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Our Team

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Lesley Hartman M.A., Psychologist | She/Her
- On leave from client work -

I have had the great privilege of working as a Psychologist since 1995. Over the years,  my clients have honoured me with their trust and have been my greatest teachers, awing me with the ability of the human spirit to grow through adversity. I have worked with adults, adolescents and couples over my career, but currently, the focus of my work is solely with adults. 

People consult with me about a variety of concerns, from PTSD, anxiety, depression, coping with acquired brain injuries, work problems, school problems, recovery from illness, grief, difficulties with career choices, family of origin, abuse, attachment issues or relationships. I enjoy working with diverse groups of people—of different genders, sexual orientations or identities and cultural backgrounds or experiences and can provide therapy in Spanish or English. 


I believe that the relationship between the client and therapist is the most important agent of change, and bring a big heart to my work. I am authentic and use humour, stories, and metaphors to help illuminate experiences. Being trained in diverse therapeutic modalities, I provide a theoretically integrative, trauma-informed approach that respects where clients are at in their healing journey. While I have training in a variety of treatment approaches, such as  Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy, and Mindfulness approaches, the modalities that primarily inform my work at this time are Somatic IFS (Internal Family Systems) Therapy, and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). Both of these approaches work together to assist clients with the myriad ways we have protected ourselves from or been impacted by the pain of trauma and adverse life experiences. I have experienced the healing power of these therapies myself, and have witnessed many others benefit, not only with reductions in emotional and behavioural symptoms or challenges, but with increased joy, increased freedom and choice, richer relationships with others, a deeper sense of meaning in life, and reductions in physical pain or symptoms of illness.  


I'm very blessed to have a team of colleagues at Lesley Hartman and Associates Inc. who, like me, are passionate about accompanying people on their healing journeys. These compassionate, highly skilled colleagues share my vision of offering our best to you, as you strive to rise above pain and shine. This is our wish for you. 

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Nicole Ali Ph.D., Psychologist (Candidate Register)| She/Her
Offers your choice of virtual or in-person appointments

I am a psychologist conducting psychoeducational assessments for children and adults, including assessing for learning disorders and ADHD. I also conduct psychodiagnostic assessments with children and adolescents. I have experience providing intervention for children and adolescents experiencing challenges related to anxiety, low mood, emotion dysregulation, social challenges, low self-esteem, and chronic pain. I can also work with parents to provide practical parenting strategies to support children experiencing internalizing and externalizing challenges.


My approach is gentle, open, and curious. I strive to develop an understanding of who my clients are as individuals and to use this to ensure they feel comfortable and understood. My training base is in cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and I also introduce elements of dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) where I believe they can be beneficial. I particularly enjoy working with youth who are exploring their gender and sexual identity, offering an atmosphere of acceptance and empowerment. 

I have undergraduate degrees in Sociology, Psychology, and Elementary Education. I worked for several years as an educator which I believe gives me insight into the school experiences of children and youth. I completed my PhD in Clinical Psychology at Dalhousie University. My dissertation research focused on the development of an online professional development program for teachers of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I completed my residency in Regina, Saskatchewan where I worked with the Complex Diagnosis Assessment Team and with the Children’s Program at the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre. I also provided out-patient intervention in a community mental health setting. 

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Heather Arsenault MSW, RSW, Clinical Social Worker | She/Her
Offers your choice of virtual or in-person appointments

I am a Clinical Social Worker offering individual therapy to adults (19+) and a safe space to process emotions or difficult life experiences. I graduated with a Master of Clinical Social Work from the University of Calgary and started my career working in Community Addictions and Mental Health in Calgary in 2013 where I worked with people of all ages and with a variety of concerns including (but not limited to) anxiety, depression, trauma, personality disorders, substance misuse or abuse and self-harming behaviours. I relocated to my home province of Nova Scotia in 2015 and began working in Community Mental Health as well as private practice and joined the Lesley Hartman & Associates Inc. team in 2018.  


I have formal training in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Radically Open Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (RO-DBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Internal Family Systems (IFS) and primarily work with people who have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and people who have been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or are healing from past trauma and pain. I am a WPATH trained clinician and am able to complete transgender assessments and readiness letters for Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and gender-affirming surgery while creating a safe, affirming space.  


