February is Psychology Month and we're excited to feature Dr. Colleen Allison, one of our Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) psychologists!
After a career in the travel industry, Colleen knew she wanted a more meaningful career. She thought of the most meaningful thing in her life, and realized it was the strong relationships she had formed with others. This led Colleen to pursue a career in psychotherapy. After finding her passion, she returned to university to complete a B.A. in Psychology, a Graduate Degree and a Ph.D. During her studies she produced an Honour's Thesis that won an International Award, as well as a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council award.
Colleen now works as the Clinical Lead Psychotherapy at Mental Health & Substance Use (MHSU) Outpatient Services. “I applied for this position because it was my dream job, although I had thought that this kind of job would never be available in the province," says Colleen. “It was always my goal to work in the public system so that I would be able to serve people who could not afford to see a Psychologist privately. In fact, even as a student, I sought out Drs. René Weideman and Ingrid Söchting, both psychologists who worked in Outpatient Services at VCH as clinical supervisors."
Colleen has a passion for group psychotherapy that was fostered by the training she undertook as a Graduate Student, as well as through ongoing continuing education. She is responsible for program development of the Group Psychotherapy Program and for the one-to-one counselling available to clients through the SAFER program (Suicide Attempt Follow-up, Education, and Research). Colleen enjoys continually learning, which enables her to provide up-to-date integrated and comprehensive services.
While working at Outpatient Services, Colleen has been inspired by the dedication of two managers she's worked with, Sheila Scotton, and Sarbi Aujla. “They are both truly compassionate with the people we serve as well as our team. It's truly been an honour working with both of them."
“I enjoy working with a group of people who are committed to providing the highest possible standard of service in a supportive team environment. I have worked for the best managers I've ever worked with in my life since joining Outpatient Services. I feel supported by the whole team at Outpatient Services, both physicians and other clinicians in the high level of service they provide to the people we serve," says Colleen.
To all our amazing psychologists who are providing exceptional care - Happy Psychology Month!