Meet Our Staff

John Whelan, PhD. / Hilary Stephenson, MPsych / Steven Cann, MSc / Jim Trites, MSPamela Wambolt, MSc / Alicia Jones, BSc.

John Whelan, PhD.
John Whelan, a registered Psychologist and Director of Assessment-Treatment Services for Whelan Psychological Services. He is a clinician, researcher, and program administrator. He joined the Canadian Forces in 1977 and left in 1985 to pursue academic training.  Dr. Whelan served as Executive Director of a long-term facility for addiction treatment from 1986 to 1991. He completed a Master’s Degree in Clinical/Community Psychology in 1994, conducting research and publishing academic articles on the effectiveness of workplace employee assistance programs. In the mid-1990s he was an Employee Assistance Program Specialist providing clinical services (i.e., assessment, therapy, CISD, and case management), program management and consultation to hospitals, public companies, and federal government agencies. Dr. Whelan completed a PhD in Clinical Psychology focusing on the effectiveness of addiction treatment programs. He served as Director of Addiction Services for the Canadian Forces Atlantic (1997-2004) and entered full-time private practice in 2004 providing assessment, therapy, and consultation to civilian and federal organizations. He is frequently called upon to provide assessment and treatment of traumatic stress and concurrent disorders (e.g., alcohol and depression; drug abuse and trauma). Dr. Whelan is active in a number of professional organizations, including  International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Canadian Institute of Military and Veteran Health Research, Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia, and the Canadian Psychological Association.

View – Dr Whelan 2014 – pdf

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Hilary Stephenson, MPsych (Clinical)
Hilary Stephenson, MPsychis a registered psychologist with experience in the assessment and treatment of addiction, posttraumatic stress disorder, and chronic pain. She is originally from Halifax and recently completed graduate training in clinical psychology at Bond University in Queensland, Australia. Ms. Stephenson’s clinical interests and experience include the treatment of anxiety disorders (adult, adolescents, and children), depression, addiction, chronic pain management, ADHD, PTSD, and trauma and psychosis. We welcome her to the staff of WPS.

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Steven Cann, MSc
Steven Cann, MScSteven Cann is a Registered Psychologist offering consulting services in the following areas:  Group therapist skills and group therapy process; forensic assessment specializing in alcohol and drugs, sexual offenders, anger management and anti-social attitudes; clinical supervision of alcohol and drug program; and development of treatment programs and clinical supervision of professionals involved in trauma (PTSD) treatment.

Steven Cann worked with Correctional Services of Canada (CSC) for 26 years in multiple capacities. For fourteen of those years Mr. Cann was the District of Nova Scotia Psychologist and Program Co-ordinator, while the previous 12 years were spent as a Parole Officer. During that time, Mr. Cann gained extensive experience in direct client service and program development and management.  Mr. Cann helped to establish the first Federal/ private partnership in developing and operating an integrated, sex offender clinic in Nova Scotia.  He developed and supervised the first integrated system to treat offenders across Nova Scotia (i.e., alcohol and drugs; anger; violence; anti-social attitudes; and mental illness).

From 2006-2010, Mr. Cann assisted in the delivery of the Trauma Relapse Prevention Group program for CF/RCMP veterans experiencing PTSD and addiction.  He continues to serve as an external consultant and group clinical supervisor for the Department of National Defence Alcohol and Drug Program at CFB Stadacona.

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James Trites, MS  (Clinical)

James Trites, MS  (Clinical)Mr. Trites is a Psychologist (Cand. Register). He recently returned to his home in Nova Scotia after practicing and completing graduate work at Northeastern University, University of Massachusetts, and Harvard University.

After many years in the corporate world and as a business owner, Jim shifted focus and attended Saint Mary’s University in Halifax with the goal of becoming a psychologist. He brings a wide variety of life experience to the counseling room, helping people with issues such as anxiety, depression, grief, and trauma-related concerns. Mr. Trites provides general psychological services with a focus on counseling adolescents and adult males. His training and experience in mediation and dispute resolution, serves in his work helping couples overcome barriers.

Jim’s approach is rooted in the belief that emotional health is primarily affected by the world around us and how we’ve been socialized through our developmental years, the quality of one’s personal relationships, and one’s neurobiology and genetics. Embracing this ecological model to mental health, Jim believes that each client brings forward a unique world-view. He strives to help clients understand their world and then apply that knowledge to their concerns.

Jim’s goal is to offer clients a safe, trusting, and non-judgmental space in which to tell their stories. He practices within a person-centered approach using psycho-education and strategic questioning, when appropriate. Jim encourages clients to examine their inner strengths and discover their full human potential. For clients, the results can be personal growth and empowerment, improved emotional and physical health, and better relationships.

Jim looks forward to contributing to the mental health, and wellness needs of Nova Scotians.

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Pamela Wambolt, MSc (Clinical Psychology)

Pamela Wambolt, MSc (Clinical Psychology)is a Registered Psychologist who began her career at Whelan Psychological following her graduation from Acadia University. She is rejoining the practice following several years in the public sector as a therapist with Addiction Services and Mental Health. Ms. Wambolt brings an extensive knowledge of addiction and concurrent mental health issues. She has experience in providing cognitive behavioral therapies, motivational interviewing, and systems theory within a client centered treatment approach. She focusses on creating a safe environment where clients can feel comfortable to provide input into the therapeutic process and empowered to achieve their desired goals. She also draws upon mindfulness approaches to help clients learn to focus on the present, to accept the things that cannot be changed, and to change those things that cannot be accepted.
Ms. Wambolt has a particular interest in working with individuals who are experiencing difficult transitions (e.g. retirement, parenting, “empty nests”, caregiver stress, and separation/divorce). She enjoys her work with those affected by others addictions and mental health issues and incorporates family members and other supporters into treatment when appropriate. She has a particular interest in issues affecting women’s wellbeing and the difficulties faced by individuals in the LGBT community. Pamela provides assessment and treatment of mood disorders, relationship difficulties, assertiveness, communication, addiction, family of origin, concurrent disorders, and PTSD. She provides assessment and treatment of adults, adolescents, couples, families, and groups.

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Alicia Jones, BSc. (Office Manager)
serves as our office manager. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree (BSc.) in Psychology from Acadia University in 2004. Upon her graduation, she worked as a Residential Counselor within group homes in Moncton NB and since 2006, was employed as Executive Assistant of Canadian Mental Health Association – Moncton Region Inc. Alicia is a recipient of CMHA NB Division’s Volunteer Recognition Award (2007) and is a trained facilitator of The Psychology Foundation of Canada’s “Kids Have Stress Too!” ™ Program.

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