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)