“Psychology Works” Fact Sheet: Psychological Interventions for Acute Pain Management in Children

What is acute pain?

Acute pain is typically described as a mild to intense sharp pain. It comes on quickly and lasts for a short period of time, usually providing a signal to the body that something is wrong. Experiencing acute pain is important because it is a part of our body’s built-in warning system. The experience of pain varies across individuals, which means that the same painful event can be felt very differently among children.

Pain is like a puzzle that is made up of different pieces. There is a biological piece (e.g., previous injuries can make a person more sensitive to pain), a psychological piece (e.g., memories of past pain experiences can impact future pain experiences) and a social experience piece (e.g., the people who are in the room with you can impact how much pain you feel and how much pain you actually express). Even within the same person, the impact each piece has can change from situation to situation or as someone matures over their life. So even the same painful event can be experienced by the same person differently at different points in time!

Common causes of acute pain in children include everyday bumps and bruises (e.g., when a child falls off a bike), routine medical procedures (e.g., getting a needle at the doctor’s office), and post-surgical pain (e.g., the pain following tonsil removal that often lasts days). A person’s report of pain must be respected and paid attention to, no matter how old the person is. Sometimes a child cannot tell us they are in pain because they are too young or have intellectual or developmental disabilities. However, a good rule of thumb is that anything that causes pain in adults will also cause pain in children. There are well-validated ways to help assess and understand the pain of infants, children, and teens.  

Assessment of acute pain in children

Scientists and clinicians know that pain is tricky to assess even in adults, so a lot of work has gone into trying to understand the best ways to measure pain in children. With infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, watching body language is often the best way. For example, the FLACC (Face, Legs, Activity, Cry, Consolability) scale instructs caregivers to focus on the infant/child’s grimacing face, flailing legs, arched body or squirming, if they are crying, and how easily they are consoled. If children are hospitalized, it’s possible to use physiological measures like heart rate or how much oxygen is circulating in the blood. The higher the heart rate or the lower the oxygen saturation in the blood, the more stress the child is in and the more pain we assume the child is experiencing. Some pain assessment tools used in the hospital, such as the PIPP-R (Premature Infant Pain Profile-Revised), incorporate both behaviours and physiology measures. Sometime around the age of 6 or 7 years, children are able to self-report their pain more reliably, so parents and health professionals should try to ask them about their pain. For example, the Faces Pain Scale – Revised[1] (see below) is a great way to ask early school-aged children about how much something hurts. For older children and teens, who may have a good understanding of how rating scales work, you can just use a numeric rating scale without any aids. For example, you could ask an older child or teen, “On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is no pain and 10 is the worst pain you can imagine, how much pain are you experiencing right now?”.

Why is acute pain a priority in children?

Acute pain occurs frequently in both healthy children and those with chronic illnesses. Although pain serves an adaptive role, it may have adverse effects on the body, mind and social wellbeing of children if left unmanaged. Through experience, children learn the concept of pain, and previous experiences of pain influence how they experience pain in the future. Without appropriate assessment and treatment, acute pain can change how a child processes pain. A fear of needle-related procedures and avoidance of medical appointments may also develop if pain is not properly managed. Sometimes, acute pain can even lead to longer-term pain (i.e., pain that lasts more than 3 months). For example, research has suggested that anaesthesia and analgesia during surgery is important as it may protect a child from longer term pain.

Psychological strategies for managing acute pain in infants, children, and teens

Whether you are the parent (or caregiver) of an infant, child, or teenager, research shows that you play a major role in helping your child prepare for and cope with acute pain experiences. The way your child depends on you for support might look different depending on how old your child is.

Managing pain in infants and toddlers

Since infants (< 2 years old) haven’t yet developed the abilities needed to understand why they are in pain or what they can do to feel better, they rely on their caregivers more than ever to help them make sense of and cope with the experience. Parents can help reduce acute pain in infants and toddlers. One strategy parents can use with their infants that does not require any preparation is as easy as ABCD! The ABCD approach requires parents to calm themselves to help them calm their child. The ABCD’s are:

  1. Assess your own anxiety. Your infant looks for hints from you to help them make sense of what’s happening. When you are calm, your infant is more likely to feel calm, too. If you have your child in your arms, your slow heartbeat will help you keep your child calm.
  2. Belly breathe if you are stressed. Take some slow deep breaths in through your nose and into your belly. Slowing your breathing will slow your heart rate which can help slow your infant’s breathing and heart rate.
  3. Use a calm, close cuddle with your infant. Your cuddle is extremely comforting to your infant, especially when used before, during, and after painful experiences. Depending on how old and active your infant is, this might involve skin-to-skin contact (holding your infant, dressed only in a diaper, against your bare chest, breastfeeding your child) or hugging your child while they sit in your lap or stand between your legs or while in your arms.
  4. Distract your infant at the right moment. Distracting your infant using a toy, book, bubbles, or song, or by talking to them about something unrelated to the pain can help him or her calm down, but you should wait 30-45 seconds for their crying to slow down and their eyes to open before you start the distraction. Infants might show you that they are not ready for distraction yet (by becoming more upset, pushing the toy away, or looking away in response to the distraction). If this happens, go back to cuddling.

Managing pain in younger children (3-10 years)

Between the ages of about 3 and 10, children are gradually learning what they can do to get themselves through painful experiences, but still rely heavily on their parent or caregiver taking charge of the situation. During this broad age stage, successful coping with pain will usually involves a combination of child-led and parent-led strategies, with a greater emphasis on the parent the younger the child is.

While there are strategies that will work at any age from about 3 to adolescence (described later on), children in this stage have some unique psychological considerations. Children in this stage might experience some anticipatory worries when they know a painful procedure is coming. To help prepare their child for a painful experience, parents can take some extra steps in advance of a planned painful procedure:

  • Decide when and how to share information with your child about an upcoming painful procedure. Younger children can be told the day of the procedure. Older children and teens should be told at least the day before, so that they can prepare coping strategies ahead of time and might benefit from learning about and practicing the steps involved in the procedure.
  • Answer your child’s questions honestly. For example, if your child asks if a needle will hurt, you might say “It might hurt a small or medium amount, but it will be over soon”.
  • Consider offering your child some choice in how their pain is managed, such as how they want to be distracted during the procedure, whether they want to hold your hand, and what they would like to do after the procedure. Offering choices to a young child is usually not helpful and might overwhelm the child. For older children, offering choices in advance (such as before you leave the house) helps them know what to expect and can help them feel more in control of the situation. They can also be motivated to get through the unpleasantness for a reward immediately after the painful procedure (e.g., lollipop) or in the near future (e.g., ice cream stop on the way home). In the below section are strategies that will work with children across childhood.

Managing pain in older children and teens (10+ years)

As children progress through the tween and teen years, they often take on an increasingly independent role in managing their pain. Although the preparatory strategies described above can help reduce the stress your child experiences before a procedure, they should always be used in combination with strategies for managing the pain while and/or after it occurs.

The following strategies can help reduce pain in children and teens during and after a painful experience:

  • Effective strategies for distracting your child will vary depending on their age, abilities, and interests, and might include blowing bubbles or pinwheels, playing with a toy or video game, watching a movie, listening to music, or using virtual reality technology. Generally speaking, the more actively the child is involved in the distraction activity, the more powerful the distraction will be.
  • Guided imagery. Through guided imagery, you can help your child use their imagination and senses to picture themselves in a different, more calming place. Guided imagery scripts for children of all ages are available online.
  • Belly breathing. Breathing exercises that involve diaphragmatic (or “belly”) breathing can be used with children to help them feel calmer during and after painful experiences. Children can be instructed to breathe in through their nose and into their belly (keeping a hand on their belly to check that it rises with each breath) and breathe out through their mouth.
  • Coping statements. Teaching children to use coping statements can help them think more positively and feel less negatively about the painful event. Having children repeat statements such as “I can get through this” or “I know the pain will go away”, aloud or in their head, can help them feel better. Reminding them after the painful experience about how well they did, how short the pain was, or how “worth it” the reward was will also help them build better pain memories for the future.

Parent behaviours to avoid

Sometimes despite the best intentions, parents overuse behaviours that have been linked to higher pain-related distress. Parents and caregivers should try to notice and limit their use of these behaviours:

  • Reassuring your child by saying things like “it’s ok” or “you’re fine” when your child is visibly distressed or before they are distressed. It can cause them to feel confused, increasing their distress, or it can signal to them that something scary is coming, because parents don’t usually reassure their child when things are fine.
  • Criticizing your child’s response to pain. Saying things like “your brother didn’t cry after his needle” or “big girls don’t cry” may teach a child that it is not okay to express pain when they are feeling it, increasing future distress and pain.
  • Apologizing for your child’s pain. Apologizing for your child’s pain when you are not the one who caused it can confuse your child. It can also suggest to him or her that their pain has caused distress for you, which can further increase their distress.

Where can I get more information?

Learn more about assessing and treating acute pain at the AboutKidsHealth Pain Hub, a health education resource for children, youth, and caregivers approved by The Hospital for Sick Children (https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/pain). In addition to describing psychological strategies we mention in this sheet, this resource provides parent- and patient-friendly information sheets that describe important physical (such as using smells and sounds or massage) and pharmacological strategies (such as acetaminophen, sugar water, or numbing cream) that often add to the success of psychological strategies.

You can also 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 websites of provincial and territorial associations of psychology, please visit:  https://cpa.ca/public/whatisapsychologist/PTassociations

This fact sheet has been prepared for the Canadian Psychological Association by Miranda Di Lorenzo, Shaylea Badovinac, and Dr. Rebecca Pillai Riddell, York University.

Date: November 24, 2020

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

[1] Faces Pain Scale – Revised. Copyright ©2001, International Association for the Study of Pain.

Subventions de recherche pour les étudiants du SCP : Règles et critères D’admissibilité



La Société canadienne de psychologie souhaite soutenir les projets de recherche menés par des étudiants dans tous les domaines de la psychologie.

Chaque projet dispose d’un financement pouvant aller jusqu’à 1 500 $. En 2020, un maximum de 10 subventions sera distribué. La date limite de présentation des demandes est le 27 novembre 2020 (4pm EST).

Au moment du dépôt de la demande et, si le projet est retenu, au moment de l’attribution du financement, le candidat/bénéficiaire de la subvention doit être un étudiant diplômé, membre affilié de la SCP; il doit aussi être inscrit à temps plein dans un programme d’études supérieures en psychologie d’une université à charte canadienne, établie dans une province ou un territoire du Canada. Le superviseur direct du candidat/bénéficiaire doit également être un membre en règle de la SCP.

Fait important à noter, les étudiants ne peuvent recevoir qu’une seule fois cette subvention.

Le comité de sélection tiendra compte des éléments suivants pour évaluer les projets proposés :

  1. Compétences du candidat
    • Bourses d’études et prix
    • Publications
    • Communications présentées lors de congrès et autre expérience pertinente
  2. Mérite de la proposition
    • Justification et contexte
    • Faisabilité, conception et méthodologie
    • Impact possible et originalité


CPA logoCSBBCS logo
Une autre subvention d’une valeur de 1 500 $ sera attribuée à une proposition de projet portant sur le cerveau et les sciences cognitives; cette subvention sera parrainée conjointement par la SCP et la Société canadienne des sciences du cerveau, du comportement et de la cognition (SCSCCC). Pour présenter une demande de subvention, les étudiants et leur superviseur doivent être affiliés/membres en règle, soit de la SCP ou de la SCSCCC, au moment du dépôt de la demande et, si le projet est retenu, au moment de l’attribution du financement.


Formulaire de demande : https://cpa.ca/machform/view.php?id=24095

Les demandes peuvent être présentées en anglais ou en français.

La demande doit comprendre les éléments suivants :

  1. Un résumé de 250 mots ou moins qui explique brièvement la recherche.
  2. Une description de projet décrivant le justification et contexte, faisabilité, conception et méthodologie, impact possible et originalité (maximum de cinq pages à double interligne, incluant les références, les figures, etc.).
  3. État/preuve du processus d’évaluation éthique par un conseil d’éthique de la recherche. (i.e. acknowledgement/confirmation from REB that application has been received, process is underway, or approval has been granted)
  4. Montant demandé, accompagné d’un budget détaillé. Si les fonds de la SCP ne couvrent qu’une partie des coûts de la recherche, indiquer les autres formes de soutien (contribution de l’établissement, contribution personnelle ou autre) demandées ou obtenues.
  5. Le curriculum vitæ de l’étudiant qui présente la demande.
  6. Une déclaration du directeur du département de l’étudiant, indiquant que le département appuie la demande de l’étudiant et qu’il se conformera aux règles de la SCP en ce qui concerne l’administration des fonds, si la demande est acceptée. La lettre doit mentionner que les dépenses ne seront autorisées qu’une fois que l’approbation du conseil d’éthique de la recherche aura été obtenue. Le nom, l’adresse de courriel, l’adresse postale, le titre et le numéro au bureau de l’administrateur de l’université chargé de l’administration des fonds doivent être indiqués.

Les demandes qui ne remplissent pas toutes les exigences relatives aux propositions ne seront pas étudiées.


La SCP versera les fonds aux projets retenus dès la réception d’un certificat de conformité valide délivré par le conseil d’éthique de la recherche de l’établissement du candidat, accompagné de la confirmation des Services aux membres de la SCP (ou ceux de la SCSCCC, dans le cas de la subvention conjointe SCP-SCSCCC) attestant que l’étudiant est membre de la SCP (ou de la SCSCCC).


Les candidats retenus devront remettre un rapport final (ou un rapport d’étape) au Comité des affaires scientifiques de la SCP (science@cpa.ca) faisant état des résultats de leur recherche (environ 500 mots), et ce, dans les 18 mois suivant la réception du financement. Les candidats retenus devront également présenter un résumé de 150 mots décrivant leur recherche pour publication dans Psynopsis, le magazine trimestriel de la SCP. La SCP doit être mentionnée dans toutes les publications ou présentations découlant de la recherche. Les fonds non utilisés après la défense de la thèse doivent être retournés à la SCP.


  • Note that only one of the following grants can be held at any given time: CPA Student Research Grant, CPA Student Section Research Grant, BMS-sponsored Research or Leadership Grant. Eligible students can apply for one or more of these grants but can only hold one grant.
  • Au moment du dépôt de la demande et, si le projet est retenu, au moment de l’attribution du financement, le candidat/bénéficiaire de la subvention doit être un étudiant diplômé, membre affilié de la SCP (ou de la SCSCCC, dans le cas de la subvention conjointe SCP-SCSCCC); il doit aussi être inscrit à temps plein dans un programme d’études supérieures en psychologie d’une université à charte canadienne, établie dans une province ou un territoire du Canada.
  • Au moment du dépôt de la demande et, si le projet est retenu, au moment de l’attribution du financement, le superviseur direct du candidat/bénéficiaire doit également être un membre en règle de la SCP (ou de la SCSCCC, dans le cas de la subvention conjointe SCP-SCSCCC).
  • Les demandes de subventions conjointes ne seront pas acceptées/examinées.
  • Les subventions sont accordées aux chercheurs étudiants admissibles et sont administrées par le système administratif de l’établissement. Le bénéficiaire de la subvention autorise les dépenses conformément aux politiques et aux exigences de la SCP, décrites ici, et aux politiques de l’établissement. Personne ne peut engager ou autoriser des dépenses à partir du compte de la subvention sans l’autorisation de la personne à qui l’on a délégué le pouvoir d’autoriser les dépenses au nom de l’étudiant bénéficiaire.
  • Les subventions accordées doivent aider à couvrir les coûts directs de la recherche pour laquelle les fonds ont été attribués, et les bénéfices de la recherche devraient être directement attribuables à la subvention. L’établissement paie les coûts indirects associés à la gestion de la recherche financée par la SCP.
  • Les dépenses ne seront autorisées qu’une fois que le conseil d’éthique de la recherche aura donné son approbation.
  • Chaque établissement définit les politiques, les contrôles et les systèmes nécessaires pour assurer le respect des exigences de la SCP. L’établissement a le droit et l’obligation de refuser les dépenses demandées par un étudiant bénéficiaire si celles-ci contreviennent aux exigences de la SCP ou aux politiques de l’établissement et, si cela est approprié, il peut demander des conseils à la SCP ou lui demander de statuer sur l’admissibilité des dépenses.


  • Personnel de recherche
  • Honoraires des experts-conseils (p. ex., programmeur, statisticien)
  • Les sommes versées pour recruter des participants, comme de petites primes pour encourager la participation (c.-à-d. pour constituer un bassin de participants potentiels), lorsqu’elles sont approuvées par un comité d’éthique de la recherche
  • Les sommes versées aux participants à la recherche, comme de petites primes à la participation, lorsqu’elles sont approuvées par un comité d’éthique de la recherche
  • Équipement


  • Boissons alcoolisées
  • Frais de divertissement et de représentation, et cadeaux
  • Frais de déplacement/inscription/d’hébergement liés à la participation à un congrès
  • Frais liés aux récompenses et à la reconnaissance du personnel
  • Frais d’études, comme les frais associés à la préparation de la thèse, les droits de scolarité et les frais de cours menant à un diplôme
  • Frais relatifs à la préparation du matériel d’enseignement
  • Dépenses liées aux services de base, comme le chauffage, l’éclairage, l’eau, l’air comprimé, l’eau distillée, les aspirateurs et les services d’entretien fournis à tous les laboratoires dans une installation de recherche
  • Primes d’assurance pour les immeubles et l’équipement
  • Dépenses nécessaires pour assurer la conformité à la réglementation, notamment les frais à payer pour l’évaluation éthique, les mesures de biosécurité, ou les mesures et les règlements provinciaux ou municipaux
  • Frais de stationnement mensuels pour les véhicules, à moins que cela soit nécessaire pour effectuer du travail sur le terrain
  • Taxes de vente qui sont visées par une exemption ou qui sont remboursables
  • Dépenses liées aux vêtements usuels
  • Frais de brevets
  • Frais de déménagement d’un laboratoire

BMS Scholarship: Student Research and Leadership Development – DEADLINE NOV. 27th, 4pm!



Sponsored by BMS, the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) and the Council of Professional Associations of Psychology (CPAP) wish to support student research and leadership development in all areas of psychology.

