Toronto Team

Dr. Sharon Chan, C.Psych. (Supervised Practice)

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

 – A.A. Milne

My clinical work is guided by a belief in the intrinsic good of others and by unconditional positive regard towards my clients. What I love most about the human spirit is its resiliency and its ability to thrive in spite of adversity. 

Many people worry about what “going to therapy” means. In reality, most people could benefit from therapy. Just in the way that most people could benefit from exercise and annual check-ups for their physical health, our mental health deserves the same care towards prevention and treatment. Mental health affects every domain of our life from relationships and work productivity to that elusive construct of happiness. Everyone encounters hardship at some point throughout their life. Sometimes burdens become overwhelming to carry alone. Coming to therapy means that you have made a brave commitment to change or towards confronting some difficulty in your life, yet the process has been difficult, or the road very lonely. Rather than focusing on ‘illness’ or ‘dysfunction’, we will work together towards actualizing your full potential and maximizing your wellbeing. I will help you become an active agent of change in your own life and support you through this journey.

I draw on a rich background of relational and skills-focused techniques to offer a therapeutic process that best fits your personal needs. I have worked with clients using psychodynamic, emotion-focused, attachment-based, behavioural, and cognitive-behavioural approaches to therapy. When helpful, I am able to draw on more specialized techniques such as trauma-informed therapy, play therapy, parent and teacher consultation, collaborative problem-solving, and family therapy. My past clients have experienced a wide-range of presenting concerns, including but not limited to mood disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety), distorted/dysfunctional thought patterns, self-harming behaviours and suicidal ideation, trauma, interpersonal/relational and family conflict, disordered eating, concerns with self-image and self-esteem, as well as neurodevelopmental and learning disabilities. I have also worked with families to address sensitive topics such as marital conflict, co-parenting within blended families, as well as oppositionality and aggression in children. 

In our first meeting, I invite you to share your primary concerns as we piece together your personal story through a scientific-based assessment. Together we will begin using this information to develop your therapeutic goals and an individualized, evidence-based treatment plan. In subsequent sessions, we will work towards understanding the origin of these issues, how your difficulties affect your current day to day relationships and functioning, and what factors are helpful or hindering towards alleviating distress.

Trained under the scientist-practitioner model, I recognize the importance of incorporating evidence-based practice into my clinical techniques. My breadth of research expertise has also imparted a heightened sensitivity towards working with vulnerable populations through a unique multicultural and developmental lens.

My education includes a Hons B.Sc. specializing in Psychology from the University of Toronto and an M.Sc. in Experimental Lifespan Psychology from the University of Victoria in British Colombia. As of September 2020, I will be completing an accredited doctoral residency in Clinical Psychology at the Toronto Area Consortium (TARC), after which I will officially receive a Ph.D. designation from the School and Clinical Child Psychology program at the University of Toronto. As a therapist at CFIR, I work under the supervision of Dr. Brent Mulrooney, C.Psych.

Prior to joining the team at CFIR, I have served as a primary assessor and therapist at the SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), the Psychology Clinic at the University of Toronto/Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and as a psychometrist in private practice. I have also planned and carried out long-term academic remediation for individuals with comorbid learning and neurodevelopmental disorders. I welcome clients across the lifespan (preschool/school-aged/ and adolescent youth, parents and families, and adults). 

Selected publications and referred conference presentations:

Chan, S., Mueller, U., & Masson, M. E. (2019). Far-transfer effects of strategy-based working memory training. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 1285.

Grigoroglou, M., Chan, S., & Ganea, P. A. (2019). Toddlers’ understanding and use of verbal negation in inferential reasoning search tasks. Journal of experimental child psychology, 183, 222-241.

Chan, S. (2014). Cognitive shifts in childhood and working memory development. Conference paper presented at the 44th Annual Meeting of the Jean Piaget Society (Social development: Current trends and perspectives), San Francisco.

Chan, S. (2013). The contribution of dyadic social interaction to the development of executive functioning. Conference paper presented at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Jean Piaget Society (Social development: Current trends and perspectives), Chicago.