I serve as the Clinical Director of Ottawa River Psychology Group. Monday to Thursday I see patients at my private offices at 9 Lewis Street. On Fridays, and when I teach mindfulness and compassion based classes, I am at 44 Hawthorne Avenue serving others alongside my Ottawa River Psychology Group colleagues.
I intend that my work with you comes from a place of integrity. As a clinician with over 25 years of experience in mental health and psychology, I commit to integrity in what I teach. I have outstanding academic and clinical training as a Registered Psychologist, most recently as the Chief of Psychology Professional Practice at the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group in Ottawa. I also value the depth of wisdom that comes with contacting lived experience in an authentic way; in psychotherapy and consultation, I offer clients genuine compassion and presence. I know that living through pain offers opportunities for wisdom and growth. I know that when based on both science and true compassion, psychotherapy works to change lives. You may feel stuck in your life, but psychotherapy can assist you in developing the clarity, compassion, and skillfulness you need to build a life you can love. No matter what your symptom, your challenge, your pain, vitality is available. My job as your psychologist is to offer you the best psychological skills, based on the best evidence from behavioural science, to overcome barriers and live a life of vitality as you define it. Are you ready to get to it?
I am fully registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario as a doctoral level psychologist in autonomous practice (Certificate #4531) with dual registration to serve children/adolescents and adults in three specialties: clinical, counselling and health psychology. I was previously registered in two other jurisdictions: the state of Texas and the province of Alberta. All of my psychological services are conducted with the utmost care and respect for client confidentiality and privacy according to the rigorous requirements of my professional college. As a psychologist in Ontario I conduct all professional services according to the high standards set by the College of Psychologists of Ontario.
I am a member of the
- Association for Contextual Behavioral Science,
- Canadian Psychological Association,
- Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association,
- Center for Mindful Self Compassion
- Ontario College of Psychologists (CPO #4531)
- Ottawa Academy of Psychology, and
- Ottawa Mindfulness professional association.
I hold a doctorate from the American Psychological Association accredited program in psychology at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. In my doctoral studies I developed research projects for the Texas A&M College of Medicine’s Family Medicine department, where we studied communication, teamwork, and how personal history and emotional factors affected student physicians’ clinical reasoning and interactions with their patients. I have been privileged to follow up this research in in roles as both as a researcher and educator in medicine, and as a clinician for clinicians. More generally, in my clinical training I completed clinical rotations in psychotherapy, neuropsychology, clinical health psychology, student health services, hypnosis, post traumatic stress treatment with veterans, women’s health, military sexual assault, and mindfulness based interventions for stress-based physical symptoms such as headaches, IBS, pain, and sleep problems. My doctoral residency was in the cutting edge Primary Care/Behavioral Health track at the University of Texas at Austin’s University Health Center in Austin, Texas. I hold dual registration with the College of Psychologists of Ontario to offer services to children/adolescents and adults.
I have been on the “third wave” of the cognitive behavioral stream of psychological interventions since encountering this approach in my residency at the University of Texas at Austin in 2004. The “third wave” of psychological interventions emphasizes the science and art of mindfulness as a base to shifting entrenched patterns of thought, emotions, physical sensations, and behaviour. (You can see my introduction to the Psychological Flexibility Model at the hear of many third wave approaches on my blog.) I have pursued continuing education with teachers such as Jon Kabat Zinn and Saki Santorelli (MBSR), Zindel Segal (MBCT), Stephen Hayes, Kelly Wilson and Russ Harris (ACT), the Beck Institute in Philadelphia and Christine Padesky (CBT), Daniel Siegel, Sara Lazar, Sharon Salzberg, Shinzen Young (Mindfulness teachers and researchers), senior teachers in EMDR for trauma, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). I am registered as an MBSR teacher at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare and Society at the University of Massachusetts. I continually seek out cutting edge approaches to the integration of mindful awareness with other compatible evidence-based psychological interventions. Most recently I have completed yoga teacher training (2012) been accepted into Mindful Self Compassion teacher training through University of California San Diego (2014), and have challenged myself to develop new applications of mind-body practices for the treatment of eating disorders and trauma through training at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s program in meditation and yoga teacher training (Class of 2016).
