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We support children and families experiencing acute and chronic medical conditions and mental health disorders. We provide assessments and diagnosis, therapy, and consultation. We are also actively engaged in research and training of health professionals.
About us

Psychology leadership

Dr. Katharine Thomson, R. Psych.
Head of Psychology

Dr. Jennifer Coelho, R. Psych.
Associate Head of Psychology

Dr. Emily Piper, R. Psych.
Clinical Training Lead

What we do

Psychologists work in outpatient (ambulatory) clinics and inpatient programs across BC Children's Hospital. When a child (or family) is referred to a psychologist in the hospital, the psychologist will meet with them to discuss the reasons for the referral. This might include assessment or treatment. The psychologist will share information about the services with children and caregivers, and work with families to understand who is able to provide permission (informed consent and assent) for services, and collaborate with the psychologist and other members of their team at the hospital in developing the care plan for their child.

Psychologists also provide education and support to trainees and other health professionals. Many members of our department hold appointments at the University of British Columbia. Some department members are also actively engaged in research and evaluation projects, and are Investigators with the BC Children's Hospital Research Institute.

Our training

Psychologists have extensive training in assessment, treatment, ethics, and other coursework related to their profession. Doctoral-level training (a Ph.D. or Psy.D.) is typically required to be registered as a psychologist in British Columbia. The College of Psychologists of British Columbia is responsible for regulating the profession of psychology.

Families may also work with members of the Psychology Department who are in training (e.g., practicum students, or doctoral-level residents), or with psychometrists (who are involved with psychological evaluation and supervised by a registered psychologist). Members of the Psychology Department who are under the supervision of a registered psychologist will share with families that they are working under supervision, and will let families know who is supervising their work.

Our work

Programs & selected resources

Psychologists are embedded within the following programs across BC Children's Hospital, BC Women's Hospital, and Sunny Hill Health Centre.

We are pleased to highlight the work of members of our department who have developed resources for children and youth, families, and health professionals as part of knowledge translation activities.

For a comprehensive overview of resources and information for youth and families who are navigating the mental health system, please visit or

Medical Psychology

Healthy Minds Centre

Adolescent Inpatient Unit

Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Emergency

Child Psychiatry Unit

Eating Disorders (Outpatient, Day Treatment, and Inpatient)

Outpatient Programs

  • "Best Practices for Virtual Group Therapy" (PDF), a guide with lessons for health care providers about how to improve virtual care, created by mental health clinicians at BC Children's Hospital, with contributions from psychologists Dr. Amrit Dhariwal, Dr. Randall Gillis, and Dr. Melanie McConnell


  • "Rolling With ADHD", an online series of modules that provide tools and strategies for caregivers of children with ADHD, featuring Dr. Candice Murray and Dr. Daphne Dokis

Compass Mental Health

  • "Non-suicidal self-injury in children & youth", a presentation on prevalence, etiology and risk factors associated with self-harm and self-injurious behaviours, featuring Dr. Katharine Thomson, together with Dr. Martha Ignaszewski

Infant Clinic

Gender Clinic

Mood and Anxiety



Teaching Clinic

  • Pediatric Somatization: Professional Handbook (PDF), a guide for clinicians who are providing support for children experiencing somatization, written by Dr. Theresa Newlove, Dr. Elizabeth Stanford, Dr. Andrea Chapman and Dr. Amrit Dhariwal

BC Women's Hospital

Sunny Hill Health Centre

Acute Rehabilitation

BC Autism Assessment Network (BCAAN)

Complex Developmental Behavioural Conditions (CDBC – includes Hearing Loss team)

Neuromotor (includes Visual Impairment services)



Join our team

The Psychology Department offers training opportunities on-site at BC Children's Hospital and Sunny Hill Health Centre. Please see below for more information regarding practicum positions, internship/residency, and post-doctoral fellowships.

If you're interested in job opportunities with BC Children's Hospital, or BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre, please see the link below to visit the PHSA Careers webpage for information regarding current postings.

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