Skip navigation menu
Return to start of navigation menu

Sean M. Swaby, M.A.

Associate Faculty

Sean Swaby is a Family Counsellor with Alberta Health Services – Youth Residential Treatment Programs. Sean has worked for Alberta Health Services since 2005, and has over 25 years’ experience working with youth and families in various recovery settings. He is an Associate Faculty with City University – where he teaches the Psychology of Addiction, and Psychopharmacology and Psychopathology. In his practice, he utilizes Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Internal Family Systems Therapy and Mindfulness. Where possible, he practices “Geek Therapy” – utilizing superheroes and popular culture in his therapeutic practice. He has presented webinars and workshops on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Addiction Recovery; Parents and PTSD: The impacts and treatment of secondary trauma due to adolescent addiction; Working with Families in Treatment; and Case Conceptualization using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Internal Family Systems and Superheroes.

Contributions to City University: Support comprehensive exam process, supervise practicum students, facilitate monthly Acceptance and Commitment Therapy practice group on the CU campus, second Thursday of each month.


Areas of research interest and writing include: Recovery from Addiction and Mental Health through Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Internal Family Systems Therapy, and by utilizing imaginative processes (e.g. Superheroes, Fictional Characters, Personal heroes both real and imagined).

  • November 2019 – NAADAC (U.S. Association for Addiction Professionals), (Webinar) “Parents with PTSD: How Addiction can Retraumatize Families”
  • September 2019 – Edmonton Comicon, (Conference seminar) “Batman is My Therapist: What super/heroes can teach us about mental health”
  • June 2019 – Alberta Addiction Day 2019, (Conference presentation) “Using Superheroes and fictional characters to foster acceptance and commitment in recovery”
  • May 18, 2019 – Private One-day workshop: Experiential Case Conceptualization Treatment planning and intervention skills using ACT, IFS and Superhero Therapy methods
  • January 2019 – Alberta Health Services, (Webinar) Provincial Addiction Practice Council: “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Addiction Treatment”
  • December 2018 – Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association – (Webinar) “Parents with PTSD: How Addiction can Retraumatize Families”
  • September 2018 – Alberta Health Services, (In-Service) “Introduction to the Circumplex Model of Family Therapy.”
  • 2017 – Alberta Health Services, (Webinar) “Family and Addiction: Assessment and Intervention strategies”
  • 2013 – Alberta Health Services, (Webinar) “Family Involvement in Treatment”
  • 2012 – Alberta Health Services, (Conference seminar): Creative Support Strategies in Family Addictions Work”
  • 2010 – Healthy Minds/Healthy Children Continuing Professional Development Program, (Webinar) “Double Trouble: The Challenge of Raising Challenging Teens”
  • Swaby, S.M. (2016). The Positive Psychology of recovery: A review. Research Gate online.
  • Published over 300 mental health, addiction and relationship articles – July 2015 to the Present
  • Childhood Trauma and Addiction – January 7, 2016
  • Addiction: The Hardest Thing About Recovery – December 16, 2015
  • Music May be the Best Medicine for Your Mental Health – December 16, 2015
  • Therapy and Becoming the Person You Want to Be – March 15, 2017
  • 11 Lessons for Success in Addiction Recovery – January 3, 2017
  • Personal blog, published over 1000 articles on recovery and mental health, relationships and therapy – May 2014 – the Present

Philosophy of teaching includes using empowering, creative, experiential means to support students in the process of learning.

  • Psychology of Addiction
  • Psychopathology and Psychopharmacology
Request Info