For 2020:

  • Up to two (2) awards will be dispersed per project for research-based submissions, at amounts up to $2,500.00 per application.
  • Up to five (5) awards will be dispersed to individuals wishing to pursue training, either practice or leadership focused, at amounts up to $500.00 per application.


At the time of application and if successful, over the term of the grant,

  • the applicant must be a current graduate student affiliate of the CPA and/or a current graduate student member of a provincial psychological association; enrolled full time in a psychology graduate program at a provincially or territorially chartered Canadian University; and
  • the applicant’s direct supervisor must also be a current member of the CPA and/or a provincial psychological association.

Of note, students can only be funded once during the lifetime of this funding program.

Applications by co-applicants will not be accepted/considered.


Awarded funds can be used to cover expenses as follows:

Research-Based Submissions Leadership and Practice-Focused Submissions
Direct research costs such as participant honorarium equipment, research assistant (see Eligible and Not Eligible Expenses for full list) but cannot be used to fund travel to attend conferences. Enrollment in a course/workshop, registration for a leadership or practice event, or other activity with appropriate justification.


In evaluating applications, the adjudication committee will consider the following:

Research-Based Submissions Leadership and Practice-Focused Submissions
Applicant’s Qualifications (scholarships & awards, publications, conference presentations & other relevant experience)

Merits of Proposal (rationale & background; feasibility, design & methods; potential impact & originality)

Relevance to career development

Area of psychological study and practice


Applications can be submitted in English or in French. Applications not meeting all proposal requirements will not be considered for funding.

Research-based Submissions Leadership and Practice-Focused Submissions
·         An abstract of 250 words or less summarizing the research project.

·         A description (maximum 5 double-spaced pages including references, figures) outlining the rationale and background, feasibility, design and methods, potential impacts, and originality.

·         Status/proof of REB review process. (i.e. acknowledgement/confirmation from REB that application has been received, process is underway, or approval has been granted)

·         Specific amount requested, including an itemized budget.  If the BMS funding will only cover part of the costs, indicate institutional, personal, or other sources of support sought or obtained.

·         CV of applying student.

·         A statement from the student’s department chair that the department supports the student’s application and will comply with the CPA’s rules for funds administration if the student’s application is successful.  The appropriate University administrator’s name, email address, postal address, title, and business phone number should be indicated. For research applications, the letter must note that expenditures will only be authorized once REB approval is obtained.

·         A description (maximum 5 double-spaced pages) outlining the focus of the practice or leadership activity, an overview of when/were the activity will take place, duration of the activity, intended objectives of the activity, and relevance to the applicant’s career development.

·         Status/proof of event/activity registration.

·         Specific amount requested.  If the BMS funding will only cover part of the costs, indicate institutional, personal, or other sources of support sought or obtained.

·         CV of applying student.

·         A statement from the student’s department chair that the department supports the student’s application.


Applications for the 2020 awards must be received by 4pm EST on November 27, 2020.  The winners will be announced by late December.

Applications must be submitted electronically via the appropriate link

Research-Based Submissions Leadership and Practice-Focused Submissions
https://cpa.ca/machform/view.php?id=30292 https://cpa.ca/machform/view.php?id=30405


For funded research projects, the CPA will release funds to the student’s university upon receiving a valid certificate of compliance from the Research Ethics Board (REB) of the applicant’s institution.

For funded practice and leadership-focused activities, the CPA will release funds directly to the funded applicant upon receiving confirmation of registration in the specified activity.

Note that only one of the following grants can be held at any given time: CPA Student Research Grant, CPA Student Section Research Grant, BMS-sponsored Research or Leadership Grant. Eligible students can apply for one or more of these grants but can only hold one grant.

Successful applicants will be expected to provide a final (or progress) report to the CPA (approximately 500 words) within 18 months of receiving funding; successful applicants will also be expected to submit a 150-word write up for Psynopsis and their provincial association’s newsletter or website.

BMS should be acknowledged in any publications or presentations resulting from the research or presenting on the leadership or practice activity.

Research funds are awarded to eligible students and are administered through the institution’s administration systems. The student grantee authorizes expenditures in accordance with the CPA’s policies and requirements, as outlined here, and with institution policies. No one may initiate or authorize expenditures from the CPA grant account without the student grantee’s delegated authority. Each institution establishes appropriate procedures, systems and controls to ensure that the CPA’s requirements are followed. The institution has the right and responsibility to withhold and withdraw approval of expenditures proposed by a student grantee that contravene the CPA’s requirements or the institution’s policies and, when appropriate, to seek advice or ruling from the CPA as to eligibility of expenses.

Funds must contribute towards the direct costs of the research or practice/leadership training for which the funds were awarded, and the benefits should be directly attributable to the grant. For research awards, the institution pays for the indirect or overhead costs associated with managing the research funded by the CPA.

The CPA follows the Canadian tax regulation for reporting and as such, will be required to issue a T4A.  The CPA will provide funded applicants with a secure link by which to obtain their social insurance number.


  • Research personnel (e.g., research assistant)
  • Consulting fees (e.g., programmer, statistician)
  • Fees paid for the purpose of participant recruitment, such as modest incentives to consider participation (i.e., to establish a potential participant pool), where approved by a Research Ethics Board
  • Fees paid to research participants, such as modest incentives for participation, where approved by a Research Ethics Board
  • Materials


  • Registration fees to participate in practice or leadership event
  • Fees for print or digital materials to support learning objectives of event
  • Travel and hotel costs to attend in-person even
  • Meal costs (based on CPA schedule) not otherwise provided by in-person event


  • Costs of alcohol
  • Costs of entertainment, hospitality and gifts
  • Travel/registration/accommodation costs related to attending a conference
  • Costs related to staff awards and recognition
  • Education-related costs such as thesis preparation, tuition and course fees, leading up to a degree
  • Costs involved in the preparation of teaching materials
  • Costs of basic services such as heat, light, water, compressed air, distilled water, vacuums and janitorial services supplied to all laboratories in a research facility
  • Insurance costs for buildings or equipment
  • Costs associated with regulatory compliance, including ethical review, biohazard, or provincial or municipal regulations and by-laws
  • Monthly parking fees for vehicles, unless specifically required for field work
  • Sales taxes to which an exemption or rebate applies
  • Costs of regular clothing
  • Patenting expenses
  • Costs of moving a lab

Spotlight: CPA Campus Representative Kaytlin Constantin

Kaytlin Constantin photo
photo credit Bianca Sabatini Photography

Emily and Lucy

One of these days, and hopefully sooner rather than later, Kaytlin Constantin is going to kick someone in the ribs. She was scheduled to compete at a kickboxing tournament in May, but it got postponed. And postponed again. And postponed once more. She’s looking forward to the day it actually takes place, but is hoping she will not be competing in the 55-and-older division by the time it does. Rib-kicking is much worse for you when you are 55 and older. In the meantime, kickboxing helps with confidence, and with determination. Kaytlin says,

“A trainer I once had told me ‘What doesn’t challenge you doesn’t change you.’ So when I’m going through a tough time I tell myself this, that maybe it’s an opportunity for growth. To me it means, some goals can be hard, but that it also means you’re growing toward something or achieving something.”

Despite the ups and downs of 2020, Kaytlin is still growing toward something. She is, like the rest of us, kicking it at home. She is a CPA Campus Rep at the University of Guelph, which means she’s involved in all aspects of the campus rep program. She describes it as being the middle person for all the other reps. That means organizing and helping the other student reps to fulfil their duties, being a liaison between students and the university, and also between students and the CPA.

The Campus Rep job is primarily about making connections and helping navigate processes. Students who want to become CPA Student Reps, who want to present at the CPA Convention, or who are looking to submit articles to Mindpad, the newsletter publication written, edited, and published by the CPA Section for students.

Kaytlin did her undergrad degree at Lakehead, where she was a CPA Undergrad Rep. That means she’s been repping the CPA for about five years now, and seems to have no intention of stopping here.

“When I was an undergrad rep, I led a workshop for other students to help them create posters for the CPA convention. It was the first experience I had in more of a leadership role. Learning what the CPA convention is all about, and becoming familiar with the guidelines and expectations, was a big step in my journey to take on more leadership roles and duties.”

Perhaps Kaytlin’s lengthy involvement with CPA helped paved the way for her success. As a fourth year PhD Candidate in clinical child psychology, Kaytlin holds a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, one of the most prestigious awards available for Canadian graduate students. With this funding, she has been working on her dissertation, supervised by Dr. Meghan McMurtry in the Pediatric Pain, Health and Communication (PPHC) lab, which focuses on better understanding the way parents respond when their child is in acute pain, like during a needle procedure. Related to this, she and a team of clinicians and researchers have been working on a virtual intervention for parents and children, to help kids manage their fear of needles. Which, it turns out, is an even more timely research project than anyone could have imagined nine months ago.


What is the psychological concept that blew you away when you first heard it?
The idea of self-compassion, recently, has been huge for me. The notion of responding to your own pain and suffering with the same warmth and kindness that you would to a friend. What’s amazing is how strong an effect that can have on someone’s overall well-being. I used to think being critical of myself made me a better student, researcher, clinician. But I’ve come to realize through my work in this program, and through my research, that self-compassion is an empowering and beneficial psychological skill to practice.

Favourite book
I have a favourite type of book. I like memoirs and autobiographies. I like learning about peoples’ life experiences, and I think that when someone has had a very different life experience from your own, to learn about that person’s life and to develop more perspective. Recently I’ve read Educated by Tara Westover, and Born A Crime by Trevor Noah.

Favourite word
Right now, I think I’d have to say ‘certainly’. I’ve always struggled with my confidence, and appearing confident in my work. And I feel like sometimes adding the word ‘certainly’ can help me feel more confident.

If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes who would it be and why?
I’m going to say AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez). I think she’s just phenomenal, and her advocacy around racial, economic, social justice, environmental issues is so inspiring. I would love to be able to pick her brain one day, or just shadow her for a day to see what her days are like and what her strategies and approaches are for the work she does.

If you could become an expert at something outside psychology, what would it be?
Probably something related to politics or policy works. I feel really passionate about making psychological services more accessible. Often in my day-to-day work, I feel that a systems-level change is needed, and we can’t separate health, including mental health, from socio-economic and demographic factors. And so, I think that it’s important for those of us in a position where we have a voice to be able to advocate and work toward making services more accessible and inclusive.

Kaytlin always knew she wanted to work with children, and is well on her way to doing so. Growing up in the small Northern Ontario mining town of Marathon, she never thought the path to working with children would have been psychology – her only exposure and knowledge of the discipline was through movies and television. Like the therapist who shows up in some episodes of Law & Order: SVU. But a particularly inspirational high school English teacher began to speak about the human condition, and the human mind, in the context of Shakespeare and other classic works. That teacher told Kaytlin about all the various paths psychology could provide, and she determined she was going to learn about the mind, and why people do what they do. Now here she is, just a few years later, preparing a five-week therapeutic intervention to help kids manage their fears.

Growing up in such a remote community, Kaytlin has been keenly aware of some of the impediments to receiving psychological services. She knows first-hand how geographic location can be one of the biggest barriers to receiving needed care and attention. With the intervention she’s planning, she sees the benefit of tele-psychology, especially for people in more remote locations. She also sees the more rapid embrace of technology, accelerated by the pandemic, that has allowed some of those barriers to be lessened.

Ah yes, the pandemic. It’s sort of impossible to talk to anyone now without discussing it in some way. It’s keeping us cooped up inside, preventing us from meeting at large conventions, and canceling kickboxing tournaments indefinitely. Kaytlin is taking it all in stride, and says she has been lucky enough to be able to work from home, continue with her dissertation and clinical activities, and carry on with her duties as a CPA Campus Rep, like organizing workshops – it’s just that now, they’re over Zoom. She’s especially interested in getting other students involved, whether they be collaborating with another psychology student association or signing up to be a CPA Undergrad Rep.

“It’s a great opportunity for networking, as well as a chance to develop some more leadership skills. Getting connected with other psychology student associations, becoming informed about what kind of psychology initiatives they’re involved in, and helping support and promote a community in psychology has been a wonderful experience.”

And the kickboxing? It seems like one of those sports that would be difficult to do while maintaining physical distancing. To keep up with training, does Kaytlin have anyone in her bubble who could be a willing (or unwilling) sparring partner?

“I have had to get creative…I think maybe some friends from my gym would be willing to mask up and hold pads to train, we’ll have to see! Life does go on!”

Life does, indeed, go on. Kaytlin will get her PhD. More people will connect to psychologists through remote internet platforms. Children will overcome their fear of needles. And some day, hopefully sooner rather than later, Kaytlin will earn points in competition for kicking someone right in the ribs.

CPA’s 82nd Annual Convention & Tradeshow – Virtual Event

June 7 – 25, 2021

CPA 2021 Virtual Conference Logo

Location: Virtual
Email: convention@cpa.ca
Website: https://convention.cpa.ca/

Spanning three weeks from June 7th – 25th, the CPA’s 2021 Virtual Event will provide many opportunities for personal and professional growth, and highlight the many ways in which the science, practice, and education of psychology can benefit society, improve lives, and advance the discipline.

Please continue to monitor CPA’s Convention website for information about a Virtual Conference this June.

The CPA has created an electronic submission system for Providers and Sponsors submitting applications to grant CPA-approved Continuing Education credit through CPA’s Continuing Education (CE) Approval Programme.

The CPA has created an electronic submission system for Providers and Sponsors submitting applications to grant CPA-approved Continuing Education credit through CPA’s Continuing Education (CE) Approval Programme.

This change also applies to existing Sponsors submitting Annual Reports for 2020-2021. This change in submission procedures includes the development of an online system for processing credit card payments. Details are available at https://cpa.ca/professionaldevelopment/applicationforms/ (English) or https://cpa.ca/fr/professionaldevelopment/applicationforms/ (French).

Spotlight: CPA Student Mentor Emily Cruikshank and Mentee Lucy Muir

Emily Cruikshank photo

Emily and Lucy

In 1958 a woman named Sue immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong. She faced a language barrier, culture shock, and a brand-new community into which she was entering. It must have been quite difficult, but also quite fascinating, to experience everything that was new and different about our country. Emily Cruikshank thinks about Sue, her grandmother, a lot. What frightened her? What amused her? What did she find overwhelming, and what did she take to right away? And how did she manage to make connections with other people despite all the obstacles?

Emily thinks about Sue because her experience has been very different. Emily makes connections quite easily, sometimes in ways that come as a surprise.
Lucy Muir photo
When students sign up for the CPA’s Student Mentorship program, they fill out a questionnaire that, much like a dating site, pairs them with a mentor or mentee that shares common traits. Are they looking to follow a similar career path? Is their reason for choosing psychology aligned with that of the other person? What are they looking to get out of their school, their courses, and their affiliation with the CPA?

Every now and then, the partnership that is formed goes well beyond the commonalities identified by that questionnaire. Such is the case with Lucy Muir, an undergrad psychology student at Ryerson, and her mentor Emily Cruikshank, a PhD student at the University of Alberta.

Emily is really into popular music – the way pop songs affect people, the way they influence culture, and the music of history that shapes the music of today. Before going to Ryerson for psychology, Lucy spent six years working across Canada in the radio industry.


What is the psychological concept (bystander apathy, confirmation bias, that sort of thing) that blew you away when you first heard it?
Emily: So many! Psychology is such a rich and interesting field. But one that really shook me has to do with situational attribution or the idea that the role you are given can impact your behaviour so much. When I first learned about the Stanford Prison Experiment and the Milgram Shock Experiment I could not believe that people could do such awful things based on suggestions. But once I understood the motivation behind these actions I realized that none of us are that far off from “shocking” an innocent person!
Lucy: The rubber hand illusion! That’s and experiment where the participant has one hand out on the table, and their other hand is hidden behind an object. Then the researcher puts a rubber hand where that hidden hand would ordinarily be, beside the real hand. Then the researcher strokes your hidden hand and the rubber hand at the same time. Eventually, the participant feels the sensation IN the rubber hand. They feel as if that rubber hand is part of their body!

Do you have a sport? What is it and do you watch, play, follow it?
Emily: I am slowly getting better at long-distance running, and I love following some of the big long-distance runners in Canada and all over the world. But my all-time favourite sport is Rhythmic Gymnastics. I was on a provincial-level team when I was a young girl and I fell in love with the strength and beauty of the sport. I think it is such an amazing combination of athleticism, dance and art. My mom and I always watch the world championships and the Olympics together.
Lucy: Both of us are long distance runners. When I’d go for a long run, weird stuff was happening in my brain, and that’s one of the things that got me into psychology – I thought, ‘I want to know more about what is going on!’

If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes who would it be and why
Lucy: As I’m answering all these questions, I’m thinking maybe I want to be a Broadway star! I’m always thinking about Broadway. So I’d love to spend a day in the mind and shoes of any of the cast members of Hamilton!
Emily: Oh my gosh, right!? I totally agree. Anyone from Hamilton. But I still think I would choose my grandma when she first came to Canada. I have always been so amazed at her strength in coming to Canada from Hong Kong and wondered what it must have been like for her.

If you could become an expert at something outside psychology, what would it be?
Emily: I would love to be an expert in popular music. It’s an area I love, I took one class in my undergraduate degree on the topic, and I think it is so cool that you could become an academic on something that impacts and changes our culture so heavily and at such a quick pace!
Lucy: There’s so much! But I would probably say physics, like quantum physics or something. I was really into math in high school and I didn’t go anywhere with it, but I’ve always found it fascinating.

Favourite word
Emily: Empower
Lucy: Burrito

Lucy is a passionate long-distance runner, and gets out to run every day as she finds it helps her mental health, especially during this pandemic where she is stuck inside so much of the time. Emily is also a distance runner, and has done 10k races and half marathons.

And, of course, they share a passion for psychology. When Lucy describes being blown away by the rubber hand illusion, Emily chimes in right away – that WAS amazing, wasn’t it? She expands on the concept, describing how that particular phenomenon has led to some interesting therapies for people with amputated limbs.

Theirs is a symbiotic mentor-mentee relationship. They meet about once a month, and Lucy tells Emily all about what she’s doing, and where she might need help. Recently, she needed some clarification on the very broad concept of ‘consciousness’.

