Federal Election 2021

Federal Election 2021: CPA’s Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Glenn Brimacombe, reviewed the platforms of the 4 political parties that run candidates in all regions of the country and have standing in the House of Commons. He created a table of excerpts from the parties’ platforms which speak to their respective commitments on the following topics:

  • Health Care
  • Mental Health
  • Substance Use Health
  • Research
  • Indigenous Peoples
  • Human Rights/Equality/Equity
  • Climate Change
  • Persons Living with Disabilities
  • Conversion Therapy
  • Medical Assistance in Dying
  • Home Care/Long-Term Care
  • Public Health
  • Basic Income

The information in the table, which can help inform members conversations with their candidates, can be found at 2021 Federal Election Platform Comparisons.pdf For more information on the platforms, please go to:

For a list of all Canada’s registered political parties and to access their websites and platforms, go to https://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=pol&dir=par&document=index&lang=e

To familiarize yourself with the advocacy activities of the CPA, please go to cpa.ca/advocacy. If you have questions, please send them to PublicAffairs@cpa.ca.

Spotlight: CPA Student Mentor Caryn Tong and Mentee Rohit Gupta

Rohit Gupta and Caryn Tong

Rohit Gupta photo
Rohit Gupta

There are eight teams in the Premier Division of the Manitoba Cricket League. Each of them has an 11-person roster. Rohit Gupta, bowler for the Crescent CC, is therefore one of the 88 best cricket players in all of Manitoba. Considering he was preparing to play for his home country as a 17-year-old, it’s not a stretch to think Rohit is right near the top of the cricket player echelon in his province.

Rohit’s home country is India – population 1.4 billion. He is now in Manitoba, population 1.4 million. Rohit is a student at the University of Manitoba, just beginning the third year of his psychology undergrad. On the hottest day of the year in Winnipeg last year it was 37 degrees. That same day in Agra, India, temperatures reached 49 Celsius. On the coldest day, Winnipeg was 61 degrees colder than New Delhi.

I point out to Rohit that, of all the cities and places he could have gone in Canada, Winnipeg is likely the polar (no pun intended) opposite of India in almost every way. He says that he chose Winnipeg by design. “I was accepted to the University of Toronto, but I knew there was a large Indian community in Toronto. If I leave my country, I want to live with different people. I want to live with a wide diversity of people, so this way I can grow. Also it was cheaper to live here.”

Caryn Tong photo
Caryn Tong

Caryn Tong is also an immigrant, also studying psychology, and also drawn to the prairies. “My family is from Hong Kong, but we moved when I was five. So I’ve been here the vast majority of my life. I grew up in Vancouver, then I lived in Saskatoon, and I’m here in Edmonton for now.”

Caryn mentored Rohit through the CPA’s Mentorship Program – speaking to them both I can see there are more similarities than just their passion for psychology and their status as immigrants to Canada’s prairie provinces. They are both measured and precise, both have an easy and natural sense of humour, and their rapport is unforced and natural.

Rohit is a third-year student doing a Psychology Honours Degree at the University of Manitoba – “my professor sent me an email about the CPA Mentorship Program and encouraged me to apply. I thought I’d do so and see if I got a good mentor, and I did, in Caryn! She’s very nice!”

Caryn is a PhD student at the University of Alberta. She says “my classmate was involved in the CPA Mentorship Program last year, and she said it was an interesting experience. Mentoring someone who wasn’t in the same province, but someone who’s on the same journey just a little further from the goal we all have of becoming a psychologist.”

Usually, mentors help mentees with the final stages of their undergrad. Where and how to apply for a graduate program, how to navigate the system, that sort of thing. With Rohit and Caryn it is a little bit different, because Rohit was in his second year and needs assistance with other things at the moment. He says,


You can listen to only one musical artist/group for the rest of your life. Who is it?
Caryn: It’s really hard to decide but maybe Lady Antebellum. I like country music, I like that the songs tell stories, and I don’t think I would get sick of that. Wait – can I change my answer to ABBA? You can dance to them, and they have stories as well. It’s ABBA.
Rohit: Arijit Singh, I would listen to him every day.

Favourite quote
Rohit: from Van Gogh: “Whatever is done in love is done well.”
Caryn: “As I have loved you, you must love one another.” – the Bible

If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes who would it be and why?
Rohit: The prime minister of India, Narendra Modi. I want to see how things work at that national level. They always talk about so many things and they don’t do it. I just want to know why they don’t do it after committing to it. I’m curious about the factors involved in making big decisions.
Caryn: I want to see someone who’s very opposite of me, in terms of how my brain works. Like, I’m a very words-person, so I’d like to be in the brain of someone who sees more in images. Maybe some kind of artist or architect.

If you could become an expert at something outside psychology, what would it be?
Caryn: Dog behaviour. I’d love to know what goes on in their heads, and to be able to help them become the best little dogs they can be!
Rohit: Physiotherapy. I would love to work with sports people and help them to reduce their pain.

“I have questions about my writing ability, so I send my essays to Caryn to review. And she sends me back ways I can improve in this area. Last meeting we talked about what I should start doing right now to become a good psychologist in the future, so she suggested some skills I could start working on today.”

Says Caryn, “I wish that someone had told me these kind of things when I was starting out. What are the ways I could have prepared beforehand? Like, getting involved in research studies, or building and maintaining connections with professors. Rohit was already doing a lot of this stuff, but there are many logistical things you don’t think of when you apply to school.”

Both have clearly defined career goals – though Caryn says it took her a lot longer to have career path in mind than it did for Rohit.

“I liked the idea of understanding people. I’ve always done volunteer work with children and teenagers, and I realized psychology was interesting because I could understand how people think and work. I have a double major in English Literature and Psychology, but I have always thought that psychology was so practical. I enjoyed learning about how people work and interact. I have a special interest in working with trauma and cross-cultural themes. Being an immigrant myself, I know the challenges of coming into a new country where even your parents don’t really understand the culture and the changes. I’ve experienced it where the teachers don’t understand. But I’m hoping that changes, and I think it has over the last number of years, but I’m not convinced we’re there. I think that even in our profession as psychologists there’s a much greater awareness, but I still think we’ve got a long way to go.”

Rohit developed his interest for psychology and his drive to succeed in India. “My high school teacher was very passionate about psychology. When I graduated high school I came to Canada to pursue psychology. I started working with children who had autism, and that really interested me. It showed me what I wanted to do – working with children who have mental health problems. As Caryn says, it’s an emerging field, and I started this career because I have seen many people in my country who are facing mental health crises, but they don’t have the resources to support all the different problems. So right now, I’m trying to collect experiences. Working with children, working with the elderly.”

When asked if she could spend a day in the head of anyone in the world, Caryn says she is searching for her opposite; “I want to see someone who’s very opposite of me, in terms of how my brain works. Like, I’m a very words-person, so I’d like to be in the brain of someone who sees more in images. Maybe some kind of artist or architect.”

She has not found her opposite in Rohit. Rather, she has found a kindred spirit undertaking the same journey in similar circumstances as she herself did. And one who is also searching for diametrically opposed experiences to their own. Like being an elite cricket player, who moves to Winnipeg!


Seeking Nominations for Grants and Awards

Strong Mind, Strong Kids Psychology Canada
Strong Mind, Strong Kids Psychology Canada administers the awards and grants program for the CPA Foundation. They are looking for nominations for five student awards – the Dr. Harvey Brooker Award (supporting university travel expenses), the Jean and Dick Pettifor Award (supporting ethics research projects), the Dr. Mary J. Wright Award (History and Philospohy papers), the Dr. Bea Wickett Award (promoting mental health) and the Judy Hills Internship Award (work within an organization that fosters resilience in children and youth).

Deadline for submission is December 31st, 2021.  For more information on each award and grant please click here.

Apply now! New SPARK workshop!

Apply now! New SPARK workshop!
Have an idea that supports refugee child, youth, and family settlement?

Did you know that it can take several years to translate evidence-based knowledge into best practice?

SPARK training helps providers put what they know into action more quickly. The program lets you

  • create an effective plan using a simple, easy-to-use framework
  • identify key stakeholders
  • design effective strategies to reach your audience
  • connect with others working on projects in the same field

If you have an idea that supports refugee child, youth, and family settlement, apply for our SPARK virtual workshop today.

Projects may focus on refugee health (including social determinants of health such as housing, food security, socio-economic status, etc.), mental health, schooling, language acquisition, employment, and social or cultural integration. (Other topics that support refugee settlement may also be considered).

Complete your online application by September 28, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Know someone else who may be interested? Circulate this notice and let them know! For more information, visit our website or contact us at spark@mentalhealthcommission.ca.


CYRRC Virtual SPARK Workshop

When: November 2 to 25, 2021

  • Instructional sessions: Tuesdays (November 2-23), 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET
  • Mentor group meetings: Thursdays * (November 4-25), 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET

* Adjustments will be made for Remembrance Day.

Where: Virtual (Zoom and Microsoft Teams)


We encourage applications from CYRRC members, researchers, students, service provider organizations, community partners, ethnocultural organizations, and people with lived and living experience who support the social and economic integration, education, mental and/or physical well-being of refugee children, youth, and families in Canada.

Registration fee: C$75 plus applicable taxes

Course fee: fully subsidized by the CYRRC

Please note: this workshop will be conducted in English. Training materials, including the participant manual, are available in both official languages.

You will need the following resources to participate in the workshop:

  • high-speed internet
  • the ability to access and use Zoom and Microsoft Teams
  • webcam
  • microphone
  • speakers (or earphones)
  • the ability to view and create documents

For more information, visit our website or contact us at spark@mentalhealthcommission.ca.

Spotlight: CPA Student Mentor Lauren Trafford and Mattia Gregory

Lauren Trafford photo
Lauren Trafford

Lauren Trafford and Mattia Gregory have never met in person. As we speak, they are as close as they have ever come – Lauren is in a little motel in Saskatchewan, taking some time out of her journey to speak to us on Zoom. She’s in the process of traveling back across Canada from her family home in Ontario to school in Edmonton. For the first time since she began mentoring Mattia, they are actually in the same province at the same time. And yet, with COVID, they will not be meeting in person right now – and maybe not ever.

Lauren came to the CPA Mentorship Program in a very pro-active way. She started a mentorship program of her own at her school, the University of Alberta – there was a big need for peer-to-peer mentorship from people at different levels. As she began this process, she got deep into the literature about mentorship in general – how it looked in various places, how it can benefit students. When she saw the ad for the CPA Mentorship Program, it seemed like a logical next step from what she was already doing.

Mattia Gregory photo
Mattia Gregory

Mattia, at the University of Saskatchewan, was having a lot of trouble trying to make sense of what her school’s guidance counselors were telling her. It seemed like they were throwing dozens of things at her, many of them contradictory, and she felt that the Student Mentorship program at the CPA could provide her with a little more direction. Especially for the next year, grad school, and the path forward.


You can listen to only one musical artist/group for the rest of your life. Who is it?
Lauren: Every song that comes on the radio is my favourite song! But if I have to pick one, it would be Elton John – he has a large enough catalogue that I would have variety!
Mattia: I’m like Lauren, I love every song. But I’m obsessed with the Backstreet Boys, and they’re starting to release new music, so I’m really excited.

Favourite word
Lauren: I think it’s “y’all”! I worked with a lady from Texas and I still find myself calling a group of people “y’all”!
Mattia: I don’t use the word ‘serendipity’, but I saw it as a kid and loved it – and now I have a poster and a pillow with the word on it in my room – even though I’ve never used it in real life!

Favourite quote
Mattia: “I’m not superstitious – I’m a little stitious” – Michael Scott (The Office). That’s also on a poster in my room!
Lauren: It’s ALSO a Michael Scott quote! It’s from an episode where he’s asked if he’d rather be feared or loved, and says “both! I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.”

If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes who would it be and why?
Mattia: My older brother – he’s in med school, and the stories he tells me make me think I’d love to be present there, just to see what’s going on and what he does!
Lauren: There’s a lady named Elyn Saks whose TED Talk I just watched, and she has schizophrenia. She talked a lot about her experiences. I think that as much as we learn about these kinds of disorders, and how they manifest, I’m not really interested in the symptoms so much as I’m interested in the lived experience. So I’d be really curious to know what it’s like to live a day in her life.

If you could become an expert at something outside psychology, what would it be?
Mattia: As a kid I really wanted to be a marine biologist because I loved the ocean…so something involving the ocean…which is really broad but I’d love it!
Lauren: Cooking! I’m a terrible cook, but I would love to be a food connoisseur expert instead of a Kraft-Dinner-loving boring cook.

As we are speaking, Lauren is working with Mattia on applying to a grad school within the next couple of weeks. They connected most recently yesterday, when Lauren provided a list of schools, programs, and deadlines to simplify the process. Mattia has been looking over those options for the past 24 hours, and says “I don’t think I could ever have got here on my own”. It’s not immediately obvious for students finishing up their undergrad what the next steps entail, and where to look for that information. This is one of the reasons a mentor comes in extremely handy!

Says Lauren, “I think the value of mentorship is immeasurable, when you think about the amount of information that’s out there.”

She also says that she and Mattia ended up being a great match because their interests are so aligned. “I remember being in her position, not knowing what I was going to do. I actually ended up going to art school before I ever did psychology because I was just so confused. And even when I knew what I wanted, there was still an enormous amount of information to wade through. I feel like my experience as an undergraduate, in grad school, and even up to today has been a huge amount of Google. It’s a research mission at every step, where you don’t really have a good idea of what’s out there until you’ve been there.”

Mattia says, “Lauren’s the person I lean on when I’m overwhelmed – just letting her know that I’m having trouble with this whole COVID online thing. With my profs we can’t really talk one-on-one about how school’s going, so it’s nice to have Lauren there to let her know how I’m feeling, and it’s nice to know she feels the same way too, that I’m not the only one in this world going through this.”

It would be nice if they could lean on one another in person. But few CPA mentors and mentees actually meet during their mentorship – most are at different schools, so the mentorship tended to happen virtually even before COVID. For these two, this Zoom meeting, with some guy from the CPA, while they happen to be in the same province might be the closest they ever come to actually meeting one another. But their shared experiences, and their shared interests, and their passion for their chosen field makes it certain that they will run in the same circles for a long time to come.