I’d like to tell you a little about one of my subspecialties, which stems from my work at a publicly funded hospital in Eastern Ontario from 2007-2009. While working at this publicly funded hospital, although I loved the individuals, families, and interdisciplinary teams with whom I worked, the experience was overwhelming due to the stark lack of adequate ED resources in the entire eastern Ontario region. While serving as a consulting psychologist for both children and adult ED programs, I quickly was made aware that I was the only OHIP funded dually certified psychologist treating eating disorders in rural eastern Ontario. I saw the devastating effects of raging untreated eating disorders, and the gaps in a stressed health care system that resulted in many children and adolescents in particular being in grave medical danger without adequate treatments available. As a private practitioner, I vowed that I would work to change the availability of evidence based psychological services for everyone doing battle with eating disorders, particularly adolescents, at the first opportunity. I am now pleased to announce that in several weeks, in late 2014, I completed requirements for full registration as a provider of the Maudsley Family Based Treatment (FBT) protocol with the Training Institute of Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders. Maudsley FBT is one of the very few evidence based protocols for the effective treatment of eating disorders in children and adolescents. Maudsley FBT training for professionals, offered out of the Training Institute for Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders, is taught by outstanding academic and clinical faculty from American academic medical centres including the University of Chicago Faculty of Medicine and Mount Sinai hospital in New York City. To my knowledge I am the only psychologist in private practice Eastern Ontario/Western Quebec who offers this service to families seeking help for their loved ones doing battle with eating disorders. I welcome self and physician referrals for Maudsley FBT for those families, children and adolescents for whom it is appropriate. For those individuals and families for whom FBT is not a match, I am able to offer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for eating disorders (CBT-E) and other treatments for those farther along in recovery who are looking to recover vitality and lost time in their own development.
I have offered group and individual psychotherapy, assessment, and counselling services for 25 years now, and I still love every moment of my work. I now work in private practice exclusively, although frequently I teach workshops, seminars, or collaborate on research projects with colleagues in hospitals, the community, and academia in Ottawa. A large proportion of my clients and collaborators are now drawn from the medical, professional, foreign service and public service communities in Ottawa and their families.
In recent years, I have served as the Chief of Psychology for Professional Practice at the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group. In this role I was responsible for promoting excellence in professional practice and research in a large multi-clinic mental health organization. When I teach about emotional intelligence in leadership, and when I coach executives and other high performers, my professional skills as a psychologist are informed by first hand experience as a senior leader in my profession.
I have been privileged to work as a psychologist in the Musculoskeletal Clinic at the New Alberta Children’s Hospital, as faculty in Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the Texas A&M College of Medicine, and as a Program Director in Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health in New England. Prior to relocating to Ottawa, I was the consulting psychologist for the Eating Disorder Programs at the Women’s Health Clinic and the Family and Youth Clinic at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre. In my doctoral and post-doctoral training I worked with veterans at American VA hospitals in rehabilitation and in a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Unit, focusing specifically on military sexual assault.
I enjoy teaching and training the next generation of psychologists and other health care providers. For the past few years I have enjoyed teaching Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to fellow clinicians through the Canadian Association for Psychotherapists and Counsellors. I frequently teach academic half days and workshops or retreats for the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine. Until 2013 I provided mentorship and clinical supervision to doctoral students as a clinical faculty member at the Centre for Psychological Services at the University of Ottawa. I have provided clinical teaching and supervision to doctoral students, and have taught as an adjunct faculty member at Trent University, University of Lethbridge and University of Calgary.
I believe that learning is lifelong. When we meet you can be assured that your psychologist is actively involved with the latest developments in psychological science, mindfulness, and evidence based integrative health.
Since moving to the Outaouais region, I have enjoyed offering pro bono talks and volunteer support to multiple community groups. Recent talks include the Women’s Business Network, the Ottawa Mindfulness professional association, the National Capital Region chapter of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, the Hopewell Eating Disorders Support Centre, and Nakkertok Ski Club. Volunteer support has been as Psyching Team volunteer for marathon runners and pro bono mental training to competitive athletes at Nakkertok Ski Club.
I am happy to speak to community or professional groups about psychology for health and performance topics including: Mindfulness for Life, Mindfulness in Nature, Mindfulness in Sport, Mindful Self Compassion (MSC), ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) and topics related to mind body health such as weight loss, eating disorders, Maudsley FBT (Family Based Treatment) for eating disorders in adolescents, ED recovery, mindful eating, and body image.
I support the promotion of healthy exercise and mental health through membership in professional and athlete organizations including the Canadian Psychological Association’s professional section on Sport and Exercise Psychology and through my own involvement with local sport organizations in the Ottawa region.