“I just talked to Emily about it. I wasn’t quite getting what consciousness actually was, and we basically talked it out. Emily wasn’t giving me a quick nice definition for what it is – because that might not even exist – but we just talked it out. And now I get it a lot better. We also talk about just general school things, like doing classes over Zoom, and that’s pretty great.”

It’s pretty great for Emily as well. When the opportunity came up to become a mentor, she realized she wished she had had one herself as a young undergrad. So she signed up, was paired with Lucy, and they entered the program together. But that was only the beginning for Emily, who became quite inspired with the process – enough to extend her mentorship far beyond just the CPA program.

“I got really excited about [being a mentor] because I’m a big advocate of mentoring, especially for people who are looking to move forward in their studies in psychology. When I got into grad school, I wanted to participate in bridging the gap between people in undergraduate work who were interested but maybe didn’t know what options were out there. I’m really happy that the CPA is doing this kind of program because I think it’s so helpful. My program at the University of Alberta has their own internal mentoring program, so I’m also mentoring a student in the first year of their Masters program. I even do some work at my undergrad alma mater [MacEwan University] where I go into one of the 400-level classes each semester and do a Q&A about graduate school with them.”

Imagine how Sue’s life would have been different had she had a mentor when she arrived in Canada. Someone to show her who the Chinese-speaking community was, where to find the groceries she wanted, how to navigate finding employment, housing, and education for her family. Even without a mentor Sue managed to overcome all the hurdles she faced, with a strength that impresses Emily to this day.

Sue passed down some of that strength to Emily, who now shares some of it with Lucy. Lucy brings a strength of her own to Ryerson, to her studies, and to this partnership with Emily. Together, they are better off than they would be alone – and the fact that they enjoy speaking with one another is a nice bonus.

Perhaps one day they can meet in person, maybe at a race weekend half-marathon event somewhere in Canada. In the meantime, Emily will complete her PhD and go into the clinical work toward which she’s been working. Lucy will make her way through psychology studies, her future and a variety of career paths wide open to her. She says her initial attraction to the discipline came from sport psychology. Emily jumps in.

“My husband was telling me how these e-sport teams even have their own sport psychologists now, who work with them on their training for video game competitions. They do it in Korea and China, and I just thought wow – that’s a whole other level of sports psychology!”

So how about that for a career path, Lucy? Sports psychologist for a Korean team of Super Smash Brothers experts?

“Yep, done. Decision made. This is now what I’m working toward, officially.”

Call for applications for TUTOR-PHC

This call for applications for TUTOR-PHC is open to graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, mid-career clinicians, and decision makers from across primary health care. Please find more information below or distribute to people in your organization or department that may be interested in this opportunity. Thank you.

What is the TUTOR-PHC program?

Transdisciplinary Understanding and Training on Research – Primary Health Care (TUTOR-PHC), is a one-year, pan-Canadian interdisciplinary research capacity building program that has been training primary and integrated health care researchers, clinicians and decision-makers from family medicine, nursing, psychology, epidemiology, social work, occupational therapy, education, policy and many other disciplines since 2003.

CLick her for the Flyer PDF (version français ici)
Why apply?

  • Primary health care interdisciplinary research training
  • Earn University Credit & MAINPRO+ credits
  • Valuable feedback on your own primary health care research
  • Gain increased knowledge and skills in Patient-Oriented Research
  • Mentorship from experienced interdisciplinary primary health care researchers and decision-makers
  • NETWORKING experiences with research mentors & 200+ pan-Canadian / international alumni
  • Interdisciplinary team experience

TUTOR-PHC trainees gain enhanced evidence-informed decision making & leadership skills to help them become the primary health care leaders of tomorrow.

  • Each trainee will be responsible for a $3000 CND program fee

The deadline to apply is   November 30, 2020

For more information, please go to the website at: www.uwo.ca/fammed/csfm/tutor-phc

 Please contact Project Coordinator, Rob Van Hoorn (tutor@uwo.ca) if you are interested in applying.

Spotlight: Alejandra Botia, Chair-Elect of the Student Section of the CPA, and the Student Representative on the CPA Board of Directors

Alejandra Botia

“To know how to persevere
when the way grows long
and does not end
To find in the roots the answer to
this undeciphered story”

– Fonseca, ‘Vida sagrada’

Alright, these are not the actual lyrics to the Fonseca song ‘Vida sagrada’, they’re a weak English translation to the Spanish lyrics. Fonseca is a Colombian singer, and ‘Vida sagrada’ is a song about war, conflict, income inequality, and environmentalism. And, despite such heavy subject matter, it will make you want to get up and dance, just as Alejandra Botia said it would. If there’s one thing Alejandra knows (besides psychology) it’s salsa dancing.

Alejandra has only recently begun to reconnect with her Colombian roots (like salsa dancing, and Fonseca). She and her family moved to Canada when she was 12 years old, and she began quickly to detach from her country’s culture. She stopped listening to Spanish music, she started focusing entirely on the English language, and becoming integrated into Canadian culture. She became a competitive swimmer, and started the journey of lifelong learning that led her to psychology.

Alejandra is currently pursuing her PhD in Counselling Psychology at UBC. She is the Chair-Elect of the Student Section of the CPA, and she is the Student Representative on the CPA Board of Directors and will be for the duration of her term as Chair-Elect, Chair, and then Past Chair of the section. As is the custom. The way of a student in psychology is long, and does not necessarily have an end to it – but Alejandra says the experiences along the way are invaluable.

“The main reason that I wanted to become chair-elect, and be on the board, is that throughout my experiences as a student I’ve become really passionate about student engagement and professional development. It’s all about the opportunities that come up along the way that make our educational experience that much more rewarding than if you’re just going through courses and doing what you have to do.”


What is the psychological concept that blew you away when you first heard it?
The concept of bystander apathy blew my mind in a way. It was a simple way to understand something that always seemed complex in my mind. It always seemed odd that people could see others in need of help, and yet their actions were not helpful. I was trying to understand what happened in those situations, where people just kind of froze. A better understanding of this allows me to act differently in a situation where someone needs help.
I was at a restaurant at my sister’s birthday dinner, and there was a car that crashed straight into the store across the street. Thankfully it was late at night and it was closed, so no one was inside. I remember the sound was so loud, everybody came out of the restaurant and they were standing, assessing what had happened and I think assessing whether someone needed help. But I noticed that it wasn’t everyone who got closer to see if that person needed help, and not everybody was picking up their phones to call 911. It was only a few people who were doing that, while everyone else was kind of standing still. That was a situation where I thought about bystander apathy, and how it affects our ability to help someone who might be in need.

Favourite book?
One of my favourites I’ve read recently is Untamed, by Glennon Doyle. It just speaks to so many issues that I feel passionate about. It touches on body image and eating disorders, and also on the idea of gender – becoming a woman. How much of that process in the world we think is natural, but really a lot of it is learned.

Favourite quote?
“Breathe, let go, and remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure” – Oprah Winfrey
I think COVID has some influence over why that’s my favourite quote right now, and also going through this PhD process where there are so many moving parts that demand my attention. I need to remember that if I don’t find ways to stay present and mindful, that time just goes by. And it goes by quite quickly.

If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes who would it be and why?
I’ve been following Alexandria Ocasio Cortez for a while now. I would love to be in her brain for a day. I find her so confident, and eloquent, and strong. I think what I admire the most about her is how she doesn’t allow what others think of her to stop her from taking a stand on what she believes.

If you could become an expert at something outside psychology, what would it be?
I’d have to say the ocean. When I was little I wanted to be a marine biologist. I think that’s because when I was five, I thought that meant you would just get to play with dolphins all the time. But I’m still fascinated by it now, and I think if I could be an expert in ocean matters, that would be amazing.

Alejandra chose psychology because she wanted to learn how to help people by facilitating their work toward accomplishing their goals and experience higher levels of wellbeing. Over many years of study, she has become passionate about the intersection of psychology and areas of social justice. She’s extremely interested in how psychology can influence change at the societal level. Being a CPA board member has helped in this pursuit, not only as an inspiration but as an affirmation of those passions.

“One of the ways being part of these initiatives, and being on the board, has really helped me is that I can take that passion and learn how to transform it in a practical way. I’m learning how to take action, how to communicate with the rest of my team, brainstorming ideas so we can best benefit the Student Section. But also it’s teaching me to speak up, and learning that it’s okay to speak up. Bringing forward new initiatives and new ideas where there are people who will hear you, and who will support you. That’s what has made this a really wonderful experience already.”

Alejandra is not simply content with making the most of the opportunities afforded her as the Chair-Elect of the Student Section or the Student Representative on the CPA Board. She is also keenly invested in breaking new ground. For example, she and her cohort recently created the Counseling Psychology Student Association. She is proud of what her team, including Katie McCloskey , Syler Hayes, Sarah Woolgar, and Christopher Cook has accomplished in a short time. As Chair-Elect, she coordinates the mentorship program and contributes to newsletters, the adjudication of student grants, and to the annual conference by helping with the organization of the student section events.

Along with some teammates, she will soon be leading a workshop on equity, diversity, and inclusion. Alejandra’s main job, of course, is to work in collaboration with the Executive Team, continuously reflecting on how they can better serve our student community. All this while pursuing her other passions in the field of psychology – women’s leadership, vocational growth, and factors related to resilience in eating disorders. So what inspired her to take on even more on top of all this, to become as involved as she has in the future of Canadian psychology?

“I think one thing that drew me to it is that I’m becoming more and more involved in understanding matters relating to the intersection of psychology and social justice. So learning how to come prepared, how to be ready to speak about it, and stand by it without fear of what might happen, was a major part of what I hoped to gain by getting involved. And I have!”

Some time ago, Alejandra gave up competitive swimming and started to focus on salsa dancing. Despite the pandemic, she’s able to keep up with her lessons – she met her partner salsa dancing, and so the two of them can get some dancing in at home, in those fleeting downtimes where there is no school, and there are no executive duties, to which she must attend.

Re-connecting with her Colombian roots has been transformational for Alejandra. As Fonseca sings, she is finding in her roots the answer to an undeciphered story. It’s a story she’s currently writing, in a project she has tentatively called ‘Letters to Stella’. Stella was Alejandra’s grandmother, with whom she was very close. Stella would sometimes visit from Colombia, and Alejandra would sometimes go there to visit Stella. Sometimes, when she’s feeling down or overwhelmed, she thinks about Stella and what she would say to her in those moments. So she had this book idea where she’d be writing letters to Stella.

“She was always cheering me on and just so curious about my life.”

Were Stella alive today, there is no doubt she would be fascinated, and proud, of Alejandra’s life. She is pursuing her dream, she is re-connecting with Colombia, she’s dancing away in her apartment, confined by COVID with her partner. But of course, this is just the beginning of Alejandra’s life, and her journey. As Fonseca says;

“The way grows long, and does not end.”

Except that Fonseca, like Alejandra, says it in Spanish.

Alejandra Botia salsa dance team.

The CPA is now receiving abstracts for its 2021 convention.

Spanning three weeks from June 7th – 25th, the CPA’s 2021 Virtual Event will provide many opportunities for personal and professional growth, and highlight the many ways in which the science, practice, and education of psychology can benefit society, improve lives, and advance the discipline.

Click here to submit an abstract.

Deadline for submissions for 3- and 6-hour workshops is December 12th, 2020. Deadline for submissions for all other presentation types is January 22nd, 2021.

CPA members, affiliates and non-members and non-affiliates are encouraged to submit!

If you have any questions, please consult the FAQ page.

Spotlight: Ece Aydin, CPA Undergrad Representative for the UBC-Okanagan campus

Ece Aydin.
Ece Aydin has lived in the same place now for three whole years. This is unusual for her, as she has previously moved around all over the world for her entire life. Ece came straight out of high school into psychology at UBC Okanagan – but high school was in Dubai. Born in Turkey, Ece moved to Europe when she was five. There was a time where her family moved back to Turkey, and since then she has gone to an international high school in countries all over the world. Her three years at UBCO are maybe the first time in a long time she has spent three years in just once place.

Ece decided she wanted to study psychology when she was fifteen. She was fascinated by human behaviour – how our thoughts influence our behaviour, and vice versa. She was comfortable with hearing problems and anxieties from her friends, and she was good at helping them out. Now, a few years later, Ece is a third-year psychology student at UBC Okanagan, and this year became an Undergrad Representative for the CPA. A straight line academically, if not geographically.

“The things I’m learning blow my mind every single day.”

After Ece finishes her undergrad, she hopes to go to grad school – and stay in the same area. She hopes to be able to do her grad school in Vancouver, and after that a PhD in counselling psychology. Her passion is child and developmental psychology, with an eye toward adolescent psychology and addiction one day.

“I really believe in early interventions. As a child we can be molded into any type of person. Especially with disorders as children, like ADHD or autism, I feel like diagnosis in early years is really important for children to be able to navigate their lives in the future.”

When it comes to addiction, Ece really feels that early intervention is key, but also that the stigma society places on those who suffer can be overcome. That people who have substance use difficulties can be accepted, and integrated into society, in a more accepting way than they currently are. The destigmatization of addiction is something that comes up often in our conversation.


What is the psychological concept that blew you away when you first heard it?
I think it was something I learned in one of my psych classes in grade 11. It was the first time I heard about the fundamental attribution error. Which basically means that when we make a mistake, we tend to blame external factors, like our environment. But when someone else makes the same mistake as we did, we tend to blame it on their personal flaws. I never knew that I was actually doing this, until it was defined and had a name associated with it.

You can listen to only one musical artist/group for the rest of your life. Who is it?
It’s probably Amy Winehouse, as depressing as that may sound. But it’s very peaceful for me, and it has a lot of sentimental meaning for me as her album was one of the first birthday presents I remember receiving.

Top three websites or apps you could not live without and why
My messaging app, because I have to keep in contact with people, especially right now. There are people I haven’t seen in many months with whom I like to be in constant contact. Also the CNN international news, because I kind of get anxious when I don’t know what’s going on around the world. And for the third one…I guess Pinterest. I like the whole ‘organizing’ aspect of it.

If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes who would it be and why?
That’s a very hard question. I remember when I was a kid seeing Doctors Without Borders on TV, and I think I would really like to see what that’s like. To see how it is that they’re so selfless that they go into situations that we couldn’t even imagine.

If you could become an expert at something outside psychology, what would it be?
Definitely art. It’s something I do in my personal time, and I would want to be an amazing artist, or an art critic. I want to be able to see a piece of art and define right away what it is, what the story behind it is, and what emotion they’re trying to convey.

“Whoever you are, and whatever addiction you might be going through, that doesn’t define you as a person. That’s just something you went through. And I hope to get out there and help others understand exactly what addiction is.”

As she began her second year at UBCO, Ece was looking for ways to become more involved. Student life had to be more than just attending and passing classes, right? She found the CPA website, and saw that they had Student Members and Student Affiliates. She found the Student Representative on the campus, and discovered that they were looking for an Undergraduate Rep. It was, as Ece describes, the lucky break she had not even been aware she was seeking.

“It’s really nice to be part of a psychology network where there are so many researchers and students like me. I find that I learn so many interesting things all at once when I get newsletters from the CPA.”

Of course, with COVID, the life of a CPA Undergrad Rep is not exactly like it has been for previous students in the same position.

“I haven’t been able to do anything yet this semester…I wanted to host workshops, and events, and things like that to introduce myself to other psych students – explain to them what the CPA is and the benefits of membership. But as you know, the pandemic has changed a lot of plans. We’re going to send out social media posts so anyone who is on our campus can join, and get to know us. But of course everything is going to be virtual.”

This also means that not only has Ece been living in the same place for three years, she has now been confined to the same place for eight months. Maybe this is a welcome rest, although being an undergrad psychology student, coupled with being a CPA Student Rep, does not make for the most restful of lives. What it does mean, however, is that Ece has been able to focus on her environment, and her studies, for as much time as it takes to know what she wants, and where she wants to go.

“I am going to help people in my life. This is what it’s all for, in the end.”

Posted in Non classé


BMS, the company that brokers the professional liability insurance program for members of the CPA and members of provincial/territorial associations of psychology, has launched a grant program to support student research and leadership development in all areas of psychology.  For 2020, up to two (2) awards will be dispersed per project for research-based submissions, at amounts up to $2,500.00 per application and up to five (5) awards will be dispersed to individuals wishing to pursue training, either practice or leadership focused, at amounts up to $500.00 per application.  Eligibility criteria and application details will be announced shortly and posted here. Please direct any questions about this competition to science@cpa.ca.

Spotlight: Chris Schiafone, CPA Campus Rep at the University of Guelph-Humber.

Chris Schiafone examining corpus callosum from underside of a brain model.

“Chris is awesome. He’s an awesome person to work with, and he’s taught me a lot. And even just in terms of accessibility I’ve learned so much. He’s implemented a lot of things at Guelph-Humber that other people just didn’t think of because they didn’t have an accessibility problem. I’ve been really thankful to work with Chris.”
– Angelisa Hatfield

Chris Schiafone is totally blind, but he wasn’t always. He had a little bit of vision when he was younger, and says he’s fortunate to be able to remember what things look like. It means that if you were to describe the spokes on a wheel or the shape of a pear, that he can visualize that pattern or shape. For people who are congenitally blind (since birth), however, these are more difficult concepts, and they will require a different kind of description of something. It makes things more difficult, in different ways, for a myriad of visually impaired people. And Chris advocates for all of them. Everything he has been doing in his four years of psychology has centred around trying to make the field of psychology more accessible for students with vision loss. All this with the hope that one day, there is a correction to the under-representation of visually impaired STEM students.

Chris is the CPA Campus Rep at the University of Guelph-Humber. He was formerly the Student Rep, a role now filled by his protégé Angelisa. Student Rep is just one of several roles Chris plays on the Guelph-Humber campus. He is also a committee member at Humber College for the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. He was a presenter in Halifax at the 2019 CPA Convention where he and his brother were facilitators of a forum called “Understanding the Needs of Disabled Students”. And in September he presented, with his research team, a CPA-hosted workshop called “Making Science Accessible: A Co-Design of Non-visual Representations for Visually Impaired Students”.

