Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de l’Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal
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Aardema, Frederick

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
Researcher, Research Center, Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Montreal

Phone : 514-251-4000

Publications   Bourses et subventions   Affiliations professionnelles

Research axis

Treatment and Rehabilitation adapted to Populations

Areas of expertise

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Delusional Disorder, Derealisation, Cognition, Self-Constructs, Cognitive-Behavioural therapy, Inference-based therapy.


Dr. Frederick Aardema studied clinical psychology at the University of Groningen and the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Dr. Frederick Aardema has published widely in international journals in the field of obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, and is a frequent presenter at scientific conferences. His research interests include psychometric and experimental methods in the measurement of reasoning processes in OCD, as well as the application of inference and narrative based models in the treatment of repugnant obsessions. Other aspects of his research include dissociation, virtual reality, introspective ability, self-constructs and psychological assessment. A recent research project investigates the role of confabulatory introspection and insight in non-clinical populations. Specifically, the overlap between Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Delusional Disorder has been a matter of debate for some time, leading some to suggest that OCD might be better conceptualized as a belief disorder rather than an anxiety disorder. The application of this paradigm to clinical disorders is expected to have a considerable impact as it could resolve the long-standing question as to why and how people arrive at false beliefs about reality – a central topic in cognitive-behavioural formulations of clinical disorders. In addition, Dr. Frederick Aardema pioneered the development of a new questionnaire that reliably measured a characteristic reasoning style in those with obsessive-compulsive and delusional disorder – The Inferential Confusion Questionnaire. His work in reasoning led to the development of an innovative theoretical approach to repugnant obsessions, including the role of self-themes and fear-of-self perceptions in the development and maintenance of obsessions. Such self-themes play an integral part in novel cognitive-behavioral treatments of OCD based on an inference based approach (IBA) to OCD, which have shown promise as an effective treatment for those with limited insight. A large scale randomized multi-centre study comparing the effectiveness of IBA with traditional cognitive-behavioral therapy currently ongoing, while future studies are planned to directly investigate the effectiveness of an inference based approach in treatment resistant cases of OCD.

Awards and Honours

  • New Investigator Award, CIHR (2011-2016)
  • Research Scholar, Junior 2, FRQS (2016)
  • Research Scholar, Junior 1 (rank 1), FRQS (2011-2015) 
  • Évaluation d'une nouvelle thérapie cognitive (la thérapie basée sur les inférences) pour le traitement du trouble obsessionnel-compulsif (co-investigator, CIHR, 2011-2016) 
  • Introspection et insight dans les populations cliniques et non-clinique (principal investigator, CIHR, 2011-2015) 
  • Introspection and insight in non-clinical and clinical populations (principal investigator, établissement de jeunes chercheurs. FRQS, 2011-2013) 
  • Regroupement multidisciplinaire de la recherche clinique sur le spectre du trouble obsessionnel compulsif (co-investigator, FRQS, 2010-2014) 



Audet, J.S., Aardema, F., et Moulding, R. (2016) Contextual determinants of intrusions and obsessions: The role of ego-dystonicity and the reality of obsessional thoughts. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders.  9: 96-106. Abstract

Melli, G., Aardema, F., et Moulding, R. (2016) Fear of Self and Unacceptable Thoughts in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Clin Psychol Psychother.  23 3: 226-235. Pubmed

Aardema, F., KP, O. C., Delorme, M. E., & Audet, J. S. (2016). The Inference-Based Approach (IBA) to the Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: An Open Trial Across Symptom Subtypes and Treatment-Resistant Cases. Clin Psychol Psychother. Epub ahead of print. Pubmed

Julien, D., O’Connor, K., & Aardema, F. (2016). The inference-based approach to obsessive-compulsive disorder: A comprehensive review of its etiological model, treatment efficacy, and model of change. J Affect Disord, 202, 187-196. Pubmed

Roberts, S., O'Connor, K., Aardema, F., Bélanger, C., et Courchesne, C. (2016) The role of emotion regulation in body-focused repetitive behaviors. The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist.  9 e7. Abstract 


Moritz, S., Dietl, C., Kersten, J.F., Aardema, F., & O`Connor, K. (accepté). Evaluation of Inference Based Therapy (“Doubt therapy”) as a self-help tool for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy.

Lalonde, M.P., O`Connor, K. & Aardema, F. (sous presse). Food for thought: Ego-dystonicity and fear of self in eating disorders. European Eating Disorders Review. PubMed

Aardema, F.,
Ecker, W., & O`Connor, K. (sous presse). Deutsche ubersetzung des Inferential Confusion Questionnaire-Expanded Version [German translation of the Inferential Confusion Questionnaire- Expanded Version]. Verhaltenstherapie [Behavior Therapy].

