Derek Oliver, M.Psych, BCBA
Derek is passionate about mental health, especially the impact that our mental health has on our ability to form relationships and make personal changes at key developmental periods in our lives. Derek has worked extensively with children and their families, but their first passion has always been working with adolescents. With experience working with adolescents in the mental health field since 2013, Derek is on a personal mission to assist individuals during the difficult transition that is adolescence and uses a variety of techniques and approaches to achieve this.
Working with adolescents invariably means working with families and Derek is keenly interested in family dynamics and how individual strengths of family members can be leveraged to transform struggling families into a more connected unit to reduce anxiety and increase satisfaction. This interest in families has led Derek to seek training, supervision, and certification in attachment informed therapies (including Theraplay, Watch, Wait, and Wonder, and DIR floortime) as well as trauma informed counseling and care. In today's world working with adolescents often means working with substance use, abuse, and addictions. Derek has been working with clients, especially adolescents, to reduce their use, attain abstinence, and achieve goals related to sobriety since 2014. To support those struggling with addiction, Derek takes a harm reduction approach, coupled with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), behavioural strategies, and Motivational Interviewing (MI), to address the many facets of substance use and abuse and provide clients with the option of an alternate path in life. Finally, Derek has sought training and certifications on Crisis Prevention and Response (C-SMARRT, CPI) and uses their behavioural skills as a Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) to develop objective plans to defuse crises and prevent or reduce their recurrence.
The events in Derek’s life shaped their education and specializations, leading them to seek experience, training, and certifications in a variety of mental health domains from Behaviourism to Developmental Psychology and Early Intervention. To support their training and interests Derek has their MA in Applied Clinical Psychology from Penn State and is currently a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA), as well as holding certifications in ACT, Theraplay and others.
The two tenets Derek uses to guide all their clinical work are the idea that everyone deserves care and respect and that their role is to help you, the expert on your own life, solve the problems and overcome the obstacles that are holding you back from achieving your goals.