All of this is, of course, challenging. But it was the challenge that drew Chris to psychology in the first place. He had just completed a diploma in social service work at Seneca College, and was looking for something that would test him in a myriad of ways. While he knew psychology would be difficult, he says he had no idea what he’d be walking into on his first day.

“Scientific content can be very challenging for somebody who is visually impaired. There’s an average of about 11 images for every 1,000 words in a scientific textbook, like a psychology textbook. It’s very difficult for someone who’s blind to scale through that kind of material.”

While his passion for confronting and overcoming challenges was what drew Chris to Guelph-Humber and psychology, it was his Social Service work background at Seneca that he credits for imbuing him with the spirit of advocacy.

Chris’ very first advocacy project outside of psychology at university began almost the moment he got to Guelph-Humber. When Chris first started there, four years ago, there was no Braille in the building at all. So in his first semester, he spent the whole summer working with the CNIB orientation and mobility instructor trying to learn the building and the campus. Chris is a guide dog user, and what that means is that he has to learn the building himself, and then try to teach the dog. And once he got his schedule for school, he had to train the dog to know where his lectures would take place.

Even once all those things were done, it was still very difficult. Every hallway had dozens of doors. Some lecture halls have two doors. Chris was still not completely sure he was walking into the correct classroom, despite the hours upon hours of orientation and dog training. So he advocated. Through the first semester. Into part of the second semester. Have Braille signs put up in the university building. He wrote up a document explaining it all, things like Braille signs are best suited to be on the side of the door near the handle so a person with vision loss can read the sign and find the handle at the same time.


What is the psychological concept that blew you away when you first heard it?
The bystander effect, for sure. I’d say that because we talk about humans helping humans, and about people doing things in society, organizations that are reaching out to help for every cause under the sun. But then there’s this whole concept of the bystander effect, and it’s like “well, I’m not going to help, because somebody else will”. And it’s like, why would you wait for somebody else to do that if you can? I’ve witnessed this personally, and that’s why it’s one of the most fascinating things. After I learned about it in school, I started to be more mindful when I was doing things, to see where  this actually occurs. And unfortunately, it probably occurs more often than we’d like it to.

Do you have a sport that you like to watch or play, and what is it?
Not an avid follower, but I do follow hockey a little bit. I find it to be one of the best sports being commentated. There’s a lot of talking, and I find it much easier to follow. I watched football before I lost my vision, but now I find following football too challenging.

If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it and why
Possibly…a journey through experience. I’d call it that because I don’t want to write it as ‘look at me I’m totally blind’, but rather as a journey of someone who starts as a low-vision person, and ends up totally blind. What that journey looks like in terms of education, in terms of finding work, and finally in studying neuroscience. Finding out that I had a big interest in neuroscience, and what that meant – what I had to do – to make that happen. And the supports as well – you can’t always do everything yourself. And we need help more often than we think we do.

Top three websites or apps you could not live without and why
I use a few apps that are made for the visually impaired. One I just started using again is called BlindSquare. It’s a GPS navigation app for people who are visually impaired. We can punch in addresses and it’s almost like using a Garmin or a TomTom or another regular GPS device. Google Maps actually works quite well too, so I do use both, depending on which one gives me better data! Also, I’ve always used Zoom, but since the pandemic started I’ve had to get to know Slack and Microsoft Teams, sometimes at rapid speeds which included accessibility testing to make sure I am able to use them with Screen Readers.

Favourite quote
No. I kind of have my own, that I live by. I actually closed my presentation at CPA last year with this one. “Know your goals and the pathway to get there. Don’t let any barriers stand in your way. Persistence and a positive attitude will get you where you need to go.”

At the time, Chris believes he was the only blind student at Guelph-Humber. He says his younger brother had studied there previously, but he just managed and didn’t worry about Braille. But for Chris, it comes down to different ways of learning things. Something that he takes into the rest of his schooling as well.

“If you do not have any vision, you start to lose out on some of the content that your peers have. That can even come down to learning styles, like if you’re somebody who learns better by seeing a diagram, or a 3-dimensional model. The 3D model is fine, but the images are not there for somebody like us unless they’re made into something tactile like a raised-line graphic. That’s not something that traditionally just happens in the classroom, unless the professor has prior knowledge around accessible content creation and is really, really on the ball with inclusivity.”

Now that Guelph-Humber has Braille throughout the building, Chris is confident and content in the knowledge that the next blind student who attends will have an easier time navigating the campus as a result, and that was reason enough to make sure it got done.

When we spoke for this interview, Chris expressed his love for music, and especially the work of Van Halen. He chose David Lee Roth over Sammy Hagar as his favourite lead singer, but that was a marginal call – it was the music he loved most. Sadly, Eddie Van Halen passed away from lung cancer shortly after we spoke. Just another thing to make 2020 a little bit more difficult.

Another difficulty is that COVID has forced Chris to do his 2020 schooling online, he’s a little apprehensive. Mostly about how the online content will be structured by his professors. Chris is not the kind of person who tackles an issue when it arises. Rather, he’s the kind of person who anticipates the issue ahead of time, and works out a way to ensure that the issue never comes up. Before starting any course, he reviews the entire syllabus and identifies the potential stumbling blocks along the way. He then meets with his professor to outline those potential challenges in order to have a plan in place. This may not be possible in the current school year, which presents a whole new set of tests for both Chris and his professors. He says he has a couple of particularly engaged profs; Deena and Amanda were extremely instrumental in ensuring access to their courses, even if it meant one-to-one time explaining challenges related to content specific to their Quantification and Neuroscience courses.

“I’m a big fan of neuroscience, which is where my recent Thesis research and CPA Workshop came from and a lot of my research stems from neuroscience. And in that class the professor, Dr. Mandy Wintink, did some things that were very simple, but very helpful. For example, the professor was giving a lecture on the neuron, and I was sitting there trying to visualize what it could possibly look like. How is it structured, where are the dendrites, all these different components of a neuron. Unless it’s explained in very specific terms, it’s challenging to picture what a neuron might look like if you’ve never seen it or felt it. So Dr. Winktink went out and bought candy. And she put us in groups where we made a neuron graphic on a piece of paper using candy. 3D models can be very expensive, sometimes into the thousands of dollars. So it’s not the expectation that we’d have a 3D model of a neuron just sitting there. But she found a way to include me 100% in the class through a simple activity that is likely MUCH more cost-effective.”

If there’s one thing to know about Chris it’s that not only overcoming challenges but also anticipating those challenges, is his thing. It’s what he does regularly, and what he does best. We can be certain that he will continue his schooling, his advocacy work, and his exemplary work as a CPA Student Rep through 2020 and beyond.

Postscript: RIP, Eddie Van Halen.

Congrès national annuel 2021 de la SCP

Logo Congrès national annuel 2021 de la Société canadienne de psychologie
La SCP continue de surveiller la situation de la COVID-19 au Canada et à l’étranger, en restant au fait des décisions prises par les gouvernements fédéral et provinciaux pour assurer la sécurité de la collectivité. Les experts et l’ensemble des ordres de gouvernement continuent de signaler les risques de contagion accrus que posent les grands rassemblements et de mettre la population en garde contre leurs répercussions.

Bien que nous ignorions combien de temps la COVID-19 restera une urgence de santé publique au Canada, des restrictions quant aux rassemblements de plus de 50 personnes, où les mesures de distanciation physiques appropriées sont difficiles à mettre en œuvre et à maintenir, sont toujours en vigueur. Par conséquent, la SCP a pris la décision d’annuler son 82e congrès national annuel, qui devait avoir lieu en personne à Ottawa, en Ontario, du 4 au 6 juin 2021, ainsi que tous les ateliers précongrès programmés le 3 mai pour, encore une fois, tenir un congrès virtuel au cours du mois de juin.

Nous avons pris cette décision sur la base des recommandations et des directives des experts et des gouvernements, et parce que nous nous soucions de la sécurité et du bien-être de nos membres et de nos affiliés, des participants, du personnel, du public et des diverses équipes qui soutiennent l’organisation et la tenue du congrès annuel. Avec le temps que nous avons à notre disposition pour planifier, nous sommes enthousiastes et convaincus que nous pourrons préparer un événement virtuel exceptionnel.

Conformément à nos règlements, la SCP tiendra son assemblée générale annuelle (AGA) de manière virtuelle en juin; les détails vous seront communiqués dans les mois à venir.

Le système de proposition de résumés pour le congrès virtuel de 2021 ouvrira à la fin octobre. Nous espérons que vous envisagerez de soumettre un résumé et de participer à l’événement. On y proposera les types de présentation habituels ainsi que de nouveaux formats, qui sont adaptés au mode de prestation virtuelle.

Nous vous remercions de votre compréhension et de votre souplesse. Sachez que nous restons attentifs à l’évolution de la pandémie de COVID-19, tout en continuant à servir nos membres et nos affiliés, ainsi que l’ensemble des psychologues, qu’ils soient scientifiques, praticiens ou enseignants.

Nous reconnaissons et comprenons que vous êtes sans doute en train de vivre des bouleversements et des perturbations dans votre vie quotidienne, à la fois personnellement et professionnellement. Nous espérons que vous trouverez la force et la patience nécessaires, tant sur le plan personnel que professionnel, pour traverser la pandémie et nous sommes impatients de vous « voir » à notre événement virtuel.


Prenez soin de vous et portez-vous bien.
Le bureau du congrès de la SCP

Spotlight: Mentorship Program creator Zarina Giannone

Zarina in the House of Commons

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
– unknown

Zarina Giannone lives by the principle of creating, grasping, and making the most of every opportunity she can. When I spoke with her, we attributed this quote to Winston Churchill – almost everyone does. On further investigation, however, there is no evidence that Churchill ever said this. The earliest known utterance of a similar sentiment was by the Mayor of Carlisle, Bertram Carr, in 1919, as he addressed the Fifty-First Annual Cooperative Congress in the middle of a global pandemic.

The provenance of the quote is, of course, immaterial. It is quite likely that this was a saying that circulated England for many years before being transcribed from Bertram’s speech. I just happen to be the person who has the time to look up such things as the provenance of quotes. Zarina Giannone is not that person – she is too busy seizing real opportunities.

One of those opportunities was her election to the CPA Board of Directors as the Student Representative. Zarina had been a student rep, and from there took on role after role until finally making this step in the first year of her Master’s. She says of her three year term on the CPA Board,

“Seriously, it goes down in the books as the most important part of my training to date. Even counting my seven years of graduate school, the experience [of sitting on the Board] was the most valuable to me. Because of the people I met and learned from, but also just to see the system, how it works across the country. After my term ended on the board, I was elected to the BC Psychological Association Board, where I’ve just now come to the end of my three-year term. I’m now a senior student, and with the experience I had with the CPA Board, I have a lot more to contribute.”

There are many important parts of Zarina’s training, not all of them academic. For many years, she was an elite-level soccer player, going to UBC on an athletic scholarship and playing for the Thunderbirds for the duration of that scholarship. In fact, she focused so much on soccer at that time that she neglected her studies a little bit – it was her boyfriend at the time (now fiancé – more on that later) who encouraged her to dive more heavily into her studies, and her love for the field of psychology took off from there.

Zarina’s experiences as a high-performance athlete come in to play all the time for her now, as she works with sports teams as a mental performance consultant. In her job at the Vancouver Psychology Centre, she provides two different services, broadly speaking. One is performance related – how do you achieve peak performance, how do you get around barriers like choking or performance anxiety. The other is on the clinical side, where she deals with clinical psychological issues in sports. These might be anxiety-related, depressive symptoms, trauma-related challenges, disordered eating, and that kind of thing.

All these things – soccer, scholarships, the CPA Student Rep Program, the Student Section, the Boards, the job at Vancouver Psychology Centre, are opportunities Zarina has seized when they presented themselves. But she is also, by nature, a creator of opportunity as well. In 2015, she was learning about the systems-level approach to education and psychology from her position on the CPA Board of Directors, and also representing students on the section level as the Chair of the Student Executive.


What is the psychological concept (bystander apathy, confirmation bias, that sort of thing) that blew you away when you first heard it?
There are so many… psychology is so rich with little tidbits that are mind-boggling, and I’m always impressed with something new. One specific thing might be attribution error. It’s peoples’ tendency to underemphasize situational factors when explaining other peoples’ behaviour, and to over-emphasize personality-based factors or dispositional factors to explain behaviour. The more I work with clients, the more I see that error happening. People attribute the behaviour of other people to being a bad person, or a mean person, versus something that was happening for or to that person in their own context.

Do you have a sport that you like to watch or play, and what is it?
I got into soccer very early, before I was 5. I played with an older age group, went into the provincial program and then into the youth National program. I got recruited to UBC on scholarship in Grade 12, and played out my scholarship at UBC. I also got a chance to play one season at Cardiff University in the UK. After I came back, I took up boxing and suffered a back strain, and so that changed things a lot – I play just for fun at this point, I like the co-ed leagues where I can push the guys around. Soccer still holds a huge place in my heart, and I love watching international tournaments whenever they happen. Go Italia!

You can listen to only one musical artist/group for the rest of your life. Who is it?
This one’s a bit embarrassing… one of my favourites is Sean Paul. He was really big when I was back in high school. I don’t care where I am, when I hear a Sean Paul song it puts me in a good mood and takes me back. If I could have anyone perform at my wedding, it would be Sean Paul.

If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes who would it be and why
One of my role models, and a person that’s so interesting to me, is Michael Jordan. I’ve always been a huge fan, and I think he is a textbook case study of drive and competitiveness, and obviously his track record of being the best player of all time. I’d love to spend a day in his brain to see how he does it. And I think if we could take a little of that and spread it throughout sports, then sports might change a lot.

If you could become an expert at something outside psychology, what would it be?
I attribute this to my experiences being on the boards I’ve served on. I think it’s in politics. We want so badly to effect change within our field of psychology and we do – at the individual, group, and sometimes organizational level. But to be able to have that kind of impact on a systems level, on a larger scale, I would love to be able to effect change in that way. To really represent and advocate and be involved in changes that I see as important.

She noted issues and challenges that she had experienced as a student – having to be really resourceful throughout the various steps of her training, and not having enough information available and accessible to her. Out of this need, the Student Mentorship Program was born. Zarina realized that connecting students with one another across the country could alleviate some of these stresses for students just starting out, by pairing them with older students who had gone through the same process and could direct them in constructive ways.

Mentors are graduate-level students, while mentees are undergrads or early graduate level students. Most psychology students, by virtue of the fact that they are taking similar courses in similar subjects and following similar career paths, have a lot in common. They share a career passion and a course load, for example. But Zarina thought there could be more to the mentor-mentee relationship than simply subject matter.

When students signed up to be on either side of this partnership, they would fill out forms. What area are you hoping to go into? What are some of your interests? What would you like to get out of the mentoring relationship? Once those questions had been answered, Zarina and her colleagues from the Student Section Executive would match mentors and mentees based on shared goals, interests, and other commonalities. Kind of like a matchmaking service, in a non-romantic sense. And one that proved to be a little bit COVID-proof, since students were connecting virtually with mentors from universities all across Canada for the program.

Not all things, however, are COVID-proof, and not all things are non-romantic. Though Zarina says she hasn’t had too many problems with school, or work, since the pandemic began, one big thing remains undone. Remember that boyfriend, now fiancé, who encouraged her to get more into psychology? She was scheduled to marry him in Mexico, in November.

Even the most prepared among us, those accustomed to turning every difficulty into an opportunity, are sometimes confronted by a disappointment beyond our control. It is in this case that Zarina sees that one opportunity that exists in all circumstances – the opportunity to learn something.

“We’re going to postpone it, and hopefully have it in November of next year. Or…whenever it’s possible. We’ll figure it out, we’ll work through it, we’ll learn. I think it’s such a privilege that our whole lives we can be learning. I’m always reminded of the things I don’t know. On his death bed Michelangelo was in the middle of painting a fresco, and he told someone near him ‘ancora imparo’. ‘I’m still learning’. That’s kind of my attitude too.”

Zarina is far from the end of her days, as she is just starting her career in psychology, has just finished her PhD, and is about to start life as a married person. That leaves a lot of life, and a lot of learning, to do. And Zarina is on her way to experiencing it all.

Postscript: Michelangelo really did say ‘ancora imparo’ on his death bed, that quote checks out.

Posted in Non classé

Salon de l’emploi virtuel de la SCP & SCSCCC

La Société canadienne de psychologie (SCP), en collaboration avec la Société canadienne des sciences du cerveau, du comportement et de la cognition (SCSCCC), est heureuse d’annoncer la tenue de son salon de l’emploi le 12 novembre 2020. Ce salon est le premier d’une série de salons de l’emploi qu’organisera la SCP en 2020 et 2021.

Quand: jeudi 12 novembre 2020 de 12 h à 16 h HNE
Où: Virtuel
places disponibles limitées.
Coùt: 10 $

Cliquer ici pour plus d’informations.

Audio Update: Dr. Keith Dobson: Carleton University Psychology Mental Health Day

Dr. Keith DobsonOctober 8 is the Carleton University Department of Psychology’s Psychology Mental Health Day. The keynote speaker this year is former CPA President Dr. Keith Dobson. We spoke with Dr. Dobson on the CPA Podcast, so his upcoming appearance (and his upcoming conference call with the World Health Organization) wouldn’t seem so daunting by comparison.

The CPA’s response to the federal government’s speech from the throne

The CPA applauds the government for recognizing the need to invest in the mental health of the people of Canada in today’s Speech from The Throne. The pandemic, and in particular the necessary way in which we must manage the pandemic, is taking a big toll on our mental health and resilience. The wealth of any country depends in large measure on the mental health and well-being of the people and citizens it serves. While commitment to publicly-funded health care is a core value of this country, Canada has not funded mental health care in parity with physical health care. That must change. Canada needs a health care system that delivers the care people need, where, when and from whom they need it – and includes the evidence-based services of licensed health providers like psychologists, who are trained and licensed to deliver that care. The CPA looks forward to working with the federal government to protect and advance our collective mental health.