2022 Pre-Budget Consultation Process (August, 2021)

Notwithstanding the calling of a federal election, CPA recently submitted its Brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance as part of the 2022 federal budget consultation process. The submission will have relevance with a new government being formed on September 20th.

In addition, as a member of several strategic partnerships, the CPA played a key role in the writing of other Briefs that were submitted by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Health and Mental Illness (CAMIMH), and the Canadian Consortium of Research (CCR).

The Science of Psychedelics: Training for Medical Professionals

Ongoing – Homestudy

MD Media Inc

Location: Online
Contact Phone Number: (647) 919-3615
Contact E-Mail: info@mdmed.ca
Event Link: https://scienceofpsychedelics.com

The Science of Psychedelics: Training for Medical Professionals has been approved for 8.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ through the joint providership of CME Consultants and MD Media Inc., as well as accreditation through the American Psychological Association (APA), the California Board of Registered Nursing, the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, and the Oregon Board of Naturopathic Medicine (OBNM).


Alcohol, Other Drugs & Mental Health (Dual Diagnosis) Training ONLINE & Live (12 Hr Advanced)


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Interventions

Location: Online 24/7
Event Link: https://www.dualdiagnosistraining.com.au/
Brochure: https://cpa.ca/docs/File/Events/AMS-210727122121.pdf
Cost of Dual Diagnosis Training is reduced from $390 to $195 (50% off). Buy ONLINE program for $195, get LIVE free or Buy LIVE program for $195, get ONLINE free.

George Patriki provides both LIVE and ONLINE training & professional development for the health care, welfare and social service industries on the Gold Coast, throughout Australia and the globe…

Click here to register and pay for the LIVE or ONLINE training.

Certificate of attendance and qualification for 12 points (ONLINE) or up to 15 points (Live) of CPD (Continuing Professional Development) for your professional peak body (APS, ACA, AASW, CPA, PACFA, ACWA etc), requires completion of the full 2 days of intensive training live or online.

This advanced training covers all of the current evidence based, best practice in the Alcohol & Other Drugs (AOD) and Mental Health from an integrated, holistic framework

In June 2018, S.A.M.H.I. launched its 6 module, Self Paced, 12 hour Dual Diagnosis Training. This training will equip workers to be able to deliver brief and early interventions to people struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues, as well as advanced psychotherapeutic skills. This is the same as the comprehensive 2 day advanced training that is being delivered live across Australia and online in 81 countries. – https://www.dualdiagnosistraining.com.au/events/

This online Dual Diagnosis Training was launched in June 2018 on the learning online learning platform which provides lifetime login to the training. They have thousands of courses and millions of students worldwide.

Module 1. Drugs & Effects

  • Cycle of Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Drink & Drug Driving
  • Tobacco
  • Cannabis
  • Stimulants (Speed, Ice, Ecstasy, Cocaine)
  • Inhalants (volatile substances)

  • Module 2. Addictions & Mental Health
  • Dual Diagnosis
  • Integrative Holistic Model
  • Needs & Underlying Issues that drive addictions

  • Module 3. Harm Minimisation & Optimal Health
  • Pharmacotherapies
  • Orthomolecular Science, Functional Medicine & Optimal Health

  • Module 4. Neuropharmacology & Neurophysiology (Brain Works)
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Neurotransmitters
  • Psychosis vs Dissociation
  • Psychospirituality

  • Module 5. Trauma model & Keys to Treatment
  • Guilt vs Shame
  • Dealing with ambivalence

  • Module 6. Brief & Early Intervention and Tripod of Support
  • Stages of Change
  • Costs vs Benefits – doing a brief intervention

    Foundations of Animal-Assisted Interventions


    Foundations of Animal-Assisted Interventions
      Location: Online
      Contact Phone Number: (780) 666-9808
      Contact E-Mail: info@summitcs.ca
      Event Link: http://wrightpsychsolutions.teachable.com/p/foundations-of-animal-assisted-interventions.

      This comprehensive training provides you with the foundational knowledge to ethically and effectively incorporate animals into your practice. The training is offered online through a variety of different forms – video lectures with closed captioning, downloadable slides and audio lectures. Learn your own way, in your own time and at your own pace.

      This training has been pre-approved by the CCPA for 24 continuing education credits and offers a certificate of completion once all course requirements have been met.

      Start your journey into animal-assisted interventions today!



    Child Development Update 2021

    November 12-13, 2021

    Continuing Professional Development, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
      Location: Online
      Contact Phone Number: (416) 978-2719
      Contact E-Mail: facmed.registration@utoronto.ca
      Event Link: https://www.childdevelopmentupdate.com/.

      The 2021 Child Development Update is an online conference, held over two half-days on November 12-13, 2021. The conference will enhance the clinician’s understanding of the link between current developmental paediatric research and its translation into clinical practice.

      Participants will learn about new skills in clinical assessment and management of developmental disorders, and up-to-date developments in the basic science and clinical research relevant to child development and diagnosis and treatments.

      At the end of this conference participants will:

      – Understand the link between current developmental paediatric research and its translation into clinical paediatric practice
      – Update and acquire new skills in clinical assessment and management of developmental disorders
      – Acquire the most recent developments in the basic science and clinical research relevant to child development clinicians

      Paediatricians, Family Physicians, Psychologists and other Health Care Professionals are invited to attend. Additional details about this conference can be reviewed at: https://www.childdevelopmentupdate.com/

      Register today to join us online in November!

    Call for proposals for open access library of interactive educational activities related to psychology


    We are a team of Psychology scholars in Canada who have been awarded eCampus Ontario funding to create an online, open access library of interactive educational activities related to psychology using primarily H5P software (more below). These interactive activities will be hosted in eCampus Ontario. Student collaborators are encouraged.

    Authors retain copyright of their work as defined within CC-BY- NC 4.0, and there are no fees to publish this work.

    Psychology is a broad and deep discipline. We welcome proposal submissions from all areas and levels of study in psychology, encourage proposals addressing issues related to equity, diversity, and inclusion within psychology, and we especially encourage submissions at the Introductory level. Interactives that speak to the Canadian context, and any strengths, limitations, and next steps are also encouraged. Some examples of possible interactive modules and activities include a scenario-based exploration of academic integrity, a mock survey demonstrating the Barnum effect, case studies to demonstrate various research approaches (and their strengths and limitations) to a shared research question, or an interactive video demonstrating the action potential. These are just a few examples–we are hoping to ultimately support the development of examples that span the discipline of psychology.

    Proposals in English and French are welcome. If you wish to submit a proposal for an interactive in a language other than English or French, we encourage you to reach out to us via meghan.norris@queensu.ca so we can work to ensure a submission and review process that will support your submission.

    This project is being overseen by:

    Meghan Norris, PhD, Queen’s University—project contact, meghan.norris@queensu.ca
    Jorden Cummings, PhD, The University of Saskatchewan
    Kyle Danielson, PhD, The University of Toronto Scarborough
    David Danto, PhD, The University of Guelph-Humber
    Eleanor Gittens, PhD, Georgian College
    Steve Joordens, PhD, The University of Toronto Scarborough
    Adelheid Nicol, PhD, The Royal Military College of Canada
    Adam Sandford, PhD, The University of Guelph-Humber
    Steven Smith, PhD, Saint Mary’s University
    Jennifer Stamp, PhD, Dalhousie University
    Leanne Stevens, PhD, Dalhousie University
    Stephen Want, PhD, Ryerson University

    Project Overview: The intention of this project is to create an accessible and diverse library of resources for the discipline of psychology, tailored to the Canadian context. As part of this project, we are fortunate to have cultural advisors and multimedia support to assist authors in bringing their designs to life in H5P*, and we are hoping to have a large panel of peer reviewers. We hope that this project will grow over time into a truly collective resource that spans the discipline of Psychology. Although submissions related to all levels of psychology are welcomed and encouraged, we are especially soliciting proposals for interactive activities at the introductory level. Interactives selected for development will be published in a “plug and play” manner in PressBooks, hosted by eCampus Ontario.

    Please do not let technology limit a proposal for consideration–we are hoping to support ideas for development with technical support wherever possible. If you have content you would like to bring to life, we hope to help. Submissions that include student collaborators are encouraged.

    Published interactives will be tagged for easy searching. Tags will include both content-related tags (e.g., “#Neuron”), and level of study (e.g., “#IntroductoryLevel,” “#GraduateLevel”).

    *H5P is an open-source software that has many activity types available including interactive videos, games, methods for scenario presentation, and more. Please do not let technology limit a proposal for consideration–we are hoping to support ideas for development with technical support wherever possible. If you have content you would like to bring to life, we hope to help. In addition to H5P, we are actively exploring the ability to program open access content in Rise which can be shared in an open manner by URL. To learn more about available H5P formats, please see the following link: https://h5p.org/content-types-and-applications 

    Authorship and Ownership of Work: 

    Authors retain ownership over their work. Below are details associated with publishing your open access interactive in this resource:

    1. License Grant By agreeing to the following License terms:

    1.1 — I (the author(s), copyright owner or agent) agree to the deposit of the Work(s) in an open access bank hosted by eCampus Ontario, titled “The Psychology Commons.” 1.2 — I grant to this resource a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual and royalty-free license to use and reproduce the Work(s) in any medium or format for the purposes of education in psychology.

    1.3 – I agree that my work will be made available on the Internet using a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial (CC-BY-NC) license. Review the terms of a CC-BY- NC license here: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

    2. Submitter Warranties

    I represent and warrant that:

    2.1 — I have the full power and authority to enter into this Agreement and am duly authorised by all rights holder(s) in the Work(s) to deposit or authorise the deposit of the Work(s) and grant the license in this Agreement;

    2.2 — the Work(s) is original Work(s) and does not infringe the intellectual property rights, including copyright, of any third party;

    2.3 — third party material included in the Work(s) is clearly identified and acknowledged and appropriate permissions have been secured; and

    2.4 — the grant of rights in this Agreement does not constitute a breach of any other agreement, publishing or otherwise, including any confidentiality or publication restriction provisions in sponsorship or collaboration agreements governing my research or Work(s) at the University or elsewhere;

    2.5 — I promise to inform any person or parties to whom I may hereafter assign or license my copyright in the Work(s) of the rights granted by me to Queen’s University in this non-exclusive license.

    3. Publishing Rights I agree that eCampus Ontario:

    3.1 — may translate the Work(s) into any medium or format for the purposes of security, archiving, preservation and migration of the Work(s) in eCampus Ontario

    3.2 — may reproduce the Work(s) in an accessible format;

    3.3 — may apply metadata elements to the Work(s);

    3.4 — will exercise reasonable endeavours to preserve the physical integrity of the Work(s), but shall incur no liability for loss or damage to the Work(s);

    3.5 — will not be under any obligation to take legal action on behalf of the Work’s author(s) or other rights holders related to any intellectual property rights in the Work(s);

    3.6 — retains the right to remove the Work(s) from the Repository without notice for professional, administrative or legal reasons. Upon such an occurrence the metadata record indicating storage of the Work(s) in the Repository may remain visible in perpetuity.

    4. Work(s) Author and/or Creator Rights

    4.1 — The copyright owner of the Work(s) maintains rights to the work as defined by the CC-BY- NC 4.0 license, described here: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
    4.2 — The copyright owner(s) of the Work(s) or delegate may, upon written request to the Repository, request to have the Work(s) removed from the repository. By granting this license, the copyright holder acknowledges that the metadata record for the item in the Repository may, at the discretion of repository staff remain visible to the public.

    Timeline: Proposals will be evaluated for 2021 fall development until August 31, 2021. After August 31, 2021, submissions will be evaluated as development resources permit. Development of submissions will be rolling, occurring as submissions are accepted.

    All projects must be completed by December 1, 2021 to ensure accessibility checks and publication timeline to meet the funder’s deadlines.

    Evaluation Metrics and Criteria: Projects will be evaluated on the following metrics:

    • Effective demonstration of a concept related to psychology
    • Scholarly justification for submission (i.e., is there scholarly work that supports the submission)
    • Feasibility for development using H5P
    • Ability for the interactive to be used as a stand-alone resource
    • Integration of considerations related to equity, diversity, and inclusion

    To submit a proposal for consideration, please fill out this form: https://queensu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3jujm00XleydNv8

    For any questions, please email Meghan Norris, PhD, at meghan.norris@queensu.ca

    With thanks for your consideration,

    The Psychology Commons Development Team

    Special Issue in Canadian Psychology

    Call for papers: Building a socially and culturally responsive psychology
    Article due date: December 1, 2021; Authors are encouraged to reach out to the editors with an abstract prior to submission.

    Special Issue Editors;
    Dr. Vina Goghari, Editor, Canadian Psychology
    Dr. Anusha Kassan, Editorial Board Member, Canadian Psychology

    See here, https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/cap/building-socially-culturally-responsive-psychology, for more information on the special issue and call for papers.

    Cognitive Behavioral Conjoint Therapy (CBCT) for PTSD: 4 half-day Foundational Training

    October 25-28, 2021

    Cognitive Behavioral Conjoint Therapy (CBCT) for PTSD: 4 half-day Foundational Training
      Location: Online
      Contact Phone Number: (416) 659-5040
      Contact E-Mail: training@candicemonson.com
      Event Link: https://candicemonson.com/collections/workshops.

      Presented by Dr. Candice Monson and Dr. Philippe Shniader. The CBCT for PTSD workshop helps therapists conceptualize individual mental health problems within a couple context, using specific cognitive-behavioral interventions to improve the individual and intimate lives of their clients. Participants in this workshop will receive specific instruction in the manualized therapy. CBCT for PTSD is time-limited (fifteen 75-minute sessions) and problem-focused, and has the simultaneous goals of improving individual PTSD and enhancing intimate relationship functioning. Case examples and role-plays allow participants to have hands-on experience with the interventions. Clinical considerations in the application of this therapy to different types of couples and specific issues that might arise in the delivery of the therapy (e.g., intimate aggression, substance abuse) are discussed.

