Sarah Mackay, M.A., B.Sc. Hons., Early Career Clinician, Registered Psychotherapist

Sarah Mackay, M.A., B.Sc. Hons., Early Career Clinician, Registered Psychotherapist

M.A., (McGill University), B.Sc. Hons., (University of Windsor)

Sarah Mackay M.A. Early Career Clinician, Registered Psychotherapist

CONGRATULATIONS SARAH MACKAY! As of September 2021 Ms. Mackay will graduate from her year long Post-Graduate Fellowship in Third Wave Psychotherapy to being an Early Career Clinician with Ottawa River Psychology Group.  To reflect her accomplishments and new professional status, her fees will be commensurate with those of all other Early Career Clinicians at Ottawa River Psychology Group. Welcome to the professional team, Sarah.


The core of my approach is person-centered which, to me, means that I will always strive to meet you where you are with genuineness and compassion. In early sessions, we will collaboratively set goals based on what you identify is most important and as your therapist, I will bring in evidence-based practices to support and empower you in your pursuit of these goals. Know that I will be tailoring my approach to suit you and will regularly seek your feedback about how to better integrate your values and preferences into our work together. I will also demonstrate great respect for your existing strengths, your culture and spirituality or religion, as well as your courage to let yourself be seen.

Together we will explore your concerns from a place of safety, and I will encourage you to meet moments of difficulty with openness and curiosity.  In sessions we will contextualize these difficulties and practice increasing your awareness of inner experiences (e.g., thoughts and feelings) with the intention of holding these with non-judgmental acceptance. Often our minds are stuck in the past or worrying about an uncertain future; this is why I wish nothing more than to help you develop strategies to have a present relationship with yourself. Integrating these experiences will give you greater capacity to gain new perspectives, clarity and confidence to act in alignment with your heart and mind.

While my integrative approach is evolving as an Early Career Clinician, I am trained in Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) and Mindfulness-Based Interventions. My approach is also informed by Internal Family Systems (IFS), Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) as well as best-practices from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and other third-wave approaches.

People with whom I work:

At this time, I provide individual psychotherapy to adults (18+) coping with concerns such as anxiety, depression, chronic stress, self-criticism, control and perfectionism, workplace issues, relationship difficulties, as well as difficulties adjusting to life transitions. I work with individuals of diverse gender identities and sexual orientations, healthcare professionals including mental health workers, educators, creative professionals, post-secondary students and others. 

For those becoming increasingly aware of our changing climate and biodiversity loss, I offer services for eco-related anxiety, grief and trauma. If receiving services outdoors in nature is of interest to you, please inquire about the possibility of this option.

Education and Training:

I hold a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology from McGill University and a Bachelor of Science Honours with a major in Behaviour, Cognition and Neuroscience from the University of Windsor. I am a member in good standing with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).  I have received Advanced Clinical Skills training in CFT with Prof Paul Gilbert and Dr. Andrew Rayner as well as Core Skills training in Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) with Drs. Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer. 

I regularly participate in continuing education opportunities to offer science informed services. I value learning from other academic and mental health professionals and frequently take part in peer consultations. This year I will be acquiring training in various forms of Ecotherapy and working towards completing a Mindfulness Teacher Training with the International Mindfulness Teacher Association. 

Professional Affiliations:

  • Climate Psychology Alliance North America
  • Association for Contextual Behavioural Science
  • Compassionate Mind Foundation
  • Canadian Psychological Association
  • Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association