BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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.
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.
Kayla Hamel is a psychologist in supervised practice currently completing a postdoctoral fellowship through the CAMH on a community collaboration providing wraparound supports for youth who have experienced homelessness. She also works part-time completing court-mandated psychological assessments for youth offenders, and in private practice. She is a graduate of York University’s Clinical Developmental Psychology program where she conducted research centered around positive mental health and resilience. Her dissertation research was conducted with a sample of street-involved children and youth in Nicaragua in order to develop a context- and culture-specific model of resilience that illuminated the diverse manifestations of resilience, and provided avenues for developing interventions to support well-being in this marginalized and understudied group of young people. 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! Throughout both clinical and research endeavours over the past few years, Kayla has enriched her knowledge of CBS approaches and has been using self-compassion and flexibility to benefit her clients – and herself.
Stephanie Mathewson is a Registered Psychotherapist. She has past experience working at a community based mental health agency. She started her online private practice in February 2020. She is based in Toronto, however her clientele spans all of Ontario. Her primary focus is working with young adults who struggle with anxiety. She received her Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University. She first became interested in mindfulness during her undergrad at University of Toronto and then discovered ACT later on from a therapist at a party. The idea of acceptance really resonated with her as she spent a lot of her teenage years trying to control her own thoughts and feelings. She found this only seemed to make her life smaller in the long run. She is committed to continue learning how to apply ACT more precisely, and understand its contextual behavioural roots. She is also very excited to be a part of the ACBS community!
Dr. Betül Alaca received her Ph.D. in School and Clinical Child Psychology from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Presently, she is a Psychologist (Supervised Practice) at a youth detention facility where her main roles are to provide treatment for youth with complex mental health needs and consult with staff on how to best support them. She also works as a Consultant with the Toronto District School Board where she delivers psycho-educational assessments and consults with school staff on how to best support students’ learning needs. Dr. Alaca also provides services to children, adolescents, and parents through private practice.
Shlomo Radcliffe is a Toronto-based Registered Psychotherapist with a practice focused on integrating contextually-focused behavioural approaches to help clients struggling with issues related to anger and anxiety. Shlomo holds a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology and is currently enrolled in Yorkville University's Doctor of Counselling and Psychotherapy program. Shlomo is passionate about all things ACT and eager to grab every new ACT book release as it comes out. Although his wife would like him to spend less time reading and more time helping out with the kids, Shlomo happily reminds her of his commitment to his values-focused action of learning all things ACT. While his wife considers broad applications of how best to 'defuse' Shlomo, his nomination to the ACBS board will surely help him learn how to more effectively apply and share the principles of contextual behavioural science while keeping his mind, body, and self fully alive and in the present.
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer
Dr. Maisha Syeda is a licensed clinical, school, and counselling psychologist In Ontario. Dr. Syeda is a Clinician-Scientist in the Centre for School Mental Health at Western University and leads the research on newcomer mental health and resilience. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Western University and provides direct services and clinical supervision at the Mary J. Wright Child and Youth Development Clinic. Dr. Syeda’s research is on developing, implementing, and evaluating culturally-responsive multitiered interventions with newcomer children, youth, and families. Additionally, she researches how to develop and implement effective clinical training and supervision protocols to support mental health trainees in integrating anti-racist and anti-oppressive principles, conceptualization, and techniques in their work. In addition to her Western appointment, she is a psychologist and supervisor at Toronto Psychology Centre. In her role as a Member at Large for the Ontario board of the Association for Contextual Behavioural Science, she develops and delivers knowledge mobilization focusing on equity and anti-racism in mental health care.
Elspeth M. Evans
Dr. Elspeth Evans (she/her) is a clinical/counselling psychologist working in London, ON with adolescents and adults. Although she identifies as an integrative therapist, the integrative theory and practices of ACT often form a foundation for the conceptualization and approaches she employs with clients. In the last 5 years she has completed a number of ACT workshops and trainings including Steven Hayes's 2 day ACT as a Process-Based Approach workshop (2019), Russ Harris's ACT as a Brief Intervention 6-week online certificate course (2020), Dr Hayes's ACT Immersion 10-week online certificate course (2020), Dr. Harris's ACT for Trauma 6-week online certificate course (2021), and Dr. Harris's ACT for Grief and Loss 4-week online certificate course (2021).
Although Dr. Evans has been out of the academic setting for a few years, she retains an interest in staying up-to-date on recent publications in the field of psychotherapy in general and ACT in particular. Being part of the ACBS listserv helps.
Sharon Bae is currently completing her MEd in Counselling Psychology at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, and received her BA in Psychology at York University and BSc in Biology at the University of Guelph. She conducted her honours thesis on group process in virtually-delivered group trauma therapy, looking at the relationship between group climate factors and therapy outcomes. She assisted Dr. Leslie Greenberg's research developing a model of client change process in Emotion-Focused Therapy, specifically the role of self-interruption. In addition to research, she co-facilitates psychoeducational trauma group therapy offered at Bear Psychology's Trauma Practice for Healthy Communities. Sharon is passionate about process-oriented and evidence-based therapy and research, and although new to ACT and CBS, she's eager to deepen her learning and contribute to the vibrant ACBS community.