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Kathryn Palmer


Kathryn Palmer is a Registered Psychotherapist working in private practice at the Ottawa River Psychology Group in Ottawa, Ontario. She provides individual, couple, and group therapy services to the Ottawa community. Much of her practice involves supporting individuals with anxiety, ADHD, and relationship issues. She also has a special interest in working with university students. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy has significantly influenced the way she works in her practice as well as the way she lives her life. She has been passionate about pursuing training and supervision in order to share this approach with her community. In addition to her clinical work, Kathryn has been involved in organizing ACT training events for professionals in the community. In 2016, she also founded the Ottawa Affiliate of ACBS in an effort to help local act-enthusiasts connect and organize peer-led training events.

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Sarah Walsh is a Registered Social Worker and recently joined ACBS in 2018. Her excitement about ACT is driven by almost 10 years of clinical experience in child and adolescent mental health, and it’s broad applicability and accessibility to the experience of suffering. She has worked in both inpatient mental health and community based mental health services. Currently, she is providing individual, group and family therapy to youth and families involved in residential treatment. Although a relatively new member and learner in the ACT community, she is working to learn and apply ACT with clients along with other mindfulness based behavioural therapies.


Eli Cwinn

Chair Elect

Dr. Eli Cwinn is a Clinical Psychologist, and he has been learning and practicing ACT and Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) since 2012. He has used ACT and CFT with children, teens, young adults, and parents in secure detention, schools, community mental health agencies, and private practices in numerous agencies in Southern Ontario. Eli also does ACT and CFT with adults in private practice in Toronto, Ontario. Eli has a passion for CFT, ACT, and contextual behaviour science, and he runs free trainings and also provides ACT and CFT supervision and consultation. Currently, Eli is completing a post-doc in School Mental Health where, among other things, he is developing and piloting a modular CFT treatment for children and early adolescents. As part of his post-doctoral appointment, he is also training emerging psychologists in ACT, CFT, and contextual behaviour science.

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Sofia Lopoukhine


Sofia Lopoukhine, a Registered Psychotherapist, deeply appreciates the highly respectful CBS therapeutic stance where the client is the expert in their own life and the therapist treats the client as an equal, vulnerable human being and customizes interventions based on processes and not on protocols to fit the client’s experience and needs. Sofia works with individual adults in private practice which she named, Counselling with Compassion, and has a special interest in helping people with chronic pain and illnesses. She began learning about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in 2015 through self-study and since then her fondness for Contextual Behavioural Science has expanded to also include Compassion Focused Therapy. After attending her first training session with Steve Hayes in 2016, she became passionate about this approach and actively sought to create a local community of fellow ACT practitioners gathering email addresses of other interested locals, which coincided nicely with the founding of the Ottawa Affiliate of ACBS. Meeting other ACBS therapists through the Affiliate, the Ontario chapter, many ACT trainings such as with Kelly Wilson and Robyn Walser, as well as WorldCon brought meaningful experiences (especially with real-plays and peer consultations) and some important people into her life that continue to offer professional and personal support. Sofia would like to help expand the awareness of ACT and CFT in the larger psychotherapy community and help other practitioners discover the supportive, values-driven people and organization that is ACBS.   


Kayla Hamel

Student Representative

Kayla Hamel is a doctoral student in York University’s Clinical Developmental Psychology program, conducting research centered around positive mental health and resilience. Her dissertation research was conducted with a sample of street-involved children and youth in Nicaragua with the objective of developing a context- and culture-specific model of resilience that can be used to inform interventions and policies supporting healthy development in this group. Additionally, she has conducted research exploring the role of exercise and mindfulness in the cultivation of self-compassion. Her non-academic passion teaching fitness classes provides an avenue for her to build physical and mental wellness in her clients!


Kayla has completed several practicum placements working with children, youth and families in Toronto. She is new to ACT, having taken a number of workshops, and is eager to implement her learnings while on internship at CAMH next year.


Kayla is also the co-founder of a wellness initiative at York University, which aims to promote balance and self-care for graduate students.




Dr. Kimberly Sogge C.Psych. Is a psychologist trained in the scientist-practitioner model at Texas A&M University. Dr. Sogge has been a member of ACBS since 2005, is involved in Women in ACBS, Ottawa ACBS, and the growing Compassion Focused Network in Canada and North America. She completed her doctoral residency in the inaugural year of the Behavioral Health track at the University of Texas at Austin where she and colleagues introduced mindfulness based stress reduction teaching and the integration of psychologists into primary care to the Student Health Service at the University of Texas at Austin.  She has worked as faculty of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry at the Texas A&M College of Medicine and has published in medical education and the emotional processes of the physician-patient working alliance. She returned home to Canada in 2007 where she worked at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in the Medical Psychology team, and later moved to Ontario where she worked in community hospitals as a psychologist in Eating Disorders and Women’s Health, and later as Chief of Psychology Professional Practice at the Royal Ottawa Hospital.  In Canada’s capital she has been a leader in promoting evidence-based Third Wave interventions in health and mental health, mindfulness and compassion-based psychotherapy practice, and the development of the ACBS professional community. She currently works full time seeing patients, teaching mindfulness and self compassion, and supporting the team of clinicians at the group practice she founded, Ottawa River Psychology Group. Ottawa River Psychology Group is a vibrant collaboration between psychotherapists and psychologists dedicated offering the full range of Third Wave interventions for wellbeing and growth.




Sean is a Registered Psychotherapist. He has served as Ontario ACBS Treasurer since 2017. Sean works as a Clinical Coordinator for a program that supports and advocates for health professionals with psychiatric or substance use concerns. He has previously worked in an inpatient addiction treatment program and has held positions in the community working with a wide range of clients, including those with co-occurring mental health and substance use concerns and individuals involved in the criminal justice system.