Our Team

DR. DENNIS PUSCH

DR. DENNIS PUSCH

Dr. Dennis Pusch is a registered Clinical Psychologist who completed his B.A. in Honours Psychology at Trinity Western University (graduating summa cum laude) prior to completing his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Calgary.

Dennis brings years of training and experience in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to his clinical work, but adds other therapeutic models and perspectives to his work according to the needs of his clients, including acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), mindfulness, motivational interviewing, existential therapy and relapse prevention. He is committed to using therapeutic strategies that have been consistently proven to be effective, but believes that those strategies are most helpful if they are offered in a therapy relationship that is supportive, friendly, and respectful. Dennis’ clients are generally adults (including seniors) and adolescents, and he is pleased to offer services to people from all faiths, races, and orientations. He works with clients who are struggling with depression, anxiety in all its forms (e.g., panic, OCD, social anxiety, phobias, generalized anxiety), work stress, trauma, addictions (including drug and alcohol addictions as well as behavioural addictions like sex addiction, gambling, Internet, video games or shopping), and death or loss. He also provides marital therapy, as well as assessments for educational and vocational purposes. Dennis has been qualified as an expert witness in court, and maintains memberships in the College of Alberta Psychologists, the Psychologists’ Association of Alberta, the Canadian Psychological Association, and the Canadian Association of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

While his first passion remains his work as a therapist, Dennis has maintained a broader range of professional interests. He has been a field supervisor for the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Calgary and has trained graduate students and psychology residents in assessment and therapy, as well as supervising a number of provisional psychologists. He has served as a member of the Adult Mental Health Advisory Council for two years. He was instrumental in developing and leading the Behavioural Health Consultation program in Calgary, and he has served as the project lead and chair of a working group that developed a clinical pathway for depression in primary care. He is also collaborating with Dr. Keith Dobson (University of Calgary) in leading a multi-year research program designed to assess the impact of childhood trauma on physical and mental health outcomes later in life, and to develop treatments that can be offered in primary care settings for adults who experienced traumatic events in childhood. His work has been presented at numerous conferences and in peer-reviewed academic publications.

 
DR. RACHEL MARTIN

DR. RACHEL MARTIN

Dr. Rachel Martin is a registered Clinical Psychologist, with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Calgary. She is a member of the College of Alberta Psychologists, the Canadian Psychological Association, and the Psychologists’ Association of Alberta.

Rachel specializes in Clinical/Counselling Psychology and Health Psychology. Her main areas of expertise are depression and mood disorders, anxiety disorders (including panic attacks, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, phobias, PTSD, and OCD), marital and relationship problems, physical health, physical disability, and pain management. Other treatment areas include: adjustment, addictions, assertiveness, behaviour change, burnout, caregiver stress, eating disorders, grief and loss, habit change, life transitions, lifestyle change, stress, self-esteem, workplace stress, sexuality, sleep disorders, and spirituality.

Rachel provides treatment for adult and adolescent clients, using both individual and group therapy formats. Rachel’s approach to therapy is centered on meeting each client’s needs in a compassionate and effective way, using techniques from a variety of theoretical orientations. While she works primarily from a cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) perspective, Rachel also tailors therapy to the needs of each client and may integrate techniques from the areas of mindfulness, interpersonal therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and existential therapy.

In therapy, Rachel strives to provide a supportive and caring environment to help clients discover and use their unique strengths and abilities, enhance their well-being, deal with challenges, and develop more meaningful and satisfying lives. Clients can learn to change negative thought patterns, manage worries and anxiety, deal with difficult emotions, explore new perspectives, activate behavioral changes, build resilience, improve self-expression, and enhance relationships.

 
DR. SHANNON JONES

DR. SHANNON JONES

Shannon Jones is a registered clinical psychologist, with a B.A. in Psychology (First-class Honours) from the University of Calgary and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Regina. Shannon is a member of the College of Alberta Psychologists, the Canadian Psychological Association, the Canadian Association for Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies, and the Psychologist’s Association of Alberta.

Shannon has received a balance of training in Clinical Psychology and Health Psychology and provides individual and group treatment to adults of all ages and older adolescents. While her primary therapeutic approach is cognitive behavioural in nature, she integrates mindfulness and acceptance-based therapies, motivational interviewing, as well as interpersonal, client-centered, and existential therapies when appropriate for the individual client and problem. Shannon’s clinical practice focuses on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals with anxiety disorders (panic disorder, agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and phobias such as needle phobia), mood disorders (depression, bipolar disorder), and personality-related problems. Her health psychology training has emphasized the treatment of health-related issues, including health anxiety, coping with acute and chronic medical problems (e.g., diabetes, chronic pain, and cancer), pre- and post-natal anxiety/depression/insomnia, behaviour change, weight management, fatigue, insomnia/sleep disorders, grief, and loss. Other areas of focus include: assertiveness, anger management, communication, relationship problems, self-esteem, and stress. Shannon is committed to fostering a strong, respectful and collaborative therapeutic relationship with clients, which she believes is integral to achieving success in therapy. She works with clients to identify goals around altering unhelpful thoughts, maladaptive behaviour patterns, and difficult emotions, to enhance overall wellness and promote a positive quality of life.