Posted in Non classé

Spotlight: CPA Undergraduate Student Rep Angelisa Hatfield

Angelisa Hatfield Vancouver gardenAngelisa Hatfield has been sitting still for an entire hour. She’s on a Zoom call, and stuck outside on her boyfriend’s porch – the result of having a hole in her own room repaired while she temporarily resides five minutes away. I get the sense that sitting in one place for something like a Zoom call is atypical for Angelisa, who is always on the move.

We’re talking about psychology, and the CPA student rep program. Angelisa is just starting her second year as the undergrad student rep at the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto. Guelph-Humber does only undergrad programs, so that makes Angelisa one of only two student reps on the campus (the other, Chris Schiafone, is the campus rep).

“It’s a small school, so you get to connect with students a lot more. I’m so involved on campus that everything is kind of intertwined for me now. I did research with the assistant program head in facial recognition, and then working at the front desk at school under the main office’s supervision, working in student services – everything connects so quickly that it kind of blurs the lines between my roles.

For example, I’m now doing CPA events with Career Services, because my career coordinator is so good at planning events, and she has so many ideas, that we thought ‘why not just collaborate – no reason to be doing this separately when we could be doing it together’. So now we’ll do something like a big psychology dinner, bringing the CPA’s connections in with the school’s connections. We’re talking about bringing Addiction Rehab Toronto (more on them later) in for coffee time chats.

Guelph-Humber is one of those communities where there’s a lot of community connection and involvement, and I’ve found myself being the networking tool, especially remotely!”

Before she started her university career in psychology, she considered other fields – she thought about nursing, social work, radiology, cardiology…the list goes on. Basically, she knew she wanted to be in what she calls the ‘helping fields’ – somewhere where she could impact the lives of other people. Psychology seemed like a field where you could learn a LOT of different things, and the inclusion of a co-op program at Guelph-Humber meant she could get hands-on experience helping people. That sealed the deal.

Even now, in the summer months away from school and in the middle of a pandemic, Angelisa is helping people every day. She is a volunteer at Addiction Rehab Toronto (A.R.T.) a private rehab centre in Toronto, and she shows up randomly even when she doesn’t have a volunteer shift. ART is a lot like Angelisa herself, in that it has a wide variety of interests and specialties. It offers a nutrition program, group therapy, CBT and DBT, mindfulness activities, psychotherapists and addiction counselors…the list goes on.

TAKE FIVE with Angelisa Hatfield

What is the psychological concept that blew you away when you first heard it?
For me, it’s the self-fulfilling prophecy. It was a huge realization that our thoughts have more power than we thought they did. And also how when we impose our thoughts on other people sometimes it can influence them too. I’ve thought a lot about how self-fulfilling prophecy interacts with racism. For example if a teacher has an idea about a certain student of a certain race, and thinks they’re going to behave a certain way, then they treat them that way, and that student begins behaving that way. It becomes this cycle that fulfills itself. But you can also use it on the positive side and if you think positively you can bring about positive things in your life and that of others.

Top three websites or apps you could not live without and why
Definitely news apps. I need news. Not knowing what’s going on makes me scared. Also Twitter, that’s the social media I’m on all the time. It’s a place where people can dump their ideas and feelings and people can relate to each other. And it’s funny sometimes to watch people argue while you sit with popcorn. And the last one is Google – I use it all the time, any time I don’t know something we’re Googling it. And it’s something where if you spent two minutes on Google you can spare a lot of time arguing with someone, or saying something ignorant.

Favourite book
It sounds really cliché, but it’s Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. It’s a good book and I could really relate to it at the time. It kind of introduced me to mental health in my pre-teen years. And another is It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini. Both of these were books that were about mental health that were adapted into movies that I didn’t hate. And they were books that needed to become coming-of-age movies.

If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes who would it be and why?
I’ve always wanted to be an eagle, or a hummingbird. Just having the ability to fly, and go wherever you want whenever you want and make a home wherever it is you land. I also feel like birds have a sense of community – you hear one bird chirp, and then three others come, and they’re never alone. For me it was always birds. My next tattoo is a bird. The hummingbird reminds me of myself, always zooming around from one thing to another, always with others and arguing and moving. And the eagle reminds me of my heritage. I’m from the Azores, an island off Portugal, and there’s an eagle in our flag.

If you could become an expert at something outside psychology, what would it be?
Everything, ideally. But if I had to pick just one thing, it would probably be architecture. Or home design. Or environmentalism, animals, biology, and how the ecosystem works.

“Addiction is a [field] where you don’t have to choose a specialty. You can learn a little bit of everything. There are people who have all sorts of mental health problems, and all sorts of backgrounds. I was struggling with ‘what do I focus on – just schizophrenia, just PTSD, just eating disorders’ but at an addiction centre you deal with everything because everyone has something. It’s a very diverse place, so it’s a great way to get a lot of perspectives and world views from a wide variety of people.”

Angelisa collects diverse perspectives and world views, and has about as open a mind as anyone I’ve ever met. She recognizes in herself the desire to learn everything she can about every subject she can, and she will move on quickly after learning something to whatever is next. She can’t listen to the same artist twice in a row on her phone’s playlist, and will skip and move on. She identifies with hummingbirds, who aren’t content with sampling just one flower, but who flit from one to the other so they can take in the absolute most that the field has to offer. The only thing consistent in this constant movement is that the learning she does is geared toward just one thing – helping others.

She says that one thing learning psychology has meant for her is that she can no longer get annoyed with other people. Even if they’re behaving in a way that’s injurious to her, or doing something she knows to be wrong, she understands at a base level why they’re behaving that way, and for that reason interpersonal anger is not an option.

In fact, she has a tattoo of a bee – because, she says, ‘even though life stings, bees are necessary’. With that logic, you can’t even be mad at a bee that stings you!

Even COVID is not making Angelisa angry, it’s something that gives her an opportunity to maintain her connections and forge new ones remotely as she plans for the upcoming school year. Where she will continue to volunteer with ART, work in student services, be involved in every aspect of campus life, and get on with being a CPA undergrad student rep. Much like everything else she does, Angelisa thinks of her nomination to be a student rep as a sort of happenstance.

“I got really close with my program head and with Chris (Schiafone, the Campus Rep), and they said I’d be a good fit. [Being an undergrad CPA rep] was something that I just fell into randomly, but I’m glad that I did. It opened up a lot of doors and it let me use my background and skills the way I wanted to. Chris has given me a lot of freedom with it, and let me take it where I want it to go. So it’s been nice.”

For this, her last year at Guelph-Humber, Angelisa will serve as CPA undergraduate rep and complete her bachelor’s degree. After that it’s on to more learning and more schooling. And then? Maybe she’ll continue working in the addiction field, where the variety of the job is appealing. Maybe as a researcher, or a clinician, or something else entirely. Maybe all of it at once.

Along the way she will find time, every now and then, to sit in one place and do one thing for an hour. Even if it’s to get a hummingbird tattoo that matches the bee.

Posted in Non classé

Série « La psychologie peut vous aider » : La schizophrénie

Qu’est-ce que la schizophrénie?

La schizophrénie est un trouble grave qui est lié à un éventail de problèmes de comportement et de pensée. Malgré certains mythes courants, la schizophrénie ne désigne pas des « personnalités multiples », mais plutôt une perte de contact avec la réalité. Les symptômes de la schizophrénie sont différents d’une personne à l’autre, et les symptômes, du moins dans leur forme la plus légère, ont tendance à durer longtemps et un traitement à long terme est généralement nécessaire. Cependant, pour de nombreuses personnes, il y a un espoir d’amélioration et de retour à une vie normale. Grâce à une combinaison de médicaments, de thérapie psychologique et de soutien social/familial, les personnes atteintes de schizophrénie peuvent bien fonctionner dans leur collectivité.

Quels sont les problèmes rencontrés par les personnes atteintes de schizophrénie?

  • Des difficultés à percevoir la réalité, comme des hallucinations (par exemple, voir ou entendre des choses qui ne sont pas réelles), des idées délirantes (par exemple, croire qu’une organisation complote pour vous faire du mal; penser que des messages spéciaux sont contenus dans les publicités) et des comportements bizarres (par exemple, tenir des propos étranges). C’est le genre de symptômes auxquels les gens associent souvent les « épisodes psychotiques » manifestées par les personnes atteintes de schizophrénie. Ces symptômes sont également parfois appelés symptômes « positifs » en référence à la présence d’expériences sensorielles inhabituelles qui dépassent l’expérience humaine typique.
  • Des difficultés sur le plan du comportement et des émotions, comme la réduction de l’expérience, l’émoussement des émotions, l’évitement d’autres personnes, la perte de motivation et la diminution du discours. Ces symptômes sont parfois appelés symptômes « négatifs » en référence à la réduction des expériences sociales et émotionnelles habituelles, ou à leur absence.
  • Des difficultés liées aux processus de pensée (appelés capacités cognitives), comme l’attention, la mémoire, la vitesse de traitement de l’information, la planification et la résolution de problèmes. Cela signifie que plusieurs activités quotidiennes, comme faire l’épicerie, apprendre de nouvelles compétences au travail ou suivre une conversation, peuvent être très difficiles à accomplir pour les personnes atteintes de schizophrénie.
  • Des difficultés sur le plan du fonctionnement social, comme de la difficulté à tisser et à entretenir des relations, ou à réussir à l’école ou au travail.

La schizophrénie n’est pas le seul trouble associé à la psychose. Par exemple, certaines personnes peuvent présenter des symptômes à la fois de trouble de l’humeur (comme la dépression ou le trouble bipolaire) et de schizophrénie, tandis que d’autres peuvent tout simplement manifester des symptômes psychotiques (p. ex., avoir des hallucinations). Les personnes souffrant de psychose risquent de développer une forme plus grave de leur trouble de santé mentale et devraient être encouragées à se faire traiter.

Quelle est la prévalence de la schizophrénie?

  • Environ 1 % de la population mondiale répond aux critères de diagnostic de la schizophrénie.
  • Les hommes sont plus susceptibles de recevoir un diagnostic de schizophrénie – le rapport hommes/femmes est de 1,4 pour 1.
  • Les symptômes apparaissent souvent à la fin de l’adolescence ou au début de l’âge adulte, et peuvent se manifester pendant de nombreuses années avant que le diagnostic de schizophrénie ne soit établi; en moyenne, chez les hommes, la maladie est diagnostiquée à un plus jeune âge – 22 ans pour les hommes et 27 ans pour les femmes.

Quels sont les facteurs de risque de schizophrénie?

La schizophrénie est causée par plusieurs facteurs, qui agissent souvent en combinaison :

  • L’hérédité– Le fait d’avoir un parent, une sœur ou un frère atteint de schizophrénie constitue un facteur de risque de développer la maladie. Cependant, cela ne signifie pas que l’on sera forcément atteint de schizophrénie; cela augmente simplement la probabilité d’en être atteint comparativement aux personnes dont aucun membre de la famille n’a reçu ce diagnostic.
  • L’environnement – De nombreux facteurs non liés aux antécédents familiaux peuvent affecter le développement du cerveau et le risque de schizophrénie. Par exemple, une mère souffrant d’une maladie grave ou ayant connu une longue période de malnutrition lorsqu’elle était enceinte, un faible poids à la naissance, une privation d’oxygène à la naissance et une maladie grave durant la petite enfance. En outre, il est possible que certaines expériences vécues dans l’environnement de la personne augmentent la probabilité que celle-ci développe des symptômes psychotiques (surtout si elles sont déjà plus à risque en raison de facteurs héréditaires ou de problèmes de développement). Les mauvais traitements subis durant l’enfance, le fait d’avoir vécu en zone de guerre et la pauvreté en sont des exemples.

Quels sont les traitements psychologiques offerts pour aider à traiter la schizophrénie?

Pendant longtemps, la schizophrénie était traitée dans de grands hôpitaux, où les patients étaient complètement retirés de la société. Depuis les années 1950, grâce à de nouveaux médicaments, beaucoup de personnes atteintes de schizophrénie peuvent vivre dans la collectivité et n’ont pas besoin d’être hospitalisées pendant de longues périodes. Bien que les médicaments antipsychotiques puissent être efficaces pour contrer les symptômes « positifs » (c.-à-d. hallucinations et délire), ils ont bien souvent peu d’effets sur les symptômes « négatifs » (c.-à-d. les expériences émotionnelles et la motivation) et les difficultés cognitives. De plus, beaucoup de gens ont du mal à suivre leur traitement en raison de ses multiples effets secondaires néfastes. Ils risquent donc de recommencer à éprouver des symptômes s’ils cessent de prendre leurs médicaments.

La recherche indique que le plan de traitement le plus efficace consiste en une combinaison de médicaments antipsychotiques et de thérapies psychologiques qui aident les gens à modifier leurs comportements dans la vie réelle. Grâce à la mise au point de traitements plus efficaces, les personnes atteintes de schizophrénie sont plus que jamais capables de fonctionner dans la société, même si certaines continuent de présenter des symptômes.

  • Thérapie cognitivo-comportementale (TCC) – Un type de thérapie collaborative et active, qui se concentre sur les pensées et les croyances fondamentales de la personne, et sur les comportements qui sont liés à ces pensées. Avec la TCCp (une forme de TCC pour la psychose), la personne apprend à remettre en question et à réévaluer la source et la signification de ses hallucinations et de ses idées délirantes.
  • Rééducation cognitive – Vise à apprendre à la personne à améliorer ses capacités cognitives, comme l’attention, la mémoire, le raisonnement et le traitement de l’information. De nouvelles stratégies de résolution de problèmes sont apprises, et on s’efforce d’aider la personne à s’impliquer davantage dans des tâches stimulantes et exigeantes sur le plan cognitif dans le quotidien. Les thérapeutes jouent un rôle important dans le développement de nouvelles compétences et stratégies, tout en s’attaquant aux croyances fondamentales négatives sur les capacités cognitives.
  • Soutien familial– Fournit de l’information, du soutien et de nouvelles compétences relationnelles aux personnes touchées par la schizophrénie et aux membres de leur famille, de sorte que toute la famille puisse apprendre à mieux gérer ce trouble.
  • Formation en aptitudes sociales– Se concentre sur l’enseignement de stratégies adaptatives à utiliser dans le cadre des relations interpersonnelles et permet de mettre en pratique ces stratégies dans un groupe et dans la vie quotidienne.

Remarque importante au sujet de la stigmatisation

La schizophrénie est souvent mal comprise par le public. Ce trouble mental retient souvent l’attention des médias, mais, comme c’est le cas de nombreux reportages liés à la maladie mentale, bon nombre de faits sont retirés de leur contexte afin de divertir ou de créer un effet de choc. Par exemple, les articles et les reportages populaires sur des personnes atteintes de schizophrénie présentés dans les médias donnent souvent l’impression que ces personnes sont dangereuses ou violentes. En fait, les personnes atteintes de schizophrénie ne sont généralement pas dangereuses et présentent habituellement un risque plus élevé de se faire du mal (en raison du suicide) que de faire du mal aux autres. De plus, les personnes atteintes d’un trouble psychotique sont plus susceptibles d’être victimes de crimes violents que d’être elles-mêmes violentes.

Où puis-je obtenir plus d’information?

  • Surviving Schizophrenia: A Manual for Families, Patients, and Providers– par Torrey
  • The Family Intervention Guide to Mental Illness: Recognizing Symptoms and Getting Treatment– par Mueser et Morey
  • Société canadienne de schizophrénie : schizophrenia.ca
  • Association canadienne pour la santé mentale : cmha.ca

Pour savoir si une intervention psychologique peut vous aider, consultez un psychologue agréé. Les associations provinciales et territoriales de psychologues, et certaines associations municipales de psychologues offrent des services d’aiguillage. Pour connaître les noms et les coordonnées des associations provinciales et territoriales de psychologues, veuillez vous rendre à l’adresse https://cpa.ca/publicfr/Unpsychologue/societesprovinciales/.

Le présent feuillet d’information a été rédigé pour la Société canadienne de psychologie par les Drs Katherine Holshausen, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton et département de psychiatrie et de neuroscience du comportement, Université McMaster, et Christopher R. Bowie, programme Heads Up! (programme d’intervention précoce en psychose) – Kingston, et département de psychologie, Université Queen’s. 

Révision : mai 2020

Votre opinion est importante! Si vous avez des questions ou des commentaires sur les fiches d’information de la série « La psychologie peut vous aider », veuillez communiquer avec nous : factsheets@cpa.ca.

Société canadienne de psychologie
141, avenue Laurier Ouest, bureau 702
Ottawa (Ontario) K1P 5J3
Tél. : 613-237-2144
Numéro sans frais (au Canada) :  1-888-472-0657

Série « La psychologie peut vous aider » : Le suicide

Ce que tous les Canadiens doivent savoir sur le suicide

Quelques faits. Bien que les décès par suicide soient relativement rares, les pensées suicidaires sont, pour leur part, plus courantes. Il est beaucoup plus fréquent de penser au suicide et de se livrer à l’automutilation et à des comportements suicidaires. Lorsqu’ils se sentent accablés ou souffrent psychologiquement, les gens peuvent envisager le suicide à des degrés divers. Parfois, il s’agira de pensées suicidaires passives, comme souhaiter de ne pas se réveiller le matin ou espérer qu’un événement fatal se produise. Parfois, les idées suicidaires sont plus actives, et la personne pense à la façon dont elle mettra fin à ses jours. La présence de pensées suicidaires ne laisse pas nécessairement présager un passage à l’acte, mais, que les idées suicidaires soient passives ou actives, il faut les prendre au sérieux, car elles sont le signe que quelque chose ne va pas, à ce moment-là, dans la vie de cette personne. Au Canada, environ 4 000 personnes se suicident chaque année[i]. Ce chiffre ne représente probablement pas la réalité, car la mort par suicide est parfois classifiée à tort[ii] comme une blessure accidentelle ou le résultat d’une maladie chronique. De plus, ce chiffre ne comprend pas les décès des personnes en phase terminale qui obtiennent l’aide médicale à mourir (AMM).

Le risque de décès par suicide varie selon l’âge (augmente avec l’âge), le sexe (homme) et le groupe culturel. Les trois quarts des suicides sont commis par des hommes. La majorité des hommes et des femmes qui se suicident sont d’âge moyen. Au Canada, les taux de suicide les plus élevés se retrouvent chez les hommes d’âge moyen et d’âge mûr. Le suicide est la deuxième cause principale de décès chez les personnes de 15 à 34 ans[iii]. Selon les statistiques, les tentatives de suicide non fatales seraient plus nombreuses que les décès par suicide dans une proportion de 10 à 20:1[iv].