      Brochure (PDF)

    The Fundamentals of Clinical Hypnosis an Introductory Workshop

    October 22-23, 2021

    Canadian Society of Clinical Hypnosis - Ontario Division
      Location: Online
      Contact Phone Number: (613) 217-8167
      Contact E-Mail: Irwin.Altrows@Queensu.ca
      Event Link: http://csch-od.ca/upcoming_workshops/introductory-workshop/.

      The CSCH-OD Fundamentals of Clinical Hypnosis Workshop provides clinical training in both the theory and application of hypnosis in the clinical practice of medicine and psychotherapy for those who have never practiced hypnosis. Based on evidence-based best practices, the workshop uses a combined format of lecture, demonstration and supervision to develop clinical hypnosis skills. Participants will be taught how to present hypnosis to a patient, how to do a number of different hypnotic inductions, and how to apply these in their practices. Participants will practice in small group sessions with individualized supervision, leading to the development of selected skills.

      This will be a highly interactive two days, with a minimum of 25% of workshop time spent in question and answer discussions, learning from case vignettes, video and live demonstrations and practice of induction techniques.

      Please note: there is a pre-workshop reading and a follow-up assignment for this workshop. Participants write a one-page summary of the use of hypnosis in their own practice and then submits it to a “mentor”. The mentor then provides constructive feedback and suggestions for improvement. Participants are invited to participate in a 90-minute post-workshop conference in 1-2 months following the workshop.

      Student applicants must provide supporting documentation. Please review eligibility requirements prior to registering.

    Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD: 4-Day Intensive Online Training Workshop

    September 23 – 26, 2021

    The Centre for Posttraumatic Stress & Anxiety Treatment
      Location: Online
      Contact Phone Number: (780) 800-5585
      Contact E-Mail: training@cpsat.ca
      Event Link: https://www.cpsat.ca/workshops/pe-for-ptsd-sept-2021.

      Additional Information:
      (Registration Details and other information that will be helpful for your attendees)
      The Centre for Posttraumatic Stress & Anxiety Treatment is pleased to announce a four-day intensive online training workshop in Prolonged Exposure (PE) Therapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

      PE is a manualized cognitive-behavioural treatment for PTSD with an extensive base of empirical support. Numerous controlled studies have shown that PE significantly reduces the symptoms of PTSD in a wide range of trauma survivors. PE is strongly recommended by every major U.S. and international clinical practice guideline for the treatment of PTSD.

      Topics covered:
      • Assessment, diagnosis and psychopathology of PTSD;
      • Empirically-supported psychotherapeutic treatments for chronic PTSD and their comparative efficacy;
      • Emotional Processing Theory and its relation to PE;
      • Implementation of the components of PE, including psychoeducation, breathing retraining, in vivo exposure to trauma reminders, imaginal exposure to trauma memories, and processing of exposures;
      • Identification and management of obstacles to effective emotional processing, including avoidance, over-engagement, and under-engagement;
      Video vignettes will illustrate the various components of PE, and participants will have an opportunity to practice selected interventions in pairs during break-out sessions.

      Intended audience:
      Licensed mental health professionals or those working under the supervision of a licensed mental health professional. Previous training and experience with CBT is advised.

      Dates: September 23 – 26, 2021
      Location: Online (live) via Zoom
      Times: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (MST)
      Cost: $850.00 CAD plus G.S.T.

      Cost includes electronic copies of workshop slides and assessment materials, and a certificate of completion from the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania. Participants are strongly encouraged to purchase the Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD Therapist Guide and Workbook (Second Edition) prior to the workshop.

      Registration: www.cpsat.ca
      Deadline September 9, 2021
      Space is limited to 30 participants

      Fees are fully refundable (less an administration charge of $25 plus G.S.T.) for cancellation requests received prior to September 9 1, 2021.

      More information: www.cpsat.ca
      780. 800. 5585

      About the trainer:
      David Paul, Ph.D., is a Registered Psychologist and Co-director of the Centre for Posttraumatic Stress & Anxiety Treatment in Edmonton, AB. He is certified as a Prolonged Exposure Therapist, Supervisor, and Trainer by the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety (CTSA) at the University of Pennsylvania. This workshop is recognized by the CTSA, and qualifies toward CTSA certification as a PE Therapist for participants who complete the required additional case consultation.

    The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques

    October 4 – 5, 2021

    Solutions On Site
      Location: Online
      Contact Phone Number: (226) 268-2307
      Contact E-Mail: Register@SOSWorkshops.ca
      Event Link: http://www.SOSWorkshops.ca.

      In The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques, Margaret Wehrenberg, Psy.D.(author of Pandemic Anxiety) presents the most useful psychotherapeutic approaches to stress and generalized anxiety, panic and social anxiety. Drawing on the latest research for the neurobiological basis of anxiety to explain why psychotherapy is so effective, Dr. Wehrenberg demonstrates comprehensive techniques to stop rumination, eliminate panic and prepare people to participate in social environments without distress. Her pragmatic approach provides practical strategies you can immediately apply with all clients.
      Via discussion and concise client examples in all age groups, participants will learn methods to manage anxiety that work in every clinical population. Even experienced clinicians will come away with tools to help clients resolve their anxiety symptoms and all participants will be prepared to respond effectively to most presentations of anxiety disorders.
      A recording of this event will be available for a limited time.

      $185+hst for two half-days. Group Rates available

    Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for PTSD: 2-day Foundational Workshop

    September 13-14, 2021

    Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for PTSD: 2-day Foundational Workshop
      Location: Online
      Contact Phone Number: (416) 659-5040
      Contact E-Mail: training@candicemonson.com
      Event Link: https://candicemonson.com/collections/workshops.

      CPT for PTSD is a recommended first line therapy in current treatment guidelines world-wide. This 2-day workshop serves as a foundational training in CPT, highlighting the most recent research. Participants will receive instruction in the theoretical underpinnings of CPT to facilitate individual case conceptualization, session-by-session review of the protocol, demonstrations with video-recorded materials from actual cases, personal experience with the therapy materials through role-plays, and discussion of common problems encountered. This workshop is suitable for healthcare practitioners and trainees in psychology, social work, nursing, counselling, medicine, and related fields.

      Brochure (PDF)

    Free Music-Integrated Training Webinar for Clinical Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Psychologists, and Social Workers with Deborah Seabrook, PhD MTA RCC

    September 8, 2021

    Seabrook Music Therapy
      Location: Online
      Contact Phone Number: (438) 885-6358
      Contact E-Mail: deborah@deborahseabrook.com
      Event Link: http://eepurl.com/hrFEOX.

      Do you love music and wish you could integrate it into your clinical work to offer clients a new, creative approach?

      Free Webinar for Clinical Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Psychologists, and Social Workers with Deborah Seabrook, PhD MTA RCC

      Wednesday, September 8th at 10:00 am PST / 1:00 pm EST

      In this powerful research-based and experiential webinar, you’ll learn:

      ● How incorporating music in your clinical sessions can deepen the therapeutic relationship

      ● How music-integrated clinical work can uniquely support clients to explore and process challenging experiences

      ● Which clinical music method would suit you – even if you have no musical training

      Sign up to reserve your spot and receive a free bonus resource to help you take the first step towards integrating music into your clinical work.

    Our Stories, Our Voices: A film festival focusing on LGBTQIA+ mental health

    August 10-12th 2021

    Art With Impact

    “Psychology Works” Fact Sheet: Workplace Burnout

    What is Burnout?

    Chances are you have said or thought to yourself “I’m burned out!” at some point. In everyday life, we often use the term burnout to mean that we are “exhausted” or “wiped out” or to refer to “exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation, usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). But in psychological research, burnout refers to more than just exhaustion. The term burnout is used to describe a group of signs and symptoms that consistently occur together and are caused by chronic workplace stress. Different uses of the same word can make things hard to understand – especially since even the terms themselves vary across sources – burnt out, burned out, burnout. Adding to the confusion, the term burnout appears in The International Classification of Diseases – 11th Edition (ICD-11) but it is not classified as a disease or a medical condition. In 2019, the World Health Organization identified burnout as an “occupational phenomenon” – something due to the conditions of work.

    Burnout is defined in ICD-11 as: “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:


    1. feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
    2. increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and
    3. reduced professional efficacy.

    Burnout refers specifically to the work environment and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.”

    Researchers have identified exhaustion, cynicism and inefficacy as three key dimensions of the burnout experience. We all feel wiped out from time to time but if you are experiencing burnout, the exhaustion is overwhelming – you feel tired almost all of the time, both physically and emotionally. You will also perceive an increased mental distance or detachment from your job, or have a lot of negative and cynical thoughts related to your job. You may feel you dislike a job you previously were passionate about – and this lower engagement itself starts to feel frustrating. It will also be harder to work – you may notice a lower sense of efficacy (ability to produce a desired or intended result) and reduced productivity, accomplishment or ability to cope with the demands of your job. Everything feels overwhelming and the effects ripple into our personal lives.

    It is important to keep in mind that burnout is not just an individual problem. Burnout is the result of multiple factors from the work environment. We experience stress when the job demands we face – physical, emotional, or otherwise – are greater than the job resources we have. Think about a campfire – if there is no wood to put on the fire and it’s pouring rain – it’s going to be hard to keep that fire going.

    No one wants or chooses the experience of burnout. People would prefer to be engaged and have enough resources to keep up with the demands of work and their day-to-day lives.

    How do you know if you are experiencing burnout?

    Burnout often has an insidious onset – meaning it gradually emerges over time.

    The stage for burnout is set by workplace stress. When job demands outweigh job resources, workers experience stress. When this stress goes on for a long time, or becomes chronic workplace stress, people may experience burnout. People experiencing burnout may notice changes in thoughts, behaviour, emotions, motivation, and bodily sensations. Some signs and symptoms associated with burnout can be found below.

    Emotions & Motivations Thoughts Behaviour Body/Physical
    Loss of motivation about work; low excitement and engagement

    Decreased job satisfaction

    Irritability, frustration, anger

    Anxiety, worry, insecurity

    Feeling alone in the world; desire to isolate oneself

    Feelings of incompetence and failure; drop in self-confidence


    Negative thoughts related to one’s job

    Increased focus on errors, mistakes and failures

    Cynicism about others’ intentions

    Increased mental distance or detachment from one’s job

    Negative or inappropriate attitudes towards clients, customers or colleagues

    Loss of idealism; increased intention to leave the job

    Difficulties with concentration, memory, judgment, decision-making

    Difficulty producing the results you want or intend at work

    Lower productivity or accomplishment; inefficiency


    Withdrawal and social isolation

    Absenteeism, Presenteeism


    Persistent fatigue and exhaustion; feeling tired most of the time; low energy; feeling “worn out”

    Pain (e.g., headaches, backaches); sore muscles

    Increased susceptibility to cold, flus and infections

    Sleep problems (e.g., difficulty falling or staying asleep, or early morning awakenings)

    Gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., digestive problems, ulcers); irritable bowel symptoms (e.g., abdominal pain, cramping); changes in appetite or weight

    Skin problems (e.g., hives, eczema)


    Workplace Burnout can be confused with some other mental health and stress related problems such as Trauma and Stress-Related disorders, Mood disorders such as Major Depression, and Anxiety Disorders. For more information on these issues, check out the related factsheets at https://cpa.ca/psychologyfactsheets/.

    What causes burnout?

    There are many different ideas about what causes burnout but most researchers agree that chronic work stress is a significant factor. Burnout is more likely to occur when job demands outweigh job resources.

    Researchers also agree that both situational and individual factors may contribute or increase the likelihood of an individual developing burnout.

    A number of risk factors for contributing to burnout have been identified:

    Individual risk factors

    • Demonstrating perfectionism in every aspect of one’s work, without considering priorities
    • Placing too much importance on work (e.g., work as sole focus of life)
    • Low self-esteem, cognitive rigidity, emotional instability and external locus of control
    • Certain personal situations (e.g., major family responsibilities) disrupting work-life balance
    • Difficulties in setting limits and boundaries (leading to work-life imbalance)
    • Having high expectations of oneself and heightened professional conscience
    • Difficulty delegating or working with a team in a stressful environment
    • Inadequate adaptation strategies (dependence, poor time management, high need for support, unwise lifestyle habits, difficult interpersonal relationships)
    • A highly driven, ‘A-type’ personality that is high in competitiveness and need for control

    Situational risk factors

    • Work overload
    • Lack of control and inability to participate in decisions related to the way one’s work is done.
    • Insufficient reward and recognition (e.g., financial compensation, esteem, respect) can be devaluing and heighten feelings of inefficacy.
    • “Toxic” Community where work relationships are characterized by unresolved conflict, lack of psychological support, poor communication, and mistrust.
    • Unfair treatment or incivility and disrespect can lead to cynicism, anger and hostility.
    • Values conflicts on the job, where there is a gap between personal and organizational values, can create stress as workers must make a trade-off between their beliefs and work they have to do.
    • Poorly defined responsibilities, ambiguous roles, and difficult schedules have also been identified as stressful when the situation persists.

    What helps people with burnout?

    The best practice approaches for burnout are multi-faceted, involving a high focus on self-care strategies for the individual, and reducing work environment stressors.

    Burnout interventions should focus on both:

    • the individual (e.g., increase employees’ psychological resources and enhance coping; providing rest and respite from demands; enhancing the use of self-care strategies), and
    • the environment (e.g., change the occupational context and reducing sources of stress, primarily related to work demands).

    There is more research on individual strategies than on environmental or organizational strategies. However, there is research evidence for the primary role of situational factors and it appears that individual-focused interventions are not sufficient to tackle severe burnout. Workplace stressors also need to be considered and addressed.

    How can you prevent or deal with burnout?

