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Sara Pishdadian, Ph.D., C.Psych. 

Clinical Psychologist (supervised practice)


Sara Pishdadian is a psychologist in supervised practice in the areas of clinical, rehabilitation and neuropsychology. She provides clinical and rehabilitation psychology services to older adults, under the supervision of Dr. Komal Shaikh, C. Psych.

Training & Experience

Dr. Pishdadian completed her undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Toronto and her PhD in clinical psychology and neuropsychology at York University. Her PhD dissertation was recognized by York University for its substantial contribution to the field and was nominated for a national award. Dr. Pishdadian has trained at top healthcare facilities including Baycrest Hospital, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Sunnybrook Health Sciences, Toronto Western Hospital, York University Psychology Clinic, and The Ottawa Hospital where she completed a Canadian Psychological Association accredited residency in Clinical Psychology, with a specialization in neuropsychology.

Dr. Pishdadian’s clinical experience includes providing assessment, cognitive rehabilitation, and psychotherapy services in acute care, outpatient, inpatient, psychiatric, and rehabilitation settings. She has worked with individuals struggling with complex cognitive, psychological, and emotional issues and with both chronic and acute medical comorbidities.

In addition to her work at Connect and Thrive Psychology, Dr. Pishdadian holds a position as a psychologist in supervised practice at CAMH in the Geriatric Mental Health, the Neuropsychological Assessment, and the Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy for Psychosis services, within the Complex Care & Recovery program. In her role, she conducts clinically oriented research and provides assessment and therapy services.

Client Goals & Concerns

Dr. Sara Pishdadian works with clients with a broad range of goals and concerns. These include the following:  

  • Adjusting to illness after physical or medical events or diagnoses, such as a brain injury, stroke, or a new medical condition
  • Managing chronic conditions and disability. This can include physical, medical, or cognitive conditions, like pain, cancer, surgery, and/or neurological illnesses (e.g., mild cognitive impairment, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease)
  • Fear of falling or injury
  • Difficulty accomplishing or managing daily tasks (social, personal, or other) due to challenges with thinking skills (e.g., attention, memory, multitasking)
  • Caregiver or carepartner-related stress, including caring for loved ones with neurological or psychiatric conditions
  • Managing, adjusting, or coping with the effects of COVID-19 or long-covid illness
  • Low mood, low self-esteem, self-criticism, depression
  • Anxiety, social anxiety, worrying, overthinking, difficulty relaxing
  • Uncertainty in life, feeling unclear of future directions
  • Managing problematic or difficult emotions (e.g., anger, shame, guilt)
  • Relationship issues, interpersonal challenges (with romantic others, friends, family)
  • Communication and assertiveness, interpersonal effectiveness

Therapeutic Style

Dr. Pishdadian sessions are centered around the idea that every client’s experience is understandable given their history, which helps the client-therapist team begin their work from a place of non-judgment and strength. Her treatment approach is both client-centered and integrative. This means that she believes her clients should have agency in determining what it means to be their best selves, and that she draws on tools from different therapy modalities to assist her clients’ in working towards this goal. Clients have described Dr. Pishdadian as extremely knowledgeable and warm. She is also known to strike a nice balance between being supportive and encouraging of change.

A course of therapy begins with Dr. Pishdadian getting to know you and developing a treatment plan, which can take one to four sessions. The treatment plan is collaboratively decided upon and guides the therapy but remains flexible. Given her expertise in assessment, Dr. Pishdadian also regularly uses questionnaires to monitor progress between sessions. She is eager to receive feedback and will check-in to ensure that you are on track to meet your goals.

Treatment Approaches

Dr. Pishdadian has training and experience in incorporating the following treatment approaches and strategies into her work with clients:

  • Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • PClient-Centered or Humanistic Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for psychosis (CBT-p)
  • Cognitive Rehabilitation (e.g., Goal Management Training or GMT)
  • Compassion-Focused interventions
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
  • Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI)

About Sara

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