Chez qui le risque de suicide est-il le plus élevé? Plusieurs facteurs peuvent mener au suicide. Généralement, les personnes qui pensent au suicide ou meurent par suicide sont en proie à une grande souffrance psychologique[v], qui peut se traduire par du désespoir, de l’impuissance, de la solitude, de la tristesse, de la colère, de la culpabilité ou de la honte, ou une absence de sens[vi]. Les comportements passés ont tendance à prédire les comportements futurs; l’un des plus grands facteurs de risque de décès par suicide est le fait d’avoir tenté, dans le passé, de mettre fin à ses jours. Les études montrent que le suicide a tendance à être plus fréquent chez les personnes qui souffrent d’un ou de plusieurs troubles de santé mentale, principalement les troubles de l’humeur (comme le trouble dépressif majeur ou le trouble bipolaire), les troubles psychotiques (comme la schizophrénie), les problèmes de consommation d’alcool ou de drogue et les troubles de la personnalité[vii]. Le risque de suicide semble plus élevé chez les malades chroniques dont la maladie restreint le fonctionnement quotidien[viii], mais, généralement, le suicide se produit lorsqu’un trouble de l’humeur ou un autre trouble de santé mentale s’ajoute à la maladie chronique. On estime qu’environ 90 pour cent des personnes qui se suicident ont un trouble mental, mais la plupart des gens qui souffrent d’un trouble de santé mentale ne meurent pas par suicide[ix]. En outre, bien que la dépression et le risque de suicide aillent souvent de pair, les personnes qui se suicident ne sont pas toutes dépressives, et les personnes dépressives ne pensent pas toutes au suicide. Néanmoins, lorsqu’une personne est dépressive, il est important de chercher à savoir si elle a des pensées suicidaires. Pour en savoir plus sur troubles mentaux, rendez-vous à la page https://cpa.ca/fr/lapsychologiepeutvousaider/.

Quels sont les signes à surveiller si vous craignez qu’une personne pense au suicide? Certains signes peuvent indiquer qu’une personne est suicidaire : parler de suicide et de la mort, s’intéresser aux façons de se suicider ou rassembler des objets pour se faire du mal ou se suicider, se préparer à la mort en rédigeant un testament ou en donnant des objets personnels ayant une grande valeur, avoir déjà fait une tentative de suicide et avoir vécu récemment ou redouter de vivre une perte personnelle importante. Les autres indices qui laissent croire qu’une personne pense au suicide ressemblent aux signes de dépression. Il s’agit, notamment de : modification de l’appétit et des habitudes de sommeil, isolement, changements émotionnels extrêmes, émoussement de l’expression des émotions ou perte d’intérêt pour les activités habituelles, en particulier celles qui procuraient auparavant du plaisir, et apparence et hygiène personnelle négligées. On peut également remarquer une augmentation de la consommation d’alcool ou de drogue, ainsi que des comportements étranges ou dangereux. Comme il est mentionné ci-dessus, bien que la dépression soit un facteur qui augmente le risque de suicide, la majorité des personnes qui souffrent de dépression ne se suicident pas. Parfois, les gens sont les plus à risque de se suicider quand leur dépression s’atténue et qu’ils semblent aller mieux. Le risque de suicide peut être extrêmement élevé lorsque la personne sort d’un épisode dépressif, surtout si son énergie revient, mais que ses idées suicidaires restent fortes. Certaines personnes réussissent à faire croire qu’elles vont bien même si ce n’est pas le cas; il peut s’avérer essentiel de les soutenir et d’examiner avec elles leurs pensées et leurs sentiments face à la vie.

Comment parler du suicide? Le fait de demander à une personne si elle pense au suicide ne fera pas d’elle une personne suicidaire. Il est préférable d’aller droit au but et de dire que vous avez remarqué des changements chez elle ou des signes montrant qu’elle souffre ou qu’elle a besoin d’aide, que vous êtes inquiet ou préoccupé par son état, et que vous voulez l’aider. Si elle avoue être triste ou désespérée, demandez-lui directement si elle a pensé à se faire du mal ou à se tuer. Écoutez, ne jugez pas, et n’essayez pas de résoudre ses problèmes. Il se peut que vous ne compreniez pas comment ou pourquoi cette personne se sent ainsi, mais vous devez accepter le fait qu’elle souffre et qu’elle a besoin d’aide. N’essayez pas de la convaincre que sa façon de voir le monde ou que les gestes qu’elle envisage de poser sont mauvais ou irrationnels. Si quelqu’un songe au suicide et vous le confie, ne promettez jamais de ne pas divulguer cette information. Une personne qui a des pensées suicidaires est une personne qui a besoin d’aide, et vous aurez peut-être besoin d’en parler à d’autres personnes pour lui trouver de l’aide[x].

Comment obtenir de l’aide si je pense au suicide ou si l’un de mes proches a des pensées suicidaires? Il existe du soutien et des services efficaces pour aider les gens à faire face à leur détresse psychologique et à se remettre d’un trouble de santé mentale. Il est très important d’aider une personne en détresse à trouver de l’aide, car, dans les faits, moins de la moitié des personnes qui ont des problèmes psychologiques reçoivent l’aide dont elles ont besoin. Parfois, la stigmatisation associée aux troubles mentaux décourage les gens à demander et à recevoir de l’aide. Les services de santé mentale ne sont pas toujours financés par le régime public d’assurance-maladie; il peut donc être difficile pour les gens d’obtenir l’aide dont ils ont besoin. Gardez à l’esprit que, lorsque vous aidez un être cher, votre rôle n’est pas de résoudre ses problèmes, de le guérir ou de faire disparaître sa douleur. Aider ne signifie pas que vous êtes personnellement responsable de la sécurité de la personne suicidaire ou que vous avez la responsabilité de faire cesser ses idées suicidaires ou de l’empêcher de passer à l’acte. Cela signifie écouter, montrer de l’empathie, soutenir et aider la personne à obtenir l’aide psychologique dont elle a besoin, au moment et à l’endroit où elle en a besoin. Cela signifie parfois défendre ses intérêts. Il peut être intimidant, particulièrement pour une personne en détresse, de naviguer à travers un système de santé complexe. Dans certains cas, il sera très important de l’aider à faire des appels et à prendre des rendez-vous, et d’agir comme son représentant, pour obtenir l’aide dont elle a besoin au moment opportun.

Que faire si la situation est urgente? Les idées suicidaires représentent parfois une urgence médicale, qui doit être traitée de la même façon que toute autre situation de crise. Ne tenez pas pour acquis qu’une personne qui pense au suicide ou qui en parle n’est pas sérieuse, qu’elle dramatise ou que ses idées suicidaires disparaîtront d’elles-mêmes, tout simplement – c’est rarement le cas. Il n’y a pas de place pour l’« attente prudente ». Si vous, ou une personne de votre entourage pensez au suicide, que vos idées suicidaires ne vous quittent pas, que vous avez envie de passer à l’acte, que vous planifiez comment le faire ou avez accès à des moyens pour mettre fin à vos jours, il vous faut de l’aide immédiatement! Appelez le 911, rendez-vous à l’urgence de l’hôpital le plus près ou dans une clinique de soins d’urgence, ou appelez une ligne d’écoute téléphonique ou un centre de crise. Vous pouvez joindre les Services de crises du Canada au 1-833-456-4566. L’Association canadienne pour la prévention du suicide tient un répertoire des lignes d’écoute téléphonique de partout au Canada https://suicideprevention.ca/Need-Help.

Où puis-je obtenir de l’aide psychologique? Si la situation n’est pas urgente, mais que vous ou la personne pour laquelle vous êtes inquiet êtes en détresse, il existe de l’aide. La recherche montre que les traitements psychologiques donnent des résultats chez les personnes qui souffrent d’un trouble de santé mentale et peuvent réduire ou faire disparaître les pensées suicidaires, ou empêcher un comportement suicidaire. Les associations de psychologues des provinces et des territoires offrent des services d’aiguillage, qui vous permettent de trouver un psychologue dans votre région https://cpa.ca/fr/public/unpsychologue/societesprovinciales/. Pour savoir à quoi vous attendre lorsque vous consultez un psychologue, rendez-vous à l’adresse suivante : https://cpa.ca/fr/public/.

Il existe d’autres possibilités pour obtenir de l’aide; vous pouvez, notamment, parler de vos préoccupations à votre médecin de famille, à une équipe de soins de santé primaire ou à un centre de santé communautaire. Certains fournisseurs de soins de santé primaire, comme les médecins de famille, peuvent être en mesure de vous offrir de l’aide directement ou de vous référer à un fournisseur de soins de santé ou à un programme qui se spécialise en santé mentale. Si la personne en crise est un étudiant, l’école ou l’université qu’il fréquente a peut-être parmi son personnel des intervenants en santé mentale. L’Association canadienne pour la santé mentale peut également être une source d’information et de soutien utile. Lorsque vous décidez d’aller chercher de l’aide psychologique, il est toujours sage de rechercher les services d’un fournisseur de soins de santé mentale membre d’une profession réglementée (comme un psychologue ou un psychiatre) pour vous assurer que le problème de santé mentale dont vous souffrez est bien évalué et correctement diagnostiqué. Les problèmes de santé mentale, les troubles mentaux, ainsi que leur traitement, ne sont pas tous les mêmes. Les fournisseurs de soins de santé n’ont pas tous l’expertise nécessaire pour évaluer et traiter un trouble mental. Pour vous assurer de recevoir les bons soins, il est essentiel que l’évaluation et le diagnostic soient précis.

Ressources supplémentaires


Commission de la santé mentale du Canada https://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/Francais/what-we-do/prevention-du-suicide

Services aux autochtones Canada

Anciens Combattants Canada

Société pour les troubles de l’humeur du Canada (STHC) http://www.troubleshumeur.ca/index.php/

Association canadienne pour la prévention du suicide (ACPS) http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/Francais/issues/suicide-prevention :
Vidéo : Let’s Talk about Suicide – http://vimeo.com/98177990

Coalition canadienne pour la santé mentale des personnes âgées (CCSMPA) http://www.ccsmh.ca/en/projects/suicideAssessment.cfm

Association canadienne pour la santé mentale (ACSM)
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)

The Centre for Suicide Prevention


Suicide Prevention Resource Center

The American Association of Suicidology (AAS)

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)

American Psychological Association (APA)

U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)


Association internationale pour la prévention du suicide (IAPS)

Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide/suicideprevent/fr/

Où puis-je obtenir plus d’information?

Associations provinciales de psychologues : https://cpa.ca/fr/public/unpsychologue/societesprovinciales/

Fondation de psychologie du Canada : http://www.psychologyfoundation.org

American Psychological Association (APA): http://www.apa.org/helpcenter

Pour savoir si une intervention psychologique peut vous aider, consultez un psychologue agréé. Les associations provinciales et territoriales, et certaines associations municipales offrent des services d’aiguillage. Pour connaître les noms et les coordonnées des associations provinciales et territoriales de psychologues, veuillez vous rendre à l’adresse https://cpa.ca/fr/public/unpsychologue/societesprovinciales/

Le présent feuillet d’information a été rédigé pour la Société canadienne de psychologie par la Dre Karen R. Cohen (Société canadienne de psychologie) et le Dr Marnin Heisel (Université Western).

Mars 2020

Votre opinion est importante! Si vous avez des questions ou des commentaires sur les fiches d’information de la série « La psychologie peut vous aider », veuillez communiquer avec nous : factsheets@cpa.ca

Société canadienne de psychologie.
141, avenue Laurier Ouest, bureau 702
Ottawa (Ontario) K1P 5J3
Tél. : 613-237-2144
Numéro sans frais (au Canada) : 1-888-472-0657

[i] http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/hlth66a-fra.htm

[ii] http://www.med.uottawa.ca/sim/data/Suicide_e.htm, http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/12/suicide.aspx

[iii] http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/lcd-pcd97/table1-fra.php

[v] Shneidman, E. S. (1993). Suicide as psychache (commentary). The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 181(3), 145-147.

[vi] http://suicideprevention.ca/understanding/why-do-people-suicide/

[vii] Bertolote JM, Fleischmann A, De Leo D et Wasserman D. (2004) Psychiatric diagnoses and suicide: revisiting the evidence. Crisis, 25(4), 147-155.

[viii] Kaplan, M.S., McFarland, B. H., Huguet, M.S. et Newsom, J.T. (2007). Physical Illness, Functional Limitations, and Suicide Risk: A Population-Based Study. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 77(1), 56-60.

[ix] http://depts.washington.edu/mhreport/facts_suicide.php

[x] Pour en savoir plus sur la prévention du suicide et pour apprendre comment parler du suicide, rendez-vous sur le site Web suivant : http://www.helpguide.org/mental/suicide_prevention.htm.

Série « La psychologie peut vous aider » : Le perfectionnisme

Qu’est-ce que le perfectionnisme?

Le perfectionnisme est un style de personnalité multidimensionnel associé à un grand nombre de difficultés sur le plan psychologique et interpersonnel et sur le plan de la réussite scolaire ou professionnelle.

Il ne s’agit pas d’un trouble, mais plutôt d’un facteur de vulnérabilité qui engendre des problèmes chez l’enfant, l’adolescent et l’adulte. Les gens confondent souvent le perfectionnisme avec la poursuite du succès ou le caractère consciencieux.

Le perfectionnisme se distingue de ces attitudes. C’est un modèle de comportement inadéquat, qui peut entraîner un grand nombre de problèmes. La poursuite du succès ou l’attitude consciencieuse impliquent des attentes appropriées et tangibles (souvent des objectifs très difficiles, mais réalisables) et produisent un sentiment de satisfaction et une récompense.

Le perfectionnisme, en revanche, est associé à des attentes et des objectifs inappropriés et non tangibles (c.-à-d. la perfection) et une insatisfaction constante, peu importe le résultat.

Le perfectionnisme est une source chronique de stress, qui donne à la personne le sentiment d’être une ratée même lorsque les autres voient le contraire. Les perfectionnistes exigent d’eux-mêmes d’être parfaits. Les exigences élevées et constantes qu’ils s’imposent sont une source de stress et de pression et contribuent au développement de mécanismes d’adaptation inappropriés.

Les dimensions du perfectionnisme

Le perfectionnisme comporte trois composantes principales : les traits de personnalité, les comportements interpersonnels et les pensées perfectionnistes relatives aux erreurs, aux attentes, aux échecs et à l’autocritique.

Les traits de personnalité de la personne perfectionniste sont des caractéristiques durables de la personnalité qui traduisent le besoin d’être parfait :

  • Le perfectionnisme orienté vers soi est un type de perfectionnisme où la personne exige d’elle-même la perfection.
  • Le perfectionnisme vers autrui est un type de perfectionnisme où la personne exige des autres (p. ex., conjoint, enfants et autres personnes en général) qu’ils soient parfaits.
  • Le perfectionnisme socialement prescrit est un type de perfectionnisme où la personne a l’impression que les autres (p. ex., parents, patron et autres personnes en général) exigent qu’elle soit parfaite.

Les comportements perfectionnistes sont des comportements qui visent à se montrer parfait ou à paraître parfait aux yeux des autres :

  • Présentation de soi comme une personne parfaite : le perfectionniste affiche sa propre perfection devant autrui.
  • Dissimulation de l’imperfection : le perfectionniste évite ou dissimule tout comportement qui pourrait être jugé par d’autres comme étant imparfait.
  • Non-divulgation de l’imperfection : le perfectionniste évite de révéler verbalement les situations où il a été imparfait.

Enfin, les personnes perfectionnistes entretiennent souvent des pensées négatives centrées sur le besoin d’être ou de paraître parfaites, accompagnées d’une autocritique sévère; elles craignent l’erreur et se font constamment des reproches.

Problèmes associés au perfectionnisme

Les traits de personnalité, les comportements et les pensées perfectionnistes ont plusieurs conséquences négatives pour les personnes perfectionnistes, qu’il s’agisse d’enfants, d’adolescents et d’adultes. Voici quelques problèmes associés au perfectionnisme :

Problèmes psychologiques/psychiatriques

  • Anorexie mentale, anxiété, troubles de l’alimentation et hyperphagie boulimique, dépression, idées suicidaires et tentatives de suicide.

Problèmes relationnels

  • Manque de compassion envers autrui et tendance à se sentir responsable de satisfaire les besoins des autres au détriment des siens, faible satisfaction conjugale, insatisfaction sexuelle et colère excessive envers autrui, isolement social, relations intimes difficiles, solitude et détresse sociale (c.-à-d. être pessimiste quant aux relations futures).

Problèmes de santé physique

  • Augmentation prolongée des réactions de stress, problèmes de sommeil, maux de tête chroniques, effets cardio-vasculaires et décès précoce.

Problèmes en lien avec la pression de la réussite

  • Dépendance au travail, épuisement professionnel, peur de l’échec, procrastination et handicap intentionnel (c.-à-d. la personne consacre son temps à trouver des excuses pour expliquer son échec plutôt que de se mettre en condition pour réussir).

Problèmes nuisant au traitement

  • Attitudes négatives à l’égard de la demande d’aide auprès de professionnels, difficultés à révéler des renseignements personnels qui ont un impact négatif sur le traitement, incapacité à s’investir dans le traitement.

Comment la psychologie peut-elle aider?

Parce que le perfectionnisme est un style de personnalité enraciné, la psychothérapie est très utile; elle a souvent tendance à être assez intensive et à être une démarche à long terme (souvent plus d’un an).

Des recherches récentes montrent que la thérapie individuelle et la thérapie de groupe sont toutes les deux efficaces pour traiter le perfectionnisme et ses complications. Il existe des preuves prometteuses indiquant que la thérapie de groupe dynamique-relationnelle, la thérapie de groupe psychodynamique/interpersonnelle et la thérapie de groupe cognitivo-comportementale et individuelle sont efficaces pour réduire le perfectionnisme et ses difficultés connexes.

Plusieurs études canadiennes en cours se concentrent sur l’amélioration des approches thérapeutiques actuelles et l’évaluation de l’efficacité des traitements utilisés chez les enfants, les adolescents et les adultes.

