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Dr. Heather Macdonald

Program Director, Master of Counselling, Virtual Campus

Dr. Heather Macdonald is a Registered Psychologist in Alberta and Marriage and Family Therapist, currently working as the Acting Program Director for City University-Calgary Campus Masters of Counseling program (MC). I have been working with at-risk children, teens and their families for over 25 years.

She recognized her love for street children when working with at-risk street youth in Mexico City and the Philippines. She has continued to work with at-risk children through schools (private, public and charter), young offender facilities and therapeutic/addiction treatment settings in both clinical and management positions. In each environment, becoming more aware of her need for more knowledge to be truly able to help children find their true potential. She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, having completed her dissertation in the Philippines, which looked at the risk factors that affect children’s academic achievement in care. She approaches clinical work from a post-modern systemic perspective where she relies on socially constructed realities to guide my understanding of systems and human narratives.  As a part of her clinical work, she integrates a therapy dog. Macaulay Blue “Mak” is a golden doodle who is currently six years old.  He is present in the learning community, co-facilitates anxiety groups and reading groups.  Mak provides a gentle calm around the office, schools and other training sites.


I have a passion for learning more about the role of attachment in the lives of at risk youth and the impact attachment has on learning disabilities.  I am also interested in the intersectionality between faith, attachment and personal healing.

  • Macdonald, H. (2018). Learning from the inside out: Culturally responsive and socially just implementation of the trioptimal learning model®. In S. Collins (Eds.), Embracing cultural responsivity and social justice: Re-shaping professional identity in counselling psychology (pp. 648-687). Counselling Concepts.
  • Macdonald H. (2015). Learning from the Inside Out – The TriOptimal Learning Model™. Journal for Educational Practice and Social Change (JEPSC), 4-10. Retrieved from
  • Macdonald, H. (2013). The impact of Christians’ Haven residential program on academic achievement. Doctoral Dissertation, Walden University
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