Dr. Farstad’s speciality is working with adults who have addictions and co-occurring mental health problems (i.e., depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, trauma, psychosis, personality disorders). She also provides treatment to adults seeking treatment for disordered eating, anger management, and ADHD support. 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. She takes a Health at Every Size approach when dealing with disordered eating. She has completed continuing education on Adult ADHD; she can provide support in managing ADHD symptoms and/or adapt existing treatment protocols to better support neurodivergent clients.
Dr. Farstad completed her PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Calgary. In addition to her work with the Vancouver CBT Centre, she works for Correctional Health Services and Forensic Psychiatric Services Commission to provide mental health services to folks who are involved with the criminal justice system. She has previously worked at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam, an Outpatient Forensic Clinic in Surrey, and several custodial centres in the Lower Mainland. She previously taught undergraduate courses at the University of Calgary, Simon Fraser University, and Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
During her graduate and undergraduate training, Dr. Farstad conducted research on binge eating, problematic gambling, and substance use among men and women from the community, as well as youth who were involved with the criminal justice system. She published journal articles, co-authored a book chapter, and presented her research at national and international conferences on these topics. During her training, she completed several practicum placements where she supported clients with complex mental health concerns and/or substance use (i.e., outpatient addiction service for individuals with co-occurring mental health issues, intensive day-treatment program for mood and anxiety disorders, outpatient service for adults with schizophrenia, youth forensic clinic, maximum security forensic psychiatric hospital).
Dr. Farstad is strongly committed to providing evidence-based therapy for mental health issues. She primarily provides Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; however, she also incorporates other evidence-based approaches when appropriate including Mindfulness, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing. She takes a collaborative approach in therapy to help her clients develop and work towards their personal goals. In session, she is warm, non-judgmental, and emotionally validating. 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.