I am an Associate Professor and former Chair in the Department of Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Studies (SMF). I received my PhD in Family Relations and Human Development and my MSc in Couple and Family Therapy, both at the University of Guelph. I completed my honours BA (co-op) in Psychology here at St. Jerome’s University/University of Waterloo. I have been teaching since 2002 and have taught courses in adolescent development; communication and counselling skills; human sexuality; introductory psychology; parent, child, and family relationships; practicum; relationship formation, maintenance, and conflict/crisis; and research methods.
My research interests centre around identity formation - how we construct our sense of self and how experiences, relationships, and life transitions impact our identity. I developed and validated an instrument to measure identity functions, which has been translated into several languages and is used internationally. I also study sexuality and relationships in various ways, including online dating, sexual and romantic relationships among nonbinary folks, and BDSM. I am currently investigating the relationship between physical appearance and sense of self–body-identity connections.
Complementing my teaching and research identities, I am also a Registered Psychotherapist and Couple & Family Therapist with a small private practice and have over 15 years of clinical experience. Much of my current clinical work is with couples and individuals, but I have also worked extensively with adolescents and their families in both private counselling and residential settings.
In my free time, I enjoy reading fiction (vampire and “otherworldly” characters, in particular), travelling, and outdoor activities (hiking, canoeing, SCUBA diving, and snorkelling).