Rita Dunn, Ed.D, R.Psych

I am a registered psychologist with the College of Psychologists, B.C.  I have a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology, and a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology, both from the University of British Columbia.  I worked for many years as a school counsellor and as a school psychologist in two metro Vancouver school districts, and have been working in private practice for over eight years.

 My post-doctoral interest has been more in providing therapy than in psychoeducational assessment, although I have qualifications in both areas of practice.  Currently, I focus on therapy with adolescents and adults, with issues related to anxiety, depression, and trauma.  I also provide consultation to parents.  My approach to therapy is primarily evidence-based or cognitive-behavioral, which emphasizes the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.  As well, I have some family systems training  (considering the themes and messages in your family of origin) that is often helpful in therapy.  I assist clients in developing more balanced thinking practices and in making the small behavioural changes that assist with increased positivity and functioning along with reduced anxiety.

My goal in therapy is to establish a collaborative relationship between myself and my client.  I have found over the years that clients report being apprehensive about beginning therapy because they are concerned that their therapist might become the “expert” on their life and provide advice they don’t want.  This is not my view of therapy and it is not my interpretation of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT).  I rather see therapy as an alliance between me and my client.  During my sessions, my clients are very involved in pacing and managing the process.  CBT is a collaborative process that builds upon success as one takes small steps in moving towards balanced thinking and in making small behavioral changes that reduce anxiety and assist with depressed mood.

Recommended reading: Mind Over Mood, Second Edition
Dennis Greenberger,PhD/Christine A.Padesky, PhD

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