I believe in working collaboratively with individuals to reach their goals in therapy. My approach is supportive and I believe in the importance of building a strong therapeutic relationship.

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Jennifer Bartlett Ph.D., Psychologist | She/Her
Offers your choice of virtual or in-person appointments

I am a registered psychologist who enjoys working with adults and older adolescents grappling with a variety of challenges. My training and education has taken me across Canada from the East coast (B.Sc. in Neuroscience (Honours) from Dalhousie University and M.Ed. in Counselling from the University of New Brunswick) to the prairies (Ph.D. in Counselling Psychology from the University of Alberta).


I have experience working with a wide range of issues including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, perfectionism, emotion dysregulation, self-harm, trauma, borderline personality disorder, cancer and cancer-related concerns. I specialize in working with eating disorders and body image issues and I have formal training in Emotion-Focused Therapy which I use to treat numerous clinical concerns. The role of emotions greatly informs my work. I value the wealth of knowledge that emotions can offer us, and in using this approach I promote change by helping my clients explore, understand, regulate, and transform their emotions. In addition to these specialties, I have experience and training in a number of other therapeutic approaches including Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). I am also trained in conducting formal psychoeducational assessments for both children and adults for concerns regarding learning disorders, ADHD, and overall cognitive functioning.


I strive to foster a warm, supportive, and genuine relationship with all my clients, and am committed to working collaboratively with you to meet your goals. In order to do this, I draw on and integrate a variety of therapeutic approaches to best meet my client’s needs based on their personal experiences, beliefs and worldview.

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Kendra Blackburn MA, RCT Registered Counselling Therapist | She/Her
Offers your choice of virtual or in-person appointments

Navigating life can be tough, next to impossible some days. You may need coping skills, a supportive, non-judgemental sounding board, an environment where you can feel safe enough to explore what you are feeling, or help processing past events that are holding you back. Whatever challenges you are facing, I promise you are not alone and there is hope.  

Therapy sessions are time and space – it’s an environment that is more than four walls. Here, you need to feel safe, unjudged, and free to be authentically you. This space is about your unique story and background, your healing and growth, and your goals to move you forward.  I help my clients learn how to manage stress, anxiety, and depression, to develop self-compassion, healthy boundaries, and to build or strengthen their foundation of self-care. Many of those I work with have experienced ‘Big T’ trauma, like childhood or adulthood abuse, or motor vehicle accidents, or an accumulation of ‘small t’ traumas over their lifespan or recent past. Whatever has brought you here, we will collaborate to come up with a treatment plan to get you through it.   

I am trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), and passionate about helping clients process unresolved trauma. In addition, my qualifications include a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Saint Mary’s University. During my graduate studies I was fortunate to gain experience as a Counselling Therapist intern at a pro bono clinic in Halifax, The Peoples’ Counselling Clinic. 

I started my private practice ‘KB Counselling Therapy’ in 2019. In March 2020, I joined a multidisciplinary clinic as their primary Counselling Therapist, serving clients in five of their locations. Before becoming a Counselling Therapist, I also worked in small option homes for residents with severe mental health and developmental disabilities and in the insurance industry in the claims department. I believe my work experiences have given me unique insights and skills to help guide clients on their journey. I am honored to be part of the incredible, dynamic LHA team, where I will continue to grow and develop my skills as a Counselling Therapist.


Alisa Brown BScKIN, MSc(OT), Reg OT (NS) | She/Her
Virtual Appointments Only

I have been working as an occupational therapist since 2010 and have experience working with clients across the lifespan. I have worked in several areas of practice, such as return-to-work, ergonomics, long term care, adult residence care, and child/adolescent community mental health, gaining experience in supporting clients with both physical and mental health concerns. Originally from New Brunswick, I completed a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at the University of New Brunswick prior to relocating to Halifax and completing my Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree at Dalhousie University.  


In addition to my academic studies, I have formal training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT). As an occupational therapist, I work with clients of all ages to overcome challenges that may be interfering with engagement in meaningful activities. In addition to working with clients dealing with anxiety, mood disorders, and borderline personality disorder, I also have experience supporting children and youth with ADHD, sensory processing concerns, and behavioural and emotion regulation challenges.  


