Ottawa River Psychology Group is pleased to welcome three talented graduate student trainees who will be offering reduced fee psychotherapy services online under the supervision of senior registered clinicians from Ottawa River Psychology Group.

Check them out here. Graduate Practicum students under supervision will be accepting new reduced fee clients as of September 2021.  Services are eligible for extended health insurance coverage under the professional licenses of clinical supervisors.

Check out our new graduate practicum student team members here or see below

2021- 2022 Cohort

Ottawa River Psychology Group

Graduate Practicum in Third Wave Psychotherapy 

About Ottawa River Psychology Group 

Ottawa River Psychology Group is a group practice of registered psychologists and psychotherapists who offer the full range of Third Wave psychotherapy interventions for the cultivation of well-being and growth.  Our vision is to use Third Wave psychology and psychotherapy to bring out the best in our clients, our communities and our clinicians. Our values guide our work. Our commitment to embody what we teach in our work with clients and each other gives us the resilience and inner leadership to weather challenges and continue to grow. During this pandemic period we have deepened our commitment to building contexts that allow new clinicians to learn and practice Third Wave psychotherapies for the benefit of our communities and the world. We offer post-doctoral fellowship training for doctoral psychologists, post-graduate fellowship training for non-psychologist clinicians, graduate practicum training for advanced graduate students in health care professions, and 1:1 and group community consultations in Third Wave psychotherapy. 

Our 2021-2022 cohort of graduate practicum students in Third Wave psychotherapy are able to offer reduced fee services under the close weekly supervision of senior clinical associates from our team. Extended health insurance coverage is available under the professional licenses of the clinical supervisors of the graduate students. Check our our wonderful cohort of Third Wave psychotherapy graduate practicum trainees below, along with their senior clinical supervisors.

Ann Herard, M.A. (in progress) Supervised Practicum Student (University of Ottawa)

About Ann:

As a practicum student in Counselling Psychology, I am honored to be able to support and accompany you along your mental health journey. I view therapy as a courageous and loving act of self-care which I believe has the power to promote sustainable changes and foster a stronger sense of self. I aim to meet my clients with authenticity and create a collaborative process focused on self-discovery, exploration, and acceptance. I specialize in providing support to youth and adults experiencing anxiety, depression, grief, substance use, racial identity issues, adoption and related issues, life transitions, or seeking fulfillment in their everyday life. My own lived experience as a Chinese-Canadian adoptee emboldens my resolve to practice with compassion and hold space for clients’ multiple and intersecting identities.

Psychotherapy Approach:

I take a person-centered approach to therapy by fully embracing/valuing your expertise as well as your lived experiences. Together, we will construct a tailored treatment plan best suited to your needs and preferences. We will explore the challenges you’ve faced that make it harder to find what you are looking for in a way that also honours what has helped you so far. You will also have the opportunity to discover new ways of coping, explore new ideas and practise showing up for yourself in a safe and supportive environment where it’s okay to make mistakes.

I strive to establish a genuine counselling relationship built on honesty and mutual respect—where thoughts, feelings and reflections are welcomed without judgment. My approach also calls for open communication about what you find most helpful as to ensure that you are getting what you truly want out of the therapeutic process and moving forward toward your goals.

My approach to therapy encompasses a variety of third-wave approaches including Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and  Internal Family Systems (IFS)—all of which operate within a multicultural and anti-opressive framework.

Education and Experience

I am currently completing a Master’s of Arts in Education degree in Counselling Psychology at the University of Ottawa. I also hold a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Psychology. Before pursuing graduate studies, I worked primarily with youth, young adults, and new Canadians in various community-based settings. Being fluently bilingual, I look forward to offering services in both French and English.

People with whom I work: Youth (13+) & adults

Specialities: Anxiety, depression, substance use, transracial adoption, life transitions, racial identity work, grief.

Ann’s Supervisor:  David Hesidence M.Sc. RP is a Registered Psychotherapist (# 002794) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. Meeting these standards involves specific training and clinical experience. David meets these standards through Master’s level training, a certificate in Trauma and Addictions Recovery Studies (Algonquin College) and a range of past and ongoing training. He has experience working clinically within a specialized mental health centre and in another private practice setting. David is fully qualified to provide psychotherapy services to individuals and groups according to the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. He has considerable experience in working with individuals who are facing substance use, mental health challenges or both. Supervisor contact information:


Riley Desmarais M.A. (in progress) Supervised Practicum Student (University of Ottawa)

About Riley:

Life is full of challenge. Although I know it is not always easy, I believe everyone can strive towards their full potential to live a meaningful and happy life. Our minds can hold such great power over our behaviours and emotions. I am here to help you find the courage within yourself to overcome suffering and to navigate the hardships of life with compassion and dignity. As a graduate practicum student in psychotherapy, I intend to tailor each treatment intervention to cultivate your strength and uniqueness, and to help you discover what is truly important to you. Together we will collaborate to help you embody your human potential to live a full, satisfying, and meaningful life.

Psychotherapy Approach:

I emphasize a non-judgmental and accepting environment for you to safely share your hardships and concerns about your life, as well as the happy moments, at your own pace. I practice a client-centred approach to therapy that allows you, the client, to embrace their uniqueness. During the therapy session, I will always strive to meet you where you are at and help you set goals according to the life you want to live. Currently, I am in the process of training in Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness-Based Interventions and other third-wave approaches.

