I have been working with at-risk children, teens and their families for over 20 years. I recognized my love for street children when working with at-risk street youth in Mexico City. I have continued to work with at-risk children through schools (private, public and charter), young offender facilities and therapeutic treatment settings in both clinical and management positions, in each environment becoming more aware that I needed more knowledge to be truly able to help children find their true potential. I completed my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, having completed my dissertation in the Philippines, which looked at the risk factors that affect the academic achievement of children in care. I approach clinical work from a post-modern systemic perspective where I rely on socially constructed realities to guide my understanding of systems and human narratives. As a part of my clinical work I integrate a therapy dog into my private practice. Macaulay Blue (“Mak”) is a golden doodle who is currently 3.5 years old. He has worked with our learning community co-facilitating anxiety groups and reading groups. Mak is present in most of my sessions and provides a gentle calmness around the office, schools and other training sites.
Courses taught at CityUniversity
- Brief Therapy Models (CPC 513)
2006-present: Counsellor, Private Practice
2015-2017: Adjunct Instructor/Core Faculty (Masters of Arts in Counselling), Yorkville University
2011-2012: Psychological Intern, Citta Psychological Services
2006: Clinical Director, Aventa Addiction Treatment for Women
Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology), Walden University, 2013
Master of Arts (Ministry and Marriage and Family Therapy), Briercrest Biblical Seminary, 2002
Bachelor of Religious Education, Ambrose University (Previously Canadian Bible College), 1995
2013: Scholar of Social Change (Video Award). Walden University
Macdonald Heather (2015). Learning from the Inside Out – The TriOptimal Learning Model™. Journal for Educational Practice and Social Change (JEPSC), 4-10.
Macdonald, H. (2013). The impact of Christians’ Haven residential program on academic achievement. Doctoral Dissertation, Walden University