed to examine the effectiveness of two different types of therapy for individuals with panic disorder or social anxiety disorder. Both treatments involve repeatedly confronting feared sensations and situations, known as exposure therapy. One treatment focuses on methods to enhance the learning that occurs during exposure therapy, while the other emphasizes reducing fear during exposure therapy. Each of these therapies include components and therapeutic strategies that have been demonstrated to be effective.

This is the link to online screening for this study:


Eligibility Criteria

Individuals who seeking treatment for anxiety may be eligible for the study if they are between the ages of 18 to 65, are English speaking, are not currently suffering from major medical conditions, and are either un-medicated or stabilized on medications.

Screening Procedures

Interested participants should leave their contact information (i.e., name, phone number, best times to call) at (310) 825-5614. Participants are then phoned by study personnel and asked a few simple screening questions. If eligible, participants are scheduled for an in-person, no-cost, diagnostic evaluation (approximately 2-3 hours) at the UCLA Psychology Clinic.

Payment and Fees

Participants will be offered 9 weeks of free treatment.

Treatment Procedures

Treatment is conducted one on one, over 9 weekly visits at the UCLA Psychology Clinic. Assessments are conducted prior to beginning treatment, mid-treatment, at completion of treatment and 3 months later. These assessments include diagnostic evaluations, a battery of self-report questionnaires, behavioral observation, and physiological recording in a laboratory.

Study Personnel Contact

For further information about this project, contact:
Wendy Huerta
(310) 825-5614

Protocol ID:IRB#15-000156 UCLA IRB Approved Approval Date: 10/12/2017 Through: 9/12/2019 Committee: Medical IRB 3