Toronto Team

Garri Hovhannisyan, M.A., R.P. (Qualifying)

We are all fellow travelers on this journey we call life. Yet the path to where we are meant to go is not always clear or straightforward. Indeed, on this journey we are bound to get lost and become stuck in one way or another, unable to move forward in our relationships with others, ourselves, or even the world. During these moments of difficulty, we might come to feel especially sad, scared, anxious, confused, or even defeated. My goal is to help you to better understand your own inner world so that you may discover a renewed sense of hope, clarity, and confidence in who you are, and develop the wisdom needed to move forward meaningfully in your life.

I provide individual and couples therapy and assessment services for adults of all ages with concerns related to personality, mood, anxiety, trauma, stress, self-esteem, grief, major life transitions, relational concerns, and motivational difficulties. In my clinical work, I offer clients a warm, caring, and collaborative space to thoughtfully explore whatever it is that has brought them to the clinic room. Through this exploratory process, my clients develop a disciplined curiosity toward the difficult and often intolerable feelings in their lives, alongside the resilience and courage to confront these feelings at their very source, to make better sense of what is troubling them, and to ultimately become who they are meant to be.

My approach to therapy is deeply holistic as it integrates existential, psychodynamic, humanistic, and cognitive-behavioural perspectives. Yet it is also highly individualized to fit the unique needs of every client, as no two people are ever the same. To this end, I also offer comprehensive and individualized psychological assessments using various tools in order to arrive at meaningful understandings of clients’ particular therapeutic needs.

In our first meeting together, we will spend some time learning about what has brought you to therapy. Our goal will be to not only understand who you are as a person but also the contextual factors and personal experiences that have shaped you. To this end, I will inquire about aspects of your past and your present, as well as the future (as you have envisioned it for yourself). I might also make use of evidence-based assessment tools to facilitate our process of exploring your inner life and its meanings together. After learning about the sources of distress in your life as well as your personal strengths and resiliencies, we will establish meaningful goals for therapy and create a viable plan for grounding our future work.

Currently, I am a clinical psychology resident at the Centre for Interpersonal Relationships under the supervision of Dr. Dino Zuccarini, C. Psych. and Dr. Brent Mulrooney, C. Psych. Prior to my residency, I held a year-long position as a counselor at the Centre under the supervision of Dr. Lila Hakim. I have also worked at a university psychology clinic for a number of years, providing psychological assessment and psychotherapy services for students and members of the broader community. Earlier in my clinical training, I worked at a psychoeducation centre with young children and adolescents with severe social and developmental difficulties.

I have held a number of teaching and research responsibilities at Duquesne University and am the recipient of several awards in excellence in scholarship in psychology, including a $40,000 Doctoral Fellowship granted by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to support my doctoral research. I have taught undergraduate courses in introductory psychology and cognitive science. My research is highly interdisciplinary and resides at the intersection of philosophy, cognitive science, psychological assessment, and personality theory. To date, I have presented internationally at over 20 academic conferences in philosophy, psychology, and cognitive science, and I hold professional memberships with the Canadian and American Psychological Associations and am a registered psychotherapist (qualifying) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. Below is a list of my most recent academic publications:

Hovhannisyan, G. & Vervaeke, J. (2022). Enactivist big five theory. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 21, 341-375.

Hovhannisyan, G. (2022). Specifying the conditions for a theory of teleology in cognitive science. Journal ofTheoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 42(3), 131-145.

Hovhannisyan, G., Henson, A., & Sood, S. (2019). Enacting virtual reality: The philosophy and cognitive science of optimal virtual experience. In D. Schmorrow & C. Fidopiastis (Eds.), HCII 2019: Augmented Cognition. [online] Switzerland: Springer, Cham, pp. 225-255.

Hovhannisyan, G. (2018). Humanistic cognitive science. The Humanistic Psychologist. 46(1), 30-52.

Hovhannisyan, G. & Dewey, C. (2017). Natural & normative dynamical coupling. Cognitive Systems Research, 43, 128-139.