Board of Directors
There are 8 directors. These include:
- The President, elected annually in an internal election amongst the Board members, is responsible for presiding over all meetings of the Association and of the directors;
- The Vice President, also elected annually through an internal election, carries out the duties of the President during their absence;
- The Treasurer, also elected annually through an internal election, is responsible for rendering financial statements to the directors, members, and others when required.
The Board meets regularly throughout the year with a summer break. Meeting dates are determined by mutual agreement amongst the Board members. Board members terms of office are two years. Each Board member submits an annual report for the Annual General Meeting.
Amir Ali Sepehry, Ph.D. - President
Amir has extensive training as a scientist-practitioner. He completed his doctoral training by combining works from the University of Victoria (UVic) and the University of British Columbia (UBC) in the neuropsychology of aging (life-span development psychology) and behavioral neuroscience examining the diagnostic and assessment of depression in Alzheimer’s disease. Subsequently, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in neurology at UBC.
Before his doctoral training, Amir completed a master’s program at the Université de Montreal (in French), incorporating Psychiatric sciences and Pharmacology. Currently, he is co-authoring nearly 100 peer-reviewed publications in both Canadian languages and I hold the CPA-Psychopharmacology Chair position as well as multiple research collaborations at both national and international levels.
Amir teaches full-time as an assistant professor of clinical psychology with the Adler University, PsyD program, with the Counselling psychology program as an adjunct, and serves as dissertation chair/advisor for over ten doctoral-level students. He has been an advocate and member of the British Columbia Psychological Association (BCPA) for the past two years.
Claire Sira, Ph.D., R. Psych. - Past-President
Claire Sira was awarded a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Neuropsychology from UVic in 2007 having completed a pre-doctoral internship at Foothills Hospital in Calgary. She has been working as Clinical Neurorehabilitation Psychologist (CPBC Registration #1837) since 2009 with expertise in neuropsychology and is qualified to perform neuropsychological and psychological assessments for individuals with acquired brain injuries or neurological conditions and to provide opinions regarding the neuropsychological consequences of their condition, as well as recommendations regarding rehabilitation, therapy, and vocational issues.
She has completed hundreds of neuropsychological, learning disability, and psychological assessments and provided the reports of these assessments to physicians, insurance companies, and law firms. She is recognized as an expert witness in the area of neuropsychology by the Supreme Court of British Columbia.
Dr. Sira works in private practice in Victoria where she offers assessments and therapy, rehabilitation, and coaching services for individuals coping with neurological disorders. She expanded her practice into assessment, coaching, and educational skills-based online courses for adults with known or suspected ADHD in 2019. In addition to her clinical work, she is an adjunct assistant professor in the Psychology departments of UVic and UBC and an oral examiner for the College of Psychologists of BC. She spent 2020 and 2021 serving BCPA and the public as Vice President of the BCPA Board of Directors, and in November 2021 she became the President of the BCPA Board.
David Mensink, Ph.D., R. Psych.
David Mensink has an earned PhD degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Alberta. He currently serves on the Advocacy Committee of the BCPA and works in Private Practice at Tina Leist & Associates. He is committed to advocate for psychologists and has a very strong vision for the scientist-practitioner model of providing psychotherapy.Prior to moving to Victoria in July 2018, he practiced as a psychologist at Counselling and Psychological Services, Dalhousie University for 30 years and had a small Private Practice at Living Well Collaborative Health Center, Halifax, Nova Scotia. While in Nova Scotia he served a 3-year term as President-Elect, President, and Past-President of the Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia (APNS) and, in addition, was ex-officio on the Advocacy Committee, a member of the Elections Committee, and a member of the APNS/APA Psychologically Healthy Workplace Committee.David is a am a strong advocate for volunteering and has served in many capacities as a volunteer including the Dalhousie Faculty Association, First Baptist Church Halifax, and Christ Church Cathedral Victoria.
Patrick Myers, Ph.D., R.Psych.
