I conduct a general practice in psychology that allows me to develop a breadth of knowledge and experience in understanding the psychosocial functioning of people.  This informs my work in counselling, psychotherapy, and psychological assessments.  Some of this work applies to diagnosable mental health conditions that may include depression, anxiety, insomnia, obsessions/compulsions, and trauma.  Still, a good deal of my work focuses on everyday challenges of stress and adjustment that many of us encounter over our lifespan.  This often includes the matter of forming and maintaining satisfying close relationships. Some of these challenges are rather weighty matters that can undermine psychological resilience and well-being. Others reflect the equally important healthy pursuit of refinements to the life well-lived.    


Although it is customary to do so, I hesitate to identify specializations for two key reasons.  The first is that in my clinical experience there are few psychological issues that present in a narrowly defined scope of a diagnosis or concept (i.e. self-esteem).  More often attention is required to the unique complexity of the person in the context of their life.  This requires knowledge of the broader field of individual and interpersonal psychology that goes well beyond the notion of specialization.  The second is that I like the stimulation of variety, which my clients invariably and graciously provide, in turn routinely adding to a broader understanding of psychology.  

Special Interests:

Still, there are psychological features that I find most interesting to work with.  These are Special Interests that I have given particular study and integrate into my practice.  Some of these include:   Motivation & Self-Determination are matters of particular importance in understanding and helping people.  This is relevant to concerns about goal setting and achievement, performance enhancement, productivity, creativity, self-regulation, time management, habit control, procrastination, self-sabotage, perfectionism, indecision, initiation, follow-through, self-organization, positive and negative emotions, and health and lifestyle behaviours.   Close Relationships and attachment are psychological features that are important as goals unto themselves, but also provide a foundation for the life well-lived in many other respects.  This interest follows the well-established principle that for most people being in satisfying and supportive relationships contributes to psychological resilience that enhances functioning across many key areas of life.  Here I work with individuals and couples on removing barriers to forming, maintaining, and enhancing close relationships.  To do so I integrate knowledge and skills drawn from the research on human attachment, interdependence, personality, and emotional and interpersonal processes.  These are complimented by Advanced Training in the Gottman Method of Marital Therapy.   Emotional Competence and Regulation is an area of psychological functioning that is necessary to understand and address as a key means by which we come to know what is right or wrong.   Self and Personality are important normal psychological features that provide the window through which we experience life and organize our approach to meeting the conditions of life.  These features can affect the tone of life in satisfying and dissatisfying ways, with the impact often occurring outside of awareness.  Understanding how self and personality are organized within each of us provides the opportunity to develop plans and skills aimed at refining thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that are more in keeping with personal objectives and pursuit of what for you is the life well-lived.   Insomnia is of special interest considering the vulnerability that sleep disturbance is now known to create for mental and physical health.   Cognition and Social Cognition refer to the ways in which people engage in thinking and interpersonal thinking.  Psychological research offers useful information about the processes that people may engage in when attending to, gathering, and remembering information, for use in things like reasoning, problem-solving, and decision-making.  The later refers to the processes that influence thinking in the company of others and about those others.  In both of these domains it is useful to know how certain maladaptive practices in thought can enhance well-being, while others can undermine it.   If these interests seem like a good fit for you, please feel free to contact me by telephone at (780) 217-5339 or email ken@drken.ca to discuss the things that matter to you.