Cranbrook gets new, much-needed psychologist

Cranbrook gets new, much-needed psychologist

Dr. Thompson is now the only registered psychologist in the entire East Kootenay

  • Nov. 22, 2017 3:32 p.m.

Paul Rodgers

Dr. Sandra Thompson, Ph.D of Nelson-based Summit Psychology has opened an office in Cranbrook. Her coming to Cranbrook represents the filling of a longstanding void — she is now the only registered psychologist working in the East Kootenay.

On Tuesday, November 21 she held an open house at the cozy new office at 209 14 Ave. North and the Townsman stopped by to meet her and some of her colleagues at Summit Psychology: Dr. Jeff Martzke, Dr. Helen Peel and Ms. Robin Swift.

Thompson is a registered psychologist with the College of BC psychologists and can provide adult, child and adolescent mental health treatment and assessment covering a wide range of health concerns. She can also work with children doing learning disability assessments and work with parents.

She lived in Cranbrook from 2005 to 2010 working with Child Youth Mental Health after her year in residency in Edmonton. She then moved back to her home of Manitoba, but after seven years she and her family decided they wanted to move back to BC and the opportunity with Summit felt like a great fit.

“I think because I have been here in the past that certainly helps,” said Thompson. “But any time you’re in a new community I think it’s just going to take some time for people to become aware that there are psychology services here in Cranbrook.”

Summit Psychology has existed as a group practise in Nelson for 14 years and according to Peel, they have been wanting to open a satellite office in Cranbrook for some time because of the lack of psychologists here.

“We’ve had folks coming to us for some time even from Cranbrook and the region, which is a long way to come,” added Martzke. “It’s one of the reasons why we’re delighted that Sandra’s here.”

Summit provides a huge range of psychological assessment and treatment services for children through to adults. They do specialized services with post traumatic stress disorder and other trauma-related disorders as well as other common conditions such as depression and neuropsychological services.

They do family therapy, couples work and work with people who have developmental disabilities. They also do crime victims assistance and do a lot of work with with police and first responders preventing and treating trauma.

Another important thing that makes psychologists unique is that they can do diagnoses.

“Cranbrook is lacking a registered psychologist who can provide diagnoses so that’s something that Sandra will offer and that we offer as well,” Peel said. “As well as assessment for different types of learning disability: dyslexia, ADHD, autism assessment.”

Thompson said she is thrilled with the office she ended up in and her colleagues believe that with the long-standing need for a registered psychologist in the East Kootenay, she will do very well.

“We hope to expand,” added Peel. “We’re guessing that Sandra will get busy quickly and we may need some more psychologists. In Nelson we have 15 registered psychologists, and that’s a town of 10,000 — 20,000 with the surrounding areas. And they’re all busy.”