    For individuals

    • Change work patterns (e.g., work less, take more breaks, avoid overtime)
    • Develop coping skills (e.g., time management)
    • Improve interpersonal effectiveness skills (e.g., assertiveness and conflict resolution skills)
    • Prioritize self-care (e.g., exercise, eat healthy, get enough sleep)
    • Practice relaxation, meditation and/or mindfulness strategies
    • Obtain social support (from colleagues and family)
    • Change the way you think about your work (e.g., using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy)
    • Enhance self-understanding through psychotherapy
    • Enhance emotional intelligence skills (e.g., self-awareness and self-regulation of emotions, as well as other awareness)

    For organizations

    • Ensure employees have a sustainable and manageable workload – where demands are realistic.
    • Involve employees in decisions that affect their work tasks so they have some opportunity to exercise professional autonomy and control/ability to access the resources necessary to do an effective job.
    • Recognize and reward employees for work well done.
    • Build a healthy community where employees have positive relationships and social support. Develop communication and conflict resolution skills so employees have effective ways of working out disagreements.
    • Develop fair and equitable organizational policies. Treat employees with appropriate respect.
    • Define organizational values, job goals and expectations.
    • Promote good health (including mental health) and fitness

    How can psychologists help people with burnout?

    Psychologists educate workplaces (leaders and employees) about burnout so they understand what it is and how to handle it, via all-team or leadership-specific workshops and professional development sessions.

    Psychologists can also conduct assessments on individuals to help figure out if they are experiencing burnout and develop a plan for addressing it. Psychologists can help workplaces identify organizational factors that may be contributing to stress and burnout.

    Psychologists can help you build individual skills, such as coping, stress management, time management, and emotional intelligence. Psychologists can help organizations develop programs for improving employee engagement, reducing stress, and preventing burnout.

    Psychologists engage in research to help us better understand burnout and develop the best strategies for preventing and treating it.

    Finally, Psychologists can advocate for people experiencing burnout.

    For more information:

    You can consult with a registered psychologist to find out if psychological interventions might be of help to you. Provincial, territorial and some municipal associations of psychology often maintain referral services. For the names and coordinates of provincial and territorial associations of psychology, go to https://cpa.ca/public/whatisapsychologist/PTassociations/.

    You can find additional information and free self-help resources on mental health in the workplace and burnout at:

    Sante mentale en milieu de travail:

    This fact sheet has been prepared for the Canadian Psychological Association by Dr. Melanie Badali, Registered Psychologist at the North Shore Stress and Anxiety Clinic, and Dr. Joti Samra, Registered Psychologist, CEO and Founder of MyWorkPlaceHealth.

    Date:  May 17, 2021

    Your opinion matters! Please contact us with any questions or comments about any of the Psychology Works Fact Sheets:  factsheets@cpa.ca

    Canadian Psychological Association
    141 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 702
    Ottawa, Ontario    K1P 5J3
    Tel:  613-237-2144
    Toll free (in Canada):  1-888-472-0657


    “Psychology Works” Fact Sheet: Relationship Distress

    When does relationship conflict become relationship distress?

    Conflict is a normal part of being a couple. However, all of us need to feel loved, understood, and respected by the people we are close to, and conflict in these relationships can undermine our emotional security. What makes the difference is how the conflict is handled. Couples who resolve conflicts constructively strengthen their relationships over time by improving intimacy and trust. Constructive strategies include stating opinions and needs clearly and calmly listening to and attempting to understand the partner’s point of view.

    Conflict becomes destructive when needs are not expressed or when they are expressed in ways that criticize, blame, or belittle the partner. For instance, a woman who is hurt that her husband plays golf every weekend may accuse him of “selfishness” instead of expressing how lonely she feels when they are apart.

    Although research does not provide a “one-size-fits-all” explanation for why certain couples are more vulnerable to distress than others, the critical nature of how couples resolve conflicts and provide emotional support to one another is widely agreed upon across the literature. However, there are several areas besides how couples handle conflict that have consistent support as factors that predict distress in relationships. For instance, various personal, social, economic, and environmental determinants of health (e.g., income status, job security, health status, education level, experiences of past discrimination), can act as external stressors that may exacerbate strains in the relationships. Individual differences, such as traits like neuroticism, may also impede relationship functioning.

    When a couple is distressed, typically one partner takes the position of not saying how they feel while the other partner takes the position of blaming and criticizing. This pattern, which is very common in distressed relationships, tends to get worse over time. These couples often feel trapped in fights that are never resolved. Some couples may also handle conflict through means of avoidance. Avoiding conflict still damages relationships because partners become increasingly disengaged from one another.

    Finally, couples who experience ongoing conflict can become aggressive with one another, and may push, slap, or hit each other during arguments. Importantly, other destructive forms of aggression include emotional and/or verbal harms, often manifesting as non-physical and control-oriented behaviour such as cyber aggression.

    The impact of conflict on individuals and families is significant. Indeed, individuals who are repeatedly involved in relationship-related conflicts are at a higher risk for a variety of mental and physical health issues, notably depression, alcohol misuse, various illnesses, and increased mortality. They get sick more easily and die earlier than happily married couples.

    Distressed couples do not cope well with life’s inevitable stressors, and they may run into problems even when they go through normal changes, like the birth of a child. Children who witness repeated conflict between their parents also are at risk for emotional and behavioural problems. One of the most serious impacts of relationship conflict is divorce. The most common reason given for divorcing is infidelity, with a lack or loss of intimacy being a key driver of the infidelity. Of course, ongoing and unresolved conflict contributes to both relationship distress and loss of intimacy.

    How can psychology help?

    Three distinct forms of psychological treatment have been shown to help distressed couples.

    Behavioural Marital Therapy (BMT) and Cognitive Behavioural Couple Therapy (CBCT) involve helping couples to communicate more effectively and to problem-solve in ways that resolve their conflicts. Emotion-Focused Couple Therapy (EFT) tackles the unmet emotional needs underlying relationship distress. Instead of trying to solve problems, the couple therapist helps the partners to talk about their needs to feel loved and important to each other in ways that promote compassion and new ways of interacting.

    Clinical trials of these therapies show that the majority of couples feel more satisfied with their marriages by the end of treatment. A few studies have also shown that the gains couples made in therapy are still evident two years later, or even that the couples’ relationships continued to improve.

    Unfortunately, few couples seek psychological treatment early enough. As a result, programs for relationship enrichment and the prevention of conflict have been developed. These programs focus on improving communication and teaching conflict resolution skills to couples before they are in trouble. Often, they are offered to groups over a weekend or series of weeks. Although these programs are effective in the short-term, research shows that couples often have difficulty maintaining these new skills once the program ends. ‘Discernment Counselling’, which is considered a brief intervention, may be one means of approaching these issues.  Specifically, it helps couples to determine whether they wish to take steps toward divorce or to commit to working on the relationship for a set period of time.

    Where do I go for more information?

    You can consult with a registered psychologist to find out if psychological interventions might be of help to you. Provincial, territorial and some municipal associations of psychology often maintain referral services. For the names and coordinates of provincial and territorial associations of psychology, go to https://cpa.ca/public/whatisapsychologist/ptassociations/.

    This fact sheet was originally prepared for the Canadian Psychological Association by Valerie E. Whiffen, Ph.D. R.Psych., Private Practice, Vancouver, BC in October 2009.

    Updates: It was first updated in September 2012 and again, by the CPA’s Head Office Staff and Dr. Cheryl Harasymchuk, Ph.D., Carleton University, in June 2021

    Your opinion matters! Please contact us with any questions or comments about any of the Psychology Works Fact Sheets:  factsheets@cpa.ca

    Canadian Psychological Association
    141 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 702
    Ottawa, Ontario    K1P 5J3
    Tel:  613-237-2144
    Toll free (in Canada):  1-888-472-0657


    “Psychology Works” Fact Sheet: Preparing for an Interview

    What to expect from an interview

    A job interview is a social interaction between two or more individuals, (1) interviewer(s), and (2) a job applicant. Before an interview, it is likely that the interviewer and the job applicant know very little about each other. They have likely never met before, and the majority of the information would have come from the applicant’s resume, a pre-interview test results, or some initial correspondence via email or telephone.

    As such, the interview process is a tool to gather additional information so both parties can make an informed decision about whether they want to continue or start an employment relationship.

    For example, the interviewer is trying to assess two key “elements of fit”:

    • Person-job fit: based on skills and experience, is the applicant qualified to perform the duties of the position?
    • Person-organization fit: based on personality and values, will the applicant be a good fit with the company’s values, culture and preferences or interest?

    At the same time, the applicant is trying to understand whether they will feel comfortable in that job/position and happy working for that organization, so they are also assessing the organization as a potential partner for this employment relationship. To promote themselves as a great place to work, the organization may highlight positive aspects about the job, the working conditions, and other organizational benefits during the interview.

    During an interview, there is often some embellishment on both sides. For a job applicant, there is an incentive to put your best foot forward, which can lead to exaggeration or dishonesty about your skills or experience. In the same way, some organizations may embellish about the position, organization or benefits in order to recruit the best potential candidate.

    Finally, there is a time element on all of this. There is a lot of information being shared in usually less than an hour. So there are cognitive demands on both sides to do a lot of things in a very limited amount of time.

    Interviews can vary in a number of different ways, including format, interviewer(s), and medium:


    Type Brief Description Pros Cons
    One-to-One One internal interviewer from the hiring organization Most common type of interview, making the format more predictable Singular perspective/assessment; more potential for bias
    Panel Multiple interviewers from the hiring organization More diverse perspectives/less bias, can share tasks and responsibilities among interviewers More cognitively demanding for applicants to interact with multiple interviewers
    Group Multiple applicants interviewing at the same time with one or more interviewers (e.g. for large organizations) Cheaper for the hiring organization; chance to “check” the competition for applicants May be more stressful for the applicant; fewer opportunities to put “your best foot forward” when being assessed alongside other applicants
    Serial Back-to-back interviews at the same organization but with different interviewers Opportunity to gather different perspectives for the hiring organizations. Chance to meet with more people to assess the company for the applicant Cognitively demanding for the applicant; can be confusing as to who/what you said in each interview; requires a lot of preparation



    Type Brief Description Pros Cons
    Supervisors/Colleagues Future supervisor or potential colleagues Opportunity to highlight in-depth expertise and background  (e.g. use of jargon and/or technical terms) Not always interview experts, which can lead to  interview being conducted in a very unstandardized way or introduce different types of bias
    HR Professionals/

    I/O Psychology Consultants

    External professionals with expertise in interviewing/HR processes Expertise in how to conduct and/or design fair and appropriate interview assessments; more structured, less bias Not experts in the job/subject matter, so language needs to be adapted (avoiding jargon and/or technical terms)



    Type Brief Description Pros Cons
    In-person Face-to-face meetings between interviewer and candidate More room to clarify/expand on answers; opportunity to develop rapport and give-off a great impression using non-verbal cues Heightened pressure/interview anxiety; difficulties with scheduling and more costly
    Phone Interview over the phone May mitigate some interview anxiety; eliminates geographic distance Less time to “sell yourself”; difficulties building rapport, zero non-verbal element
    Synchronous Video Live/video-conference interview Similar to in-person, but more flexible and cheaper/easier to schedule Risk of technical issues, poor internet connection, limited non-verbal elements
    Asynchronous Video Recorded video format Most flexible option (can complete where and when you want). Very standardized and thus fair by default Risk of technical issues, no interaction with an interviewer (so no verbal or non-verbal feedback), no opportunity to probe or follow-up

    What kinds of questions can be asked?

    (1)   Traditional / Popular

    • Examples: “what is your main weakness?” what is your main strength? where do you see yourself in 5 years? why should we hire you?”
    • Reatively easy to prepare because they are quite generic (a quick “google” to find most common questions should do the trick!)
    • Can be considered as poor/sub-optimal interviewing techniques

    (2)   Knowledge-based

    • Examples: “what is the best technique to deal with…”
    • Focused on job-specific questions, such as tools, techniques, methods, concepts, etc.
    • As an expert in the field, you should have the background and expertise to answer these types of questions quite easily

    (3)   Past-behavioural

    • Example: “tell us about a time when you’ve dealt with/experienced….?”
    • Based on actual behaviour – asked to reflect on what you have done in the past, ideally in a workplace or school-based context, to demonstrate whether you possess job-relevant skills or abilities
    • Aims to assess if you have specific skill(s) such as leadership, communication, problem solving, time management and stress management – the question is often matched to the type of skill they are trying to assess.
    • Can be considered as a “best practice” for interviewing

    (4)   Situational

    • Example: “imagine that you are working in…?”
    • Based on intentions – aims to assess similar skills as past-behavioural questions by asking how you would handle a specific, hypothethical workplace situation/issue
    • May include some kind of dilemma or challenge you to decide between two or more potential alternatives to solve a problem
    • Usually includes a lot of details to create a specific context, including what the problem is, what you resourcing constraints are, etc.
    • Can be considered as a “best practice” for interviewing

    (5)   Brainteasers

    • Example: “why are manhole covers round? how many ping pong balls can you put in a Boeing 747?”
    • Not looking for the right answer, but instead, aims to assess your cognitive/problem-solving processing: how do you react to this weird situation where you have a bit of pressure on you? What kind of logic you do follow?
    • Can be considered as poor/sub-optimal interviewing techniques

    How to prepare for an interview

    (1)   Try to identify the “selection criteria”

    • Selection criteria is what the company is looking for – what are the skills, abilities experiences qualifications that they want to assess in this interview?

    How and where?

    • In the job ad → Role description and required qualifications, skills, or experience
    • On the company (career) website → Culture, values, etc.
    • Reaching out to connections within the organization
    • Using online job descriptions

    (2)   Demonstrate how you can match the selection criteria

    • Identify potential questions and find a relevant experience

    (3)   Use the STAR technique

    When asked to describe a past experience or emphasize qualifications

    1. Situation – What was the context, when did it happen, what problem did you face?
    2. Task – What was your role, position, or responsibilities (e.g., leadership)?
    3. Action – How did you react, what action did you take, what decision did you make?
    4. Result – What was the result or outcome for you, your team, or your organization?

    (4)   Use honest impression management tactics

    What does that mean?

