Sari Castrén, PhD is an associate professor at the University of Turku in the Faculty of Social Sciences and at the University of Helsinki in the Faculty of Medicine. She works as a senior researcher at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. Her research focus is on developing interventions for gambling disorders and investigating the efficacy of treatments. Sari is currently in charge of a project of translating and evaluating the suitability of the Canadian Lower Risk Gambling Guidelines in a Finnish cultural context and she is also involved in research that explores gambling disorders and harmful social media use and the convergence of gambling and gaming. Recent publications examine the correlation between personality traits and problem gambling, the role of medication in the treatment of gambling disorder, gambling-related harms for affected others and a systematic review of treatment for affected others of gamblers*.
Sari is a practicing licensed clinical psychologist. She actively trains professionals in the addiction field in motivational interviewing (MI) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approaches.
Andrea Graham, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, with an affiliation in the Center for Human-Computer Interaction + Design. Trained as a clinical psychologist and implementation scientist, her program of research focuses on the design, optimization, and implementation of evidence-based digital mental and behavioral health interventions. She is a leader in applying human-centered design methods to design digital tools that meet stakeholders’ needs and implementation plans that support the integration of digital interventions into practice. She also has expertise in designing and overseeing coaching protocols and clinical workflows for digital interventions.
Marielle Montenegro is the Director of Consulting at The Decision Lab, where she leads the company’s strategy to achieve the highest impact by taking on projects and research in industries where an understanding of how people make decisions have the most to add. Because of this mission, her portfolio of work in recent years has been focused on building transformational digital products in areas of health, finance and education that support people and societies to achieve their goals and thrive under often difficult and continuously evolving circumstances – including working with leading mental health organizations in Canada such as Kids Help Phone and Wellness Together – with millions of users, an accompanying app, public support by the prime minister and Health Canada and – most importantly – very positive signals from users (including priority groups, that were a big part of the co-design). Prior to working at the Decision Lab, Marielle was based in Johannesburg, where she worked on improving telecommunication policies to address access to communication issues in rural communities. Marielle has a degree in behavioural neuroscience from McGill University.
Mike Pond is a Vancouver Island-based psychotherapist who specializes in the treatment of substance use disorders. Thirty years of practice, both in the public and private sectors, combined with his own successful battle with Alcohol Use Disorder convinced Pond harm reduction is the most compassionate approach to treating substance use. Pond uses a broad range of evidence-based treatments, meeting clients where they are at. He recognizes the role trauma plays in too many addictions and works with clients to resolve deep wounds.
Pond’s search for evidence-based addiction treatment was captured in the CBC Nature of Things film Wasted. His memoir is Wasted: An Alcoholic Therapist’s Fight For Recovery in a Flawed Treatment System.
Pond received his Master’s in Social Work from the University of British Columbia in 1995. He worked in Forensic Psychiatric Services and Mental Health and Addictions Services for the British Columbia Government and for Health Canada and the First Nations Health Authority. He began private practice in 1995. More information about Pond’s clinical practice may be found at michaelpond.ca.
Oscar is a bilingual (Spanish) mental health counselor from Las Vegas, Nevada. He serves as program director and professor in the department of Health Sciences and Human Services at Great Basin College in Nevada. He teaches courses in mental health counseling, and assessment and treatment of addiction disorders. He also runs a small private practice. His clinical interests are in developmental processes and their relationship to mental illness, addictions, and substance use disorders. He holds a Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, both from The University of Nevada Las Vegas.
A. Paul Singh is a therapist in private practice in Vancouver, British Columbia and provides online counselling across Canada. He has over 25 years of experience in providing alcohol use counselling and has worked as a therapist in virtually every part of the continuum of care, including detox, outpatient, and residential treatment programs.
Featured speaker at several national conferences, Paul has delivered 1000+ presentations across Canada and the United States on mental health and substance use issues. Paul holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cornell University, a law degree from New York University School of Law, and a master’s in social work from the University of Chicago.
Dr. Igor Yakovenko is an assistant professor of clinical psychology at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, where he specializes in addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. His research explores the risk factors and mechanisms of action of substance use including behavioural addictions such as gambling and video gaming. His recent work has been invested in developing evidence-based public health interventions for substance use disorder including implementing online platforms to increase access to substance use treatment. Dr. Yakovenko is an involved teacher and mentor, supervising clinical psychology, and psychiatry students.
In clinical practice, Dr. Yakovenko specializes in adult mental health, addiction, and couples therapy. He uses a combination of cognitive-behavioural, motivational, and mindfulness therapies to create tailored evidence-based treatments. Dr. Yakovenko has extensive expertise in the treatment, psychodiagnostic, and behavioural assessments of addiction, mood and anxiety disorders, PTSD and trauma, pain, behavioural issues, coping with stress, self-esteem issues, anger management, chronic impulsivity, emotional disturbance, grief, family conflict, psychosis, and personality disorders. Dr. Yakovenko holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Calgary. He completed a pre-doctoral clinical residency at Yale University and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Alberta. More information about Dr. Yakovenko’s work at the Transdiagnostic Addiction Laboratory can be found at www.talab.ca.
Shelby has a deep commitment to improving community mental health and well-being. Currently serving as a Program Manager at the Canadian Mental Health Association, Shelby plays a key role in managing and guiding development on an internationally recognized guided self-help Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) program tailored to address mild to moderate anxiety and depression.