Paradisis, S.M., Aardema, F., & Wu, K. (sous presse). Schizotypal, dissociative and imaginative processes in a clinical OCD sample.  Journal of Clinical Psychology. Pubmed

Nikodijevic, A., Moulding, R., Aardema, F., & Nedeljkovic, M. (in press). Fear of self, doubt and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry.

Melli, G., Aardema, F., & Moulding, R. (in press). Fear of self and unacceptable thoughts in OCD. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy.

Roberts, S., Bélanger, C., Aardema, F., & O’Connor, K. (2015). The impact of emotions on body-focused repetitive behaviors: Evidence from a non-treatment-seeking sample. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 46, 189-197.


Moulding, R., Aardema, F., & O`Connor, K. (2014). Repugnant obsessions: A review of the phenomenology, theoretical models, and treatment of sexual and aggressive obsessional themes in OCD. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, 3, 161-168.

Aardema F., Johansson P., Hall L., Paradisis S-M., Zidani M., Roberts S. (2014). Choice Blindness, Confabulatory Introspection, and Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms: A New Area of Investigation. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, March, Vol. 7, No. 1: 83–102.

Van Niekerk J., Brown G., Aardema F.,  O’Connor K. (2014). Integration of Inference-Based Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder—A Case Series. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, March, Vol. 7, No. 1: 67–82.


Aardema, F., Moulding, R., Radomsky, A. & Doron, G. (2013). Fear of self and obsessionality: Development and validation of the Fear of Self Questionnaire. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders 2, 306–315. Article    

O'Connor, K., Koszegi, N., Goulet, G., & Aardema, F. (2013). Distrust of the senses, imagined possibilities, reasoning errors and doubt generation in obsessional-compulsive disorder. Clinical Neuropsychiatry, 10, 65-71. 


Aardema, F. , O'Connor, K. (2012). Dissolving the tenacity of obsessional doubt: Implications for treatment outcome. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry 43(2): 855-861. Pubmed

O'Connor, K., Freeston, M., Delorme, M. E., Aardema, F., Polman, A., Careau, Y., Grenier, S. (2012). Covert neutralization in the treatment of OCD with overt compulsions. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, 1(4), 274-282. Résumé/Abstract 

O’Connor, K. & Aardema, F.  (2012). Living in a bubble: Dissociation, relational consciousness and obsessive compulsive disorder. Journal of Consciousness Studies 19, 216-246.

O'Connor, K., Bélanger, L., Aardema, F., Pérodeau, G., & Harel, F. (2012). The predictive utility of health preoccupations and outcome expectancies prior to benzodiazepine withdrawal. Journal of Substance Use 17(2):122-133. Article


Aardema, F. & Wu, K. (2011). Imaginative, dissociative and schizotypal processes in obsessive compulsive symptoms. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 67, 74-81. Pubmed


Aardema, F., O'Connor, K., Cote, S., & Taillon, A. (2010). Virtual reality induces dissociation and lowers sense of presence in objective reality. Cyberpsychology, behavior and social networking, 13(4), 429-435. Pubmed

Aardema, F., Wu, K. D., Careau, Y., O'Connor, K., Julien, D., & Dennie, S. (2010). The Expanded Version of the Inferential Confusion Questionnaire: Further Development and Validation in Clinical and Non-Clinical Samples. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 32(3), 448-462.


Aardema, F., O'Connor, K., Pelissier, M.-C., & Lavoie, M. (2009). The quantification of doubt in obsessive-compulsive disorder. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 2(2), 188-205.

Julien D, O'Connor KP, Aardema F. (2009). Intrusions related to obsessive-compulsive disorder: a question of content or context? J Clin Psychol. 65(7):709-22. Pubmed

O`Connor, K., Pélissier, & Aardema, F, Taillon, A. (2009). An inference-based approach to treating obsessive-compulsive disorders. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice. 16 (4),420–429 Abstract


Wu KD, Aardema F, O'Connor KP. (2008). Inferential confusion, obsessive beliefs, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms: a replication and extension. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 23, 746-752. Pubmed



Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

O`Connor, K. & Aardema, F. (2012). The Clinician`s OCD Manual: Inference Based Therapy. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell (2012)



Frederick Aardema. Explorations in Consciousness, Mount Royal Publishing, Montreal (2012)