    • Present your skills, abilities, and experiences in a true but positive light
    • Emphasize how your beliefs, core values, or personality align with the interviewer’s or the organization’s
    • Take responsibility of your past errors or failures, but explain what happened, and describe how you learned from these experiences (e.g. providing contexting, such as COVID-19)

    (5)   Apply effective coping strategies to manage interview anxiety


    • … emotion-oriented coping strategies (e.g., share your anxiety with others, like friends, family members, partners, colleagues)
    • … or problem-oriented coping strategies (e.g., practice, use breathing techniques)

    Adapting to video interviews

    As more and more businesses shift to a remote or hybrid working format, a lot of interviews are moving from in-person to video or technology mediated.

    Video interviews come in two key formats: (1) synchronous video interviews (SVIs) using tools (e.g. zoom, skype), or (3) asynchronous video interviews (AVIs) using a platform where you actually are invited to go online and answers questions without any live interaction, and then those answers are watched later on by an interviewer.

    SVIs AVIs
    • Live interaction

    • Similar to in-person

    • Can be facing a panel of  interviewers

    • Somewhat flexible (location)

    • Not live (recorded only)

    • Talking to your camera only a largely novel experience

    • Multiple raters possible or  automatic (AI-based) scoring

    • Very flexible (location + time)

    • Preparation or re-recording  opportunities

    Tips for video interviews

    • Use the same 5 tips as with traditional interviews
    • But also…
      1. Check your tech (computer, webcam, sound/mic, internet)
      2. Find the right time and place (quiet, natural light, book enough time, etc.)
      3. Consider your background (no distraction or bias-inducing content)
      4. Use options available to you (preparation time, re-recording)
      5. Practice even more!

    For more information:

    More on the psychology of interviewing from Dr. Nicholas Roulin: “The Psychology of Job Interviews.” (2017). Taylor & Francis.  https://www.google.ca/books/edition/The_Psychology_of_Job_Interviews/RS6EDgAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=0

    More on video interviewing: https://theconversation.com/how-to-land-a-job-when-companies-have-shifted-to-virtual-hiring-144997

    An article on virtual hiring: https://theconversation.com/how-to-land-a-job-when-companies-have-shifted-to-virtual-hiring-144997

    This fact sheet has been prepared for the Canadian Psychological Association by Dr. Nicholas Roulin, PhD, Associate Professor of I/O Psychology, Saint Mary’s University

    Date:  June 30, 2021.

    Your opinion matters! Please contact us with any questions or comments about any of the Psychology Works Fact Sheets:  factsheets@cpa.ca

    Canadian Psychological Association
    141 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 702
    Ottawa, Ontario    K1P 5J3
    Tel:  613-237-2144
    Toll free (in Canada):  1-888-472-0657


    Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) Calls for Mental Health and Substance Use Parity Act (June 2021)

    The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) released the discussion paper entitled From Out of the Shadows and Into the Light…Achieving Parity in Access to Care Among Mental Health, Substance Use and Physical Health.  The document outlines the case for the federal government to introduce a new piece of legislation – a Mental Health and Substance Use Health Care For All Parity Act – and identifies some the elements that could be contained therein to improve access to mental health and substance use health services and supports in Canada.  By releasing the report, CAMIMH hopes that it will engender a growing public policy discussion about the role of the federal government, working in close partnership with the provinces and territories, to ensure that Canadians get the care they need, when they need it.

    News Release


    “Psychology Works” Fact Sheet: Strategies for Supporting Social Function in Children with Epilepsy


    Students living with epilepsy can display poor social processing (e.g., reading facial cues, understanding language nuances, taking perspective), lower level of functional independence, and lower educational status which can make it difficult for them in the social realm.

    They may also remove themselves from social situations to avoid having an unpredictable or embarrassing seizure in front of their peers. This worry can be significantly reduced through teacher and classroom preparedness. If everyone knows what to expect prior to a student having a seizure and how to help when a student has a seizure the collective response can be reassuring and calming. It can reduce the worry of the student with epilepsy, their parent, teacher and classmates.

    Social stigma is common in epilepsy and can lead to a child having low self-esteem and a reduction in motivation to engage with school learning and activities (Elliott et al., 2005).

    In an Ontario survey or parents of children with epilepsy, 69% felt that their child was not doing well socially, and 57% were worried that their child would be teased or bullied at school (ESWO, 2018).

    Children who do not socialize or interact with their peers are at risk for poor outcomes as adults (Camfield et al., 2014). Often the effects of seizure activity, medication and close adult supervision will have delayed the development of independence and emotional self-control in a child with epilepsy. To meet the social-emotional competence of their peer group, children with epilepsy may need more support.

    Childhood-onset seizures can impact the development of basic and complex cognitive skills that form the core foundation for long term educational, vocational and interpersonal adaptation (Smith et al., 2013).

    • In some students with epilepsy, typical development milestones may have been missed and may need to be re-taught.
    • Throughout development, children are learning to share and to socially interact with others. Due to their epilepsy, some children may not have acquired these important skills and may have difficulty with social interaction. They may appear self-focused and not play well with others.
    • They may experience emotional or behavioural outbursts after relatively small issues because they do not have the social skills or emotional control to deal with their peers.
    • They may experience severe separation anxiety when they are away from their parents and/or withdraw socially and isolate themselves from their peers.

    Adult Overprotection and Restrictions at School

    Students may experience reduced autonomy due to ongoing seizures and the need for greater adult supervision.

    A parent or teacher may overprotect the student with epilepsy as a way to cope with the unpredictable nature of seizures. Conversely, children and youth living with epilepsy may become over-reliant on parents or teachers.

    Fearing that the student is not safe or will be injured, a parent or teacher may restrict the student’s activities and remove them from social encounters, recreation and school programming (Elliott et al., 2005).

    Adult monitoring and placing restrictions on age/appropriate activities suggest to the students that they are not “like other children”, that the world is a dangerous place, and that they are not capable of doing things on their own. The restrictions can cause the student with epilepsy to experience dis- continuous and fragmented learning, to feel helpless or to withdraw from social groups.

    Asking parents whether their child’s health care provider has placed restrictions on activities, and if so for what, can help to ensure students engage in the activities they are capable of doing.

    Strategies to support the development of autonomy and prosocial skills

    • Provide opportunities that will help the student develop a sense of mastery.
    • Support the development of decision-making skills and resiliency.
    • Model and explicitly teach appropriate social behaviour.
    • Teach alternative behaviours to achievement the student’s social goal (e.g., other ways to gain attention, other ways to create fun).
    • Model ways of showing interest and respecting personal space.
    • Incorporate “Social Behaviour Mapping” to support the student’s understanding of what is acceptable and how to meet the expectations.
    • Encourage involvement in extracurricular activities of interest.

    For More Information

    You can consult with a registered psychologist to find out if psychological interventions might be of help to you. Provincial, territorial and some municipal associations of psychology often maintain referral services. For the names and coordinates of provincial and territorial associations of psychology, go to  https://cpa.ca/public/whatisapsychologist/PTassociations/.

    This fact sheet has been prepared for the Canadian Psychological Association by Dr. Mary Lou Smith, University of Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children; Dr. Elizabeth N. Kerr, The Hospital for Sick Children; Ms. Mary Secco, Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario; and Dr. Karen Bax, Western University. 

    Revised: June 22, 2021

    Your opinion matters! Please contact us with any questions or comments about any of the Psychology Works Fact Sheets:  factsheets@cpa.ca

    Canadian Psychological Association
    141 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 702
    Ottawa, Ontario    K1P 5J3
    Tel:  613-237-2144
    Toll free (in Canada):  1-888-472-0657


    Camfield, P. R., & Camfield, C. S. (2014). What happens to children with epilepsy when they become adults? Some facts and opinions. Pediatric neurology, 51(1), 17-23.

    Elliott, I. M., Lach, L., & Smith, ML. (2005). I just want to be normal: a qualitative study exploring how children and adolescents view the impact of intractable epilepsy on their quality of life. Epilepsy & behavior, 7(4), 664-678.

    ESWO (2018). Living with Epilepsy: Voices from the Community, www.clinictocommunity.ca

    Smith ML., Gallagher A, Lassonde, M. Cognitive Deficits in Children with Epilepsy. In Duchowny M, Cross H, Arzimanoglou A (Eds.). Pediatric Epilepsy, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2013, pp. 309-322.

    “Psychology Works” Fact Sheet: Strategies for Supporting Optimal Psychological Function in Children with Epilepsy


    In an Ontario study of 144 parents, 111 expressed concerns about their child with epilepsy’s behaviour (ESWO, 2018).

    Inattention, irritability, agitation, negativity and angry outbursts are frequent among children living with epilepsy. These issues may be primary or they may represent or mask anxiety and depression. Anxiety and depression do not necessarily present as the traditional signs of overt worrying, and changes in appetite or sleep patterns.

    Feelings of irritability, anger, aggressiveness as well as anxiety and depression can occur from a few hours or a few days before a seizure occurs and then resume to a prior level after a child has a seizure. The change can be due to dysfunction in the neurons or seizures arising from the emotional control centres of the brain and/or be secondary to the consequences of living with epilepsy.

    Anxiety and depression

    The incidence rates of anxiety and depression among children with epilepsy are higher than in the general population, occurring in approximately a third of children living with epilepsy (Bermeo-Ovalle et al., 2016; Reilly et al., 2011; Ekinci et al., 2009).

    There may be multiple causes for a child’s anxiety and depression:


    • There may be structural abnormalities in the areas of the brain related to emotion regulation and mood.
    • Ongoing seizures may disrupt areas that control emotion regulation and mood.


    • Approximately one-third of children with new onset seizures report worrying about having another seizure (Besag et al., 2016).
    • Approximately one-third of children report worrying about talking to others about their epilepsy (Besag et al., 2016).
    • Students may also experience periods of intense emotional distress related to the unpredictability of their seizures and the loss of control over their bodies (Elliott et al., 2005).

    Strategies to support positive behaviour and emotional well-being

    • Create a predictable schedule when possible.
    • Talk about emotions, label them, and discuss and model strategies for coping with emotions to help students develop emotional self-regulation.
    • Teach specific ways to identify and express feelings of stress and develop a concrete strategy for what to do in these situations:
      • Who should the child tell? What should the child say?
      • Give the student a script to follow.
    • Provide time away from the desk (walk around) – all kids need an escape.
    • Try to reduce or eliminate triggers.
    • Practice “time-in” by placing the student close to an adult so that they can feel the adult’s presence, which in turn may support the student to calm down and self-regulate.
    • Think of activities that can help the student (e.g., visual activities might be useful for a student with language impairments, sensory tools may assist others, a quiet place in the room might be useful).
    • Incorporate “Social Behavior Mapping” to support understanding of the outcomes of expected and unexpected behaviours.
    • Use language that promotes self-regulation (e.g., “it is time to calm down”, “try to think of something else”, “count to ten and breathe out”, etc.).
    • Empathize with the student’s feelings without focusing on the inappropriate behaviour.
    • Help de-escalate problems by using distractions appropriate for the student (e.g., humour, change of scene/activity/person working with them).
    • Organize family meetings.

    Strategies to support the student’s self esteem

    • Set the student up to make progress in something that matters to them.
    • Help the child to develop an “Island of Competence”, for example: introduce them to sports, drama, music, art, mechanics, volunteering, friendships, computers, biking, martial arts, scouting, 4H, faith-based groups, etc.
    • Assist in developing responsibility and making contributions.
    • Find opportunities where the student can help younger children.
    • Provide leadership roles in the classroom.
    • Encourage the student in solving class problems.
    • Offer choices regarding topics, schoolwork and homework.
    • Give encouragement and positive feedback.
    • Recognize the student’s academic and non-academic accomplishments.
    • Recognize at least one of the child’s strengths each day.
    • Acknowledge that it’s ok to make mistakes.
    • Model acceptance when you make mistakes.
    • Avoid overreacting to mistakes.
    • Accept mistakes as part of the learning process.
    • Use errors as teachable moments.
    • Praise the process.
    • Praise effort.
    • Praise persistence.

    Some children may benefit from a psychological or psychiatric evaluation and may require psychological or pharmacological treatment.

    For More Information

    You can consult with a registered psychologist to find out if psychological interventions might be of help to you. Provincial, territorial and some municipal associations of psychology often maintain referral services. For the names and coordinates of provincial and territorial associations of psychology, go to  https://cpa.ca/public/whatisapsychologist/PTassociations/.

    This fact sheet has been prepared for the Canadian Psychological Association by Dr. Mary Lou Smith, University of Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children; Dr. Elizabeth N. Kerr, The Hospital for Sick Children; Ms. Mary Secco, Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario; and Dr. Karen Bax, Western University.

    Revised: June 22, 2021

    Your opinion matters! Please contact us with any questions or comments about any of the Psychology Works Fact Sheets:  factsheets@cpa.ca

    Canadian Psychological Association
    141 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 702
    Ottawa, Ontario    K1P 5J3
    Tel:  613-237-2144
    Toll free (in Canada):  1-888-472-0657


    Bermeo-Ovalle, A. (2016). Psychiatric comorbidities in epilepsy: we learned to recognize them; it is time to start treating them. Epilepsy Currents, 16(4), 270-272.

    Besag, F., Gobbi, G., Caplan, R., Sillanpää, M., Aldenkamp, A., & Dunn, D. W. (2016). Psychiatric and behavioural disorders in children with epilepsy (ILAE Task Force Report): epilepsy and ADHD. Epileptic Disorders, 18(s1), S8-S15.

    Ekinci, O., Titus, J. B., Rodopman, A. A., Berkem, M., & Trevathan, E. (2009). Depression and anxiety in children and adolescents with epilepsy: prevalence, risk factors, and treatment. Epilepsy & Behavior, 14(1), 8-18.

    Elliott, I. M., Lach, L., & Smith, ML. (2005). I just want to be normal: a qualitative study exploring how children and adolescents view the impact of intractable epilepsy on their quality of life. Epilepsy & behavior, 7(4), 664-678.

    ESWO (2018). Living with Epilepsy: Voices from the Community, www.clinictocommunity.ca

    Reilly, C., Agnew, R., & Neville, B. G. (2011). Depression and anxiety in childhood epilepsy: a review. Seizure, 20(8), 589-597.