I believe in client-centred care and working collaboratively with clients to provide an individualized approach to reach their treatment goals. I strive to create a warm and empathetic therapeutic environment where each client feels safe and supported. I also believe in the power of laughter and am known to throw a dash of humour into my work. 


Alex Doley Registered Counselling Therapist Candidate RCT-C 
Offers your choice of virtual or in-person appointments

My name is Alex Doley, and I am a Registered Counselling Therapist - Candidate (RCT-C) from Acadia University, working with adult clients. When I'm outside the clinic, I work as a Primary Care Paramedic in Halifax.  Emergency medicine reminds me that there is something new to learn no matter what I encounter, and I believe that sentiment holds in counselling. Clients and colleagues are an extraordinary wellspring of knowledge to behold.

My approach to therapy comes from the field of contextual behavioural science, specifically Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. What attracted me to this approach is its flexibility. ACT is evidence-based and effective in treating anxiety, depression, OCD, Chronic Pain, Substance use, Psychosis and Trauma-Related Issues. The goal of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is to increase psychological flexibility. In a session, we describe, evaluate, and problem-solve to help raise awareness and understand the choices ahead of us. Along with ACT, I incorporate a range of modalities into my work.  Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) and Narrative Therapy. 

The word "change" is used often in counselling, but I think it is helpful to consider other metaphors, including "shifts," "movement," or "growth. In therapy, the change may be subtle; sometimes, quite remarkable. Ultimately, these shifts move us further along the path towards wellness. If you have any questions about the credentials I hold or modalities I use, please ask, as it is your right as a client to be informed about treatment and service.

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Marie Josette Durup Ph.D., Psychologist | She/Her
Virtual Appointments Only

I work with all age groups of clients as well as families and couples, to assist with a variety of problems and concerns. In addition to bringing a perspective of diversity, I maintain a full tool-box of therapeutic approaches, strategies, and techniques on which I draw to address the problems my clients face. The choice of tool I use is arrived at through a collaborative process with the client, taking into consideration the nature of the problem, the characteristics of the client, and the stage of change where the client finds himself or herself. I aim to improve the quality of my clients lives by helping them overcome the stresses they face, learn to cope with personal difficulties and find a sense of calm and joy.

I was trained in Nova Scotia (M.Sc. in Clinical/Community Psychology from Acadia, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Dalhousie). My work has taken me across Canada and to the USA. Over the past 20 years, I have served clients of varying ages, and coping with a broad range of problems. My clinical experience is broad; I have served work-based, hospital-based, court-based, prison-based, military-based, and general populations. My clinical work is very much informed by the literature, and I have an extensive background in teaching and research. My research has been in the area of Work and Family Stress, and I have specialized in these areas in my clinical work. I work with children, teens, adults, couples and families.

In addition to my clinical work and research, I have taught and trained Clinical Psychology students at the University of Manitoba, the University of Colorado and Dalhousie University. I have also been very active in my community with volunteer work, serving on several boards/committees, promoting psychology to the public, organizing continuing education activities for my colleagues, working with a community action group to establish a battered women’s home, policy advising and activities to improve and create a better community for military families and carrying out public education initiatives for adults and youth in the community. Be inspired and inspire others.

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Jessica Heidebrecht MSW, MDiv., RSW, Clinical Social Work|She/Her
Offers your choice of virtual or in-person appointments

I am a Clinical Social Worker, trained in multiple therapeutic modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Radically Open-Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (RO-DBT), Prolonged Exposure (PE)/DBT-PE, Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization). I provide therapy for various concerns such as personality disorders, substance or gambling misuse, trauma, anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.

I received my Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and Bachelor of Social Work degree from Dalhousie University. I received a Master of Social Work (Healthcare) from University of Waterloo, and also have a Master of Divinity (Counseling) for clients interested in exploring issues of spirituality. I have worked in a variety of settings including community mental health, Borderline Personality Disorder clinic, and Operational Stress Injury clinic for Veterans and RCMP.