Où puis-je obtenir plus d’information sur le perfectionnisme?

Pour plus d’informations, consultez le site suivant :

  • Foire aux questions du Perfectionism and Psychopathology Lab, https://hewittlab.psych.ubc.ca/faq-2/
  • Hewitt, P. L., Flett, G. L. et Mikail, S. F. (2017). Perfectionism: A relational approach to conceptualization, assessment, and treatment. New York : Guilford.
  • Greenspon, T. (2002) Feeing our families from perfectionism. Minneapolis : Free Spirit.
  • Egan, Sarah J., Tracey D. Wade, Roz Shafran et Martin M. Antony. Cognitive-behavioral treatment of perfectionism. Guilford Publications, 2016.

Pour savoir si une intervention psychologique peut vous aider, consultez un psychologue agréé. Les associations provinciales et territoriales de psychologues, et certaines associations municipales de psychologues offrent des services d’aiguillage. Pour connaître les noms et les coordonnées des associations provinciales et territoriales de psychologues, veuillez vous rendre à l’adresse http://www.cpa.ca/publicfr/Unpsychologue/societesprovinciales/.

La présente fiche d’information a été préparée pour la Société canadienne de psychologie par le Dr Paul L. Hewitt, Mme Sabrina Ge de l’Université de la Colombie-Britannique et le Dr Gordon L. Flett de l’Université York.

Révision : mars 2020

Votre opinion est importante! Si vous avez des questions ou des commentaires sur les fiches d’information de la série « La psychologie peut vous aider », veuillez communiquer avec nous : factsheets@cpa.ca.

Société canadienne de psychologie
141, avenue Laurier Ouest, bureau 702
Ottawa (Ontario) K1P 5J3
Tél. : 613-237-2144
Numéro sans frais (au Canada) :  1-888-472-0657

Spotlight: CPA Graduate Student Affairs Officer Melissa Mueller

“You’ll never be more than a 70s student.”
Some Grade 12 math teacher in Calgary, one time

Melissa Mueller boxingMelissa Mueller is a fighter. Figuratively speaking, that is, in that she’s determined and focused. In Grade 10, a friend mentioned in passing that she was able to talk to Melissa about her problems without fear of everyone else finding out. She decided at that moment, in Grade TEN, she would become a psychologist. Two years later, her Grade 12 math teacher told her she’d never get better marks than 70s. She determined then and there that her goal would be to obtain a PhD. She’s currently a few steps away from obtaining a PhD in psychology.

Melissa is also a fighter – literally. She is a boxer, and trains at a local gym in Calgary (Rumble) when she’s not at school. “It’s a way to blow off some steam”, she says – and as busy as Melissa is, it’s important to make time for self-care and relieve the pressures of school, practicums, COVID, and everything else.

As it has for almost all of us, COVID has created some stress for Melissa. As she returns to the University of Calgary in the fall, all her classes are now online. But as a TA, she does have to go to the campus to teach a lab. As a school and applied child psychology student, any practicum that she does will likely be in a school setting as schools re-open with a lot of uncertainty. And as the CPA Graduate Student Affairs Officer, the process of recruitment, retention, and communication with Graduate Student Representatives across Canada has changed a good deal as well.

TAKE FIVE with Melissa Mueller

What is the psychological concept that blew you away when you first heard it?
Something I found out while learning about CBT – which is the way we can separate thought from emotion… that you can change the way you think about things which can change the way you feel about them which can in turn change your behaviour.

You can listen to only one musical artist/group for the rest of your life. Who is it?
Noah Schnacky, a country singer I discovered on TikTok. He’s quite young, so he’ll be building a catalogue for many years and I can hear all the new stuff that way!

Favourite book
Anything by Nicholas Sparks. I think my current favourite is Safe Haven.

Favourite word
“Gregarious”. I had to learn it while studying for the GRE, and I think it sounds amazing.

If you could become an expert at something outside psychology, what would it be?
Interior design. Right now I go to Pinterest for all my ideas, but it would be pretty cool to be able to create spaces with the knowledge and intention to facilitate a certain atmosphere or “feel.”

She always struggled with math in high school. Trying to keep numbers in her head while doing a calculation was not her strong suit, and she would get confused and mess up even relatively easy equations. What turned things around for her was a pretty simple accommodation. At some point in math class, as you start to do more advanced things like algebra, calculus, and trigonometry – they let you have a calculator. Now Melissa no longer had to keep all those numbers in her head, and she could focus on the important stuff – the actual math problems.

It was struggles (and solutions) like these in school that led Melissa down her current path. She is in the School and Child Psychology program, because she knows that all children learn things a little differently. She can empathize with them and wants nothing more than to help them overcome similar struggles to those she herself had when she was younger.

Melissa’s last practicum was at a school for kids with severe disabilities. There were many specialists who worked there, in a holistic environment that took into account the idea than few disabilities exist in a vacuum, and there is often correlation between difficulties. For this reason, the school employed psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists among others.

This is one of two dream scenarios for Melissa post-graduation. She wants to work in a school with an interdisciplinary team – and also run a private practice where she has more direct personal control over direction, treatment, and outcomes. It seems very likely she will end up doing both, and few people are likely to dissuade her. Or maybe somebody will tell her she can’t do both – which will all but guarantee that she will.

Posted in Non classé

Reconsolidation Therapy™ (Brunet Method™): Foundational Elements and Clinical Practice

December 10-12, 2020

Les Consultants Alain Brunet et Associés

Location: Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre
Contact Phone Number: (514) 370-8992
Contact E-Mail: infos.caba@gmail.com
Event Link: https://www.reconsolidationtherapy.com/en/brunet-method-training-canada/

Based on recent discoveries in neuroscience, Reconsolidation Therapy™ has been scientifically proven to be an effective treatment for psychotrauma. This method combines the intake of a pharmacological agent with brief psychotherapy. Reconsolidation Therapy™ provides a simple, fast, and effective method to reduce the strength of emotional memories for victims who have experienced various degrees of trauma. 

Here is your opportunity to get trained in Reconsolidation Therapy™! The training will take place in-person in Ottawa. Reconsolidation Therapy can be practiced online or face to face. 

Training Format and Schedule:

The training will take place at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre (1145 Carling Ave, Ottawa, ON K1Z 7K4).

Duration: 2.5 days

Schedule (Time Zone: Montreal, Quebec, Canada – EST): Day 1 & 2 – 9h30 AM – 5h30 PM – Day 3 – 9h30 AM – 1h00 PM 

This training will be given in the English language, and it will provide you with the necessary knowledge needed to practice Reconsolidation Therapy. During the training, you will learn how to use the therapeutic protocol, which will allow you to effectively treat people suffering from post-traumatic stress. 


  • Differentiate between the various stress and trauma-related disorders 
  • Understand the theory of reconsolidation 
  • Learn about the studies supporting Reconsolidation Therapy 

This training is conducted at an intermediate level. It is offered to all mental health professionals who have a post-graduate university degree and are legally qualified to practice psychotherapy, as well as to therapists practicing alternative techniques that are recognized. 

For more information or to reserve your spot in the next training session, please visit our website.

Spotlight: CPA Undergraduate Student Affairs Officer Nicole Boles

“If you could walk in someone else’s shoes for just one day, who would it be?”

“It would have to be a famous and brilliant mathematician like Nicolas Copernicus, because my brain seems to shut down whenever I’m given a task involving any sort of math. So I feel like being able to switch brains with a mathematician and seeing what happens in their head would be quite interesting.”

It’s not random that Nicole Boles chose Nicolas Copernicus, of all the famous mathematicians. Copernicus was the mathematician and astronomer who, in the Renaissance era, proposed a model of the universe that had the sun at the centre of it, rather than the Earth. He had, one can assume, a very interesting head in which a psychologist could spend a day. He was also Polish.

Nicole Boles dancingNicole is very much connected to her Polish heritage. She still speaks Polish, although she says it’s getting a little rusty and she needs to keep it up so as not to lose it. She has deep connections with the Polish community in Calgary, and at the University of Calgary where she studies. And she’s actually been to Poland, traveling there with friends as part of a Polish folk dancing group. She was part of that group until her third year of university, when she found her specific passion, and quit to focus on her studies.

Now a fifth-year student at the University of Calgary, Nicole is going to apply to graduate schools throughout the year, with an eye toward studying speech and language pathology. She is also working as a literacy instructor by following a one on one literacy program aiming at strengthening children’s oral and written language skills. This was the passion she discovered in third year, and she is heading in a straight line toward the ultimate goal – working with children to help them with speech, language, and communication.

Nicole is also the Undergraduate Student Affairs Officer for the Canadian Psychological Association. That means she manages the student representative program. Recruiting members and prospective applicants, ensuring constant communication with those members, applicants, and current representatives. Nicole also collects and distributes reports from each campus.

TAKE FIVE with Nicole Boles

What is the psychological concept that blew you away when you first heard it?
A recent one is the Whorfian hypothesis. This is, basically, the idea that language influences thought in a certain way. People who speak different languages will construe reality in different ways. For example, Russian speakers divide light and dark blues. That is, they have a term for light blue and another term for dark blue. And research has shown that they can distinguish between these two colours at a faster rate than English speakers. The difference is not that English speakers are unable to distinguish between light blue and dark blue, but that Russian speakers are unable to avoid making that distinction.

You can listen to only one musical artist/group for the rest of your life. Who is it?
I grew up listening to Fleetwood Mac, and that would have to be it. And the catalogue would be a lot wider if I can throw in the spinoffs – Steve Nicks solo, the Buckingham-McVie stuff. I actually attended Fleetwood Mac’s final concert, which was very special.

Top three websites or apps you could not live without and why
My camera app. Also Apple Notes, because I always need to write down everything and I need it to be in once place or else I’ll inevitably forget or lose it. And…does the phone app itself count as an app on a phone? Like making phone calls? I need that one too.

Favourite book
My favourite book, hands down, is Kids These Days. It’s a game-changing book by a clinical psychologist named Dr. Jody Carrington. She offers strategies to educators, teachers, bus drivers, etcetera to re-connect with “kids these days”. I work with children, so I could really empathize with certain aspects of this book, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who works with kids or has worked with kids in the past.

Favourite quote
“If you want something done right, ask a busy person.” I feel like there’s nothing truer than that.

“I wasn’t really aware that CPA even existed until [that] third year as a university student. At that point I was now involved in research, and I had found my specialization, and I got a job related to it. At that time I became a little more involved with the psychology association on my campus, and they brought up CPA. It was super-cool to see that there’s this higher-level association working to promote psychology. I knew I was going to want to be more involved.”

Fortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has not affected her duties as the Undergrad Officer very much – a lot of the job is sending and receiving emails from all over Canada, and very little of the job in the past has been done in person. It’s the school year itself that might be a little more tumultuous, as Nicole will be taking her fifth year entirely online. She realizes that she’ll have to adapt her learning style a little bit, to become more of a self-directed learner than she has been up to this point.

That includes the more difficult assignments and research projects – the ones involving math. Though she may struggle with math, Nicole is driven and ambitious and has a goal in mind. I get the sense that could she actually live for a day in the head of Copernicus, she would emerge a competent, if not a brilliant, mathematician herself.

For the time being though, Nicole is going to struggle through math, adjust to full-time online learning, and complete her fifth year at the University of Calgary. She’s also going to spend the next two years as the Undergraduate Student Affairs Officer at the CPA, helping undergrads navigate this brand new world in which they find themselves.

“I really like working for an organization that allows you to work closely with professionals in the field, and I really want to reach out to undergrads, so I’m looking forward to that. I know that for me personally it was a bit of a struggle transitioning from high school to university, and I’m sure that’s a hurdle that many students face. So I feel pretty proud to be part of CPA, because they strive to make students feel more at ease, more confident, and more supported.”

Nicole is certainly at ease when we speak, and she is confident in her abilities and in her chosen career path. It’s a straight line toward the future, helping children with speech and language difficulties. And it’s also a straight line from the past, a past which Nicole is intentionally bringing along with her. One day, she will be helping with communication in both English and French. And who knows? Perhaps in Polish as well.

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

July 13, July 14, November 16, or November 17, 2020

Dual Diagnostic Training

Location: Online 24/7 (Australia)
Phone: +61 408 332 765
Email: george@dualdiagnosistraining.com.au
Link: https://www.dualdiagnosistraining.com.au/

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/training-and-workshops/

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

LIVE dates:

Integrative psychotherapy: How leveraging new research on lifestyle modification and therapeutic approaches can support mental health and cognitive rehabilitation

Thursday, November 12, 2020 & Friday, November 13, 2020 – 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Mountain Time)

Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists
Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

Location: Online Workshop (Ottawa, ON)

In this two-day online workshop, Dr. John Arden will present concrete and research-based strategies and plans to support client mental and cognitive health. He will discuss how, and why, functional lifestyle changes can support symptom recovery.

Learning objectives:
By the end of this workshop, you will be able to:
1. Distinguish between various health conditions and psychological disorders and their overlap.
2. Explain how poor health contributes to poor mental health as well as vice versa.
3. Analyze how an overactive immune system contributes to depression, anxiety and trauma response.
4. Evaluate how adverse childhood experiences contribute to long-term chronic health and mental health conditions and what to do about it.
5. Plan where to encourage lifestyle changes that improve health and mental health.
6. Measure the effect of poor sleep, diet, and lack of exercise contributions to changes in mental health.
7. Choose what psychotherapeutic intervention to use for various psychological conditions.
8. Assess the effects of various psychotherapeutic interventions.
9. Select pain-based and evidence-based approaches with the most practical outcomes.
10. Formulate an intervention plan most appropriate for the individual based on her/his ethnicity, socio-economic position, and LGBTQ.

John Arden, PhD, ABPP, has over 40 years of experience providing psychological services and directing mental health programs. He has conducted seminars in all US states and 30 countries. He is also the author of 15 books, including Mind-Brain-Gene, Brain2Brain, Brain-Based Therapy: Adults, Brain-Based Therapy: Children & Adolescents, as well as seven self-help books.

Link to register

Posted in Non classé

Salon de l’emploi SCP & SCSCCC

jeudi 12 novembre 2020 de 12 h à 16 h HNE

Société canadienne de psychologie
Société canadienne des sciences du cerveau, du comportement et de la cognition (SCSCCC)

La Société canadienne de psychologie (SCP), en collaboration avec la Société canadienne des sciences du cerveau, du comportement et de la cognition (SCSCCC), est heureuse d’annoncer la tenue de son salon de l’emploi le 12 novembre 2020. Ce salon est le premier d’une série de salons de l’emploi qu’organisera la SCP en 2020 et 2021.

Les étudiants qui participeront à l’événement auront l’occasion de se renseigner sur les différents parcours professionnels et postes offerts aux diplômés en psychologie en dehors des milieux clinique et universitaire, et ce, de la bouche même des personnes qui occupent ces postes, en plus d’échanger avec ces dernières à partir de salles de réunion virtuelles afin d’en savoir plus sur leurs expériences; ils auront également l’occasion de parler à la SCP de ce qu’ils trouveraient utile en fait de ressources et d’information en matière de développement de carrière.




Si vous souhaitez en apprendre davantage sur les parcours professionnels possibles, parler à des employeurs potentiels et faire part des types de ressources et d’information que vous trouveriez utiles à la poursuite de votre carrière, ne ratez surtout pas cet événement!

Quand: jeudi 12 novembre 2020 de 12 h à 16 h HNE

Où: Virtuel
places disponibles limitées.

Coùt: 10 $

Seuls les membres/affiliés de la SCP et les membres/étudiants de la SCSCCC peuvent s’inscrire.

Cliquer ici pour plus d’informations.

32nd ICP2020 and IUPsyS Assembly Rescheduled to July 2021

Due to the public health risks and challenges presented by the novel coronavirus pandemic, the 32nd International Congress of Psychology (ICP) 2020 and the Annual General Assembly of the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS), which was to be held from July 19-24, 2020 in Prague, Czech Republic, has been re-scheduled to July 18-23, 2021 at the same Prague Congress Centre. 

Cancelled – Reconsolidation Therapy™ (Brunet Method™): Foundational Elements and Clinical Practice

November 25-27, 2020

Les Consultants Alain Brunet et Associés

Location: Online
Contact Phone Number: (514) 370-8992
Contact E-Mail: infos.caba@gmail.com
Event Link: https://www.reconsolidationtherapy.com/en/brunet-method-training-canada/

Based on recent discoveries in neuroscience, Reconsolidation Therapy™ has been scientifically proven to be an effective treatment for psychotrauma. This method combines the intake of a pharmacological agent with brief psychotherapy. Reconsolidation Therapy™ provides a simple, fast, and effective method to reduce the strength of emotional memories for victims who have experienced various degrees of trauma.Here is your opportunity to get trained in Reconsolidation Therapy™! The training will take place online using a video communication platform. Reconsolidation Therapy can be practiced online or face to face.Training Format and Schedule:
Online training will be held using the online platform Zoom.
Duration: 2.5 days
Schedule (Time Zone: New York – USA): Day 1 & 2 – 9h30 AM – 5h30 PM – Day 3 – 9h30 AM – 1h00 PM

This training will be given in the English language, and it will provide you with the necessary knowledge needed to practice Reconsolidation Therapy. During the training, you will learn how to use the therapeutic protocol, which will allow you to effectively treat people suffering from post-traumatic stress.Objectives:

  • Differentiate between the various stress and trauma-related disorders
  • Understand the theory of reconsolidation
  • Learn about the studies supporting Reconsolidation Therapy

This training is conducted at an intermediate level. It is offered to all mental health professionals who have a post-graduate university degree and are legally qualified to practice psychotherapy, as well as to therapists practicing alternative techniques that are recognized.

For more information or to reserve your spot in the next training session, please visit our website.

Psychological Strategies for Wearing Masks – APNL Press Release

August 18, 2020 – APNL Press Release:

Psychological Strategies for Wearing Masks

The NL government recently announced the mandatory wearing of masks in all public spaces for individuals over the age of 5.  While some individuals have been routinely wearing masks for many months, either as part of their work, or while running errands, for many this will be a new, and somewhat uncomfortable situation.  Fortunately, Psychologists can help!  Becoming accustomed to wearing a mask is just like making any other kind of behavioural change.