    “Psychology Works” Fact Sheet: Strategies for Cognitive Challenges in Children with Epilepsy

    Cognitive issues present in the majority of children with epilepsy

    Cognition refers to a variety of skills such as attention, processing speed, learning and remembering, intellectual reasoning abilities, expressing and understanding language as well as planning and problem solving.

    Cognitive issues are often present early on in the course of epilepsy or may even predate the onset of seizures (Smith et al., 2013; Besag et al., 2016).

    The most common issues affecting academic achievement are:

    • Attention
    • Processing Speed
    • Memory
    • Intellectual Disabilities

    Students with epilepsy may also have difficulties in executive, language, and motor functions, which may impact their performance in school.

    The cognitive, psychological and social consequences of epilepsy play a major role in school success and in determining the educational and occupational outcomes of a student living with epilepsy.

    Attention is readily impacted because attention networks are widely distributed throughout the brain

    Sustained attention, or the ability to remain focused for extended periods of time particularly if something feels boring or tedious, is a common issue for many students with epilepsy.

    ADHD is significantly more common in children/youth with epilepsy than the general population. Approximately 30 to 40% of children/youth with epilepsy meet criteria for ADHD (Besag et al., 2016). The inattentive subtype is most common. Males and females are equally represented.

    Educational and behavioural supports used for any student with attention problems can be effective for children living with epilepsy.

     Strategies to support students who have attention issues

    • Set up the environment to reduce distractibility.
    • Consider having the student sit at the front of the class, close to the teacher and away from doors and windows.
    • Provide the opportunity for access to a quiet workspace.
    • Consider the effect of the atmosphere: calm, music, colours.
    • Provide notes in advance.
    • Provide clear, explicit, concise instructions.
    • Use engaging and varied activities, emphasizing the student’s interests.
    • Tailor appropriately paced/time activities.
    • Use visual prompts: timetable or checklists.
    • Gain attention before giving instructions: use eye contact/child’s name.
    • Provide prompts to attend (look, listen, respond).
    • Modify/limit the task length (clear beginning/clear end).
    • Have the student identify something to look forward to after the work is done.
    • Encourage the student to participate actively in the classroom to maintain attention.
    • Provide regular work breaks.
    • Alternate intense working periods with periods of recreation.
    • Assist in breaking down information into short pieces that are “do-able”.
    • Offer a lot of positive feedback and try to limit corrective feedback.
    • Identify and encourage strengths.
    • Use reward systems to boost self-esteem.
    • Evaluate the student using short tests over a series of days.

    Slow or inconsistent processing speed is common, resulting in:

    • Variable responding
    • Slower reaction time on tasks
    • Difficulty in working quickly and methodically
    • Difficulty in learning a routine
    • Difficulty keeping pace with lessons
    • Gaps in learning
    • Frustration

    Strategies to support students who have slow processing speed

    • Speak at a slower pace and provide concise information.
    • Use sequential and clear language.
    • Simplify tasks by dividing information into chunks.
    • Use a multisensory approach – visual, auditory, kinesthetic.
    • Recap and fill in the gaps in learning as much as possible.
    • Give extra time.
    • Use cueing mechanisms to prepare student for changes.
    • Teach independent strategies (e.g., write lists, pack homework and class notes into knapsack after each subject to avoid rushing at the end of the day).
    • Provide visual/written information to support verbal instructions.
    • Use visual timetables and colour coding.
    • Provide a note taker or audio or video record of lesson.
    • Offer longer times for writing and exams.
    • Avoid competitions (fastest first).

    Memory is vulnerable to seizure activity

    70% of children living with epilepsy report issues with memory in their daily lives (Smith et al., 2006) and over 50% of children with ongoing seizures display weakness in some aspect of memory when formally assessed (Reilly et al., 2014).

    Memory is a complex operation which can be affected by other cognitive processes, such as attention, effort, self-monitoring, speed of information processing, the use of strategies, and organization.

    For memory to work properly, the brain needs to continuously monitor itself. Seizures can interfere with the brain’s self-monitoring process.

    Memories before a seizure can be lost because the brain does not store them properly.

    After a seizure, confusion and fatigue can stop memory processes from working correctly.

    Interictal discharges (i.e., abnormal firing of neurons below a level that would cause a seizure) disrupt the formation and retrieval of memories.

    Memory issues involve consolidating, retaining and transferring newly learned information.

    The most common issues with memory experienced by students living with epilepsy include:

    • Forgetting what they have just heard or read.
    • Forgetting remote events such as special trips they went on.
    • Retrieving words or information that are needed in the moment in order to express their ideas or to participate in class discussions.
    • Abnormally rapid forgetting of information that they had previously learned.

    Strategies to support students who have memory issues

    • Activate learning by making topics meaningful to the student.
    • Find ways to relate the content being discussed to the student’s prior knowledge or interests.
    • Use different learning styles (visual, auditory, kinesthetic).
    • Teach information in clear, small chunks.
    • Establish routines; keep things in the same order.
    • Use hands-on activities.
    • Repeat the important messages and information.
    • Teach mnemonics, and use music cues, drills.
    • Ask the student to generate his or her own memory cues.
    • Use visual aids: photobooks, checklists, task cards, keywords, timetables, post it notes, pictures.
    • Encourage the use of a journal to keep track.
    • Allow the student time to review.
    • Give students and parents review materials and lessons that the student can do at home or at a later date.
    • Recognize that rote learning will require effort and support.
    • Create an environment where students do not have to rely heavily on memory (open book, access to computer, access to notes).
    • Focus less on information retrieval by recall and more on recognition.
    • Avoid tests that emphasize memorization (e.g., fill-in-the-blank items).
    • Provide students with a list of formulas for math and science, having them select and apply the appropriate one.
    • Have the student practice retrieving the information to be learned (using cues, recognition, exercises).
    • Communicate with parents via planners or online about class programs.

    Intellectual reasoning abilities

    Intellectual reasoning abilities refer to general mental abilities.

    Compared to other individuals their age, a greater number of students with epilepsy will experience mild (Low Average), moderate, or significant weaknesses in their intellectual reasoning abilities (Prasad et al., 2014).

    Those with significant weaknesses will meet criteria for an intellectual disability (i.e., at or below the 2nd percentile for their age).

    Overall, approximately 15-25% of children with epilepsy meet criteria for an intellectual disability; however, rates are higher when only children with ongoing seizures are considered (Reilly et al., 2014).

    Strategies to support students with weak reasoning abilities

    • Check for understanding.
    • Provide concrete examples.
    • Teach reasoning overtly by talking out loud, modelling, and offering rehearsal.
    • Be direct – express complex ideas as simply as possible.
    • Provide opportunities for experiential learning.
    • Set up opportunities for learning to be reinforced at home.

    Executive functioning

    Students with epilepsy, as well as those with ADHD and learning disabilities, can display problems with executive functioning.

    Executive functioning refers to a set of self-directed skills including:

    1. Concentrating on things.
    2. Planning and organizing problem solving approaches.
    3. Regulating emotions, behaviour, and attention.
    4. Cueing oneself to use previously learned information.
    5. Initiating activities.

    Strategies to support students with executive functioning and organization

    • Change the environment to support skills.
    • Set up and have the student follow routines; when activities become habitual, they require less active processing and are less likely to be forgotten.
    • Use short instructions and have students check off each step as it is completed.
    • Use visual prompts.
    • Use engaging, varied activities and learning styles.
    • Use eye contact.
    • Modify the tasks to support development.
    • Provide the student with more time.
    • Tailor the pace and time of activities.
    • Provide regular breaks, including those with physical exercises.
    • Limit multi-tasking; focus the student on one activity at a time to reduce the demand on working memory and to limit distractions.
    • Consider the effect of the class atmosphere on learning and remove distractions.
    • Give warnings well ahead of time for changes in routine to aid with transitions.
    • Proactively plan for changes in routine whenever possible.
    • Check notebooks frequently.
    • Have duplicate copies of worksheets for students who misplace items.
    • Model problem-solving explicitly (thinking out loud).
    • Use step-by-step problem-solving approaches and provide a template.
    • Prior to initiating the task, teach the student to divide the activity into multiple steps.
    • Model organizational strategies throughout the school day.
    • Teach students how to use a planner.
    • Break the planner into sections: a calendar with sufficient space for writing daily activities, address book, general to-do list, assignment due date.

    Language and communication

    Children living with epilepsy may experience language difficulties. Sometimes the disturbance relates to difficulty in a broad range of receptive and expressive skills. Some types of epilepsy may produce specific patterns of difficulty.

    Strategies to support students who have language and communication difficulties

    • Speak clearly, slowly and be specific.
    • Use non-verbal communication to enhance verbal instructions.
    • Allow more time and check for understanding.
    • Repeat and rephrase instructions.
    • Use open ended questions to promote dialogue.
    • Use group work and role play.
    • Teach key words.
    • Use visual prompts (objects, photos, pictures, symbols).
    • Classify and group objects and pictures together.
    • Teach singing.
    • Engage the student in conversation – include new words and explain their meaning.
    • Encourage parents to read to the child every day.
    • When the lesson contains a new or interesting word – pause and define the word.
    • Play word games.
    • Have a daily checklist of take-home materials in the student’s planner.
    • Provide a daily schedule on the board or in the student’s planner.
    • Provide parents with important dates/reviews/tests.
    • Support word retrieval.
      • Provide phonemic and/or semantic cue.
      • Encourage visualization and gestures.
      • Encourage self-cueing.
    • Consider consultation with or assessment by speech and language therapist.

    Motor co-ordination

    Children with epilepsy may experience problems in motor functioning, including both reduced fine-motor and gross-motor skills.

    • Slow motor output
    • Weakness in both sides or one side
    • Gait and balance issues
    • Difficulties with coordinated movement

    These issues may have implications for handwriting and note-taking, and for moving between one class and another.

    Strategies for fine motor issues

    • Provide a note taker to scribe for the student.
    • Provide hand-out of board work.
    • Offer the opportunity to take tests orally to access understanding.
    • Provide extra time for assignments and tests.
    • Consider key-boarding as an alternative to printing or cursive writing.
    • Check to see if the student is eligible for Special Equipment (e.g., SEA claim for a computer).

    For More Information

    You can consult with a registered psychologist to find out if psychological interventions might be of help to you. Provincial, territorial and some municipal associations of psychology often maintain referral services. For the names and coordinates of provincial and territorial associations of psychology, go to  https://cpa.ca/public/whatisapsychologist/PTassociations/.

    This fact sheet has been prepared for the Canadian Psychological Association by Dr. Mary Lou Smith, University of Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children; Dr. Elizabeth N. Kerr, The Hospital for Sick Children; Ms. Mary Secco, Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario; and Dr. Karen Bax, Western University.

    Revised: June 22, 2021

    Your opinion matters! Please contact us with any questions or comments about any of the Psychology Works Fact Sheets:  factsheets@cpa.ca

    Canadian Psychological Association
    141 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 702
    Ottawa, Ontario    K1P 5J3
    Tel:  613-237-2144
    Toll free (in Canada):  1-888-472-0657


    Besag, F., Gobbi, G., Caplan, R., Sillanpää, M., Aldenkamp, A., & Dunn, D. W. (2016). Psychiatric and behavioural disorders in children with epilepsy (ILAE Task Force Report): epilepsy and ADHD. Epileptic Disorders, 18(s1), S8-S15.

    Prasad, A. N., Burneo, J. G., & Corbett, B. (2014). Epilepsy, comorbid conditions in Canadian children: analysis of cross-sectional data from cycle 3 of the National Longitudinal Study of Children and Youth. Seizure, 23(10), 869-873.

    Reilly, C., Atkinson, P., Das, K. B., Chin, R. F., Aylett, S. E., Burch, V. & Neville, B. G. (2014). Neurobehavioral comorbidities in children with active epilepsy: a population-based study. Pediatrics, 133(6), e1586-e1593.

    Smith, ML., Elliott, I. M., & Lach, L. (2006). Memory outcome after pediatric epilepsy surgery: objective and subjective perspectives. Child Neuropsychology, 12(3), 151-164.

    Smith ML., Gallagher A, Lassonde, M. Cognitive Deficits in Children with Epilepsy. In Duchowny M, Cross H, Arzimanoglou A (Eds.). Pediatric Epilepsy, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2013, pp. 309-322.

    “Psychology Works” Fact Sheet: Helping Children with Epilepsy Succeed in School


    Epilepsy is defined as a “disease of the brain characterized by a predisposition to generate epileptic seizures, and by the cognitive, psychological, and social consequences of this condition” (Fisher et al., 2005).

    Understanding epilepsy and the cognitive, psychological, and social consequences of the condition is the first step in supporting students living with epilepsy. Other Psychology Works Fact Sheets address these consequences.

    Understanding the brain, seizures, and the impact of seizures on brain function

    The human brain contains billions of specialized cells, called neurons. The electrical and chemical signals these cells transmit and receive are at the heart of how the brain functions. Everything we do, think, say, and feel is the result of the signals that are generated by the neurons in the brain.

    The brain is often compared to a computer – a processing unit that receives inputs and generates outputs. However, the brain is so much more than a simple input-output device. The brain is a living organ that modifies itself based on the experiences and the interactions we have with our environment. It is the control centre of our thinking, problem solving, consciousness, emotions, physical movement, and social behaviour. Brain cells form new connections when we have new experiences.

    The lobes of the brain

    Frontal Lobe
    The frontal lobe provides executive control over the brain’s higher functions. Executive functioning is related to self-directed skills, including concentrating on things, planning, organizing, problem solving, as well as cueing ourselves to regulate our emotions and attention, and to use previously learned information.

    Temporal Lobe
    The temporal lobe helps form longer-term memories. Behaviours, emotions and language comprehension are also associated with structures in the temporal lobe.

    Parietal Lobe
    The parietal lobe helps process sensory information (e.g., touch), left and right orientation, as well as aspects of spatial relationships and language functioning.

    Occipital Lobe
    The occipital lobe is involved in visual processing and perception.

    The Brain as a Network
    Many parts of the brain work together to support complex functions. There is communication between different parts of the brain to enable us to carry out complex tasks that are important for school success, such as language, attention, reading, and mathematics.