It has been and continues to be a privilege to hear people’s stories, and an honor to witness their resilience and recovery. I have a passion for using evidence-based therapies, tailored to an individual’s needs to help client’s reach their goals and always practice from a strength-based lens. I enjoy working collaboratively with my clients, while simultaneously providing a supportive therapeutic relationship. Ongoing professional development is very important to me, and in my spare time I enjoy reading and hiking.

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Brad Holley B.Sc., M.O.T. | He/Him
Offers your choice of virtual or in-person appointments

I am an occupational therapist (O.T.) with 12 years of experience. I work with adults of all ages, including seniors. I have worked in the mental health field for seven years, assisting people with eating disorders. Prior to that, I worked in a variety of areas assisting people with concerns such as: returning to the community after a psychiatric hospitalization, recovery from stroke, post-operative recovery from knee, hip, and back surgery, and assisting children with fine motor delay. I recently began intensive DBT training and along with other LHA team members, provide individual DBT therapy for those with a diagnosis of BPD or others who are experiencing problems regulating their emotions. I also assist people with career transitions and overcoming career hurdles.


As an O.T., I am skilled at maximizing a person’s independence and happiness by assisting them to find and participate in purposeful and meaningful activity. I am particularly passionate about helping people who are preparing to retire by offering Retirement Lifestyle Planning. Retirement Lifestyle Planning helps you to find the retirement that will give you joy by answering the question “what will I do when I retire?” My approach to therapy is client-centred and respectful. I have a dry sense of humour, and enjoy making people smile. In my free time, I do woodworking, which is another passion of mine.


Alexa Kroon-Canning Clinical Social Worker (BSW, MSocSc, RSW) She/Her  Offers virtual appointments

Originally hailing from South Africa, I am a Clinical Social Worker (BSW, MSocSc, RSW) and EMDR therapist with extensive experience in treating various mental health concerns. I completed my Bachelor of Social Work and later my Master of Social Sciences (specializing in Clinical Social Work) at the University of Cape Town.


I have experience in in-patient treatment, outpatient psychotherapy, substance use treatment and university-level teaching. I currently do much of my work with children and adolescents. I am trained in various therapeutic modalities and aim to tailor treatment to the specialized needs of every client. Generally, I am dedicated to providing holistic and sustainable support for individuals and families living with the effects of mental illness, addiction, abuse, dependency and trauma. I am committed to bringing about social change and intra-psychic healing with the use of psychosocial and evidence-based practice, providing a pragmatic and straightforward approach to personal and systemic change. 


My particular area of interest is the use of EMDR, DBT and peer support in the holistic treatment of concurrent disorders. I celebrate working with people of all ages and from all backgrounds, and am passionate about facilitating change in the therapeutic process. 


I pride myself on being warm, calm and non-judgemental, and all my work is grounded in client-centred philosophy. 


"The world can only change from within." - Eckhart Tolle

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Sheila MacNeil
Ph.D., Psychologist | She/Her | WAITLIST IS CURRENTLY CLOSED

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Sarah Mansfield M.A. Applied Psych. Psychologist (Candidate Register) She/Her
Offers your choice of virtual & in-person appointments  

I am a Psychologist (Cand. Reg.) working with adult clients to improve their emotional/psychological health and relationships by accessing their inner wisdom and resilience while cultivating a more fulfilling life. I am a client-centered and strength-based clinician who is committed to establishing a strong therapeutic relationship with client’s, taking an integrated approach to treatment.  


Born and raised in Northern Ontario, I relocated to Nova Scotia in 2018 to continue my work in the field of psychology and to be closer to the ocean. I hold a Master of Arts in Applied Psychology from Laurentian University and have experience working in private practice, forensic institutions, and, most recently, public mental health. I have had the privilege to work with clients from diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds with varied presentations, including depression, anxiety, trauma, addiction, disordered eating, personality disorders, and criminogenic need. Currently, my focus has been working with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) delivering Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) to improve client’s ability to regulate their emotions, tolerate distress, and be effective in their relationships while increasing mindfulness and present moment awareness.


My foundational training is in Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT), which places great emphasis on recognition, acceptance, and processing of emotions via experiential methods. The importance of emotion and the vital information it provides informs much of my clinical work. I have training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET), Brief Solution-Focused Therapy, and Emotion-Focused Family Therapy (EFFT). As well as delivering therapeutic interventions, I am trained in conducting psychological assessments evaluating various presentations/needs. I am an open, enthusiastic, and humorous individual who values authenticity, collaboration, and self-inquiry. Connecting with others brings me great joy and I look forward to helping you reach your goals. 

