DND Psychologists serving CAF Members
By Dr. Emily Orr,
R.Psych, CF H Svcs C (A)
February is National Psychology Month. It is therefore a great opportunity to define the typical occupational responsibilities of psychologists, while also highlighting the role and contributions of DND psychologists serving CAF members in MARLANT. At the conclusion of this article, you will find upcoming presentations from psychologists in the civilian community during National Psychology Month.
Psychologists’ primary roles are to provide assessment, consultation, and counselling/therapy services. They can diagnose and treat mental illnesses, and often work in collaboration with psychiatrists, family physicians, mental health nurses, social workers, addiction counsellors, case managers, and chaplains.
According to the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), a Psychologist “studies how we think, feel and behave from a scientific viewpoint and applies this knowledge to help people understand, explain and change their behaviour.” Psychologists may specialize in certain areas; for example, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, addictions, developmental disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They work in clinical settings, research and/or education.
Psychologists have extensive training in the variety of empirical treatment methods. The methods they employ will depend on the particular circumstances of the patient they are working with. Treatment is significantly more than just talk! For example, one method is specifically designed to assist patients in increasing their motivation. Another method involves changing negative patterns of thinking and behaviour. Yet another example is a method that focuses on changing behaviours to better match the patient’s values and beliefs. Several of the Psychologists here at Canadian Forces Health Services Centre (Atlantic) (CF H Svcs C (A)) also have additional training in highly specialized treatment methods, such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).
CF H Svcs C (A) employs seven Psychologists in Mental Health Services. In general, CAF members in MARLANT have more timely access to Psychology services than the general civilian population. At a ratio of approximately one Psychologist for every 1,400 members, MARLANT has nearly double the number of Psychologists compared to what is available to the general civilian population of Nova Scotia. This means that CAF members have relatively fast access to Psychologists, with wait times much shorter than they are for the general civilian population.
Meet our Psychologists! They are working in different departments.
General Mental Health Program (GMH): non-service related mental health conditions:
Chimène Jewer, M.Sc.: specialty areas include anxiety, depression, personality disorders, eating disorders, chronic pain, and trauma/posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); 13 years of experience (3 years with the CAF).
Dr. Tina Oates-Johnson: speciality areas include anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders, personality disorders and trauma-related disorders; 19 years of experience (15 years with the CAF).
Addiction Prevention and Treatment Program (APT): substance use disorders and other addictions
Mary McGrath, M.Sc.: Program Manager; specialty areas include addictions (alcohol, drugs, gambling, and gaming), sexual behaviour problems and concurrent disorders such as depression, anxiety, trauma, and personality disorders; background in forensic psychology; 24 years of experience (17 years with the CAF) .
Dr. Emily Orr: specialty areas include addictions, posttraumatic stress disorder, and extensive history working with people with eating disorders across the lifespan; 8 years of experience (3 years with the CAF).
Operational Trauma and Stress Support Centre (OTSSC): trauma-related mental health conditions
Dr. Sheila MacNeil: in addition to general mental health, specialty areas include trauma-related disorders, sexual health, chronic health conditions, individual and couple therapy, 17 years of experience (1 year with the CAF)
Patricia Roache, M.Sc.: Program Manager; speciality areas include posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression; background in forensic psychology and outpatient general mental health; 14 years of experience (7 years with the CAF).
Susan Young, M.Ed.: specializing in trauma-related disorders such as post-traumatic stress, and extensive experience with general mental health in community/hospital/secure settings; 14 years of experience (4 years with the CAF) with individual, couples and group therapy.
All of our Psychologists are registered with The Nova Scotia Board of Examiners in Psychology (NSBEP), whose mandate is to protect the public by ensuring that providers are properly trained and qualified. For more information about Psychologists, consult NSBEP, the Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia (APNS) www.apns.ca and/or the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) www.cpa.ca.
For more information on Mental Health programs, consult CF H Svcs C (A), http://halifax.mil.ca/cfhsvcsca/(DWAN). In the civilian community, the Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia (APNS) will be sponsoring several presentations during Psychology Month. These are free to attend if members or others are interested.