Thomas Wen-Chi Chao

Ph.D, C. Psych. (Supervised Practice)

Dr. Thomas Chao is a psychologist in supervised practice. Thomas received his PhD in Clinical psychology from the New School for Social Research. He is currently a IMH Marshall Fellow and postdoctoral researcher at the University of British Columbia, Department of Psychiatry. In his clinical work, he specializes in therapy for adults with obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorders, substance use, emotion regulation, and relationship difficulties. His practice emphasizes using an adaptive combination of evidence-based interventions, drawn mainly from cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy. Thomas is also formally trained in psychodynamic therapy. Here, he brings a more nuanced approach to understanding the meaning and complexity of the unique challenges his clients may be facing.

At FTPS, Thomas’ focus includes the treatment of OCD. He has worked with individuals presenting with a range of OCD symptoms, including obsessions and compulsions related to contamination, sexuality, harm, perfectionism, just right feelings and many other areas. Thomas’ approach prioritizes comfort, safety, and positive encouragement when it comes to engaging his clients in OCD work.

Prior to completing his predoctoral residency at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), he trained at various hospitals across New York City, including Columbia University Irving Medical Center, where he undertook a 3-year federally funded translational research fellowship. Thomas also received training at the NewYork-Presbyterian Columbia University, Department of Neurology and the New York Institute for Family Health. Through his clinical work, Thomas has had success in working with individuals, couples, and families from a wide range of socio-economic, cultural, racial/ethnic, and other social identity backgrounds. Thomas also currently holds a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of British Columbia, Department of Psychiatry. A key aspect of Thomas’ work is staying actively involved with research, so that up-to-date scientific knowledge would continue to inform his clinical approach and practice.

Thomas Wen-Chi Chao’s practice includes the following services:

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Recent Scientific Publications

Martinez, S., Harris, H., Chao, T., Luba, R., Pravetoni, M., Comer, S., & Jones, J. (2023). The Potential Role of Opioid Vaccines and Monoclonal Antibodies in the Opioid Overdose Crisis. Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs.

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Bauer, A., Ruglass, L., Shevorykin, A., Saraiya, T., Robinson, G., Cadet, K., Julien, L., Chao, T., & Hien, D. (2022). Predictors of Therapeutic Alliance, Treatment Feedback, and Clinical Outcomes Among African American Women in Treatment for Co-occurring PTSD and SUD. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 139,108766.

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Todesco, S., Chao, T., Schmid, L., Thiessen, K. A., & Schütz, C. (2022). Changes in Loss Sensitivity During Treatment in Inpatients with Concurrent Disorders: A Computational Model Approach to Assessing Risky Decision Making and Treatment Outcome. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12.

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Brandt, L., Chao, T., Comer, S. D., & Levin, F. R. (2021). How Can We Optimally Channel Therapeutic Optimism to Advance Pharmacotherapy Research on Cocaine use Disorder? Addiction.

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Xia, R., Chao, T., Patel, D., & Bedi, G. (2021). Responses to Social Evaluative Stress in Regular Cannabis Smokers. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 35, 833-840.

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Recent Presentations

Chao, T., Schmid, L., Khehra, J., Hajirawala, S., & Schütz, C. (June 2022). Action-tendency Retraining in Severe Psychiatric Inpatients with Stimulant Use Disorder: A Preliminary Analysis on Stimulant Craving and Treatment Outcomes. College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) 84th Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN.

Todesco, S., Chao, T., Scheef, L., & Schütz, C. (June 2022). Stress- and Cue-induced Brain Activation and Relapse in Cigarette Smokers Undergoing Smoking Cessation Treatment: A Prospective fMRI Study. College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) 84th Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN.

Chao, T., Xia, R., & Bedi, G. (June 2020). Reinforcement Learning in Aging Cocaine Smokers. College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) 82nd Annual Scientific Meeting, Virtual Meeting.