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Laura Mitchell M.A., Psychologist  | She/Her
Offers your choice of virtual or in-person appointments

I am a Psychologist who works with adolescents and adults. I can assist individuals dealing with depression, anxiety, grief, perfectionism, low self-esteem, self-harm/injury, trauma, phobias, substance abuse, and relationship and family issues. I hold an honours degree (BSc) in Psychology from Saint Mary’s University and a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology from McGill University. Prior to my graduate studies, I received specialized training in addictions counselling, crisis management and motivational interviewing.

I have worked in educational settings, residential treatment centers, and non-profit organizations to advocate for individuals and assist them in meeting their goals. My approach is empathic, collaborative, client-centered and feminist, viewing each person and their presenting concerns within a larger sociocultural context. First and foremost, I believe strongly in a client’s ability to create positive change through their own strengths and resources. I am continuously inspired by human resiliency and the capacity of people to overcome difficult challenges.

My clinical training has been integrative, combining modalities such as Cognitive-Behavioural, Emotion-Focused, Dialectical Behaviour, Systemic, Feminist and Humanistic therapies. I believe in the healing power of the therapeutic relationship and am dedicated in providing evidence-based treatment that is tailored to the unique needs of each person. To best help clients reach their goals, I am committed to updating my skills through regular professional development. Most recently I have completed training in EMDR, enabling me to work with clients with PTSD.

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Derrick Neubauer M.S., Psychologist | He/Him
Offers your choice of virtual or in-person appointments

Asking for help is an act of bravery. Just taking that first step requires courage and commitment. It can be hard work, often filled with difficult discoveries, but providing opportunities for great personal insight, victories and growth. My approach is to help you along your journey with compassion, utilizing techniques gained from years of experience. I am here as a partner and collaborator in creating a safe space to provide you with tools and insight to unbind what is holding you back, and clarify what drives you forwards.  


My years of practice began with a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Texas, and a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Texas A&M University. A large portion of my career has been spent as a therapist, diagnostician, and consultant with the Texas State Psychiatric Hospital System, working with some of the most challenging and notorious cases in the United States. I’ve also worked with youth and adolescents entrusted to the state, helping them to work through a wide spectrum of issues. I’ve enjoyed prior work in both private practice and as a college lecturer. My current practice areas include adults (including the geriatric community), children, and adolescents.


Over the years, I have employed a wide variety of techniques, allowing me to work with you to create an individualized plan that is specifically tailored to your needs and goals.  As part of my skill set, I also have training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), an additional approach for clients with trauma and PTSD.


Moving to Nova Scotia has long been a dream for myself and my family. I am very excited about the move and look forward to working with you. I will bring to each therapy session patience, experience, expertise, and compassion… and just a dash of Texas country wisdom. 

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Meaghan Norris MSW, RSW, Clinical Social Worker | She/Her
Offers your choice of virtual or in-person appointments

I am a Clinical Social Worker who works primarily with adolescents and adults who are experiencing a variety of difficulties. I hold a Bachelor of Social Work from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto, with a specialization in Health and Mental Health. I have experience working with clients across the life span, and helping them navigate and treat anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, coping with stress, dealing with emotional dysregulation, treating addictions, managing difficult relationships, and work through life transitions. 

I was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, and I have lived and practiced social work in Natuashish, NL; Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL; Toronto, Ontario; and Halifax, NS.


I love working with individuals to help them use their resiliency to make positive changes in their life situations. I have training and experience using various models of therapy including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), and Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT). 

Outside of my clinical work, I enjoy stargazing and connecting with friends and family.


Jessica Parker Ph.D., Psychologist | She/Her
Offers your choice of virtual or in-person appointments

I am a psychologist working with children and youth aged newborn to young adulthood, and their families. I see clients working through a variety of concerns including anxiety, depression, trauma, emotion regulation/dysregulation, and grief. I also work collaboratively with parents of young children dealing with various difficulties.

