Clinical Staff

Dr. David Worling (#1365)

Registered Psychologist

Director of the Westcoast Child Development Group and the Spectrum Works Consulting Group.

Dr. Worling has worked extensively with individuals on the Autism Spectrum for the past 25 years. In addition to providing diagnostic and learning assessments, he has developed innovative treatment protocols for social competence, self-coping, depression, and anxiety.

Dr. Worling established the Westcoast Child Development Group as a full time private practice for children on the Autism Spectrum in 2003. As his clinical population matured and encountered new challenges entering the job market, he began advocating for Autism employment issues and developed the intervention protocols now offered by Spectrum Works Consulting. Dr. Worling currently supports a number of employees and employment firms as they navigate Autism in the workplace.

Dr. Worling holds academic affiliations with the Psychology Clinic at SFU and teaches a course on Autism as a Sessional Instructor with the Psychology Department at UBC.  He is also Qualified Specialist affiliated with the British Columbia Autism Assessment Network and has given a number of workshops and presentations regarding ASD.

Stephany Berinstein (#2168), B.H.K, MSc OT

Registered Occupational Therapist

Program Coordinator, Gastown Vocational Services & The Art Studios

Stephany graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy in 2008. She is a member of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists and a Clinical Faculty member with the department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at UBC.

Stephany is an Occupational Therapist who specializes in vocational rehabilitation service for people with mental health conditions. She is passionate about supporting mental health in the workplace so that people of all abilities can succeed.

Since 2010, Stephany has been helping individuals with mental health challenges, including individuals on the Autism Spectrum, achieve their vocational goals. This comprises of pre-employment skill development, wellness management, obtaining paid or unpaid employment, determining a suitable career path or returning to school.  As an Occupational Therapist, she is skilled in understanding how disability can impact function and knows how to identify and address vocational barriers in the workplace. Stephany believes engaging in meaningful paid or unpaid employment is a key determinant to health and wellbeing.

Dr. Kimberly Armstrong (#2322)

Dr. Kimberly Armstrong has worked with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families since 2004. She spent two years working in the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University with Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen. She then completed her Masters and Doctoral degrees through the Clinical Psychology Program at Simon Fraser University, and completed clinical practica at BC Children’s Hospital and Child and Youth Mental Health. During that time she also conducted research in the Autism and Developmental Disorders Lab with Dr. Grace Iarocci. Her residency year was spent in Ontario at the Kingston Internship Consortium and the Queens University Developmental Disabilities Consulting Program working with children, youth and adults with neurodevelopmental disorders and mental health difficulties.

Dr. Armstrong has published research in peer-reviewed journals including The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, Autism Research, and Molecular Autism. She is passionate about identifying each person’s unique strengths and challenges, and supporting them to engage meaningfully in the world. Dr. Armstrong is available to conduct diagnostic and psychoeducational assessments, and to provide therapeutic and consultation services.

Fleur van der Heul (#12616)

Fleur van der Heul is a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC). Fleur completed her Master’s degree in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology at the University of Utrecht (Netherlands) and Simon Fraser University, and another Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology at Adler University.

Fleur has over 9 years of professional experience working with adolescents and young adults, including individuals on the Autism Spectrum. Fleur has held positions as a Child and Youth Mental Health clinician and as a Psychometrist at the Maples Adolescent Treatment Centre and Youth Forensic Psychiatric Services. Fleur has been in private practice for the past 5 years.

Fleur specializes in treating social, behavioural and emotional issues in adolescents and young adults. Fleur also provides executive function coaching for individuals on the Autism Spectrum. Many individuals on the Autism Spectrum struggle with executive functioning. Executive functioning skills are an integral part of finding success on the work floor. Executive function coaching will support individuals with planning, time-management, task initiation, task monitoring, organization, sustained attention, and motivation.

Dr. Aaron Jacobson (#2337)

Prior to relocating to Vancouver, Dr. Jacobson worked at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Rosa, California, for seven years in the Child Psychiatry Department.  He worked as a case manager for young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disabilities, and co-led the Teen Intensive Outpatient Program.  In addition to seeing patients through Westcoast Child Development Clinic, Dr. Jacobson also consults for Spectrum Works, providing support to adolescents and adults on the Autism Spectrum with co-occurring mental health conditions. Additionally, Dr. Jacobson specializes in foster/adoption issues, blended families, and has worked extensively with survivors of abuse and neglect.  He has treated a wide variety of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety and panic, school refusal, and self-harming behavior.

