Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Dean McKay, Ph.D., ABPP
Professor of Psychology
Department of Psychology
Dealy 422
441 East Fordham Road
Bronx, NY 10458-9993
(718) 817 - 4498
Office Hours: By appointment

Curriculum Vitae

C.O.A.P. Lab
 Clinical Interests | Research | Courses | Publications 

Clinical Interests
I am a cognitive-behavioral psychologist. I treat primarily individuals with anxiety disorders, across all ages. Most of my interests focus on the widespread applicability and acceptance of cognitive and behavioral methods to a wide variety of problems in the treatment community.

Major Research Interests Top
My research is actively carried out through the operations of my research lab, Compulsive, Obsessive, and Anxiety Program (C.O.A.P.). There are a multitude of ongoing research projects I am actively engaged in with graduate students to investigate my research interests outlined in detail below.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD is a complex and heterogeneous psychiatric condition that affects children, adolescents, and adults.  It has been associated with a wide range of psychiatric disability and is generally considered difficult to treat, yet responsive to available empirically supported interventions.  In generally, I have been interested in the nature and treatment of OCD, including maintaining factors, subtypes, complicating factors, assessment of severity, and general and specific cognitive factors.
This has lead to consideration of basic reconceptualization of the condition.  Presently, there are several models for OCD, but none adequately accounts for the full diversity of the disorder. 

Anxiety Disorders
Closely related to the work on OCD, my interest in anxiety disorders has also been concerned with maintaining factors and issues in cognitive-behavioral treatment.  In particular, I have been interested in the following aspects of anxiety problems: Depersonalization: This is a common perceptual and cognitive disturbance associated with a wide range of psychiatric problems, but notably in several anxiety disorders such as panic and posttraumatic stress.  Recent work has focused on methods of interventions for depersonalization. Health Anxiety: Previously health anxiety was more narrowly described as hypochondriasis. However, this fails to adequately account for cases where individuals struggle with heightened concerns over their health without a corresponding extreme belief that there is, in fact, a disease or illness present (as in hypochondriasis). 

Disgust in Anxiety Disorders
Disgust is an understudied emotion.  I have been actively investigating the role of disgust in phobias and contamination fear.  Contamination fear is a problem that naturally fits with disgust.  Disgust is a ‘communicable’ emotion, in that otherwise neutral objects have the capacity for taking on disgust properties.  A common problem among individuals with contamination fear is the notion of objects becoming ‘contaminated’ following incidental contact with items believed to be contaminated as well.  Disgust also plays a prominent role in other anxiety disorders and states.  Most notably, research has supported a role for disgust in blood-injury-injection phobia, and in insect and small animal phobias. However, as illustrated in a recent edited text (Olatunji & McKay, 2009), disgust has been associated with a wide range of other psychiatric conditions.

Courses Top

Selected Publications Top

A complete listing of all of Dr. McKay's published works may be obtained by visiting

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