Dr. John Cole, C. Psych.

Dr. John Cole has been a registered psychologist in Ontario since 1993.  He was born and raised in Peterborough and has recently resettled in this area.  He completed his B.A. in Psychology at Western University and his M.A. and Ph.D. at York University.  During his graduate studies, he trained variously in Toronto at The Wellesley Hospital, The Clarke Institute of Psychiatry (now CAMH), the Downsview Rehabilitation Centre, and in London at University Hospital.  He conducted most of his M.A. and Ph.D. research at London Psychiatric Hospital.  Prior to completing his Ph.D. in Clinical/Counselling Psychology, he began working as a psychologist at the Community Mental Health Clinic of Cambridge Memorial Hospital.  This involved treating outpatients with a wide range of mental health issues, but also providing crisis consultation in the hospital’s Emergency Department and to other departments.   After about 7 years, he transitioned into his own private practice (working solo for another 9 years with a few part-time associates).   In 2005, he established the Cambridge Psychology Centre to expand the available psychological services in the Cambridge area (including Waterloo Region).   Eventually, it was providing services (both treatment and assessment) to adults, adolescents, and children.   There are numerous similarities between that clinic and Telka Smith Practice in Psychology.  In the past, Dr. Cole has been involved in various capacities with the Ontario Psychological Association and serving on their Board of Directors.   He has also been published and invited to present to conferences on areas such as chronic pain, neurocognitive rehabilitation after head injury, and sexual abuse treatment.  He has been certified as an expert witness on Ontario Superior Court in relation to chronic pain and psychological conditions.

Professionally, Dr. Cole has always worked only with adults, either individually or as couples.   His training and professional experience has lead him to work with a wide variety of presenting personal problems.  These include people experiencing anxiety, depression, grief, trauma, chronic pain, complex health issues, relationship difficulties, and concussion/acquired brain injury.  Often this has included military veterans, first responders (e.g., fire, police, RCMP), and abuse survivors, but also many others who may be off work on short-term or long-term disability, but who want to address their issues so they can get back to their lives.  Dr. Cole was worked with clients from a multitude of different cultural backgrounds (even when an interpreter was required) and tries very hard to understand and relate to people and their own unique story.  

Clinically, Dr. Cole uses the scientifically proven psychological therapy approach of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as a principle technique when addressing issues related to anxiety, depression, pain, and trauma.  However, experience has shown him that “one tool doesn’t apply to every situation” and he will draw on his knowledge of psychodynamic, client centered, clinical hypnosis, mindfulness, and EMDR when necessary to help work most effectively with each person.  His approach to couples therapy involves utilizing Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) which has been shown repeatedly to be the most clinically successful treatment approach in that field.   Since 2012, Dr. Cole has been certified to provide Cogmed Working Memory Training with adults.   This technique applies computer-based exercises in the client’s own home to facilitate the “re-wiring of the brain” to re-establish neuro-connections.  It is useful with people who have attention issues (often related to ADD or ADHD), but also for persons who have suffered a concussion or head injury, and even due to the natural processes of aging.   Considerable research has shown that training at home with Cogmed for about 45 minutes, 5 days a week for 5 weeks will show improvements in Working Memory/Attention in about 80% of participants.  It does not require repeated training after the first treatment round. 

However, to put things simply, Dr. Cole really enjoys working with people to help them cope better with their lives, function more effectively, and improve their relationships.  As psychologist, he has always enjoyed helping people to progress towards a more stable, meaningful, and satisfying quality of life.

Recently, Dr. Cole decided it was the right time to step away from the demands of assessing and treating clients, and being responsible for an established Psychology Clinic.  In December, he sold the clinic to one of his staff members and relocated to a lake north of Peterborough with his wife (a transition they had begun 1½ years earlier).  After a sabbatical of several months (which involved making new connections, seeing more of family members who remained in Peterborough, and becoming so much more connected to the beauty and nature of this area), he decided it was time to reactivate his professional career.   A phone call and a few meetings with Dr. Lee Smith (with whom he had trained at The Clarke about 30 years ago) and Dr. Gene Telka have made it clear that joining this practice on a part-time basis is an ideal opportunity.   He looks forward to providing individual and couples therapy in this work, but he is also open to conducting assessments when there are questions relating to diagnosis or treatment planning.  

In the rest of his time, he enjoys canoeing, other outdoor activities, music, and reading.   This is an exciting new chapter for which he feels very blessed and grateful.  He is looking forward to a more moderately paced lifestyle balancing friends and family, community, and work.