Dr. Felicity Sapp PhD. - Registered Clinical Psychologist
Dr Sapp is a Registered Clinical Psychologist in both Alberta and Ontario, Canada with past registration in the state of California. She has worked in the area of mental health for close to 20 years with particular expertise in the area of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Anxiety Disorders and working with children and adolescents. Dr Sapp is accredited as a Cognitive Behaviour Therapist by the Canadian Association of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and volunteers on the Board of the Scientific Advisory Committee of AnxietyCanada. She collaborates with leading clinicians in the area of Obsessive Compulsive Related Disorders and regularly publishes and presents internationally at conferences in the United States and Canada. She regularly presents webinars for health professionals as part of the Tourette OCD Alberta Network. Dr Sapp is on the Faculty of the Paediatric Behaviour Therapy Training Institute for the International OCD Foundation and provides specialized training and supervision to therapists learning to treat OCD.
Throughout her career, Dr Sapp practiced in a variety of different clinical settings with clients of all ages; however, in 2006 she specialized and gained international experience treating a diversity of people and cultures with moderate to severe anxiety disorders. In an intensive Out Patient program at a leading private anxiety treatment center in Sacramento, California she treated clients who came from across the United States. In this setting, Dr Sapp saw a wide diversity of clients whose anxiety was extremely debilitating, such that they were unable to function in their everyday lives. In addition, she had a thriving private practice specialising in the treatment of clients of all ages with Anxiety and OCD Related Disorders.
Dr Sapp obtained her Bachelor of Science (with Honours in Psychology) Degree from Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She graduated from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario with both her Master of Arts and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on developmental (child) psychology. She completed her clinical internship at the IWK Children's Hospital in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Dr Sapp has extensive experience working with children and adolescents with mental health issues. Prior to working abroad, she was a staff psychologist in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Hotel Dieu Hospital in Kingston, Ontario, where she saw children/teens with a variety of complex psychiatric issues including, mood and anxiety disorders. Dr Sapp also worked in the area of Pediatric Oncology providing assessment and treatment services to children/teens diagnosed with cancer. She worked at Queen’s University Counseling Center, and in various private practices. and was affiliated with both the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at Queen’s University as a lecturer and provided teaching and supervision to students.
Currently, Dr Sapp is the Clinical Director of OCD and Anxiety Psychological Services, founded in 2008, she treats clients suffering from OCD and/or Anxiety disorders, including adults, adolescents and children. Dr Sapp provides evidence based treatment in the form of cognitive-behavioural therapy (including exposure therapy, exposure and response prevention therapy and habit reversal training). Her therapeutic approach is individually based, respectful and supportive as she helps clients gradually learn how to face their fears at a pace that ensures they are not overwhelmed. She often uses humour, when appropriate, to teach clients the necessary skills to manage their anxiety and OCD symptoms.
In addition, Dr Sapp is passionate about educating and raising awareness of the impact that OCD and anxiety can have on an individual's ability to function in everyday life. Dr Sapp volunteers for Anxiety Canada (as a Scientific Advisory Committee Board member), contributing articles and participating in advocacy efforts speaking to representatives of the Alberta government in order to raise awareness and gain support for the treatment of anxiety disorders in Alberta. In an effort to give back to the community, raise awareness and provide support for children, adolescents and their families suffering from OCD, Dr Sapp created a team - The OCD Challengers - and since September 2018, participated in the RBC Race for the Kids in support of the Alberta Children's Hospital and raised over $ 24K.
Dr. Daniel Kopala-Sibley joined OCD and Anxiety Psychological Servies as an Associate to provide psychological treatment to adults and older adolescents who suffer from Anxiety Disorders, OCD and mood disorders. He completed his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at McGill University and currently is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Calgary. His clinical training was at the Allan Memorial Institute in Montreal where he trained in cognitive behavioural and schema-focused therapy approaches for the treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, anxiety, and depression.