Education and Experience: 

I am completing a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology at the University of Ottawa, allowing me to explore and expand both on my theoretical knowledge and practical skills within counselling and psychotherapy. I also hold an Honours Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Biology. Under the supervision of Dr. Melisa Arias-Valenzuela, I am completing my master’s practicum at the Ottawa River Psychology Group. 

People with whom I work: adults aged 18 to 65 years

Specialities:  depression / anxiety, LGBTQ+ specific issues, relationship difficulties, disordered eating and body image concerns, everyday life difficulties.

Riley’s Supervisor: Dr. Melisa Arias-Valenzuela Psy.D. / Ph. D., C. Psych., PMH-C

Dr. Arias-Valenzuela C.Psych. holds a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Université du Québec à Montréal and is registered as a clinical psychologist with the College of Psychologists of Ontario.  Dr. Arias-Valenzuela completed her post doctoral residency at the McGill University Health Service with the Cognitive Behavioral Service. She has extensive training in CBT, ACT, Maudsley FBT, CFT and is qualified to offer psychological services in French, English and Spanish.  Supervisor contact information:


Ryan Wyatt M.A. (in progress) Supervised Practicum Student

About Ryan:

My lived experiences and interactions with others have made me a firm believer in the strength and resiliency of people.  Life rarely unfolds in a neat and tidy manner and often ignores our best laid plans.  We must face obstacles that will be difficult to overcome and may bring about challenging emotions and mental states.  I believe that it is our responses to these challenges that can help foster healthy thinking patterns, behaviours and a belief in our own strengths.  In overcoming obstacles we become better prepared for the future and more resilient in the face of adversity.  

Seeking support during difficult times requires bravery and an awareness of one’s thoughts and emotions.  It is an essential step in understanding the challenges you are facing, outlining goals to work towards and developing the skills that you can use to achieve them.    

Psychotherapy Approach:

I take a client-centered approach to the counselling relationship.  My aim is to work together to address the areas of concern that are important to you by creating an atmosphere where you feel heard and know that it is safe to be open and honest.  I seek not to solve your problems, but to assist you in developing the skills that will help you to overcome them.

At the start of our time together I will get to know you and listen carefully to the challenges that you wish to address and what you would like to improve upon.  I will tailor my approach to best suit you and ensure that we are working towards your goals while frequently checking in to make sure you are satisfied with the work we are doing together.  

My approach to therapy is always evolving as I progress through my training and career.  I take a third-wave approach to counselling and focus on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), and Mindfulness Based Interventions.

Education and Experience:

I hold a Bachelor of Arts Honours Psychology degree from Carleton University as well as a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University.  I am currently a member of the Ontario College of Teachers.  Following graduation I spent a year living and working as an educator in Melbourne, Australia.  I recently returned from two and a half years teaching and coaching at a secondary school in Northern British Columbia.  

My five years working in education helped me realize the passion I have for working with others to overcome challenges and improve their lived experiences.  I am currently completing a Master’s of Education in Counselling Psychology at the University of Ottawa in pursuit of a career as a full-time counsellor.

People with whom I work: adults aged 18 to 65 years

Specialities:  anxiety, depression, chronic stress, low self-esteem, difficulties adjusting to life transitions.

Ryan’s Supervisor: Kamala Pilgrim Ph.D., C.Psych.  

Dr. Kamala Pilgrim, C.Psych., is a doctoral level clinical psychologist registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO #6258). She obtained her Ph.D. from Concordia University and also holds a Master’s degree in Neuroscience from McGill University in Montréal. Dr. Pilgrim has graduate training and experience in private practice working with clients from within the frameworks of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), as well as third-wave, process-based treatments, i.e. Mindfulness, and Acceptance and Commitment Based Therapy (ACT), Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT). She has a particular interest in working with clients who experience heightened levels of anxiety and stress. Supervisor contact information:




All Ottawa River Psychology Group Clinical Supervisors are the most responsible clinicians for the work of graduate practicum.  Clients who work with a graduate practicum student get the benefit of both the high motivation and recent contact with research and best practice  literature in psychotherapy that comes with being a graduate student in professional training, along with the years of professional experience and specialized training of a registered clinical professional supervisor who holds a license from either the College of Psychologists of Ontario or the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.  Clinical Supervisors provide very close supervision of graduate practicum student clinical work: every week clinical supervisors meet face to face with practicum students to review each client case, assess client needs, monitor progress, plan treatment, and ensure the maintenance of the highest standards of professional practice and supervision as defined by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario and the College of Psychologists of Ontario.  If there are any concerns about the care provided under the supervised practice of graduate practicum students, ORPG clinical supervisors are available to clients and their practicum clinicians to review case progress, solve problems, suggest new directions, and resolve challenges. Supervisor contact information is included in the profile of each graduate practicum student, and clients can always reach their graduate practicum student clinician or their supervisor through contacting the Ottawa River Psychology Group office at 613-656-3331, or by emailing our administrative office at


Ottawa River Psychology Group Clinical Director

Dr Kimberly Sogge C.Psych.