February is Psychology Month1 PsychMo

The Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia (APNS) is pleased to announce its free public information sessions to celebrate Psychology Month 2017. Psychology Month raises awareness of the role psychology plays in our lives and in our communities.

As part of our activities marking Psychology Month, APNS is holding events to inform the public about psychology-related topics and to increase awareness of the services psychologists provide to the public. This year’s topics include: getting a better sleep, managing anxiety and stress, and the link between a healthy mind and a healthy body. All topics are listed below by town and date. These public presentations are scheduled in public venues across the provinceduring February. More detailed information about the presentations is available here: http://apns.ca/#Public

In Halifax, we are also offering a free public screening of “Silver Linings Playbook”, a critically acclaimed and entertaining film dealing with mental health issues.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lj5_FhLaaQQ


Thursday, February 9th, 2017 – 7:00 pm.  James McConnell Memorial Library, Sydney

Harman Singh, M.A., R.Psych – “Own Your Wellness: Practical Strategies to Manage Stress”

 Stress occurs when the demands of life exceed the resources we have to manage them. Unfortunately, for many people, stress has become a fact of life. We are familiar with more obvious signs of stress such as, poor sleep, weight gain, and fatigue. Left un-addressed, these can lead to more serious physical and mental health problems. In this talk, the speaker will highlight the impact of everyday stress on our physical and mental health, using an interactive format.  Participants will learn simple and practical strategies to prevent and manage everyday stress, and improve mental wellbeing


 Sunday, February 12th, 2017 – 2 pm. Bedford Library, Bedford

Jacqueline Milner, M.Sc., R.Psych – “Introduction to Mindful Self-Compassion”

 This two-hour workshop offers an opportunity to learn about and experience some of the practices of mindful self-compassion and its benefit on well-being, especially when one is suffering.  Included in this workshop is the three main components of self-compassion:  Mindfulness, Self-Kindness, and Common Humanity.   Self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those who did not receive enough affection in childhood or who feel uncomfortable when they are good to themselves.  It’s a courageous attitude that stands up to harm, including the harm that we inflict on ourselves through self-criticism, self-denial, or self-absorption.  Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to admit our shortcomings, forgive ourselves, motivate ourselves with kindness, care for others, and be fully human.  It has also been proven to lower anxiety and depression, maintain health habits for well-being and lead to more satisfying personal relationships.  This workshop is recommended for anyone interested in learning about self-compassion and beginning to develop a more caring relationship with one self, especially in times of difficulty.


Monday, February 13th, 2017 – 6:30 pm. Halifax Central Library, Spring Garden Rd., Room 301, Halifax

Bonnie Waugh, M.A.S.P., R.Psych & Dr. Diana Cassie, R.Psych – “Adult ADHD”

 In this talk, the speakers will review the characteristics of ADHD in adults and discuss the elements of a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation.  They will also discuss how ADHD symptoms manifest in adulthood and how these symptoms can affect relationships and workplace functioning.  Strategies for managing such symptoms will be presented as well as a list of relevant local resources.


Microsoft Word - PSYCHOLOGY MONTH POSTER 2017Sunday, February 19th, 2017 – 2-4:30 pm. QEII RBC Theatre, 1796 Summer Street. Halifax

“Silver Linings Playbook” Poster

Film and Panel discussion including Dr Jacqueline Cohen, R.Psych, Dr Vicky Wolfe, R.Psych

Sponsors: IWK, NSHA, APNS, Dal, SMU

 Silver Linings Playbook is a movie with psychology themes, and hence a good introduction to discussions on mental health concerns.  The main character (Bradley Cooper) is identified as having bipolar disorder, the Jennifer Lawrence character, though not said in the movie, is thought by internet discussions to have BPD, and the Robert DeNiro character has some significant OCD symptoms.  We expect a lively discussion/talk following the movie.


Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 – 5:30 pm. YMCA, 399 Charlotte Street, Sydney

Harman Singh, M.A., R.Psych – “Healthy Mind-Healthy Body”

 Mental Fitness is just as important as physical fitness. Stress de-conditions the brain and body silently if the symptoms are not recognized early and addressed in a timely fashion. This will be an interactive session focused on recognizing and managing everyday stress.


Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 – 6:30 pm. Halifax Central Library, Spring Garden Rd., Room 301, Halifax

Dr JO Durup, R.Psych – “Getting a Good Night’s Sleep: Coping with Insomnia”

 In today’s overscheduled society, sleep may feel like a luxury when, in fact it is a necessity. Sleep is vital to our health, safety, and overall well-being. Sleep recharges the brain, allowing it to learn and make memories. Insufficient sleep has been linked to car crashes, poor work performance, and problems with mood and relationships. Sleep deprivation also raises the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression and stroke. The audience will learn about the role of sleep in our physical and emotional health, and also learn steps to improve their sleep.


 Tuesday, February 21st, 2017- 6:30 pm. Annapolis Valley Regional Kentville Library, Reading Room, Kentville

Dr R Elaine Campbell, R.Psych – “Understanding and Helping Children Cope with Anxiety”

 This talk will help parents and caregivers better understand what is happening
when a child is anxious, and how anxious feelings can result in thoughts and
behaviors that often are puzzling, worrisome, or problematic. We will then
discuss helpful and unhelpful ways that parents and caregivers can modify the
environment, their own reactions, and help the child cope with and better control
his or her anxiety.


Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 – 7:00 pm. Alderney Gate Library, Dartmouth

Dr Daniel Chorney, R.Psych – “Child and Adolescent Anxiety-What It Is and What Parents Can Do To Help”

 Dr. Chorney will be presenting on the common thoughts, physical symptoms, and behaviours associated with anxiety. Although focused on children and teens, the information provided will also be relevant to adults with anxiety. The evidence-based treatment of anxiety will be discussed, along with a brief overview of what parents can do to help children with anxiety at home. This presentation would be most beneficial to parents/adults who have a child who worries excessively or live with someone experiencing mild to moderate anxiety (not severe). Please note this talk is intended for adults and may not be appropriate for children to attend


 Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 – 12:00 pm. Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Library, Program Room, Main St., Yarmouth

Dr Shelley Goodwin, R.Psych – “How to get more ZZZs: Tips on overcoming poor sleep”

 Can’t sleep? Are you tossing and turning at night and watching the hours tick by on your clock? Insomnia is experienced by 52-64% of adult patients seen by family doctors, with 10-40% of those having severe insomnia, which affects daytime functioning. If you suffer from sleep difficulties or insomnia and want to learn how to get more ZZZ’s, consider coming to this presentation. The speaker will discuss the common things we do that keep us up at night and how to change them.


Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 – 7:00 pm. James McConnell Memorial Library, Sydney

Dr Danielle Shelley, R.Psych – “Staying in the Driver’s Seat When Emotions Flare”

Have you ever felt like your emotions were running the show? Have you ever wished you knew how to take control when your feelings got the better of you? Sometimes we do and say things that we later regret. This is often because we lose control over our emotions. Emotions play an important role in our lives and we also need to know how to manage them. This talk will cover the purpose of emotions, how to be more in control of your emotions, and how to protect yourself from losing control in the first place.


Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 – 6:30 pm. Halifax Central Library, Spring Garden Rd., Room 301, Halifax

Andrea Cook, M.A., R.Psych – “A Holistic and Collaborative Perspective to Anxiety and Stress Management”

Do you ever feel like anxiety or panic just comes out of nowhere? Do you ever wonder how the body, mind, and emotions work together or against each other in stressful situations?   With the latest research stemming from Dr. Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory, this talk will simplify how our systems interact to cause anxiety and improve resiliency. Complete with some comic-relief and a yoga therapy demonstration with techniques focused on breath and anxiety reduction.


Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 – 7:00 pm. Alderney Gate Library, Dartmouth

Dr Amber Fougere, R.Psych – “Striking a Balance: The Importance of Self Care”

Demands come to us from all angles, including work, family, and in between, and sometimes life feels like a juggling game. This presentation will discuss the personal cost of stress, the barriers that prevent people from engaging in healthy self-care practices, and how to overcome these barriers. We will explore what self-care looks like, and learn some practical ways to take care of oneself to achieve psychological health/well-being.


Employer’s Professional Liability Insurance: Are you covered?

Potential pitfalls of relying on an employer’s policy

See this article from CPA-BMS on taking out individual liability insurance rather than rely on employer coverage.

APNS Student Award recipients for 2016

APNS is pleased to announce its Student Awards recipients for 2016.

