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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.


Dr. Amanda L. 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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Marie Kessaris, MA, RP (Qualifying)

Marie (MA Counselling Psychology) is a qualifying Registered Psychotherapist under the supervision of Dr. Mike Best. 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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