    What is a seizure?

    Sometimes the neurons in the brain don’t signal properly and cause a sudden burst of electrical energy in the brain or what is known as a seizure.

    Seizure symptoms depend on where in the brain the abnormal bursts of electrical activity occurs. Seizures may be observed as a transient change in sensation, movement, behaviour, or consciousness. Because the brain is responsible for a wide range of functions, there are many different types of seizures.

    Between seizures, some students continue to have heightened electrical discharges in their brain (called interictal discharges) which are not strong enough to cause a seizure but cause transient issues with attention, thinking, memory, and behaviour.

    Epilepsy is more than recurrent seizures

    Epilepsy is a spectrum disorder with varying presentations of:

    1. Seizure frequency
    2. Seizure types
    3. Seizure severity
    4. Seizure control: some students have good seizure control while others have seizures which are persistent and severe
    5. Chronicity: some students outgrow their seizures and others do not
    6. Types of cognitive, psychological, and social problems
    7. Severity of cognitive, psychological, and social problems

    For each student living with epilepsy, the effect of a seizure has on his or her brain and consequently the related cognitive, psychological (behavioural, emotional), and social abilities will be different. While some students with seizures affecting only one area or lobe of the brain may have very specific problems associated with that lobe, many students with epilepsy experience problems across multiple domains. Students living with epilepsy may be similar to students with other types of neurological damage (e.g., Traumatic Brain Injury).

    Some students living with epilepsy will have very few barriers to achievement while others are at risk of poor school performance and poor outcomes as adults.

    Epilepsy is an invisible condition

    If a student walked into a classroom with a cast on his or her arm, we would immediately recognize that he or she had an injury. We would not expect the student to throw a baseball or use a badminton racquet with the injured arm. It would be easy to modify most activities because we could see and understand the impairment.

    Students living with epilepsy have an invisible condition. You cannot tell that they have epilepsy unless they are actively having a seizure. It is not possible to see “the cast” on the part of the brain where the seizures originate.

    The cognitive, psychological, and social consequences associated with epilepsy are frequently unrecognized (Reilly et al., 2014).

    The seizure is the tip of the iceberg. Below the surface of the iceberg lie the invisible or unrecognized consequences: the cognitive, psychological, and social impacts associated with this brain disease. It is important to recognize these consequences to ensure success at school.

    School attendance

    • Students with epilepsy may miss lessons or miss content even when they are present in class.
    • They have higher rates of school absenteeism to recover from seizures, attend medical appointments, and to establish new treatments.
    • Social factors including embarrassment, teasing, and bullying also impact school attendance.
    • Some schools unnecessarily send students home when they have seizure at school or exclude them from activities due to concerns that they may have a seizure.
    • A student who is absent 15 days per school year will have missed the equivalent of one full year of instructions by the end of Grade 12.

    Reducing restrictions at school

    While it may seem like limiting a student’s physical activity is in his or her best interest, doing so may actually encourage social isolation and interfere with many opportunities for the student to learn and practice important physical literacy and social skills.

    Every effort should be made to include students in physical activities such as gym, recess, lunch, extracurricular sports, and field trips. There is evidence that seizures are less likely to occur if the student is engaged in satisfying and motivating activities, whether they are mental or physical.

    Excessive adult monitoring and limit setting may actually increase seizure activity.

    Medication side effects

    Not all students with epilepsy experience medication side effects.

    Side effects are most likely to occur when a new medication is introduced, the dosage of an existing medication is increased, or when the student is on more than one medication.

    Potential side effects of anti-seizure medications may include:

    • Fatigue
    • Drowsiness
    • Slower information processing speed
    • Difficulties with attention and memory
    • Problems with dizziness and coordination
    • Double vision
    • Changes in mood, behaviour, and appetite

    Developing a communication plan with families is helpful to document seizure activity and observations following medication changes.

    Fatigue is a consistent complaint of students living with epilepsy

    The underlying brain abnormality causing the seizures, the recovery after a seizure, and the medications to treat the seizures can make a student feel exhausted.

    Some students have frequent seizures at night causing them to be tired, irritable, or to function poorly the next day.

    Students with epilepsy need plenty of sleep and may go to bed earlier than their peers. They may fall asleep in class or nap when they arrive home from school.

    Fatigue can make it difficult for students with epilepsy to participate fully in academic endeavours and to concentrate for long periods of time. Fatigue may make it difficult to finish homework or to participate in after-school programs.

    Strategies to help students with fatigue

    • Offer less intensive classes later in the day.
    • Reduce the amount of work you expect the student to complete within a specific amount of time.
    • Offer frequent breaks.
    • Do assessments over a series of several days.
    • Reduce the amount of homework you assign.
    • Reduce the course load for older students.
    • Develop a communication plan with the parent and student to document seizure activity, medication changes and side effects.

    Variability in functioning from day to day is typical

    A student’s presentation can be variable from day to day and within days.

    Good Days: You will observe times when a student living with epilepsy is available to learn, engages in discussions, appears to make connections, and displays an even temperament.

    Bad Days: You may observe other times when the student appears to be readily distracted, has forgotten previously learned information, or may be irritable.

    Without support, what does the future hold?

    The potential trajectory for children with epilepsy is demonstrated through adult outcome data:

    Studies around the world indicate that in adulthood, people living with epilepsy have:

    • Lower education
    • Higher unemployment
    • Higher rates of poverty
    • Higher rates of unplanned pregnancy
    • Higher rates of mental health problems

    In Canada, the projected indirect economic cost due to premature death and disability in epilepsy are approximately $3 billion in a year, second only to brain injury among all neurological conditions (PHAC, 2014).

    For students living with epilepsy, school education and learning represent the primary interactive biopsychosocial components associated with their health outcomes.

    Providing school-based support to students with epilepsy has the potential to reduce the burden of epilepsy on the student, parent, and school community. Developing skills and confidence in the early years may alter the negative trajectory for the student with child-onset epilepsy.

    General strategies for teachers to improve school success

    • Meet with the parents to understand the child’s epilepsy and to develop a plan of care.
    • Empower students who had seizures by engaging them in the discussion on what to do and how it feels to have epilepsy.
    • Invite a community-based epilepsy educator to provide you and your colleagues with an epilepsy professional development session.
    • Invite a community-based epilepsy educator to provide age-appropriate videos or presentations explaining epilepsy and seizure first aid to the entire class.
    • Ensure that the entire class understands what to expect when a classmate has a seizure and how they can help.
    • Minimize known seizure triggers: heat, dehydration, lights, stress, fatigue in the classroom.
    • Provide a rest area.
    • Prevent social and emotional challenges by providing proper information to the class following the occurrence of a seizure.
    • Promote social interaction.
    • Keep the child in class following a seizure so they can develop social and emotional coping skills.
    • Participate in epilepsy awareness programs, Purple Day for epilepsy, international days and fundraisers.

    For More Information:

    You can consult with a registered psychologist to find out if psychological interventions might be of help to you. Provincial, territorial and some municipal associations of psychology often maintain referral services. For the names and coordinates of provincial and territorial associations of psychology, go to  https://cpa.ca/public/whatisapsychologist/PTassociations/.

    This fact sheet has been prepared for the Canadian Psychological Association by Dr. Mary Lou Smith, University of Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children; Dr. Elizabeth N. Kerr, The Hospital for Sick Children; Ms. Mary Secco, Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario; and Dr. Karen Bax, Western University.

    Revised: June 22, 2021

    Your opinion matters! Please contact us with any questions or comments about any of the Psychology Works Fact Sheets:  factsheets@cpa.ca

    Canadian Psychological Association
    141 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 702
    Ottawa, Ontario    K1P 5J3
    Tel:  613-237-2144
    Toll free (in Canada):  1-888-472-0657


    Fisher R.S., Van Emde Boas W., Blume W., Elger C., Genton P., Lee P., Engel Jr, J. (2005). Epileptic seizures and epilepsy: Definitions proposed by the International League Against Epilepsy and the International Bureau for Epilepsy. Epilepsia, 46(4):470–472.

    PHAC (2014). Public Health Agency of Canada, & National Population Health Study of Neurological Conditions (Canada). Mapping connections: An understanding of neurological conditions in Canada.

    Reilly, C., Atkinson, P., Das, K. B., Chin, R. F., Aylett, S. E., Burch, V. & Neville, B. G. (2014). Academic achievement in school-aged children with active epilepsy: A population-based study. Epilepsia, 55(12), 1910-1917.



    The Traumatic Stress Section of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) is excited to offer an Early Career Research Grant to fund a 1-year project for Canadian Early Career Scholars in the field of traumatic stress research.

    Funding of up to $5,000 is available per project. Applications are due September 5, 2021.

    Applications must be submitted electronically via https://cpa.ca/machform/view.php?id=56146

    Please click here for eligibility criteria and more information on the call.

    Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) Statement Concerning the Hate Crime in London, Ontario

    Racism, white supremacy, and violent extremism have sadly become more visible and prevalent in society over the past decade. The recent anti-Islamic murder in London, Ontario is another devastating reminder of the danger these ideologies present to marginalized groups, to the Canadian public, and to all societies.

    Psychologists can, and must, play a significant role in turning the tide against racism and terrorism. We must also take on the structures and systems that are built on racial disparities and inequities – structures and systems that play a part in creating a culture that leads to more overt racism and hate crimes.

    The CPA stands with the Muslim community, and with all other groups that are regularly targeted by online hate and public violence. We are committed to doing everything we can to create a just society that enables all its members to contribute, thrive, and most importantly feel safe, in the communities, workplaces and societies in which they live, work and play, free from racism, prejudice and systemic discrimination.

    Registration Still Open to access the recorded content from the CPA’s 2021 Virtual Series

    CPA 2021 Conference Logo
    The CPA is pleased to announce that registration is still open to access the recorded content from the CPA’s 2021 Virtual Series.

    With over 1,000 submissions, a stellar line-up of keynote addresses and section featured speakers, and 6-month of on-demand access, this is an event not to be missed!

    Visit the CPA’s Convention website to learn more and register! https://convention.cpa.ca/

    CPA Statement on the Discovery of the Mass Grave of Indigenous Children in Kamloops

    The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) is horrified to learn about the discovery of the remains of 215 children at the site of a Residential School in Kamloops BC. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and Indigenous communities who are grieving this incalculable loss. We stand alongside Indigenous communities in grief, anger and sorrow. The CPA is committed to being a partner and an ally in healing, mental health and wellness for Indigenous communities across the country. Read more in Psychology’s Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Report: https://cpa.ca/docs/File/Task_Forces/TRC%20Task%20Force%20Report_FINAL.pdf

    Chronic Pain Centre of Excellence for Canadian Veterans Funding Opportunities – Deadline Extended to May 31, 2021!

    As the national leader in Veterans’ chronic pain research, the Chronic Pain Centre of Excellence for Canadian Veterans is pleased to offer the below funding opportunities for 2021-2022.
    Please click on the opportunities to learn more and apply.
    Should you have any questions, please e-mail research@vcp-vdc.ca.

    Research Funding Application Deadline
    Expression of Interest: Construct(s) to Measure ‘Lifeskills and Preparedness’ May 31, 2021
    Expression of Interest: Construct(s) to Measure ‘Housing and Physical Environment’ May 31, 2021
    Expression of Interest: Needs of Veteran Populations to Inform Civilian Healthcare Providers May 31, 2021
    Expression of Interest: Effectiveness of Veteran Peer Coaching May 31, 2021
    Graduate Scholarships
    François Dupéré Graduate Scholarship – Master’s May 31, 2021
    Centre of Excellence Graduate Scholarship – Master’s May 31, 2021
    Centre of Excellence Graduate Scholarship – PhD May 31, 2021

    Message Regarding the CPA/CPAP BMS Liability Insurance Program

    BMS, CPA logo
    Dear Members,

    We hope that you are continuing to stay healthy during this challenging time.

    In early May, you will receive the 2021-2022 CPA/CPAP[1] Liability Insurance Program renewal from the program’s broker, BMS. You will see that Professional Liability Insurance (PLI) premium has increased this year. This increase is a direct reflection of increased claims, where millions of dollars of claims costs have been paid under the psychology program to defend and protect insured members.

    The premium charged this year is substantiated by actuarial analysis and has been negotiated to keep the increase to the lowest amount acceptable to the Insurer to renew the policy.

    2021-2022 Professional Liability Insurance coverage

    Your CPA/CPAP policy is in place to provide coverage for legal defence costs and monetary judgements should a professional liability complaint or lawsuit be made against you. Each insured member can access up to $10M per claim and per year to defend against insured claims.

    Another important element is the Regulatory Legal Expense coverage, where members can access up to $300,000 per claim and per year to pay the costs of legal defence associated with a complaint made to your regulatory body (professional College). This is an essential piece of coverage as more than 80% of claims under the CPA/CPAP program in any given year are College complaints, where legal defence costs can range from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    We are aware that in an effort to reduce insurance claims, other programs or policies for psychologists have removed coverage for defence against College complaints and disciplinary hearings. While this may result in lower premiums, it also leaves psychologists without the kind of insurance coverage they are most likely to need. BMS is committed to ensuring that members are provided with comprehensive coverage that represents the needs and greatest practice exposures for psychologists.

    Psychologists who are members of both CPA and a participating provincial/territorial association will continue to receive a discount on their premiums. Please feel free to connect with BMS at 1-855-318-6038 or psy.insurance@bmsgroup.com if you have any questions about the policy. To share any queries with the management of the program, contact executiveoffice@cpa.ca.

    We thank you for your participation in this program and the confidence you have placed in Canada’s associations of psychology. Be safe, stay well.

    [1] The CPA/CPAP program is available to members of CPA as well as members of the provincial/territorial associations of psychology who make up the Council of Professional Associations of Psychologists (CPAP).

    Invitation: 29 April, 14:00 UTC | 16:00 CEST The two psychologies of the pandemic: from ‘fragile rationality’ to ‘collective resilience’

    As part of the International Science Council’s ongoing engagement with scholars and contemporary thinkers, this webinar, in partnership with the International Union of Psychological Science will consider how the pandemic is impacting on the psychological sciences.