In addition to her clinical work at Southport Psychology, Shannon carries out specialized assessments for the Addiction Centre through Alberta Health Services and undertakes program evaluation and clinical research for their team. She has published scientific papers in the area of health anxiety and breast cancer, caregiver burden and pain, major depression, and online therapy, and co-authored a self-help book chapter on treating health anxiety. She also has a strong interest in increasing accessibility to mental health services and has completed research and consultation work in the development and implementation of online therapy. 

 
ALSHABA BILLAWALA

ALSHABA BILLAWALA

Alshaba Billawala is a registered psychologist, with a BSc in Psychology from the University of Calgary and an MA in Counselling Psychology from Western University. Alshaba is a member of the College of Alberta Psychologists, the Canadian Psychological Association, and the Psychologists' Association of Alberta.

Alshaba has received training in Counselling Psychology and provides individual, couples and group treatment to adolescents and adults. Her primary therapeutic approach is cognitive behavioural therapy but she also draws from acceptance-based therapies, narrative therapies, motivational interviewing, and client-centered therapy. She has also received specialized training in Gottman's Couples Therapy.  Alshaba’s main areas of clinical practice focuses on individuals with anxiety disorders, mood disorders, marital and relationship difficulties, grief or loss and experiences of abuse. Other areas of focus include: stress management, self-esteem, family difficulties, anger management and cultural adjustment. 

Alshaba is committed to providing a safe and supportive space for clients. She works with clients to identify the goals they have for improved mental health and functioning and works with them to create individually tailored treatment plans. Alshaba believes that therapy is a collaborative process and works with her clients each step of the way towards improved mental health and well-being. 

 
JENNY PEETOOM

JENNY PEETOOM

Jenny Peetoom is a registered psychologist with a master degree in counselling psychology.  She is a member of the College of Alberta Psychologists and the Psychologists’ Association of Alberta. 

Jenny approaches therapy as a collaborative process between client and therapist. She understands that sometimes we find ourselves struggling or stuck in life; that painful emotions, thoughts, events, or ways of interpreting the world get in the way of living a valued life. Having a safe place to be oneself, to risk change, and to hear a compassionate, outside perspective can foster new insight, promote healing, and create fresh ways to tackle difficulties. Jenny tailors her clinical practice to meet the needs of her clients while rooting herself in Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behaviour therapy (CBT), and Emotion Focused therapy (EFT). Jenny works primarily with adult and adolescent clients and provides individual, couple, and group therapy. She focuses her clinical skills treating the following concerns: anxiety (including social anxiety, panic disorder, and phobias), PTSD, OCD and other compulsive disorders, depression and mood disorders, and interpersonal relationship difficulties. Other treatment areas include low self-esteem, adjustment issues, trauma, grief and loss, emotion regulation, and behaviour change.

 
DR. JESSICA BERNTSON

DR. JESSICA BERNTSON

Dr. Jessica Berntson is a Registered Provisional Psychologist, with a M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). She is a member of the College of Alberta Psychologists and the Canadian Psychological Association.

Jessica provides psychological services to adults of all ages in the areas of Health and Clinical Psychology. Her main Health Psychology areas of practice are sleep issues (e.g., insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness, disruptive sleep behaviours or experiences, adjustment to sleep apnea treatments), women’s health and perinatal issues, health and illness-related anxiety, medically unexplained physical symptoms, functional medical difficulties (e.g., irritable bowel syndrome, migraine, tension-type headache), chronic pain management, and adherence to medical recommendations. Her main Clinical Psychology areas of practice are anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, specific phobia, and social phobia), OCD and other compulsive disorders, depressive disorders, trauma and stressor-related disorders, and personality-related issues. Jessica also sees clients in wellness-focused areas where she helps her clients to better manage stress, difficult emotions, troubling thoughts, and problematic behaviour. Importantly, Jessica’s practice welcomes persons of all cultures, races/ethnicities, faiths, abilities, identities, and orientations.

Jessica takes a collaborative approach with each of her clients to determine which scientifically supported treatments are best suited to them and their presenting problems. Based on client need and preference, she utilizes a range of evidence-based therapies including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT), interpersonal therapy (IPT), cognitive processing therapy (CPT), schema therapy, motivational interviewing, and solution focused therapy. Jessica provides therapy in a compassionate, non-judgmental, and transparent manner so that each client feels comfortable and respected throughout the treatment process. Overall, Jessica’s therapy approach supports clients to not only learn, but ultimately, master therapeutic principles and practices so that they can maintain their long-term health and wellness.