In every therapeutic relationship, I work with my clients to find an approach that will best suit their particular needs. I aim to create a space where my clients feel comfortable, safe, and empowered. Much of my training has been in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and EMDR and I am comfortable guiding my clients through how their thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and experiences can influence their life. I also use narrative therapy, play therapy, mindfulness, relaxation, guided imagery, story telling, writing, and other strategies or modalities based on what works well for my clients. I have completed EMDR basic and child specialist trainings to support a variety of clients and their needs, particularly those who have experienced trauma. I love this work and I am passionate about providing the evidence-based treatment that suits my clients best. I love working with diverse groups of people and will do what I can to make you feel comfortable and supported.

I completed my B.A. (Honours) from St. Francis Xavier University, my M.A. and PhD from the University of British Columbia. My dissertation research focused on the relationships between families and schools, particularly when it comes to helping support vulnerable children. My education has been in School and Applied Child Psychology, and I have a great deal of experience working within schools, and with children and youth that have learning difficulties and developmental disabilities. Throughout the years, I have spent time expanding my experiences in a variety of therapeutic areas. I have worked with young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families to create behaviour support plans to help them improve positive behaviours. I have also worked in community mental health with children, youth, and families.


Azra Poe MA Counseling and Somatic Psychology RCT-C
She/Her/They/Them | Offers virtual appointments only

I approach this work collaboratively. I am a relational therapist, meaning, it is most important to me that we are building trust in our dynamic in order for there to be the depth that feels safe in your healing journey. 

I use a somatic approach to notice how your experiences are embodied in the therapy room. For example, where do you hold anxiety? In your chest? The pit of your stomach? Whatever story, feelings, or emotions bring you to therapy, I help you to notice how you carry the experience of them in your body. This awareness can help you know your held beliefs at their core and from there we are simply present with them. What shifts when we offer our attention to your core beliefs? Does your body want to fight it? cry? shake? These are natural responses that are not often nurtured in our childhoods, and this society. As a result, we learn to protect ourselves and halt the natural responses. 

My approach is also from a social justice lens, as we understand ways you may have internalized social beliefs and how that may be impacting your body and mind. 

I am dedicated to working with trauma, PTSD and CPTSD. Somatic therapy is especially helpful for those who still live the experience of trauma in the body. I graduated with a Masters in Counseling and Somatic Psychology from the California Institute of Integral studies based in San Francisco. I was trained from a social justice lens in the heart of innovative psychology and social change. I also have extensive experience working with groups on sexual assault and harassment prevention. 

I believe presence is healing, and therapy is a container where co-regulation can occur with the loving presence of the therapist being with, not only what you communicate with your words, but your being as well. I am listening for where healing is wanting to happen in your system and trying to make space for it. I am honest and unafraid to speak to the unsaid when trust is built. 

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Janice Spencer MSW, RSW | She/Her
Offers virtual appointments only

I’ve had the privilege of practicing social work since 1997. Since graduating with my MSW in 2004, I’ve worked extensively with people facing life-altering diseases, including Cancers and other Chronic Conditions. As people manage the multifaceted nature of these diseases, alongside other life stressors, I take a whole-person approach to addressing the social, psychological, emotional, spiritual and functional aspects of living with non-curative disease. I have helped individuals, families and groups find ways to cope and even thrive through the most challenging of circumstances. Let me be your guide, and you will see how adjusting to a “new normal,” desired or not, can be a catalyst for incredible things.

A great value of having a specialized clinician in your corner is that they “get it.” Not only do they carry the ability to address a person’s psychological/emotional needs, but they also come with an understanding of the adjustment process to chronic illness and an understanding of what you may be experiencing. Relevant information and/or appropriate situation-specific resources, as well as an appreciation of the typical challenges each diagnosis holds, is invaluable. Coupled with this, I also draw upon a great deal of informal knowledge drawn from years of experience in the field.


I have witnessed first-hand how resilient people are and how they are best able to face major transitions and challenges in life when they are equipped with the right tools and support while surrounded by the right people. I work from a client-centred, strengths-based approach which puts you in the driver’s seat as we figure out together which tools and supports will be most helpful to you. Whether therapeutic counselling to help with the psychological/emotional impact of your situation or more practical things like helping put a care plan in place after a new diagnosis, I’d love to work with you and/or your chosen supporters. Together, we’ll “stack your deck,” surrounding you with any existing tools/supports that can help and continuing to build up your own.

