We at Spirit Psychological believe that life is a pathway of growth, struggle and a desire to live intentionally and authentically - no matter how old you are.
Each of us mindfully value the privilege of working with you and/or your loved ones.
Seeking how to walk therapeutically alongside clients of all ages and stages has been a lifetime professional goal of Anita’s. Her personal hope was to create a clinic filled with vibrant, skilled and dedicated professionals who work actively in the spaces clients experience – offices, schools, community and other areas of life. Each professional’s purpose would be to bring all their expertise, reality-based knowledge and approachability to enhance client care at any age.
This vision has been realized in the creation of Spirit Psychological.
Anita holds licensure as a Registered Psychologist (Nova Scotia Board of Examiners in Psychology), a Registered Counselling Therapist (Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists) and Canadian Certified Counsellor (Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association). Alongside many professional memberships, Anita holds a B.A. (Honours in Psychology, SMU, 1994), M.A. (School Psychology, MSVU, 1998) and most recently, an M.Ed. (Counselling, Acadia, 2020). After completing her B.A., Anita worked for the Department of Community Services as well as Dalhousie University engaging graduate study.
Working in both private practice and public school systems for over 20 years, Anita has enjoyed helping school-aged children/teens as well as young adults to move toward wellness, authentic living and self-advocacy. She provides assessment services for learning disabilities, behavior, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Intellectual Disability, developmental delay, Autism Spectrum Disorder (pre-screening) as well as screening for suspected mental health challenges. Consultation is offered to all clients as a way to communicate with outside agencies and other professionals involved in a client’s circle of care.
Counselling is a central passion for Anita. Her licensure as a Registered Psychologist allows her to work with school-aged children, teens and young adults up to age 25 years using her assessment, consultation and counselling skills. For older clients (25 years+), couple and families, Anita is pleased to provide support within a counselling-specific framework as a Registered Counselling Therapist.
Maggie, Anita’s 4 year old Labrador retriever, is a therapy dog in-training and can be part of any appointment upon client request.
Terra Sawlor (she/her), Associate
M.A. (School Psychology)
M.Ed. (Special Education)
Registered Psychologist (NS)
Daytime & Evening, by Appointment
Terra is a Registered Psychologist with over 17 years of experience working for the Halifax Regional Centre for Education (HRCE) and in private practice. She holds both an M.A. (School Psychology; 2003) and M.Ed. (Special Education; 2008) but, most importantly, she is the proud mother of two children.
Being child-focused, Terra utilizes her assessment, counselling and consultation skills (i.e., advocacy; behaviour, etc.) to uncover and support her clients’ needs. Her diagnostic assessment of learning disabilities, intellectual delays, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and autism pre-screening are comprehensive and detailed. Terra feels passionate about working collaboratively with children and families. She takes pride in helping clients understand their own strengths and challenges in order to develop evidence-based, practical strategies for both home and school.
Terra’s therapeutic approach is client-focused and integrative but grounded in cognitive-behavioral theory and mindfulness. She works beside clients struggling with anxiety, low mood, social skills, emotional regulation and other difficulties.
Pamela Blotnicky (she/her), Associate
M.A. (School Psychology)
Psychologist (Candidate Register)
Evening & Weekends, by Appointment
Pamela is a Psychologist (Candidate Register) with the Nova Scotia Board of Examiners in Psychology, and a member of the Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia (APNS). Graduating in 2010 with a Masters of Arts in School Psychology from Mount Saint Vincent University (2010) after completing her Honours degree in psychology, Pamela has extensive practice in both public and private practice settings.
Pamela specializes in learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), functional behavior assessments as well as consultation with parents and teachers. She has conducted research in the areas of ADHD and learning disability intervention at Dalhousie University, using it heavily to inform her practice.
As a school psychologist currently working within the Nova Scotia educational system, Pamela is able to conduct comprehensive assessments in order to understand the learning, attentional and behavioral strengths/needs of children, adolescents and young adults. Pamela focuses on comprehensive and meaningful intervention plans for both home and school, striving to design a pathway to success for each of her clients.
Heather Boucher (she/her), Associate
M.A. (School Psychology)
Psychologist (Candidate Register)
Evening & Weekends, by Appointment
Heather is a Psychologist (Candidate Register) with the Nova Scotia Board of Examiners in Psychology, and a member of the Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia (APNS). She completed her Bachelor of Science (Honours, Psychology) at Saint Mary’s University and a Master of Arts in School Psychology at Mount Saint Vincent University. Heather is concurrently employed with the Halifax Regional Centre for Education as a school psychologist.
Heather has extensive experience working children, youth, families, and school personnel. She provides comprehensive assessments for learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities and Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). She has a special interest in literacy instruction that is based on scientifically supported. Known for her exceptional warmth and humor, Heather is dedicated to working collaboratively and practically to support children and their families with a variety of learning, behavioral, and mental health challenges.
