Dr. Farstad completed her PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Calgary. Before joining the Vancouver CBT Centre, she worked for the Forensic Psychiatric Services Commission. Her clinical experiences have also included placements at an outpatient addiction service for individuals with co-occurring mental health issues, an intensive day-treatment program for mood and anxiety disorders, an outpatient service for adults with schizophrenia, and a maximum security forensic psychiatric hospital.
Dr. Farstad conducted research on binge eating, problematic gambling, and substance use among men and women from the community, as well as youth who had come into contact with the law. She has published journal articles, co-authored a book chapter, and presented her research at national and international conferences on these topics.
Dr. Farstad specializes in treating individuals who engage in disordered eating, problematic gambling, and substance use. Her speciality is working with individuals who have addictions and co-occurring mental health problems (i.e., depression, anxiety disorders, trauma, psychosis). She also provides treatment for anger management, social anxiety, and trauma.
Dr. Farstad is strongly committed to providing evidence-based therapy for mental health issues. She primarily provides Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; however, she also uses other evidence-based approaches when appropriate (i.e., mindfulness, dialectical behavior therapy, motivational interviewing). She takes a collaborative approach in therapy to help her clients develop and work towards their personal goals. With respect to addictions, Dr. Farstad works with her clients to achieve their own personal goals – whether they are to reduce harm, moderate use, or abstain completely. In session, she takes a warm, non-judgmental, and validating approach. Her goal is to provide clients with skills and techniques that they can use to manage their mental health symptoms and improve their quality of life.