Learn how our counselling can be of benefit to you.
Dr. Mark Johnston (MD, FRCP(C) Psychiatrist) is a Dalhousie trained medical doctor and psychiatrist who has served patients in the Annapolis Valley and Halifax areas for over 10 years. He and his team at True North Psychological Services offer regional centers in Halifax, Kentville, and New Minas, providing new and returning clients with highly skilled, compassionate therapists and medical treatment in a welcoming environment. Clients benefit from a collaboration between Dr. Johnston and his therapist partners. For those seeking psychiatric treatment, this team approach can often expedite the process because of overlap between psychological assessments and psychiatric assessments.
Dr. Johnston has gathered a team of accomplished associates, including Dr. Kjerstin Baldwin (PhD, R. Psych) and Bryanne Harris (MA, Psychologist Cand. Reg.). They are currently accepting self-referrals, as well as referrals from physicians, hospital groups, governmental agencies and other health professions (i.e. massage therapists, chiropractors, etc.).
Referrals are accepted by phone, fax or e-mail. Please contact us if you have any questions about the services we offer.
Dr. Johnston is available to see clients Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Bryanne Harris is available Monday to Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and occasional Fridays. She also counsels military families and children at Greenwood Base each Tuesday.
You can reach our Office Manager, Lori Rose, daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by phone or email. Please visit the Contact page for more information.
Through decades of combined experience, Dr. Johnston and his team of psychologists have come to believe in providing mental health services that treat and address underlying issues over the long term, rather than offering a quick and temporary fix. This means that clients get the help they need to be their best self.
Dr. Johnston firmly believes counselling should form the core of most mental health treatment plans. However, as a medical doctor, his role is often confined to diagnosis and medical treatment. For this reason, he works closely with psychologists and refers his patients to them for counselling. In his experience, patients are best served by this collaborative team approach - with psychologists conducting counselling and psychiatrists managing medications, when appropriate.
Bryanne Harris is a licensed Counselling Psychologist specializing in therapeutic work with children, adolescents, adults, and families. Bryanne has experience working at the Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System, where she conducted court-related assessments and facilitated therapy groups for children. Currently, Bryanne uses a cognitive-behavioural (CBT) approach, along with eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) in her therapy.
Dr. Baldwin focuses primarily on cognitive-behavioural therapy, using evidence-based approaches to treatment. Her specific interests include post-traumatic stress, stress and pain management, occupational mental health, depression and anxiety.
Katherine Ilnitski is a Registered Counselling Therapist with several years experience in the field of Counselling Therapy. Katherine is adept in the employment of Narrative, Cognitive Behavioural, and Solution Focused therapies. She draws inspiration from her training in Mindfulness and Trauma Informed practices. In 2012 Katherine completed a four month internship at Bridges institute in Truro, where she obtained specialized training in counselling men who use abuse, counselling victims of abuse, and in providing individual anger management interventions. Katherine works extensively with individuals, families and couples who struggle with trauma, anger, conflict, addictions, chronic pain, anxiety and depression. Katherine operates from a belief that we are all experts of our own lives and views her role as helping others access their best selves.
Sarah Williams is a Registered Psychologist. She offers Psychoeducational Assessments, ADHD assessments, and counselling supports. Sarah has extensive experience working with individuals of all ages regarding ADHD and Learning Disabilities. Sarah also worked with children and youth regarding a range of challenges including stress/anxiety, sleep hygiene, social skills, developmental delays, behavioural difficulties, and emotions. Sarah works within a multi-disciplinary model, collaborating with various professionals.
Rodney Keddy has been a registered psychologist since 2007. He graduated from the University of Calgary with a Masters of Education degree. Since then Rodney has gained extensive experience working with Corrections Canada, in medical clinic settings, and also in private practice. Rodney has worked with a wide variety of clientele with concerns related to trauma/PTSD, anxiety, transition (i.e. military to civilian), substance abuse/addiction, ADD, depression, stress management, and behavioural health/lifestyle change. His counselling approach is client-centred and draws mainly from the areas of cognitive-behavioural and solution-focused therapy.
Dr. Ryan has been a registered psychologist for 32 years. He gained extensive experience as a past Director of a Children's Clinic, and also as an honorary board member for the Canadian Child Welfare League. Dr. Ryan's clinical focuses include PTSD, depression, adjustment and work-place issues, and most anxiety related disorders. Dr. Ryan is also a specialist in grief and related bereavement and love problems.
Dr. Ann Thurgood, a Dalhousie University trained medical doctor, practised as a family physician before joining the field of psychiatry. She served 22 years in the Canadian Forces, working both in the ranks and as an officer. Dr. Thurgood attained the rank of Sergeant, and also practised as a medical officer, flight surgeon, and military psychiatrist. Now, Dr. Thurgood draws on her military experience to serve veterans of the Canadian Forces. She also enjoys her civilian practise, where she provides assessments and medication management primarily for depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
Gabrielle completed her education at Ecole secondaire du Sommet, a Francophone school, in the Halifax area. She then went to Acadia University and graduated in 2016 with her BScH in Psychology. Now, Gabrielle works as a Psychometrist capable of administering tests in both French and English.
Elaine Boyd-Wilcox clinical background includes working with adults, children, and adolescents in the areas of therapy, assessment, and consultation. Areas of assessment have included general psychological, parental capacity, custody/access, learning difficulties, children's needs, substance abuse, and risk. She also completes assessments for military personnel and Veterans Affairs benefits eligibility. Areas of therapeutic practice have included domestic violence, anger, anxiety (including PTSD), depression, trauma and abuse, parenting challenges, and relationship difficulties. Elaine mainly uses cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) in her general practice. She also uses eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) in the treatment of trauma and abuse.
Debbie's clinical background includes working with children, adolescents, and adults in the areas of assessment, therapy, and consultation. Areas of therapeutic practice have included anxiety (including PTSD), depression, domestic violence, anger, parenting challenges, workplace issues, trauma, and abuse. Areas of assessment have included learning difficulties (including services to intellectually disabled individuals), parental capacity, custody/access, children's needs, general psychology, risk, substance abuse, assessments for military personnel, and eligibility for Veterans Affairs benefits. Debbie mainly uses cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) in her general practice and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) in the treatment of trauma and abuse.
Laura is a Registered Psychologist with a focus on children, youth, and families. She has experience working with a variety of mental health concerns, including anxiety, depression, ADHD, behavioural issues, and parenting challenges. Laura works with clients both individually and in a group setting. Group work includes the Women's Coping Group and the Mood Group. She has also been involved in the Positive Relationship Program. Laura has worked with youth with severe emotional, behavioural, and psychological difficulties, and has experience working with clients across the lifespan, from children to the elderly. Areas of focus included obesity, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, relationships, and dress.
Susan's areas of practice are assessment with children and adults (general psychological, psychoeducational, needs, parental capacity, and substance use needs) as well as therapy with adults, couples, and families. Areas of interest include mood, anxiety, pain, relationships, interpersonal problems, stress, anger, and assertiveness. With regards to therapy, Susan uses a cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) approach with aspects of Acceptance and Commitment, Interpersonal, and Gottman-based theory. Susan also co-facilitates a weekly Mood Group with Laura Lang.
Jamie attended Saint Mary's University in Halifax where she earned her BAH in Psychology in 2006. She has worked as a Psychology Assistant since 2009, and currently works as a Psychology Assistant and Psychometrist.