Ottawa Team

Joana Mukunzi Ntunga, B.Sc.


Do you feel like the challenges in your life are becoming increasingly harder to manage? When you’re in that place, it can seem like you are alone, and it can be overwhelming. The good news is that it’s a feeling shared by many, and you don’t have to keep feeling that way. While you may currently struggle or feel discouraged, making the decision to seek help is courageous and for that, you should feel proud. The next important step will be to find someone who can provide you with support, in a way that fits your needs. 

I provide evidence-based therapy and assessment services to children, adolescents, young adults, and families in French and English. Difficulties managing emotions, thoughts or behaviours can happen to anyone at any age and it can have a significant impact on our relationships, our physical and mental wellbeing, and on our functioning (e.g., at school or at work). I provide services that are adapted to the developmental age of individuals, and I aim to create a safe, respectful, and non-judgmental space for people of all backgrounds. It is particularly important to me have an approach that is culturally informed and grounded in anti-oppressive practices. I work collaboratively with individuals to establish and achieve their goals for therapy and/or assessment. 

I have experience working with individuals who experience various mental health concerns, including but not limited to anxiety, stress, depression, emotional dysregulation, anger, interpersonal challenges, traumatic experiences, self-esteem and self-growth difficulties. In addition, I have experience conducting comprehensive psychoeducational assessments for individuals who wish to better understand their learning and cognitive profile. This type of evaluation may be recommended to assess giftedness, learning disabilities, intellectual delays, attention/deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder, amongst others. 

Some people feel anxious at the thought of seeing a mental health professional, because they are not sure what it entails. During our first meeting, we will get to know one another, discuss what led you to seek services and what your objectives and hopes are for therapy. Following this, we will conduct an assessment using evidence-based measures, questionnaires and discuss your history to establish a treatment plan that is best suited to your goals. I use an integrative approach to therapy, meaning that I employ theories and methods from different modalities, including cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, interpersonal and attachment focused therapy and trauma-focused therapy. 

For psychoeducational assessments, after the initial meeting, we will typically complete standardized tests to evaluate your academic and cognitive abilities. Other measures of your socio-emotional and behavioural functioning may also be used, depending on your specific concerns. This information will then be integrated into a comprehensive report and recommendations based on your needs will be provided. 

I have worked in different settings, including at the Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB), The Child, Adolescent and Family Centre of Ottawa (CAFCO), and the Centre for Psychological Services at the University of Ottawa (CPSR). I am currently a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Ottawa, and I am supervised by Dr. Nalini Iype, C. Psych. at the Centre for Interpersonal Relationships (CFIR). 

As a doctoral student, I also conduct research. My research is centred on the experience of Black youth in various institutions, including the child welfare system and post-secondary establishments. I am also interested in global mental health. I have published several articles in scientific journals and presented at conferences. I am a member of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) and I actively follow developments in the psychology literature to offer services based on the current scientific evidence and recommendations. Some of my recent publications include: 

Cénat, J. M., Mukunzi, J. N., Amédée, L. M., Clorméus, L. A., Dalexis, R. D., Lafontaine, M.-F., Guerrier, M., Michel, G., & Hébert, M. (2022). Prevalence and factors related to dating violence victimization and perpetration among a representative sample of adolescents and young adults in Haiti. Child Abuse & Neglect, 128, 105597. 

Cénat, J. M., Kokou-Kpolou, C. K., Mukunzi, J. N., Dalexis, R. D., Noorishad, P.-G., Rousseau, C., Derivois, D., Bukaka, J., Balayulu-Makila, O., & Guerrier, M. (2021). Ebola virus disease, stigmatization, peritraumatic distress, and posttraumatic stress disorder in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: A moderated mediation model. Journal of Affective Disorders293, 214–221. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2021.06.047

Cénat, J. M., Noorishad, P. G., Czechowski, K., McIntee, S. E., & Mukunzi, J. (2020).  Racial disparities in child welfare in Ontario (Canada) and training on ethnocultural diversity: An innovative mixed-methods study. Child abuse &  neglect, 108, 104659 

Mukunzi J.N. (2022). Comment élever des enfants antiracistes. EducoFamille. https://educofamille.com/enfants-antiracistes/

Treatments

Therapies

CFIR OTTAWA moved to its new home on JULY 4TH, 2022. Click here for more details.