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.
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.
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.
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.