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Michael Best Psychologist

Dr. Michael W. Best, Ph.D., C.Psych.
Clinical Psychologist, Clinic Director 

Dr. Best completed his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Following completion of his Ph.D. he completed his clinical residency at the Aaron T. Beck Center for Recovery Oriented Cognitive Therapy under the mentorship of Dr. Aaron T. Beck, developer of cognitive behavioural therapy. Following completion of this residency training, Dr. Best joined the Graduate Department of Psychological Clinical Science at the University of Toronto where he supervises and trains graduate students in the delivery of cognitive behavioural therapy. Dr. Best is director of the Therapeutic Interventions for Psychosis lab which conducts research to improve the effectiveness of CBT for psychosis. Additionally, Dr. Best is Director of the Clinical Research and Evaluation Center at the University of Toronto, an interdisciplinary research centre focused on improving psychotherapy for a broad range of difficulties. Dr. Best has experience treating a wide range of issues from a cognitive behavioural approach including depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety, phobias, personality disorders, relationship difficulties, stress, work performance, and grief. Dr. Best's speciality is working with people experiencing serious mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, psychotic disorders, and bipolar disorder to reduce symptoms, distress, and help people recover so that they can live the life they want to live.

Dr. Best is an active psychotherapy researcher who is currently conducting multiple large-scale clinical trials of psychotherapies for serious mental health conditions. He has published countless research articles and book chapters on serious mental health conditions and is actively involved in improving treatment approaches. He is a Diplomate of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and is Certified by the Canadian Association of Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies. He is a Review Editor for the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry, newsletter editor for the Canadian Association of Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies, and serves on the executive committee of the North American Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Psychosis Network.

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Dr. Amanda Shamblaw, Ph.D.
Clinic Co-Founder

Dr. Shamblaw completed her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. She completed her clinical residency at the University of Manitoba, specializing in perinatal mental health.

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Dr. Pauline Leung, Ph.D., C.Psych.
Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Leung completed her PhD in clinical psychology at Queen's University, and is a licensed clinical and forensic psychologist. At Best Psychological Services, Dr. Leung provides both assessment and treatment. Central to her approach is a striving for collaboration and genuineness within the therapeutic relationship. She works with adults presenting with a variety of difficulties including anxiety, depression, psychosis, anger, and emotion dysregulation. Although Dr. Leung primarily adopts a cognitive-behavioural framework, she flexibly integrates other therapeutic modalities as indicated. Concurrent to her work at Best Psychological Services, Dr. Leung is a staff psychologist with the Forensic Program at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, where she provides services to individuals with severe mental illness who have been in contact with the law. Other relevant experience includes a residency at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, previous employment with Kingston Health Sciences Centre, and training placements at a variety of sites (e.g., private clinics, community-based programs, hospital services) in Kingston, Ontario. 

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Marie Kessaris, MA, Registered Psychotherapist

Marie (MA Counselling Psychology) is a Registered Psychotherapist. Utilizing the structure, theory, and techniques of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), Marie includes strategies from solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT), dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT), and narrative therapy. 

In treating concerns regarding mood, emotion regulation, relationships, and life transitions, Marie acknowledges the strengths and values held by each individual and, through client collaboration, incorporates those elements into strategies and next steps. Marie operates from a trauma-informed, harm-reduction, and anti-oppressive perspective. 

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Sonja Chu, MA

Sonja (MA Clinical Psychology, 2019) is a PhD candidate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Toronto, supervised by Dr. Mike Best. She provides assessment and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for adults with a range of mental health concerns including anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, severe mental illness, adjustment disorders, and depression. She aims to work collaboratively with her clients and integrates Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) into her practice. She has received training at the Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre (Sunnybrook Hospital), Anxiety Treatment and Research Centre (St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton), and Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (University Health Network).

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Chelsea Wood-Ross, MSc

Chelsea is a PhD Candidate in Clinical Psychology at Queen’s University and is working in the clinic under the supervision of Dr. Mike Best. She practices with a collaborative and empathic approach and uses primarily a Cognitive-Behavioural model. Chelsea works with adults of all identities that are experiencing mental health difficulties including depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, emotion regulation difficulties, psychosis, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

 

Chelsea has trained in a number of settings, including the Mood Disorders Service at Providence Care Hospital, Heads Up! Early Psychosis Intervention at Hotel Dieu Hospital, Maple Family Health Team, and the Queen’s Psychology Clinic. Chelsea’s research focuses on cognition and functioning and effective treatment for individuals experiencing mood disorders and psychosis.

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Rob Aidelbaum, MA

Rob Aidelbaum is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Toronto, Scarborough. Throughout his training, he has gained clinical experience through positions in the University of Toronto Health & Wellness Centre, the Sunnybrook Frederick Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre, the St. Joseph’s Hospital’s Clinical Neuropsychology Service, and the Oshawa Psychological and Counselling Service Group. He has experience working with adults presenting with a range of complex issues, including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders,  severe mental illness, interpersonal issues, and other difficulties. His focus is the delivery of scientifically-backed psychological services. Rob’s approach to treatment follows the Cognitive Behavioural framework. Still, he will frequently draw upon techniques and strategies from other orientations, such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing. Working under the supervision of Dr. Mike Best, Rob is providing comprehensive assessment services which integrate client history, presenting mental health concerns, personality, cognitive performance, and current functional impacts. Rob is also actively involved in clinical research focused on clarifying and rehabilitating cognitive aspects of mental illnesses, which continually informs his clinical practice.

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Sylvia Romanowska, MA, MSc

Sylvia is a Ph.D. candidate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Toronto, supervised by Dr. Mike Best. Her focus is providing comprehensive, client-centered psychological assessment services that integrate numerous aspects of functioning and wellbeing. She has experience providing assessment and treatment to adults with a range of mental health and cognitive concerns, including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychosis, trauma, neurological conditions, and acquired brain injury. She has received extensive clinical training through positions in the Edmonton Early Psychosis Clinic, University of Toronto Health & Wellness Centre, North York General Hospital Assessment and Wellness Centre, Toronto Western Hospital Clinical Neuropsychology Service, and Community Head Injury Resource Services Neuropsychology Service.  

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