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Mark Russell, M.Sc., Psychologist

I have been practicing as a registered Psychologist in Nova Scotia for over 30 years. I initially worked at Dalhousie Counseling and Psychological Services and subsequently worked in three private practice settings. 

I provide both individual psychotherapy (aged 18+) and couple/marital therapy. My areas of practice in individual therapy include depression, anxiety disorders (panic disorder, social anxiety, agoraphobia, and phobias), anger management, grief/loss, divorce/separation, self-esteem/self-image, habit change/impulse control, assertiveness skills, social skills, stress management, lifestyle change, and life coaching. I believe my role as a psychologist involves assisting individuals in the process of coping with and/or overcoming personal concerns and life challenges and in assisting in personal growth. I believe strongly in self-determination and encourage increased self-awareness and mindfulness. My approach/philosophy to assisting individuals includes a combination of compassion, empathy, respect, support, Mindfulness-based therapy, and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

CBT assists individuals in recognizing and learning to modify the interactions between beliefs/thoughts, emotions, behaviours, and body/physical responses. This approach has been shown to be effective with a wide range of concerns, but especially depression, anxiety, and anger. Mindfulness-based therapy assists individuals in better recognizing, being with, and effectively responding to states of mind, mood and/or body, and includes an emphasis on the values of compassion, (of self and others), loving-kindness, gratitude, patience/tolerance, generosity of spirit and action, non-judgement (of self and others), honesty, appreciation, and acceptance.

My approach to Life Coaching involves assisting individuals with the process of identifying high level wants/needs/values, identifying goals and micro goals in line with their wants/needs/values, working on means of increasing motivation, and identifying and managing demotivating states and blocks to acting.

My approach to Couple Therapy involves the above approaches and includes an emphasis on working with both members of the couple to achieve a balance between individual and couple needs/wants/goals. I work with both individuals to increase attachment/connection, compassion, respect, trust, and understanding within their relationship. My approach is informed by Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT), Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and Mindfulness-based Therapy. Particular emphasis is placed on recognizing, understanding, managing and avoiding destructive interactions, increasing connectedness/attachment, healthy communication skills, conflict resolution, healing injuries/broken trust, and self management. However, the emphasis remains on the underlying goals of maintaining mutual respect, compassion, trust, understanding, and identifying and balancing individual and relationship needs.

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