Research Interests:

My research is focused on the application of Motivational Interviewing (MI) to anxiety disorders and the integration of MI with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for anxiety. My collaborators and I have conducted several clinical trials to examine the efficacy of MI-CBT. As part of York’s outstanding psychotherapy process research faculty, my current research is focused on understanding resistance in psychotherapy, especially disharmony in the therapeutic relationship, lack of collaboration, and disengagement. I am also interested in client ambivalence about change, as well as outcome expectations, and how these impact the unfolding process in therapy. In general, I am particularly interested in studying and training in core facilitative relationship skills such as empathy, alliance- building, and client-centered therapist attitudes. Relatedly, I have developed a strong interest in training therapists in process-sensitivity, including process observational skills and responsivity to moment-to-moment key contextual markers in the therapy process.

Major Research Grants:

  • Canadian Institute of Health Research, Operating Grant (2011-2017)

Adding Motivational Interviewing to CBT for Severe Generalized Anxiety Disorder.


  • Drs. H. Westra, M. Constantino, & M. Antony. $794,178
    National Institute of Mental Health, Treatment Development Grant 2011-2016
    Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Generalized Anxiety.


  • Drs. H.A. Westra, H. Arkowitz, D.J.A. Dozois, $405,000 (USD)
    New Investigator Award, Canadian Institute for Health Research, 2006-2011 $55,000 per annum


  • Canadian Institute of Health Research, New Emerging Teams Grant. (2008-2013), $1,500,000 Pathways to Mental Health Treatment: Mobilizing Knowledge to Improve Consumer Decision-Making, Advocacy, and Access. Co-applicant with large research team and multiple community organizations.