He has a particular interest in helping individuals deal with adverse childhood experiences and issues pertaining to being harshly self-critical, perfectionistic, and having low self-esteem. His research also focuses on how childhood experiences influence how people develop thoughts and beliefs about themselves, and how these put people at risk for depression and anxiety. He enjoys working with individuals to help them better understand how their beliefs and attitudes influence their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours in daily life.
He uses a compassionate, non-judgmental approach as he believes that the relationship between the therapist and client is integral to psychotherapy. While psychological difficulties are impairing and can be hard to overcome, he tries to motivate his clients to understand where their difficulties stem from and how to make meaningful changes in their lives to improve their wellbeing. He studies risk and resilience factors for depression and anxiety in youth and adults and has published a variety of studies on these topics. His approach to psychological treatment incorporates this research interest. In his spare time, he loves cooking (and food in general), travelling, reading, and exercise.
Dr. Mark Brechtel is a Registered Clinical Psychologist in Alberta, with a past registration in the state of Georgia. He joined OCD and Anxiety Psychological Services as an Associate to provide psychological services to mature minors and adults who suffer from anxiety disorders, OCD and related concerns. Dr. Brechtel completed his BA with Distinction in Psychology at the University of Colorado. He was awarded the J. Hillis Miller Presidential Fellowship at the University of Florida, where he completed both his MSc and PhD in Psychology. During Dr. Brechtel’s doctoral internship (University of Kansas) and post-doctoral fellowship (University of Georgia) he worked with faculty, staff, and students on issues ranging from depression, anxiety, and relationships, to academic, career, and life choices, questions of sexual and other identities, and larger questions of meaning. At Georgia he also co-led a mindfulness group for anxiety and stress issues. After leaving the University of Georgia he joined a general psychology practice, where, in addition to the above issues, he specialized in substance use, including leading groups for mature teens with substance abuse concerns.
In 2008 he opened his own private practice, where he treated individuals, couples, and those in non-traditional relationships, from mature minors to seniors. In addition to continuing to work with the issues mentioned above, he conducted formal psychological and cognitive evaluations for Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation, Family and Children Services, The University of Georgia Student Services, and various other interests. He also provided required psychological assessments for gender transition surgeries, bariatric surgeries, and fitness for duty and other employment determinations. During his time in Georgia, he was a lecturer in psychology at Athens Technical College in Georgia and at the University of Florida.
He has a strong interest in working with marginalized individuals of any race, gender, or identity. His theoretical orientation is ‘constructivist’, meaning that he believes that people are active learners, and that we construct our understanding of the world and others through our experiences in life. When we have an experience, we influence what that experience means to us – and about us. He believes that since we are learners, we can learn something new, something different, like more helpful ways of understanding ourselves, of responding to difficult situations, of interacting with others, and of moving forward towards what we really value. We can change, we don’t have to stay on a path that is not helpful, and therapy teaches you to make the changes you want in an effective and positive way.
Dr. Brechtel primarily uses evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy, but pulls in aspects of other psychological treatment modalities, so that treatment is individualised to the clients’ particular needs. Regardless of treatment orientation, his therapy style is supportive and interactive, with a focus on skill development and longer-term solutions. “My job is to provide this safe place, to explore with you your thoughts, feelings, and concerns, and together with you develop goals for our work together. With these goals in hand, my task is to teach, guide, and support you in your journey. Your task is to take the journey.”
Dr. Brechtel notes that he did a lot of things in his life before he became a psychologist. “I’ve been a laborer, a parent/stepparent/foster parent, a farm hand, an electronics tech, a cook, a service manager, and I’ve taught Psychology in a major US university. I bring a lot of 'real-life' experience to my work - not just experience as a psychologist or theories I’ve learned.” Dr. Brechtel’s core mantra as a psychologist is: “There’s nothing wrong with you. There’re just things you want to change.” He enjoys helping people learn this about themselves and helping them make the changes they desire.
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