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.

Leah Marks (#16138)

Registered Clinical Counsellor, Academic and Career Strategist

Leah provides a holistic approach to her clients grounded in theories of positive psychology, human development, mindfulness, and cognitive behaviour therapy. Her approach is also informed by current research in decision-making, motivation, self-regulated learning, executive functioning, couples counselling, and career development.

She enjoys guiding adult clients to explore their strengths and opportunities for growth and to build hope and momentum – especially in times of transition.

Leah began her career over 30 years ago as an educator, teaching post-secondary students and as a teacher therapist designing individual education plans for children on the Autism Spectrum, with ADHD, and with Learning challenges and consulted to their parents and teachers. She now focuses her parent consultation work with parents of older teens and young adults and specializes in supporting individuals through life decisions, relationships, and navigating the world of work and school.

Leah’s post-secondary academic counselling draws on several years experience as an Academic Advisor and researcher in academic persistence at The University of British Columbia. She has assisted hundreds of students to navigate rigorous academic demands and chart viable career paths. Through her training and work with the UBC Life and Career Centre; the Centre for Student involvement and Careers; and Alumni UBC, Leah has assisted a wide range of clients in designing and achieving personal, academic, and career objectives. Leah has completed levels 1 – 3, and practicum training in Gottman Methods Couple Therapy and provides evidenced-based relational therapy for couples.

Leah Marks completed her Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology at the University of British Columbia. She is a Canadian Certified Counsellor with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association and is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors.

Dr. Kimberly Armstrong (#2322)

Dr. Kimberly Armstrong has provided services to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families since 2004. She has worked and trained in a number of different setting, including the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge, the Autism and Developmental Disorders Lab at SFU, the Queens University Developmental Disabilities Consulting Program, BC Children’s Hospital, and Child and Youth Mental Health (CYMH).

Dr. Armstrong has published research in a number of peer-reviewed journals, including The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, Autism Research, and Molecular Autism. She is currently a Clinical Faculty member of the Neurodevelopmental Disorders Program with the Department of Psychiatry at UBC. She is also a Clinical Associate with the Department of Psychology at SFU. Dr. Armstrong’s clinical work includes providing diagnostic assessments, consultation, and therapy for adolescents and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders, with a focus on individuals born female.

 

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 sees clients through 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.

 

Dr. Katia Jitlina (#2417)

Registered Psychologist

Dr. Katia Jitlina has worked with children, youth and families in different capacities since 2003. She has worked and trained in a number of settings including the Child and Youth Mental Health community services, the Calgary Learning Centre, the Early Childhood Mental Health Program at Richmond Hospital, the Neonatal Follow-Up Programme at BC Children’s Hospital, and the Child and Youth Mental Health and Autism Spectrum Disorder services at McMaster Children’s Hospital. She has specialized training in Autism. Dr. Jitlina 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 neurodiverse youth.

Dr. Jitlina’s style is collaborative, strengths-based and rooted in cognitive-behavioural and attachment-based approaches. Dr. Jitlina is available to conduct diagnostic, developmental and psychoeducational assessments, and to provide therapeutic and consultation services.

 

Administrative Staff

Shafayat Teimur

Clinic Co-ordinator

Shafayat is the Clinic Co-ordinator at Westcoast Child Development Group. She oversees the day to day clinic operations and supports the smooth running of clinic processes and systems. She also provides information to clients about services at and outside the clinic, provides referrals, co-ordinates assessments, and manages daily front desk procedures.

Her passion for psychology and human resources motivates her in helping to cultivate a healthy workplace and clinic, where clients and clinicians feel comfortable and supported.

She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Bahcesehir University, and a M.A. in Organizational Psychology from Bilgi University in Istanbul, with a particular focus on women in the workplace.

In her spare time, Shafayat loves to explore the outdoors, bake, paint, spend time with her friends, and read. She is fluent in English, Turkish, and Russian.

Krista Reemeyer

Clinic Administrator

Krista supports the clinic front desk and administration at Westcoast Child Development group on a part-time basis. She provides information to clients about services at the clinic, provides referrals, schedules assessments and therapy appointments, helps with invoicing, and supports the daily front desk procedures.

Krista is currently studying psychology, among other social sciences at Simon Fraser University, and is interested in pursuing a career in the field. She graduated high school in 2020 with her double dogwood and can speak both English and French.

She has a drive to assist others and create a positive and uplifting environment for everyone.

In her spare time, Krista enjoys listening to music, getting outside, and spending time with her friends.

Latest Posts

Our response to COVID 19

Dear valued families and clients of Westcoast Child Development Group and Spectrum Works Consulting Group, As a result of directives from the government and health officials regarding the global health crisis, we have decided to take measures to guard the health and safety of our clients, staff, and clinicians while continuing to provide support and […]

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ASD Traits We Could All Use

While many treatment protocols and supports for individuals with ASD are geared to reduce symptoms–to help them ‘fit in’ to society–it is important to note that there are many ASD symptoms that could (and should) be adopted by the larger society. Listed below are some general traits that have been associated with ASD and that we […]

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