He has over ten years’ experience as a clinician and has specialized training in the areas of Brief Strategic Family Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Autism Diagnostics, and Group Therapy. Dr. Jacobson has also conducted trainings for clinicians in adolescent suicide assessment and therapeutic interventions for individuals on the Autism Spectrum.  He has given talks at a wide variety of agencies, including schools and foster care organizations.  

Dr. Jacobson integrates a number of different modalities into his work, but generally works as an Interpersonal therapist.  He encourages full family participation in the psychotherapeutic treatment of children and adolescents.  

 

Antes de mudarse a Vancouver, el Dr. Jacobson trabajó en Kaiser Permanente en Santa Rosa, California.  El lleva siete años en el Departamento de Psiquiatría Infantil. Trabajó como gerente de casos para jóvenes con trastornos del espectro autista y otras discapacidades del desarrollo, y fue codirector del Programa Intensivo para Adolescentes. Además de atender a los pacientes a través de Westcoast Child Development Clinic, el Dr. Jacobson también asesora a Spectrum Works, brindando apoyo a adolescentes y adultos autistas con trastornos concurrentes de salud mental. Además, el Dr. Jacobson se especializa en asuntos de adopción / crianza, familias combinadas, y ha trabajado extensamente con sobrevivientes de abuso y negligencia. Él ha tratado una amplia variedad de problemas de salud mental, que incluyen depresión, ansiedad y pánico, rechazo escolar y comportamiento autodestructivo.

Tiene más de diez años de experiencia como médico y tiene capacitación especializada en las áreas de Breve Terapia Familiar Estratégica, Terapia de Comportamiento Dialéctico, Terapia Cognitiva Conductual, Diagnóstico de Autismo y Terapia Grupal. El Dr. Jacobson también ha realizado capacitaciones para médicos en la evaluación del suicidio adolescente y las intervenciones terapéuticas para individuos en el espectro del autismo. Ha dado charlas en una amplia variedad de agencias, incluidas escuelas y organizaciones de cuidado de crianza.

El Dr. Jacobson integra varias modalidades diferentes en su trabajo, pero generalmente trabaja como terapeuta interpersonal. Alienta la participación familiar total en el tratamiento psicoterapéutico de niños y adolescentes.

 

Leah Marks (#16138)

Registered Clinical Counsellor, Academic and Career Strategist

Leah Marks, M.A., (RCC#16138), is a Registered Clinical Counsellor as well as an experienced academic advisor and career strategist. She specializes in supporting individuals aged 15 and beyond through life decisions and navigating through the world of work and school. She guides adolescent, young adult, and adult clients to explore their strengths and opportunities for growth and to design and achieve personal, academic, and career objectives – especially in times of transition.

Leah began her career over 25 years ago as an educator and consultant designing individual education plans and consulting to parents on supporting child development and behaviour while also working as a College Instructor for Early Childhood Educators. More recently, as an Academic Advisor at The University of British Columbia, Leah has become skilled in assisting adult students to chart and navigate rigorous academic paths despite a multitude of internal and external barriers. Through training with the UBC Life and Career Centre, the Centre for Student involvement and Careers and Alumni UBC, Leah has extensive experience providing career advising and building hope for a wide range of clients with a multitude of career questions and concerns.

She combines her work as an educator and academic advisor with her Clinical Counselling training and experience to provide a holistic approach to her clients that is solution-focused, action oriented, and grounded in theories of positive psychology, human development, mindfulness, cognitive behaviour therapy and informed by current research in self-regulated learning, executive functioning, and career development.

Leah holds a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology and Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Gender studies from the University of British Columbia and is a parent of two young adults.

Dr. Katia Jitlina (#2417)

Registered Psychologist

Dr. Katia Jitlina has worked with children and families in different capacities since 2003. She completed her Ph.D. in School Psychology at the University of British Columbia. Her research has focused on the development of Anxiety Disorders in children with Autism, as well as translating clinic-based anxiety interventions to the school setting. She is passionate about early interventions for mental health and overall development, as well as promoting the mental health and emotional well-being of children and youth with Autism.

She finished her residency in Clinical Child Psychology at McMaster Children’s Hospital, where she worked in the Child and Youth Mental Health and Autism Spectrum Disorder services. She previously completed practica with Child and Youth Mental Health, the Calgary Learning Centre, the Early Childhood Mental Health Program at Richmond Hospital, and worked as a psychometrist with the Neonatal Follow-Up Programme at BC Children’s Hospital. In providing treatment, she uses a collaborative therapeutic framework that is influenced by cognitive-behavioural, developmental, interpersonal and family therapy approaches.

