Team

Dr. David Worling (#1365) Registered Psychologist

Dr. David Worling cofounded Westcoast Child Development Group in 2003 and is the clinical director. Dr. Worling worked at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver for 7 years in the Adolescent Inpatient and Mood and Anxiety Outpatient Psychiatric Clinics. Over the past several years he has grown the practice to include psychological assessment and therapeutic work with adults.

Dr. Worling enjoys working with individuals 10 and older with a number of mental health challenges that include depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, school refusal, and learning disabilities and also specializes in assessment and therapy for individuals on the Autism Spectrum.

Dr. Worling created Spectrum Works Consulting Group in 2015 to help support adolescents and adults on the Autism Spectrum with co-occurring mental health conditions in work and post-secondary settings. (http://spectrumworks.consulting/)

Dr. Worling holds an academic affiliation with the department of Psychology at Simon Fraser University and is a Sessional Instructor with the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia. He has over 25 years’ experience as a clinician and has specialized training in the areas of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Autism Diagnostics, Group Therapy, and Learning Disabilities.

Dr. Worling sits on a number of clinical advisory boards and consults to schools, mental health facilities, and government agencies. He has published in the areas of learning disabilities, AD/HD, autism, and was a co-author on the Dealing with Depression Workbook for teens. http://www.comh.ca/publications/resources/dwd/DWD_PrintVersion.pdf.

Dr. Worling is also a sought-after speaker who brings a great deal of enthusiasm, professionalism, and humour to a wide range of audiences.

Dr. Kimberly Armstrong (#2322) Registered Psychologist

Dr. Kimberly Armstrong has worked with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families since 2004. She spent two years working in the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University with Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen. She then completed her Masters and Doctoral degrees through the Clinical Psychology Program at Simon Fraser University, and completed clinical practica at BC Children’s Hospital and Child and Youth Mental Health. During that time she also conducted research in the Autism and Developmental Disorders Lab with Dr. Grace Iarocci.

Her residency year was spent in Ontario at the Kingston Internship Consortium and the Queens University Developmental Disabilities Consulting Program working with children, youth and adults with neurodevelopmental disorders and mental health difficulties.

Dr. Armstrong has published research in peer-reviewed journals including The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, Autism Research, and Molecular Autism. She is passionate about identifying each person’s unique strengths and challenges, and supporting them to engage meaningfully in the world. Dr. Armstrong is available to conduct diagnostic and psychoeducational assessments, and to provide therapeutic and consultation services.

Dr. Aaron Jacobson (#2337) Registered Psychologist

Prior to relocating to Vancouver, Dr. Jacobson worked at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Rosa, California, for seven years in the Child Psychiatry Department. He worked as a case manager for young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disabilities, and co-led the Teen Intensive Outpatient Program. In addition to seeing patients through Westcoast Child Development Clinic, Dr. Jacobson also consults for Spectrum Works, providing support to adolescents and adults on the Autism Spectrum with co-occurring mental health conditions. Additionally, Dr. Jacobson specializes in foster/adoption issues, blended families, and has worked extensively with survivors of abuse and neglect. He has treated a wide variety of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety and panic, school refusal, and self-harming behavior.

He has over ten years’ experience as a clinician and has specialized training in the areas of Brief Strategic Family Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Autism Diagnostics, and Group Therapy. Dr. Jacobson has also conducted trainings for clinicians in adolescent suicide assessment and therapeutic interventions for individuals on the Autism Spectrum. He has given talks at a wide variety of agencies, including schools and foster care organizations.

Dr. Jacobson integrates a number of different modalities into his work, but generally works as an Interpersonal therapist. He encourages full family participation in the psychotherapeutic treatment of children and adolescents.

 

Antes de mudarse a Vancouver, el Dr. Jacobson trabajó en Kaiser Permanente en Santa Rosa, California. El lleva siete años en el Departamento de Psiquiatría Infantil. Trabajó como gerente de casos para jóvenes con trastornos del espectro autista y otras discapacidades del desarrollo, y fue codirector del Programa Intensivo para Adolescentes. Además de atender a los pacientes a través de Westcoast Child Development Clinic, el Dr. Jacobson también asesora a Spectrum Works, brindando apoyo a adolescentes y adultos autistas con trastornos concurrentes de salud mental. Además, el Dr. Jacobson se especializa en asuntos de adopción / crianza, familias combinadas, y ha trabajado extensamente con sobrevivientes de abuso y negligencia. Él ha tratado una amplia variedad de problemas de salud mental, que incluyen depresión, ansiedad y pánico, rechazo escolar y comportamiento autodestructivo.

Tiene más de diez años de experiencia como médico y tiene capacitación especializada en las áreas de Breve Terapia Familiar Estratégica, Terapia de Comportamiento Dialéctico, Terapia Cognitiva Conductual, Diagnóstico de Autismo y Terapia Grupal. El Dr. Jacobson también ha realizado capacitaciones para médicos en la evaluación del suicidio adolescente y las intervenciones terapéuticas para individuos en el espectro del autismo. Ha dado charlas en una amplia variedad de agencias, incluidas escuelas y organizaciones de cuidado de crianza.

El Dr. Jacobson integra varias modalidades diferentes en su trabajo, pero generalmente trabaja como terapeuta interpersonal. Alienta la participación familiar total en el tratamiento psicoterapéutico de niños y adolescentes.

Leah Marks (#16138) Registered Clinical Counsellor

Leah Marks is a Registered Clinical Counsellor as well as an experienced academic advisor, career strategist and parent of two young adults. She holds a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology and Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Gender studies from the University of British Columbia. She recently completed level 3 practicum training in Gottman Methods Couple Therapy.

