Cara Dunkley, Ph.D., R.Psych.

Dr. Dunkley specializes in treating individuals with anxiety, sexual concerns, low mood, and insomnia. She provides treatment to adults with generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Dr. Dunkley has also received specialized training in treating anxiety and low mood during the menopausal transition and the prenatal/postpartum period. With regards to sexuality, Dr. Dunkley works with individuals of all genders and orientations experiencing sexual concerns, such as low sexual desire, sexual pain, performance anxiety, orgasm difficulties, erotophobia, and problematic sexual behaviours. As sexual difficulties often accompany symptoms of anxiety and depression, Dr. Dunkley has particular expertise in treating presentations where these concerns intersect (e.g. post-traumatic stress resulting from sexual trauma; intrusive, unwanted, and distressing thoughts, images, and urges relating to sexuality).

Dr. Dunkley’s goal as a clinician is to improve quality of life through movements towards meaningful and lasting change. Her warm, genuine interpersonal style promotes a strong therapeutic relationship, and her compassionate approach to therapy creates a calm and confidential atmosphere for clients to express themselves. She believes in client-centered care and collaboratively tailors treatment to meet the individual needs of her clients. She primarily uses disorder-specific cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) protocols, complimented by other evidence-based treatments, such as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and emotion regulation skills training. Dr. Dunkley is a “kink-aware” clinician, experienced in working with individuals with alternative sexual interests and consensual forms of non-monogamy. Her open and non-judgmental stance creates a safe space to discuss deeply personal and sensitive subjects.

Dr. Dunkley received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from University of British Columbia. She completed her pre-doctoral residency at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Ontario, with rotations in the Anxiety Treatment and Research Clinic, Women’s Health Clinic, Mood Disorders Program, and Sleep Medicine Clinic. Additional clinical training sites include the UBC Psychology Clinic, the Vancouver CBT Centre, Vancouver Coastal Health, and the West Coast Centre for Sex Therapy. In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Dunkley is actively engaged in clinical research on generalized anxiety disorder and on sexual concerns among individuals with anxiety disorders. She has published her research on sexual function, alternative sexual interests, and mindfulness in several peer-reviewed journals, as well as presented her research at national and international conferences.