Clear minds, open hearts
There have been breakthroughs in her burgeoning clinical therapy practice — for her clients and for herself — that Maria Pavlova will never forget. For the third-year graduate student in the Department of Psychology, such moments have proven the transformative power of therapy and have affirmed her commitment to her chosen future career.
Pavlova, BA’15, is a PhD candidate in the Clinical Psychology program, with a focus on paediatric pain. She says UCalgary’s Psychology Clinic — established in 2018, thanks to a gift from two visionary alumni, Dr. Lori Egger, BA’87, MSc’90, PhD’94, and Steve Laut, BSc (Eng)’79 — has propelled her far further along in her knowledge and skills than she would otherwise have been at this point in her education.
“Seeing individuals from the community as part of my graduate coursework has made an incredible difference to my learning,” she says. “Even 30 minutes of practising therapy in a professional clinic, under supervision and with the technology to record and review the session, is more meaningful than any reading, lecture or seminar alone.”
Clinic director Dr. Joshua Madsen, PhD, says the new facility has dramatically elevated teaching and learning while expanding community service in short order. “It’s been a monumental game-changer for the Psychology program,” he says. “It’s prompted and contributed to new curriculum; it has provided earlier and more frequent in-house training for grad students; it allows for a dynamic variety of experiential learning opportunities; and it serves the community with affordable, evidence-based assessment and treatment that many people may not otherwise have access to.”
To Pavlova, the clinic is “a priceless contribution to students and to the community. I feel so fortunate to benefit from the incredible experience it’s given me. This program is my dream come true.”