    The webinar will address the following two questions:
    1. How have different branches of psychology provided useful insights into thinking about the pandemic and in formulating responses to the pandemic?
    2. How has the pandemic impacted on developments within psychology and on the changing relationship of psychology to other disciplines?

    The webinar, featuring Stephen Reicher as the Keynote Speaker will be moderated by Craig Calhoun with Rifka Weehuizen, Shahnaaz Suffla and Jay Van Bavel as discussants.

    Saths Cooper, Deputy Chair of the ISC Committee on Freedom & Responsibility in Science (CFRS), and Past President of the International Union of Psychological Science will introduce the webinar.

    “This timely webinar lays bare some of the stark contradictions that COVID-19 has exposed. Pandemic profiteering, vaccine nationalism and other narrow approaches to our global condition only deepen the chasm, increase insecurity and damage the opportunity to create a better future. Our fractured world needs healing and deeper understanding of the issues that the webinar will cover” Saths Cooper

    To see more information and to register, please visit: https://council.science/events/psychology-of-pandemic/

    Science Brief: Behavioural Science Principles for Enhancing Adherence to Public Health Measures

    This Science Brief was prepared on behalf of the Ontario Behavioural Science Working Group and the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table.

    The brief describes how we can use behavioural science principles to maintain and enhance adherence to public health messaging, including promising strategies to increase effective masking and physical distancing.

    Read the Science Brief

    CPA, CAMIMH and CCR Comment on 2021 Federal Budget (April 2021)

    On April 19th, the federal government presented its first budget in more than 24 months. The CPA issued a news release emphasizing that the pandemic recovery will depend on our mental health investments.

    The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) also publicly commented on the budget noting that it was a missed opportunity to invest in the mental health of Canadians.  The Canadian Consortium on Research (CCR) also expressed concerns about the lack of investment in basic research.

    Three Upcoming Career-focused Webinars for CPA Student Affiliates!

    Building on the huge success of the CPA’s inaugural virtual Career Fair in November 2020, the CPA, in collaboration with the CPA’s Industrial/Organizational Section, will be hosting three career-focused webinars in the month of May for Student Affiliates of the CPA.

    The sessions will focus on some of the most important elements in starting and advancing one’s career:

    1. Searching for a job and writing a customized CV/cover letter (May 6th, 1:00 – 2:00pm ET)
    2. Preparing for an interview (May 13th, 1:00 – 2:00pm ET)
    3. Negotiating an employment agreement/contract/salary (May 20th, 1:00 – 2:30pm ET).

    Please note that space is limited for each webinar and that registration for the webinars is restricted to CPA Student Affiliates.

    Register now for any or all of the webinars. Cost for each webinar is $10.00.

    “Psychology Works” Fact Sheet: Asthma in Children

    What is Asthma?

    Asthma is a medical condition that involves inflammation of the airway in the lungs. Asthma currently has no cure and is therefore considered a chronic condition. While some children can outgrow asthmatic symptoms, asthma often requires long-term management. The primary symptom of asthma is recurrent cough, and it can also include symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, or chest tightness. It is the most common chronic condition around the world affecting children’s lower airway.

    Asthma affects about 8.3% of children (Akinbami et al., 2016). Boys are more likely to have asthma up until adolescence (i.e., 11-12 years old), but girls are more likely to have it during adolescence and into adulthood. Several factors exist that might put a child at a higher risk of developing asthma or experiencing asthmatic symptoms. Primary risk factors can include obesity, being exposed to smoke or alcohol during pregnancy or after birth, being around other chemicals or toxins in the environment (e.g., pesticides), living in a dusty residence or area, or having a history of respiratory infections. There is also a genetic component to asthma: 35-95% of children with asthma will also have a parent with the condition. In fact, a primary factor of asthma is the genetic tendency to develop allergic disease. Finally, children living in poverty and residing in certain areas of Canada are more likely to have asthma. This indicates that many types of privilege (such as socioeconomic, geographic, and racial privilege) can play a role in asthma, and highlights that marginalized groups typically face asthma at higher rates.

    If your child is suspected of having asthma, a medical doctor may confirm a diagnosis by using a simple breathing test like “spirometry”, where your child would be asked to exhale into a sensor after taking a deep breath in. An asthma diagnosis is usually based on a decrease or obstruction of airflow, and the diagnosis can usually be confirmed if symptoms improve after the use of a bronchodilator. Bronchodilators and other asthma treatments are explained in the next section.

    How is Asthma Treated?

    Treatment for asthma in children is usually based on how severe symptoms are. Your doctor may suggest a bronchodilator (i.e., “reliever puffer”) as the first treatment approach, to help relax muscles in the lungs and widen the airway. For children whose lungs seem to function pretty well but who are dealing with occasional daytime symptoms, reliever puffers like salbutamol are often the only necessary treatment. These puffers are designed to provide a quick relief of symptoms.

    For children with more long-term symptoms, inhaled steroids (i.e., “controller puffer”) like mometasone might be suggested to help control symptoms. Doctors generally work with families and children to find the best dose of medication.

    If bronchodilators or inhaled steroids are not effective at any dose, doctors might search for other diagnoses because bronchodilators or inhaled steroids have been found to work for most children with asthma. Other issues that might cause asthma-like symptoms are allergies, sinusitis (an inflammation of the sinuses), acid reflux, physical activity (e.g., running or playing sports), reactions to certain fungi, or problems with vocal chords.

    For severe cases of asthma, a doctor might prescribe medication that can be taken orally, often combined with bronchodilators or inhaled steroids. These medications might involve oral corticosteroids like prednisone, or alternate medications that are designed to reduce inflammation in the airway. Doctors might suggest medications given by injection (e.g., allergen immunotherapy or omalizumab) in cases where other treatments are not successful or not recommended.

    In addition to medical treatments, psychological interventions for asthma may be suggested for many reasons. For example, certain situations may “trigger” asthma symptoms, such as intense exercise or being in cold weather for too long. So, psychological treatment may involve recommendations about how to identity these triggers and limit them to manage symptoms, while still finding ways to engage in enjoyable activities. Taken together, management for asthma may involve a combination of medical and psychological interventions which can often be difficult to implement and navigate for families.

    What Can Psychologists Do to Help?

    Psychologists can help with several aspects of asthma management, including those described below:

    a.      Perceiving Symptoms

    Children or adolescents may sometimes have difficulty describing their symptoms or how their medications are helping to control symptoms. Approximately 15-60% of asthma patients struggle to describe symptoms (Janssens et al., 2009), which can lead to an overuse of medication.

    Psychologists can help children and adolescents learn ways to identify and describe their symptoms comfortably. This is often accomplished by helping focus increased attention on bodily sensations and recognizing situations in which symptoms may present themselves. Psychologists can similarly help children recognize “trigger” situations, in which symptoms might be more likely to arise (e.g., in cold weather). By optimizing the way that children can describe symptoms and recognize triggers, management of asthma can be improved.

    b.      Coping

    Asthma is often a stressful illness that requires tough adjustments in psychological, emotional, and behavioural areas. Psychologists can help children and families by discussing strategies that could help them cope with asthma.

    Some situations are particularly challenging for children and families with asthma, such as moving to a new school or switching to a new medication. A psychologist can work with families to promote helpful coping strategies such as problem-solving rather than unhelpful strategies such as ignoring or denying issues. Research has shown that using helpful coping styles can have a positive effect on children’s quality of life (Braido et al., 2012).

    c.       Adhering to Treatment

    There are many factors that can get in the way of children and families adhering to the treatments that are prescribed or suggested by healthcare providers. Some of these interfering factors can include misunderstanding how to take medications, embarrassment about taking the medications in public, denial surrounding the illness, difficulties incorporating treatments into a daily schedule, forgetfulness, or lack of knowledge about the importance of management.

    Psychologists can help children and families identify barriers that might be getting in the way of adhering to treatments. For example, they can share relevant strategies and educate families about the importance of taking medication and structuring the day to incorporate treatment activities. Psychologists can then help children and families make practical changes to help them adhere to medications.

    Adherence can become particularly challenging when children are becoming more independent and beginning to take their medications themselves. Many parents are highly motivated to help their children adhere to their medications, but it can often be difficult to translate responsibilities from parent to child during this period of increasing independence. Psychologists can focus on areas such as motivation and setting reminders to help older children remain adherent as they become more independent.

    d.      Parent-Guided Strategies

    Parenting a child with asthma can be particularly challenging, especially since children with asthma have been shown to demonstrate more emotional and behavioural challenges than their peers without asthma. Parents who have children with asthma may report higher levels of stress or psychological distress as a result.

    A psychologist can work with caregivers (either alone or together) to troubleshoot issues related to caregiving such as managing stress, regulating emotions, coping effectively, optimizing parenting approaches, improving the ways parents and other family member interact with children, and helping with adherence to medications.

    e.      Navigating Anxiety Associated with Asthma

    Children with anxiety symptoms or anxiety disorders can face particular challenges when navigating their asthma. A primary source of distress among children higher in anxiety involves beginning to associate anxiety-related shortness of breath with asthma.

    Psychologists can help children and families recognize that shortness of breath is also a common symptom of anxiety, and they can help children develop strategies to distinguish between, and think differently about, the situations that might be inducing breathing problems due to anxiety versus asthma. They might also discuss ways to regulate worry (e.g., relaxation exercises) that arises in the face of true asthma symptoms.

    What Types of Interventions Do Psychologists Use to Help with Asthma?

    Psychologists might use several different types of therapies or techniques when providing help for asthma-related concerns. Two common types of therapy are described below.

    a.   Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

    Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a psychological treatment approach that uses strategies focused on thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Many of the strategies mentioned on this fact sheet may be incorporated into a CBT plan to address difficulties with asthma. For example, a CBT plan often involves education about the illness, identifying behaviours that interfere with treatment, and addressing anxiety associated with symptoms.

    With regard to the “cognitive” piece of CBT, psychologists can help by engaging children and families in discussions about thoughts that might interfere with their management of asthma. For example, thoughts about medication being “unimportant”, assumptions about what children believe their peers think about asthma medications, or parental fears about children taking medications incorrectly can all interfere with optimal asthma management. Psychologists using a CBT model will typically help children and families improve their functioning by helping them notice unhelpful thoughts about asthma, “challenge” these thoughts, and engage in behaviours to test and support more helpful thoughts.

    b.   Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

    Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) focuses on acceptance and mindfulness strategies that can help people engage in behaviours connected to their values.

    Psychologists who use ACT can help parents to be aware of their thoughts and feelings surrounding asthma, to accept and adapt to challenging situations, and to take actions that allow them to help their children in a value-driven way.

    ACT has also been found to be useful with adolescents directly. Psychologists can work with adolescents in areas similar to parents: increasing awareness of thoughts and feelings, heightening acceptance and flexibility in asthma-related situations, and making health-related decisions that are linked to their values.

    Are Psychological Interventions Effective?

    The short answer is, yes; psychological interventions are effective for asthma! Research has demonstrated that psychological interventions involving educational, cognitive, behavioural, and family components are beneficial for children and adolescents (Oland et al., 2017). These interventions have been shown to be helpful in homes, school settings, and medical settings.

    However, it is worth noting that most of the research conducted on childhood asthma has been conducted in unique ways. For example, studies have often included children with different levels of asthma or have tested the level of children’s symptoms using different tools. This has made each set of research findings quite different from one another. A large review of psychological interventions for childhood asthma was proposed in September 2019 (Sharrad et al., 2019), so it is likely that findings from this review will emerge to shed further light on asthma management.

    Even though psychological interventions have been shown to be effective (and often very important for improving outcomes for families), since medical management is the primary treatment for asthma, families should contact a medical doctor if they suspect a diagnosis of asthma or believe there are problems with the current medical management of a child’s asthma.

    Helpful Resources?

    Visit these websites for useful asthma resources:

    1. Asthma Canada: https://asthma.ca/
    2. The Canadian Lung Association: https://www.lung.ca/
    3. The Children’s Asthma Education Centre: http://asthma-education.com/
    4. You Can Control Your Asthma: https://cumming.ucalgary.ca/research/icancontrolasthma
    5. The Canadian Thoracic Society: https://cts-sct.ca/guideline-library/

    For More Information:

    You can consult with a registered psychologist to find out if psychological interventions might be of help to you. Provincial, territorial and some municipal associations of psychology often maintain referral services. For the names and coordinates of provincial and territorial associations of psychology, go to https://cpa.ca/public/whatisapsychologist/ptassociations/.

    This fact sheet has been prepared for the Canadian Psychological Association by Jason Isaacs (PhD student at Dalhousie University), in consultation with Dr. Dimas Mateos (MD at IWK Health Centre) and Martha Greechan (RN at IWK Health Centre).

    Date: March 17, 2021

    Your opinion matters! Please contact us with any questions or comments about any of the Psychology Works Fact Sheets:  factsheets@cpa.ca

    Canadian Psychological Association
    141 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 702
    Ottawa, Ontario    K1P 5J3
    Tel:  613-237-2144
    Toll free (in Canada):  1-888-472-0657


    Akinbami, L. J., Simon, A. E., & Rossen, L. M. (2016). Changing trends in asthma prevalence among children. Pediatrics, 137(1), e20152354.

    Braido, F., Baiardini, I., Bordo, A., Menoni, S., Di Marco, F., Centanni, S., … & Canonica, G. W. (2012). Coping with asthma: Is the physician able to identify patient’s behaviour? Respiratory Medicine, 106(12), 1625-1630.

    Janssens, T., Verleden, G., De Peuter, S., Van Diest, I., & Van den Bergh, O. (2009). Inaccurate perception of asthma symptoms: a cognitive–affective framework and implications for asthma treatment. Clinical Psychology Review, 29(4), 317-327.

    Oland, A. A., Booster, G. D., & Bender, B. G. (2017). Psychological and lifestyle risk factors for asthma exacerbations and morbidity in children. World Allergy Organization Journal, 10(1), 35.

    Sharrad, K. J., Sanwo, O., Carson-Chahhoud, K. V., & Pike, K. C. (2019). Psychological interventions for asthma in children and adolescents. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2019(9).