Click here for the Press Release (PDF)

APA PsychSolutions Competition

The American Psychological Association, has invited CPA members to participate in the PsychSolutions Competition on behalf of CPA, an organizational partner of the APA. PsychSolutions is a new international initiative of APA’s Office of International Affairs that promotes the critical role of psychological science in addressing global health challenges. This competition, open to all APA members/affiliates and members of APA partner associations, will seek proposals that demonstrate impact in prevention of mental health challenges/well-being and/or the reduction of the burden of suffering. The selected winner will be awarded a $10,000 USD grant to advance their initiative and will work with the APA communications team to promote their efforts.

PsychSolutions Summary.pdf

PsychSolutions Terms and Conditions.pdf

Written Submission for the Pre-Budget Consultations in Advance of the 2021 Budget by the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)

Written Submission for the Pre-Budget Consultations in Advance of the 2021 Budget by the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)

Read the submission (PDF). (version francais ici).

See also the submissions from The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) and The Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR)

Posted in Non classé

Série « La psychologie peut vous aider » : Le racisme

Qu’est-ce que le racisme? Que pouvons-nous faire pour y mettre fin?

Le racisme est une combinaison de pensée stéréotypée, de sentiments négatifs et haineux et d’actes discriminatoires ciblant des individus ou des groupes d’individus considérés comme intrinsèquement inférieurs, plutôt déviants socialement et méritant un statut inférieur dans la société. Même si tous les humains sont susceptibles d’entretenir des stéréotypes et des préjugés à l’égard d’autres groupes, le racisme devient un problème grave lorsqu’un groupe, ou les membres de ce groupe ont la capacité d’agir en se fondant sur ces points de vue et sur la valeur qu’ils attribuent aux autres.

  • Le racisme est un phénomène de catégorisation sociale et un système de comportements profondément enracinés dans l’histoire de la colonisation et de l’esclavage. La construction d’une hiérarchie raciale par les puissances coloniales continue de favoriser les personnes qui détiennent le pouvoir en maintenant leur domination sociale, économique et politique.
  • Les groupes qui deviennent les cibles du racisme ont généralement des caractéristiques physiques distinctes, comme la couleur de la peau, les traits du visage et la forme du corps. Historiquement, en Amérique du Nord et dans d’autres pays occidentaux, il s’agit surtout de personnes au teint foncé, qui constituent une minorité et qui sont défavorisées sur le plan socio-économique en raison du racisme systémique (p. ex., les personnes autochtones, noires et de couleur [PANDC]). Dans la présente fiche d’information, nous nous concentrons sur le racisme, mais nous reconnaissons que le racisme coexiste avec le sexisme, l’homophobie et la transphobie, le classisme, le capacitisme, etc.

Le racisme individuel renvoie au racisme intériorisé, qui existe à l’intérieur de la personne. Les sentiments, les paroles et les actes anti-Noirs, anti-Autochtones et anti-Asiatiques en sont des exemples. Le fait de croire que certains groupes sont intrinsèquement inférieurs à d’autres est un exemple de racisme individuel. Dans certains cas, les gens peuvent cautionner le racisme ouvertement ou de manière plus subtile, ce qu’on appelle aussi microagression.

Le racisme systémique fait référence aux pratiques déloyales et au traitement inéquitable des groupes touchés, soit en raison de la légitimation institutionnelle ou par la voie d’un consensus général et de pratiques informelles en usage depuis longtemps au sein des groupes majoritaires et privilégiés. En Amérique du Nord, le racisme systémique est le ciment sur lequel s’appuie la suprématie blanche pour opprimer et exploiter les minorités racialisées. Voici quelques-uns des nombreux exemples de racisme systémique, qui ont jalonné l’histoire du Canada :

  • Du 17eau 19e siècle, 200 ans d’esclavage, où les populations noires et autochtones étaient les principaux peuples asservis.
  • La Loi sur les Indiens de 1876 a pratiquement fait des peuples autochtones des pupilles de l’État. Entre 1894 et 1996, la politique canadienne exigeait que les enfants autochtones soient retirés de leur famille et placés dans des pensionnats gérés par des prêtres et des religieuses catholiques. Ces enfants ont été forcés d’abandonner leurs traditions culturelles, y compris leur langue.
  • 1885 : la Loi de l’immigration chinoise obligeait les immigrants chinois à payer un impôt très élevé pour venir au Canada, alors que les immigrants européens n’étaient pas tenus de payer cet impôt.

On a tendance à considérer le racisme comme une affaire de « bonnes » personnes vis-à-vis de « mauvaises » personnes, ce qui amène souvent les Blancs à chercher à se positionner comme les « bonnes personnes », car ils pensent avoir de bonnes intentions, et ne peuvent donc pas être racistes. De là naît un schéma de pensée, qui empêche d’examiner ses propres attitudes et comportements racistes. Ainsi, les PANDC peuvent être confrontées à des réactions extrêmement défensives, et parfois agressives, niant le comportement raciste. Cette dynamique sert à maintenir la suprématie blanche en muselant les PANDC et en les empêchant de parler du racisme qu’ils subissent.

Qu’est-ce que la psychologie du racisme?

Le racisme englobe : i) Les stéréotypes sociaux; les pensées généralisées; ii) les préjugés; les attitudes négatives et les émotions négatives; iii) la discrimination; les comportements injustes et inéquitables à l’égard des individus en raison de leur appartenance à un groupe.

Stéréotypes sociaux et jugements biaisés

  • L’esprit humain a comme caractéristique fondamentale de diviser le monde social en deux catégories : les gens qui me ressemblent (intragroupe) et les gens qui ne me ressemblent pas (hors-groupe). Cette idée de similarité et de dissimilarité avec autrui peut être fondée sur des critères bien visibles, comme la couleur de la peau, le sexe, l’âge, la langue, ou sur des critères qui ne sont pas aussi visibles, comme le système de croyances, la religion, la culture ou l’origine ethnique.
  • En raison de la fréquence et de l’habitude des interactions avec les membres de l’intragroupe, on peut identifier et distinguer les membres de l’intragroupe avec une relative facilité. En revanche, la relativement faible familiarité avec les membres hors-groupe est associée à une propension à percevoir et à juger l’hors-groupe comme un tout. Cela engendre des stéréotypes sociaux ou des pensées généralisées sur les hors-groupes, du genre « les Autochtones sont des alcooliques» ou « les Noirs sont des criminels ».
  • Cette propension à percevoir l’hors-groupe comme un tout est associée à l’effet de similitude. Cela peut expliquer en partie pourquoi les policiers sont susceptibles de commettre des erreurs lorsqu’il s’agit d’identifier des personnes appartenant aux « hors-groupes » qu’ils connaissent peu. Lorsqu’une erreur de jugement de ce genre se produit dans le contexte du racisme systémique, des conséquences négatives graves peuvent s’ensuivre, par exemple, des situations où un policier appréhenderait non seulement la mauvaise personne, mais ferait preuve, en plus, de brutalité à l’égard de celle-ci si elle est membre d’une communauté PANDC.
  • Le terme parti pris implicite renvoie au fait d’avoir une vision stéréotypée d’une catégorie de personnes sans en être conscient. Cependant, certaines situations peuvent entraîner un parti pris implicite sans qu’on en ait conscience, déclenchant dès lors une réponse comportementale partiale, par exemple, des insultes raciales involontaires ou le traitement injuste non intentionnel de la part des personnes appartenant aux communautés PANDC.

Préjugés et sentiments de haine

  • Lorsqu’ils s’accompagnent d’attitudes et d’émotions négatives, comme la colère, la haine, l’irritabilité et la peur, les stéréotypes négatifs à l’endroit d’une catégorie de personnes deviennent des préjugés.
  • Les préjugés peuvent également sembler « positifs », mais les attitudes qu’ils dénotent sont paternalistes, condescendantes et normatives; par exemple, «Tu devrais être attentionné et aimable. Tu es un Philippin », ou « Tu devrais être bon en mathématiques. Tu es Chinois ».
  • Les préjugés peuvent se traduire par un sentiment de malaise, d’irritabilité, de colère, de pitié et de dégoût envers les membres de groupes racialisés, ethniques et culturels minoritaires et par le refus de s’associer avec eux. Cependant, le préjugé peut s’accompagner du refus de reconnaître, par la personne qui l’entretient, cette attitude émotionnelle négative.
  • Lorsque les membres d’une minorité se conduisent bien et suivent les règles, ils sont considérés de manière impartiale. Toutefois, lorsque les membres d’une minorité dévient de la norme, violent une loi, ont un rendement inférieur à celui attendu ou donnent une rétroaction ou une évaluation négatives, la réaction du membre du groupe privilégié est parfois plus prompte et plus sévère. Par exemple, si un professeur noir donne de bonnes notes et des commentaires favorables aux étudiants, il est considéré au même titre que son collègue de la majorité blanche européenne. Cependant, si les deux professeurs donnent de mauvaises notes et des commentaires négatifs aux étudiants, le professeur noir sera probablement évalué plus sévèrement par ses étudiants que son collègue blanc européen.
  • Les préjugés ont un impact négatif sur la personne qui en est l’objet et peuvent conduire à des sentiments et des comportements réciproques. Ainsi, si une personne n’aime pas une autre personne ou fait preuve de discrimination à son endroit, ces attitudes et ces comportements se retournent contre elle. Les personnes qui expriment des préjugés et qui se livrent à des pratiques discriminatoires ne peuvent pas s’attendre à être aimées ou acceptées par celles qui sont exclues. Par conséquent, les individus qui sont régulièrement exclus du fait de préjugés systémiques ou individuels sont susceptibles de se venger de ceux qui sont à l’origine de ces préjugés.

Discrimination : traitement injuste et inéquitable

  • La discrimination est une action qui a pour effet de traiter les individus différemment, et à leur désavantage, en fonction de leur appartenance à un groupe.
  • Les actes discriminatoires peuvent avoir de graves répercussions, par exemple, si un médecin passe moins de temps avec un membre d’une minorité racialisée, ou ne prend pas au sérieux la gravité de ses symptômes ou interprète mal les symptômes et refuse de prodiguer les soins nécessaires. Cet acte discriminatoire peut être intentionnel ou non, mais ses conséquences peuvent être graves.
  • La discrimination est parfois subtile et souvent non verbale. Par exemple, un caissier de banque pourrait accueillir les membres de son intragroupe avec une courtoisie particulière, avec le sourire, et en leur offrant une aide supplémentaire, mais pourrait avoir une attitude très formelle et axée sur les tâches sans être particulièrement courtois ou affable avec les membres du groupe minoritaire racialisé. Faire des salutations peu enthousiastes ou ignorer les salutations des gens, montrer des signes de désintérêt pendant les interactions ou s’abstenir d’offrir de l’aide lorsque le besoin est manifeste, être prompt à signaler d’une voix forte une violation mineure de certaines normes (par exemple, « Hé, vous ne pouvez pas vous asseoir là. C’est pour les aînés seulement») sont d’autres exemples de comportements discriminatoires.
  • Des pratiques discriminatoires sont souvent observées dans les milieux de travail. Cela peut commencer par la préférence accordée à la sélection de candidats issus de groupes privilégiés, ce qui fait en sorte que moins de membres de minorités racialisées sont convoqués en entrevue. Pendant l’entrevue, la discrimination est manifeste lorsque l’employeur consacre moins de temps à la procédure d’embauche et montre des signes de malaise ou un manque d’intérêt. En outre, le candidat minoritaire racialisé se fera probablement offrir un salaire de départ inférieur, ce qui contribuera à des écarts de salaire qui s’ajoutent aux disparités sur le plan des richesses accumulées pour maintenir la suprématie des Blancs. La discrimination est susceptible de se poursuivre sous la forme d’évaluations du rendement biaisées et de l’absence de promotions malgré les qualifications de l’employé. Cela met en évidence l’importance du déséquilibre des pouvoirs entre les groupes. En d’autres termes, les évaluations négatives des autres sont possibles lorsqu’un groupe est capable d’agir sur la base des stéréotypes négatifs et des préjugés qu’il entretient à l’égard d’un autre groupe.
  • Il en résulte une « mosaïque verticale » dans laquelle, aux postes de direction de la plupart des organisations, nous voyons des individus appartenant au groupe privilégié, notamment des personnes d’origine blanche européenne. Au bas de la hiérarchie de l’emploi, où figurent les emplois manuels peu rémunérés, comme l’entretien ménager et le lavage de vaisselle, nous observons une surreprésentation des groupes minoritaires racialisés. Cela conduit à des disparités économiques. Par exemple, en 2016, le taux de chômage était plus élevé chez les Canadiens noirs que chez les Canadiens non issus d’une minorité visible (12,5 % vs 7,3 %). De plus, le revenu moyen des Canadiens noirs était nettement inférieur à celui des Canadiens qui n’appartenaient pas à une minorité visible (35 310 $ vs 50 225 $).
  • La discrimination s’observe également dans le système judiciaire et le système de placement familial. Tandis que les peuples autochtones ne représentent que 3,8 % de la population totale, 23,2 % de l’ensemble des personnes incarcérées et 52 % des enfants en famille d’accueil sont autochtones.
  • La discrimination a des répercussions négatives sur la santé physique et mentale de la personne qui la subit. Beaucoup des données solides et cohérentes indiquent que le racisme autodéclaré est associé à des problèmes de santé physique comme l’hypertension, les maladies cardiaques et l’obésité. Il se manifeste également par l’augmentation des maladies mentales comme la dépression, l’anxiété, la détresse et la toxicomanie. Les répercussions négatives du racisme sur la santé physique et mentale s’observent chez les hommes et les femmes de tous les groupes ethniques, y compris les Noirs, les Autochtones, les Latinos, les Asiatiques et les Blancs de tous les groupes d’âge (c.-à-d. adolescents, étudiants universitaires et adultes).

Comment apprendre à vivre ensemble et sans racisme?

La démarche à adopter pour combattre le racisme individuel et systémique doit s’effectuer à l’échelle individuelle et à l’échelle gouvernementale, juridique et politique.

  • S’il n’est pas stoppé, le racisme risque de s’aggraver. Les génocides, par exemple, ne se déclenchent pas du jour au lendemain. Il est donc important de combattre le racisme dès qu’il se manifeste, même dans ses formes les plus légères et subtiles, chez les gens ou dans les médias sociaux. Il faut immédiatement confronter et combattre les signes et les symboles d’oppression et de harcèlement à caractère racial qui s’expriment à une moindre échelle, comme les farces, le vandalisme, les insultes raciales et les blagues racistes. Les individus, par exemple, pourraient confronter leurs amis et leurs proches, et répondre aux messages négatifs qu’ils publient sur les médias sociaux.
  • Le poids de la sensibilisation et de la prévention des actes haineux motivés par les préjugés et de la discrimination ne doit pas reposer uniquement sur les épaules des groupes minoritaires racialisés. Au lieu de cela, les membres de la majorité qui ont hérité, et donc bénéficié des systèmes de pouvoir fondés sur la suprématie raciale, ont la responsabilité de réparer les torts et d’instaurer la justice. Ils doivent agir pour devenir de véritables partenaires du changement. Il s’instaurera ainsi la confiance entre groupes majoritaires et minoritaires, ce qui favorisera la motivation des groupes minoritaires racialisés à travailler avec les partenaires majoritaires. Pour les groupes majoritaires et minoritaires, il est essentiel de travailler ensemble pour transformer la société.
  • Le principe psychologique selon lequel la familiarité et la similitude créent des liens peut être mis en œuvre en donnant l’occasion aux gens d’augmenter leurs interactions avec l’« autre », dissemblable. Cela leur permettrait de découvrir des similitudes fondamentales pour renforcer le sentiment de familiarité générale tout en comprenant les différences culturelles. À l’école, on pourrait, par exemple, concevoir des plans de cours pour les jeunes enfants, mettant l’accent sur l’exploration des similitudes et la compréhension et l’appréciation des différences entre les enfants.
  • Les activités et les événements communautaires doivent inclure TOUS les groupes culturels, et ce, à tous les échelons (organisation, représentation, participation). Les membres de la majorité privilégiée doivent y prendre part aux côtés des minorités raciales. Les programmes communautaires devraient viser à favoriser une coopération et des échanges fructueux entre les groupes majoritaires privilégiés et les groupes minoritaires racialisés, réunis autour d’un objectif commun.
  • Il a été démontré que les contacts entre personnes d’origines diverses améliorent l’acceptation réciproque de la différence. Toutefois, de tels contacts sont probablement plus efficaces s’ils sont volontaires, s’ils s’établissent entre des individus de statut à peu près égal et s’ils ont comme objectif de promouvoir l’inclusion et réduire la discrimination. Les conditions propices à ces contacts doivent être mises en place par le truchement de politiques et de programmes publics.
  • Toutes les institutions sociales (gouvernement, soins de santé, éducation, famille, etc.) doivent reconnaître les politiques et les comportements racistes tout en s’engageant activement à éliminer les discriminations passées. Il faut mettre en place des mesures et des approches qui favorisent l’équité, la diversité et l’inclusion. Cela se fera sur plusieurs plans : (1) formation continue, éducation et discussion; (2) se responsabiliser pour prévenir les actes racistes et s’attaquer au racisme quand celui-ci est pratiqué; (3) organiser nos institutions de telle manière qu’elles favorisent intrinsèquement la diversité et la justice sociale.
  • Nous devons soutenir les politiques et les programmes qui favorisent l’acceptation des gens tels qu’ils sont, et de ce qui compte le plus pour eux, comme leur patrimoine culturel et leur religion.
  • Le fait de nous responsabiliser quant à la manière dont la société a été structurée au profit des Blancs et aux comportements racistes, à l’échelle individuelle et institutionnelle, permettra de faire évoluer la société vers un vivre ensemble exempt de racisme.

Où puis-je obtenir plus d’information?

La présente fiche d’information a été préparée pour la Société canadienne de psychologie par Gira Bhatt (Université polytechnique Kwantlen), Saba Safdar (Université de Guelph), John Berry (Université Queen’s), Maya Yampolsky (Université Laval) et Randal Tonks (Collège Camosun).

Date : 12 octobre 2020

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