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Jennifer Volsky Rushton Ph.D., Psychologist | She/Her
Offers your choice of virtual or in-person appointments

I am a clinical psychologist who works with adults experiencing a wide variety of concerns. In particular, I have special interests in working with people and their family members affected by Huntington's disease, people experiencing relationship issues, grief and loss, depression, anxiety, career and life transitions, self-esteem, and post-concussion syndrome/Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Having worked at a University Counselling Centre for 14 years, I have an in-depth understanding of the challenges faced by students and particularly enjoy working with young adults. I've been in the field for many years, and have extensive training and experience working with people who are grieving. Because there are so many things and relationships that we have to say goodbye to in our lives, I have had the privilege of working with many people from all walks of life who are feeling many different things. I find it very rewarding to help people move through pain and loss, to peace and new meaning.

I tailor my approach to the person I am working with. I primarily use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), but I also incorporate Cognitive-Behavioral, Interpersonal and Solution-Focused approaches into my work. I have years of experience delivering both individual and group therapy. It is important to me to build a space for my clients to feel safe and understood. I am approachable and easy to talk to, and I work at putting my clients at ease. I enjoy using humour in therapy; we can have fun even as we do important work together!

My goal for my clients is that they find value and meaning in their lives, and I endeavour to give them tools to feel more empowered and fulfilled. I primarily use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), but I also incorporate Cognitive-Behavioral, Interpersonal and Solution-Focused approaches into my work. I have also completed training in EMDR, enabling me to work with clients with trauma and PTSD.


Mandy Hagen B.Sc. (Honours), Ph.D. Clinical Psychology Student | She/Her

I am a Ph.D. student in Clinical Psychology at Dalhousie University. As part of my training, I am thrilled to be part of the Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) team at Lesley Hartman and Associates Inc. On the DBT team, I help facilitate skills groups as well as provide individual therapy for individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) or who otherwise struggle to regulate their emotions.


I have prior experience providing cognitive behaviour based individual and group therapy for adults with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and a history of trauma, including Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for trauma. I also have experience providing various psychological assessments, including diagnostic, forensic, personality, and neurocognitive assessments.

While originally from Alberta, I received an Honour’s degree in Psychology (B.Sc.) from Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario). As part of my Ph.D. here at Dalhousie, my research focuses on co-occurring disorders, primarily the co-occurrence of alcohol misuse and major depression. I am a big believer in research and continuing education as the basis of providing evidence-based treatments, which ensure that I deliver the most effective care for clients. However, I value all forms of learning, and as such I deeply appreciate the ways I learn from clients through their stories and resilience.

A strong therapeutic relationship is important to for me to build with all clients to best support them through treatment. I aim to provide an authentic and open environment in sessions, which at times may include metaphors and humour. I foremost believe in working collaboratively with individuals to identify and reach the goals that are most aligned with their values.


Chantal Piercy Masters Student in Counselling & Psychology | She/Her
Offers your choice of virtual or in-person appointments

I am a student currently enrolled on the Masters in Counselling & Psychology (MACP), with Yorkville University, Canada. I have a passion for play and expressive arts, which I bring into all my work. I am an inclusive, person-centred practitioner, exhibiting empathy, acceptance, congruence, and unconditional positive regard for all my clients. I am naturally warm and open, creating a safe holding environment for children, youth, and young adults to express themselves fully and work through overwhelming feelings. I enjoy working with parent-child dyads and families through attachment-based lenses. I am trained in non-directive play therapy, Theraplay, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and clinical counselling methodologies. I enjoy empowering my clients by using CBT through a developmentally sensitive playful lens.    


I am from England and have been in beautiful Nova Scotia since 2018. Here in Canada, I have been working with children and families who have experienced domestic violence. In the UK, I worked as a play therapist and lead therapeutic special needs teacher. I have worked with children, youth, and adults with diagnoses including trauma, learning disorders, autism, ADHD, attachment disorder, oppositional defiance disorder, conduct disorder, Tourette’s, OCD, selective mutism, anxiety, and depression. As a lead specialist teacher in various schools and colleges, l wrote behaviour plans, implemented adaptations for my students; alongside teaching, collaborating with other professionals, and training teaching staff. In mainstream schools I provided play therapy sessions to children and youth with mental health concerns and learning differences. I possess masters level qualifications in teaching, special educational needs coordination and play therapy. 