Melanie Kennedy (she/her), Associate
CCC (CCPA), RCT-C (NSCCT)
Currently a Fine Arts Specialist with the Halifax Regional Centre for Education, Melanie has been nurturing students and helping them gain the strength to tell their own stories for over 25 years. Melanie maintains a keen interest in working innovatively with students, in particular those who have special needs. Her creative approaches to teaching have resulted in her receiving both the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the first ever Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Education. In addition to her two Bachelors of Arts, Melanie holds a Bachelor of Education as well as Master of Education degrees in both Special Education and Counselling. Melanie is a member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association as a Canadian Certified Counsellor, and is also a Registered Counselling Therapist (C) with the Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists.When counselling, Melanie’s therapeutic approach is narrative within a client-centered framework for both individuals and groups. Although interested in everyone’s story, Melanie has a special interest in working with adolescents. Along with Anita, she is also active in the application of animal assisted therapy in Nova Scotia. Melanie was very excited to learn in recent years of her Métis heritage and feels a natural connection to many Indigenous teachings.
Maxine Roberts (she/her) 7bytheOcean Counselling Services Bachelor of Education M.Ed. (Counselling) CCC (CCPA), Candidate RCT-C (NSCCT)
Weekdays and Evenings, by Appointment
Maxine believes that each person’s whole story matters. Reaching out for support and saying “I need help” is not always easy. It takes courage and strength to let another person into one’s life, sharing struggles and concerns that may be getting in the way. Maxine’s commitment is to journey with each client, providing a supportive and caring listening space. As a Registered Counselling Therapist – Candidate (RCT-C) and a member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association as a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC), Maxine provides counselling services to young adults, adults, women, newcomers & refugees to Nova Scotia, couples and families.
As a Certified Trauma Integration Clinician (CTIC) through ATTCH (attch.org), Maxine’s therapeutic approach includes sensitivity and compassion for difficult and complex life experiences. Using a strengths-based, solutions-focused approach, grounded with trauma-informed principles, Maxine considers it a privilege to get to know each client – inviting them to share their life stories, and providing an atmosphere where they are listened to, valued, and heard.
With 20+ years experience as an educator (children to adult levels), including ten years as an English as an Additional Language (EAL) instructor/program coordinator (working with newcomers and refugees), Maxine is committed to helping individuals to grow and move towards ‘better’ in their lives. Some of her areas of focus include:
- Relationship support (individual/couples/families)
- ADHD support
- Immigrant/refugee young adults, women and family support
- Anxiety/stress coping
- Trauma-focused and integration work
- Support for women (personal, professional, work/life balance, family, life stages)
Stephanie Gorman (she/her), Associate M.Sc., SLP Certified Speech-Language Pathologist
Weekdays by Appointment
A passion for helping others and a love of children has led Stephanie to a career as a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist. She has been a professional Speech-Language Pathologist for 15 years, working in a variety of settings, including Family Resource Centres in rural Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centers, and most recently with the Halifax Regional Centre for Education. With her years of experience, and as a mother of three children, she feels confident that she can help your child achieve their communication goals in a fun, play-based environment.
Stephanie is an experienced therapist who will provide comprehensive speech and/or language assessment services to help your child meet all of their communication goals. She provides speech and language treatment and intervention services using a family-based and naturalistic approach. She specializes in articulation delays, motor speech disorders, language delays and phonological awareness delays.
Stephanie has specialized training to support children with language delays. She is trained by the Hanen Centre in Toronto and is certified to provide two evidence-based parenting programs (More Than Words and It Takes Two to Talk).
Erin MacKelvie (she/her), Associate M.A. (Bahavioural Psychology)
As a teenager, Erin worked with neurodiverse individuals and saw firsthand the importance of ensuring that those persons who engage in challenging behaviours are safe and understood. After completing a Behavioural Interventions Advanced Diploma (NSCC), Erin completed a Master’s Degree in Behavioral Psychology (University of the Pacific, California), where she gained experience working with neurotypical and neurodiverse children and adolescents who engaged in a wide range of challenging behaviours.
Believing that challenging behaviours are often used to communicate needs, Erin is active with ABA Halifax, a resource for individuals and professionals who are interested or practice ABA. Through an ABA lens, Erin teaches her clients how to communicate needs in a safe and easily understood way. She believes that ensuring safety is a group effort and prides herself in working collaboratively with all relevant caregivers to develop effective treatment plans in a clients’ everyday environments.
Maggie, Therapy Dog
Anita and Melanie are pleased to offer animal-assisted therapy at client request. Both are active members of the Animal-Assisted Therapy Chapter of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association and believe in the therapeutic value animals can bring to clients who are willing to experience it.
While not hypo-allergenic, Maggie is Anita’s 4 year old yellow Labrador Retriever who loves to cuddle and has an intuitive emotional sense for her human companions.
Karma, Therapy Dog
Sandy Harrison (she/her), Administrative Assistant
Sandy is a warm, engaging and experienced Administrative Assistant that we at Spirit could not live without. A current school secretary with many years in the educational system, Sandy is able to ensure all clients are welcomed, comfortable and have the support they require (including navigating the toy closet, printing a paid invoice or coloring while waiting for family). She provides invaluable support to both our staff and clients with ease.