Dr. Jennifer Ference-Belhomme, R. Psych
I obtained my BA (Hons.) in psychology at the University of Calgary in 2008. In 2010, I was admitted into the MSc Clinical Psychology program (also at UofC), and then later, my PhD, which I completed in 2018. Throughout graduate school, my research was focused on identifying early symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder in infants and toddlers. During my training, I worked in a variety of clinical settings around Calgary, including community mental health, hospitals, group homes, and forensics. In 2017, I completed my pre-doctoral clinical residency at the Alberta Children's Hospital, where I worked with children, youth, and families with a variety of mental health concerns, as well as co-occurring medical conditions.
From my training and experience, I have become proficient in in the assessment of children and youth in the areas of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ADHD, learning disabilities, and giftedness. I am well versed in the 'gold standard' assessment instruments for ASD (ages 2 to 16 years), having received training from the developers of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2) at The Centre for Autism and the Developing Brain in New York. I also received in depth supervised practice using the Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI-R) at the Developmental Clinic at the Alberta Children's Hospital. Throughout my graduate training and well into my career, I have been committed to providing evidence-based services to my clients, that are individually tailored to meet unique needs.
My areas of therapeutic practice include anxiety and mood challenges, sleep difficulties, low self-esteem, parent-child relationship difficulties, and emotion regulation issues. My approach to treatment is always individualized and based on the specific needs of each child/youth I am working with; however, I most commonly use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and attachment-based interventions. I have ample experience working with children with neurodevelopmental differences in a therapeutic context.