Congratulations to Katelynn Boerner who has been chosen as the 2016 recipient of the Brian Dufton Prize for Graduate Psychology Students.

Congratulations to Meredith Ivany who has been chosen as the 2016 recipient of  the Gerald Gordon Prize for Undergraduate Psychology Students

Psychologists, Conservatives, calling on province to implement tax credit

Initiative would provide tax credit of up to 100 hours for private psychologists performing pro bono work

By: Yvette d’Entremont Metro  News


 Getting the Psychological services you need

Victor Day, Ph.D.
Dr. Victor Day is president of APNS and in part-time private practice at Marsh-Knickle and Associates.

More than 50 years of research has shown the effectiveness of psychological treatment for many problems, and psychological assessments are very useful for a great variety of issues. Nevertheless, many people who would benefit from psychological services do not access them. There are a variety of reasons for this. One is that many people are unsure of how to do so. In this article I will outline some ways you can do this.

It can seem complicated, because each psychologist specializes in only certain areas of psychology, and some may only work with children or with adults. Moreover, the common ways of accessing other professional services, such as by going to the same person who serves other members of your family, or by asking neighbours or co-workers for recommendations, may not be something you wish to do. It’s not quite the same as looking for a dentist or an accountant.

First, it is helpful to know that about half of practising psychologists in Nova Scotia work just for some public institution or agency, such as a health authority, school system, or university; and about half work full or part-time in private practice.

Public-service and private-practice psychologists are equally qualified and collectively offer similar ranges of services, and sometimes are the same people (e.g. when psychologists working for public institutions also do part-time private practice). The big advantage of accessing psychological services through a publically-funded institution or agency is that the services will be provided without direct cost to you. For some people, this is the only way that they can access psychological services.

However, public services usually are not organized in a way that lets you directly make an appointment
to see a psychologist. Often you will need to be first screened by someone else, who may or may not arrange for you to see a psychologist, depending upon whether you meet certain criteria; or you may need to be referred by some other professional (e.g. a student’s teacher in order to see a school psychologist, or a physician to access some psychologists who specialize in particular health problems). Nevertheless, you have a right to influence the decisions about your care and services. If you want to see a psychologist because you want that type of service a psychologist can provide, then say so, to the person who is doing the screening or referral.

How can you find out what psychological services are available? If you are wondering what’s available within some particular health authority, university or school system, that information is probably available on that institution’s website. If you’re wondering what’s generally available within your community, you can phone 211, or ask your family physician, since family physicians are knowledgeable about local resources.

Alternatively, you may wish to see a private practice psychologist. Private practice psychologists operate out of private offices and charge you for their services. Almost all private health insurance plans, including the ones typically offered to employees of major employers (including the government), cover psychological services, at least up to some limit. An advantage of seeing a private practice psychologist is that it is usually easier and faster to get an appointment. It can be as simple as phoning the psychologist’s office directly yourself, and arranging an appointment within a couple of weeks. But how do you know which psychologist to go to?

There are a variety of ways:
• Search via the APNS website at www.apns.ca, which provides a list of private practice psychologists, which is searchable by areas of expertise, location, gender and languages spoken.
• Phone APNS 902-422-9183 to ask for the contact information of psychologists who can help you with your concerns.
• Ask the advice of your physician, physiotherapist or other health professional whom they might recommend.
• If you have a need for some very specialized service or other special requirements, such that it is not clear from generally available information which psychologist is appropriate, then you may wish to ask a psychologist who is in more general practice whom they would recommend for that particular issue.

Of course, you will also want to meet the psychologist for an initial session, and discuss your concerns and how they might help you, and then decide whether you wish to continue with that person, as you would with any professional relationship.

This Op Ed piece appeared in the Nova Scotia Chronicle Herald newspaper February 28, 2015.


 Globe & Mail Series on Mental Health

We have the evidence… Why aren’t we providing evidence-based care?
Globe & Mail, May 22, 2015

Psychotherapy: A better funding model must be found
Globe & Mail, May 26, 2015

How to fix Canada’s mental health system
Globe & Mail, June 1, 2015

The Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia (APNS)  is a voluntary professional organization established in 1965 to represent psychology in Nova Scotia. APNS is the only provincial association devoted to representing the needs of psychology professionals in the province. APNS promotes psychology as a profession, as a science, and as a means of promoting human welfare.

Visit About APNS for more information