Dr. Jitlina is available to conduct diagnostic, developmental and psychoeducational assessments, and to provide therapeutic and consultation services.

Consultants

Anthony Bailey, MBBS, DCH, MRCPsych, FRCPsych, FRCPC

Academic Advisor

Professor and Chair of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia  

Dr. Bailey is a leading researcher of the neurobiological basis of autistic disorders, using genetic, neuropathological and neuroimaging approaches. He injects this experience into his clinical work with teenagers and able adults on the Autism Spectrum.

Dr. Bailey comes to Canada from the University of Oxford where he was the Cheryl and Reece Scott Chair of Psychiatry: the first medical chair devoted to the study of autism. At Oxford, Dr. Bailey built the first Magnetoencephalographic Centre designed for the study of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. He also coordinated the International Molecular Genetic Study of Autism Consortium: a large international team of clinicians and scientists brought together to identify susceptibility genes for autism.

Dr. Bailey became Professor and Chair of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UBC in July 2010. He is the founding Editor-in-Chief of Autism Research: the Journal of the International Society of Autism Research.

Tom Beasley, BA, MA, LLB

Employment Lawyer

Tom has represented employers and employees in all aspects of the employment relationship for over 30 years. In the last decade, a large portion of  his practice has concerned mental health and harassment issues in the workplace. He was co-counsel for the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada in Moore v. British Columbia (Education) 2012 SCC 61 where the Supreme Court of Canada dealt with accommodation by a public school of a student with dyslexia.

Tom’s practice has included litigation and mediation in all employment based tribunals in British Columbia and in all levels of Courts in British Columbia and in the Federal Court system, and in the Supreme Court of Canada, in addition to arbitrations under Collective Agreements.  He has written many articles on human rights, judicial review and employment law for the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, and is a regular speaker at other professional continuing education conferences.

Work is a fundamental and integral part of everyone’s identity. Tom firmly believes that resolving workplace issues promptly and efficiently is of primary importance for both employees and employers, and that this best achieved by a collaborative approach involving relevant disciplines. He often works collaboratively with psychologists, investigators and others in resolving workplace conflicts and looks forward to applying that approach for employees who are on the Autism spectrum.

David Thomson

Management Consultant

Principal, Coast Leadership Consulting Group

David is an organizational effectiveness and leadership consultant, facilitator and trainer who brings 25 years of diverse work and life experiences to his clients. He brings a high-energy, engaging approach to his areas of expertise, which include leadership development, community engagement, strategic planning, board governance, change management and team development.

David has worked with a variety of private, public and non-profit sector clients over the years in Canada, the United States, Europe and South America. Prior to co-founding Coast Consulting Group, David was a Senior Consultant with two leading Canadian organization development consulting firms, People Tech and Scott Consulting. He also worked in a senior management role as Director of the leadership and team development program at Outward Bound.

David holds a B. Comm from Queens University and a M. Sc. Organization Development from Pepperdine University where he taught as an adjunct faculty member for over 20 years. David also is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach from Coaches Training Institute, accredited by the International Coach Federation, and is certified in The Leadership Circle Profile (individual and culture).

Administrative Staff

Kate Kha

Clinic Care Coordinator

Kate is the Clinical Care Coordinator at Westcoast Child Development Group. She provides information about the clinic services and manages client accounts, referrals, scheduling and cancellations of various appointments.

Kate graduated with a dual degree in law and forensic criminal studies from Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University in the Ukraine and is passionate about mental health. She is fluent in English, Russian and Ukrainian. In her spare time, Kate enjoys listening to music and going to concerts. She also enjoys reading books and poetry.

Jordan Jiminez

Administrator

Jordan works as a part time administrator for our clinic, providing information to clients and helping the clinic run on a daily basis.

Jordan graduated her B.A. in psychology from the University of British Columbia, with particular interests in developmental psychology and social psychology. She volunteered throughout her degree with Dr. Janet Worker in infant language development.

Currently, Jordan is completing her Master’s Degree in Organizational Psychology at Adler University where she is interested in Leadership Development and coaching where she is writing her thesis on leadership emotional intelligence and team effectiveness.

In her spare time Jordan likes to play volleyball, go to the beach and cook for her friends and family.

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