Toronto Team

Somayyeh Kamalou, M.A.


There are moments in your lives when you may feel overwhelmed and unable to overcome the challenges you face, both within yourself and with others. In these times, it can be helpful to shift your perspective on how you view yourself, others, and the world around you. By processing the nature of your psychological struggles and seeking adaptive strategies to cope with difficult situations, you can find relief from pain. To do so, you don’t have to navigate these difficulties alone; you deserve to seek out the best possible psychological care as a crucial step towards self-care and self-advocacy. I encourage and value the courage it takes to reach out for support, and I believe that together we can embark on a journey of self-exploration and insight.

With six years of extensive training and experience across various settings working with diverse populations, I am confident in my ability to provide a safe and accepting environment for collaborative exploration. In this therapeutic space, you will have an opportunity to gain understanding of your internal experiences while developing healthy coping skills that promote growth. I offer services in English and Persian to accommodate individuals who prefer either language.

I completed a Bachelor of Arts (B.A., Honours) in Psychology from the University of Waterloo in 2014, and a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Clinical and Counselling Psychology at the University of Toronto in 2020. I am currently pursuing my Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Clinical and Counselling Psychology at the University of Toronto. I have previously provided psychological assessment and treatment services within university settings (OISE clinic: U of T), hospitals (Sunnybrook Inpatient Residential Treatment Program; anxiety center), and private practice (Oshawa Psychological & Counselling Services: OPCS, Triloka Psychology, and Church Wellesley Counselling and Psychotherapy: CWCP). At the Centre for Interpersonal Relationships, I am a clinical psychology resident under the supervision of Dr. Lila Hakim, C.Psych. I am also a member of the Canadian Psychological Association and the Ontario Psychological Association. 

In my clinical practice, I offer a confidential and secure environment where you can openly address your mental health symptoms and concerns. Whether these issues originate from your childhood or present-day life, I provide a compassionate and non-judgmental space for exploration. My goal is to assist you in overcoming distressing thoughts, emotions, and behaviors associated with conditions such as depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, complex trauma, and PTSD. Additionally, I work with individuals who are coping with grief and loss, adjusting to health-related conditions or other life events, and navigating interpersonal difficulties. I am equipped to help you manage various emotional challenges, such as anger, shame, guilt, fear, and any overwhelming emotions that may be affecting your well-being. Furthermore, I offer support for clients facing parenting challenges, stress management difficulties, and low self-esteem concerns. Together, we can address these areas of struggle and work towards finding effective solutions.

During our initial session, I will inquire about the challenges you are currently facing and collaborate with you to establish the goals you wish to accomplish throughout our therapeutic journey. To gain a comprehensive understanding of how your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors have been impacting your well-being and relationships, I will request that you complete various questionnaires. Additionally, I will gather information about your personal background and life experiences in order to comprehend any contributing factors to your present struggles. As an integrative psychotherapist, my approach combines elements from different therapeutic modalities such as Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), client-centered therapy, attachment-based psychotherapy, and psychodynamic therapy.  By utilizing these diverse evidence-based approaches, I aim to assist you in reaching your desired goals through delving into your emotions, addressing any challenging behaviors and thoughts you may be experiencing, and develop coping skills in a safe and welcoming environment. Together, we will navigate through these techniques to support your growth and progress.

I have published journal articles and presented papers at multiple conferences. I have received prestigious external awards and university-awarded scholarships over the course of my graduate studies. Specifically, I have received a Master’s-level Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS-M) and Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funding in support of my master’s thesis research. I am also the recipient of PhD-level OGS and SSHRC scholarships in support of my Doctoral dissertation research on the factors contributing to the process and outcome of Emotion-Focused Therapy for clients who experience Major Depressive Disorder. Below are some recent publications:

PUBLICATIONS

Published Manuscript

Kamalou, S., Shaughnessy, K., & Moscovitch, D.A. (2019). Social Anxiety in the Digital Age: The Measurement and Sequelae of Online Safety-Seeking. Computers in Human Behavior, 90, 10-17.

Shaughnessy, K., Rocheleau, J. N., Kamalou, S., Moscovitch, D. A. (2017, April), The Effects of Social Anxiety and Online Privacy Concern on Individual Differences in Internet-Based Interaction Anxiety and Communication Preferences, Cyberpsychology. behavior and social networking, 20(4), p. 212-217

Unpublished Manuscript

Kamalou, S., Watson, J. (Submitted). Pre- and Post-Attachment Style in Emotion Focused Therapy: The Mediation Role of Resolution of Self-Criticism Process. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice.

Conference Presentations

Kamalou, S., Shaughnessy, K., & Moscovitch, D.A. (2015, May). Does level of safety matter? Online vs. offline safety behaviours in social anxiety. In Ellis, W., Mitchell, J., Swartzman, L., & Tsang C. The Ontario Psychology Undergraduate Thesis Proceedings. Paper presented at the 45th Annual Ontario Psychology Undergraduate Thesis Conference: London, ON: Western University.

Abstract Publications

Kamalou, S., Shaughnessy, K., & Moscovitch, D.A. (2016). Does level of safety matter? Online vs. offline safety behaviours in social anxiety. Personality and Individual Differences, 101(1), page 487.

Kamalou, S., Shaughnessy, K., & Moscovitch, D.A. (2015, November). Does level of safety matter? Online vs. offline safety behaviours in social anxiety. Canadian Psychological Association Fall clinical section newsletter, 26(1), p21.

Poster Presentations

Kamalou, S., Shaughnessy, K., & Moscovitch, D.A. (2015, May). Does level of safety matter? Online vs. offline safety behaviours in social anxiety. In Ellis, W., Mitchell, J., Swartzman, L., & Tsang C. The Ontario Psychology Undergraduate Thesis Proceedings. Paper presented at the 45th Annual Ontario Psychology Undergraduate Thesis Conference: London, ON: Western University.

Kamalou, S., Shaughnessy, K., Moscovitch, D. A. (June 2021), Looking for a safe haven online: Development and Psychometrics of the Seeking Online Safety Questionnaire, Poster presented at the Canadian Psychological Association’s 2021 Virtual Convention.

Kamalou, S., Watson, J. C. (June 2021), The Role of Attachment Style in Resolution of Self-criticism Process, Poster presented at the Canadian Psychological Association’s 2021 Virtual Convention.

Rocheleau, J. N., Shaughnessy, K., Kamalou, S., Moscovitch, D. A. (May 2016), Exploring the Relationship Between Social Anxiety Online and Online Privacy Concern, Poster presented the 28th Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention, Chicago, IL, USA.

Kamalou, S., Shaughnessy, K., Moscovitch, D. A. (July 2015), Does level of safety matter? Online vs. offline safety behaviours in social anxiety, Poster presented at the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID) Conference, London, ON.

Kamalou, S., Shaughnessy, K., Moscovitch, D. A. (June 2015), Does level of safety matter? Online vs. offline safety behaviours in social anxiety, Poster presented at the 76th Annual CPA Convention, Ottawa, ON.

Treatments

Assessment

Therapies