Leah specializes in supporting individuals aged 16 and beyond through life decisions and navigating the world of work, school, and relationships. She guides adolescent, young adult, and adult clients to explore their strengths and opportunities for growth and to design and achieve personal, academic, and career objectives – especially in times of transition. She also consults to parents and provides evidenced-based counselling for couples.

Leah began her career over 25 years ago as an educator, teaching college students and as a teacher therapist designing individual education plans for children on the Autism Spectrum and with Learning challenges. She consulted to parents on ways to support child development and behaviour while building their parenting style and confidence. She now focuses her parent consultation work with parents of teens and young adults.

Leah’s academic strategizing with teens and adults draws on her more recent experience as an Academic Advisor and researcher in academic persistence at The University of British Columbia. Leah has assisted hundreds of students to chart and navigate rigorous academic and career paths despite a multitude of internal and external barriers. Through training with the UBC Life and Career Centre, the Centre for Student involvement and Careers and Alumni UBC, Leah has extensive experience providing career advising and building hope and momentum for a wide range of clients with a multitude of career questions and concerns.

Leah provides a holistic approach to her clients that is solution-focused, action oriented, and grounded in theories of positive psychology, human development, mindfulness, cognitive behaviour therapy and informed by current research in couples counselling, self-regulated learning, executive functioning, and career development.

Leah works with teens, adults, parents and couples at Westcoast Child Development Group and through Spectrum Works Consulting with adults on the Autism Spectrum looking for support at work, school, or in relationships. Leah also cofounded Westcoast Child Development Group and Spectrum Works and is also the Director of Operations.

Dr. Katia Jitlina (#2417) Registered Psychologist

Dr. Katia Jitlina has worked with children and families in different capacities since 2003. She completed her Ph.D. in School Psychology at the University of British Columbia. Her research has focused on the development of Anxiety Disorders in children with Autism, as well as translating clinic-based anxiety interventions to the school setting. She is passionate about early interventions for mental health and overall development, as well as promoting the mental health and emotional well-being of children and youth with Autism.

She finished her residency in Clinical Child Psychology at McMaster Children’s Hospital, where she worked in the Child and Youth Mental Health and Autism Spectrum Disorder services. She previously completed practica with Child and Youth Mental Health, the Calgary Learning Centre, the Early Childhood Mental Health Program at Richmond Hospital, and worked as a psychometrist with the Neonatal Follow-Up Programme at BC Children’s Hospital. 

In providing treatment, she uses a collaborative therapeutic framework that is influenced by cognitive-behavioural, developmental, interpersonal and family therapy approaches.

Dr. Jitlina is available to conduct diagnostic, developmental and psychoeducational assessments, and to provide therapeutic and consultation services.

Dr. Jitlina is on leave from September 2019 returning September 2020.

Dr. Andrea Hamel (#2448) Registered Psychologist

Dr. Andrea Hamel is a registered psychologist who specializes in adolescent mental health issues. She provides treatment to teens with social anxiety, performance anxiety, generalized anxiety, phobias, depression, and/or low self-esteem. Using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and other evidence-based techniques, she helps teens build skills in emotion regulation, distress tolerance, stress management, mindfulness, and self-compassion.

She works collaboratively with teens 13 to 18 years of age and their parents to design a treatment plan that is tailored to their needs, and she is committed to ensuring that clients feel comfortable in her office.

Dr. Hamel completed her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at Simon Fraser University. She completed her psychology residency through the University of Manitoba’s Clinical Health Psychology program. She has also trained at BC Children’s Hospital and the Maples Adolescent Treatment Centre.

She has expertise in the assessment of teens with trauma-related difficulties, family problems, substance abuse, aggression, anxiety, and/or depression. Other difficulties for which she has provided services include attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, selective mutism, learning disorders, developmental disabilities, and chronic pain.

In addition to her work with teens, Dr. Hamel provides support to parents who wish to learn strategies for better managing their child’s behavioural/emotional difficulties. She has conducted research on eating disorders in adolescents and has presented her work at international conferences.

Kate Kha Clinic Coordinator and Administrative Manager

Kate is the Clinic Coordinator at Westcoast Child Development Group. She provides information about the clinic services in person and on the phone as well as managing client accounts, providing referrals, coordinating scheduling of various appointments, and organizing forms and data for assessments and benefits.

Kate is your point person for questions about our clinic services and the clinicians’ specializations as well as incoming or outgoing documents. She also supports and manages the administration team.

Kate graduated with a dual degree in law and forensic criminal studies from Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University in the Ukraine and is passionate about supporting mental health. She is fluent in English, Russian and Ukrainian. In her spare time, Kate enjoys listening to music, hiking, and going to concerts. She also enjoys reading books and poetry.

Jordan Jimenez Administrative Assistant and Program Support

Jordan works as a part time administrator for our clinic, providing information to clients and helping the clinic run on a daily basis. She also supports the development of systems and processes for the clinic team.

Jordan graduated her B.A. in psychology from the University of British Columbia, with particular interests in developmental psychology and social psychology. She volunteered throughout her degree with Dr. Janet Worker in infant language development.

Jordan recently completed her Master’s Degree in Organizational Psychology at Adler University where she is interested in Leadership Development and life coaching. Her thesis is concerned with leadership emotional intelligence and team effectiveness.

In her spare time Jordan likes to play volleyball, go to the beach and cook for her friends and family.

Christopher Martin Administrative Assistant

Christopher is a university student who works at the clinic part-time. Chris assists with the daily clinic tasks including scheduling assessments and therapy appointments for clients as well as general organizing and clinic upkeep.

When Chris is not at the clinic he is studying Kinesiology and Psychology at the University of British Columbia, fitness training at the gym, or composing music on FL studio.