Christian Ruel Masters Student in Counselling & Psychology | He/His

Offers virtual appointments

We can deal with many situations in life, as unpleasant as they may be. However, sometimes it can be difficult, if not impossible, to move forward, and we may or may not know why. In any case, I commend your courage in reading these lines. It means you are completing the first step of your journey toward a better life.


I am a student in the practicum phase of a Masters in Counselling Psychology with Yorkville University, and I work with adult clients (19+). Helping is who I am; I have several years of experience as a career firefighter and with Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM). You will find me an empathetic, authentic, genuine ally in your therapeutic journey.


I come from a cognitive behavioural approach, with a vested interest in third-wave modalities. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) can help you find ways to manage problems from a host of issues on the anxiety spectrum to depression and its related symptomatology and more. Solution-focused therapy (SFT) is also a practical avenue when the situation lends itself to it, where we look at concrete solutions for solving problems.


P.S.: I also help you in French.

Toni Spinella Ph.D. Clinical Psychology Practicum Student | She/Her
Offers your choice of virtual or in-person appointments

I am a clinical psychology Ph.D. student at Dalhousie University. Currently, I wear multiple hats at Lesley Hartman & Associates Inc. Through my role as an Intake Worker, I am eager to help clients find a therapist or program that suits their needs. I am also very excited to be a part of the Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) team, working with folks who have difficulties regulating their intense emotions. I have experience working with adults who struggle with symptoms of anxiety, depression/low mood, and trauma, using various treatment approaches including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). I also have experience providing psycho-diagnostic and cognitive assessments.  


Growing up in Ottawa, I completed an Honour’s degree (B.A.) in Psychology at Carleton University. I also received a Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in Psychology and Neuroscience at Dalhousie University before starting my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. As part of my graduate training, I have been involved in research related to substance use, substance use disorders, and cannabis, including potential harms and medicinal effects associated with THC and CBD.  


Overall, I strive to develop a strong working relationship with my clients and am committed to providing a safe and inclusive space for individuals from all walks of life. I look forward to working collaboratively with each individual to help move them towards their goals

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Jessica Ali
Intake Worker | She/Her

I recently graduated with a Master of Social Work from Dalhousie University, where I completed my placement with the Sackville/Bedford Community Mental Health Clinic, working with adults who were experiencing a variety of mental health-related challenges. I have extensive experience working with families involved with the child welfare system and experience working with seniors and in Aboriginal communities.


Being born and raised in Nova Scotia, I received a Bachelor of Arts (Sociology) and a Bachelor of Social Work from Dalhousie University.

I believe in person-centred practice and collaborative approaches that allow individuals to be in control of their own healing and wellness journeys.


It is a privilege to be involved in these journeys, and I look forward to connecting with individuals to support them at the beginning of their therapeutic process.


Mithey Augustine
Intake Worker | She/Her

I graduated with my MA in International Development Studies at Dalhousie University. I graduated with a Combined Honours BA in Psychology and International Development Studies. This provided me with a unique lens of seeing the personal being in continuous conversation with the political. 

As a first generation Canadian I am passionate about the Eelam-Tamil community that I hail from. My research explores issues of identity, liberation culture, intergenerational and community trauma concerning Eelam-Tamil women. I look forward to providing you with a safe space and assisting you with getting started on your wellness journey. 


Cori Bradley
Practice Manager | She/Her

Our dedicated practice manager, Cori, has worked in and managed a busy veterinary practice for many years before deciding to enter the human field. 


She keeps us running smoothly, helping us provide our clients with more efficient service.


If you have any complaints or concerns, please let Cori know! She'll be sure to assist you.


Kelly Jacques
Practice Coordinator | She/Her

Kelly works closely with Cori to ensure clients’ have the best experience. She has extensive administration experience primarily working with university students. 


She is committed to using her skills to help people. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, Kelly is here to help you!

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