Despite widespread acknowledgment that self-care is an essential component of sustainable practice for mental health professionals, it is an area where many clinicians struggle to implement consistent healthy habits or necessary behavioural change. In 2019, Drs. Karen G. Dyck, C.Psych and Melissa Tiessen, C.Psych became the co-founders of the website Intentional Therapist and since then, have been actively engaged in efforts to help female mental health professionals find convenient, intentional, creative, and playful ways to incorporate self-care into their lives. On the podcast we explore:
Dr. Karen G. Dyck completed her Master’s Degree in Developmental Psychology at the University of Manitoba and her Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of South Dakota. She was an Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Health Psychology at the University of Manitoba for 17 years, 4 of which she served as the Director of the Rural and Northern Psychology Programme. Within this position Karen had the opportunity to work collaboratively with a range of healthcare providers and administrators and to regularly consult with other mental health professionals. It is within that context that Karen became interested in the topics of healthy workplaces, employee wellness, and self-care. Karen left her university position in 2014 to pursue private practice and explore other, less traditional, opportunities where she could draw from her training and experience. Karen has two wonderful bonus children and lives in Anola, MB, with her supportive husband and 18 year old cat, Kittie Pie.
OICBT Psychologist Dr. Melissa Tiessen completed her Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology at McGill University. She completed a post-doctoral residency in the Department of Clinical Health Psychology at the University of Manitoba within the Rural and Northern Program, where she had the fortunate opportunity to work under Dr. Karen Dyck. Melissa went on to work as an Assistant Professor in the Department for 2 years, and then moved to Ottawa where she worked for 1 year within the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program of The Ottawa Hospital/University of Ottawa Heart Institute. This led to a unique opportunity as the Director of the Education Directorate of the Canadian Psychological Association, where Melissa served for 4 years, overseeing the association’s national accreditation and continuing education programs. Working in the field of accreditation highlighted for Melissa the incredible importance of quality training experiences for psychology students and the necessity of good work-life balance and self-care. Melissa also had the opportunity to spend some time living abroad, where she was involved with multiple non-profit organizations dedicated to supporting the health and well-being of women and children. Since 2018 Melissa has worked in private practice. Melissa lives in Ottawa, ON, with her supportive husband and young son.