The Anxiety Subspecialty Treatment program (AnxST)

Mission Statement 

The Anxiety Subspecialty Treatment program (AnxST) is a multidisciplinary anxiety clinic that bridges the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the Department of Psychology at Nebraska Medicine. Lauren Edwards MD is the Medical Director; Justin Weeks PhD is the Psychotherapy Director. The AnxST team is comprised of psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric residents, advanced practice providers, masters-level therapists, psychotherapy trainees, and a registered psychiatric nurse. We meet as a team multiple times per week to coordinate patient care and ensure optimal outcomes for our patients across the varying levels of treatment we provide. 

AnxST provides evidence-based treatment for all of the major anxiety and anxiety-related disorders:

Treatment foci primarily include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT, in both individual and group format) and medication management in accordance with expert guidelines. 

In addition to being a multidisciplinary clinic, AnxST is also a transgenerational anxiety clinic in that we provide services across all major age groups. While the majority of AnxST providers focus on adults (ranging from young adult to geriatric patients), our team includes a pediatric psychiatrist (Ryan Edwards, MD) and a pediatric psychologist (Tessa Holscher, PsyD). 

Alongside clinical services, AnxST also conducts clinically-oriented research into anxiety and anxiety-related disorders. Opportunities to participate in research are currently available.

Theranova Study

The Department of Psychiatry is teaming with Theranova, a medical device developer who has done other research projects with UNMC. This study will use an electrical nerve stimulation device, which is worn by twice daily by participants. Vaughan said the device delivers an electrical stimulation to the participant’s peripheral nerves and may result in a reduction in anxiety. Theoretically, the mechanism of action would be similar to that of acupuncture. Studies have shown that the stimulation of certain nerves can enhance GABA activity in the brain. Studies of acupuncture of these nerves have demonstrated improvements in anxiety in patients with generalized anxiety disorder. However, this device allows people to do the treatment in their home, without requiring regular visits to an acupuncturist.

More information

Information flyer

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

AnxST Staff
Medical Director:
Lauren Edwards, MD

Psychotherapy Director:
Justin W. Weeks, PhD 

Lauren Holcomb, PhD
Tessa Holscher, PsyD 
Joseph E. Poler, Jr., PsyD
Justin Weeks, PhD

Lauren Edwards, MD
Ryan Edwards, MD

Masters-Level Therapists:
Karin Humenick-Cullen, LIMHP, LPC
Meagan Kankovsky, LICSW

Kathleen Spurgin, LMHP

Psychiatric Residents:
Matthew R. Kelly, MD
Emily Royer, MD