Patrick Myers received a Ph.D. in Counselling Psychology from the University of Alberta. He has been a very active part of the Community Engagement Committee for many years and the Chair for the past year. Also, he was one of the Board Members of the BC Psychological Association. Patrick has given a number of free public talks for BCPA during psychology month over the years as well as doing media interviews for the association. He sees clients in Yaletown, Burnaby and Coquitlam.
Martin Zakrzewski, Ph.D., R.Psych.
Martin completed his doctoral training in clinical psychology at Pacific University in Oregon and specialized in clinical neuropsychology during his residency with Fletcher Allen Healthcare in Burlington, Vermont, and post-doctoral training in the Neuropsychiatry Program at Riverview Hospital. He has over 12 years of experience providing neuropsychological assessment services within neuropsychiatric, geriatric psychiatric, neurorehabilitation, and forensic psychiatric settings with BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services and Vancouver Coastal Health.
Martin transitioned to his current role as the Director of Psychology for BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services in 2016. His responsibilities include overseeing the provision of specialized provincial psychological services across the several agencies of BCMHSUS. Martin began his tenure on the BCPA Board of Directors beginning in November of 2016 and served as Vice President for 2017-2018. He has served on the Advocacy Committee for the duration of his tenure. Membership on the BCPA Board provides the opportunity to effectively advocate for the profession and to help ensure that psychologists are appropriately recognized for their significant contributions to the health and well-being of individuals and groups across British Columbia, particularly in the public sector.
Tina Leist, Ph.D., R.Psych.
Tina Leist was awarded her Ph.D. from the University of Victoria. During her formal education, she took the opportunity to travel to several countries to get a brief introduction to various cultures and experiences. She also supported herself working various jobs; as a lumber grader at a stud mill, as an emergency supply technician and a maid in a medical centre, and a phlebotomist.
She taught at the University of Northern Colorado where she also sat on various committees in the Department of Psychology. Tina has worked in a psychiatric hospital and at the Ministry of Children and Family Services. Ultimately she chose to focus her efforts on being apart of a group of psychologists in a private practice setting and has done so for nearly 30 years.
She continues to be invested in further learning and continues her interest in neuropsychology and counselling. She currently operates Tina Leist & Associates, affectionately referred to as “the pink house”. Tina has also served as a treasurer on a school board and enjoys supporting the Canadian Red Cross through regular blood donations. Tina loves being a psychologist and is honoured to serve the many clients she has supported over the years.
Erika Horwitz, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Erika Horwitz earned her Ph.D. in Counselling Psychology from the University of British Columbia. She received the CPA award for excellence for her doctoral dissertation. Dr. Horwitz worked as Director of Counselling Services at Simon Fraser University (SFU) for 11 years and is currently in private practice in Metro Vancouver. During her tenure at SFU, she led an international, award-winning initiative to end stigma against mental illness in post-secondary settings (Hi F.I.V.E.). She is a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction certified teacher. She published the book: Through the Maze of Motherhood:
Simon Elterman, Psy.D., R. Psych.
He received his PsyD from Pacific University and completed his pre-doctoral internship at HealthPoint, which is a Primary Care network in Seattle, Washington. Simon’s doctoral research focused on measuring metacognitive processes for people with insomnia. He is currently a Behavioural Health Consultant (BHC) at the Hope to Health Research and Innovation Centre on the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, where he utilizes the Primary Care Behavioural Health model to provide brief assessments and interventions to low SES clients.
In terms of prior experience, aside from several student body positions throughout graduate school, He has been part of the BCPA Advocacy committee for about a year. His main focus was on the “Therapy is medicine, too” campaign, including presenting to members of the local and federal government on increasing funding for psychologists to work in primary care settings. Simon also recently wrote an Op-Ed for the Vancouver Sun with Drs. Lutes and Penner on the benefits of psychologists in primary care, worked closely with both of the Directors of Public Advocacy in developing our proposal to the BC Budget Committee, and recently went to Victoria to meet government officials in the Legislature, focused on that same issue. What he hopes to bring to the board is passion for the profession of psychology, dedication in upholding and furthering the values of our profession, and a commitment to enhancing psychologists’ ability to help others.
Ms. Alexina Picard, B.Sc.
The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors. They are responsible for the operations and administration of the whole Association, and they are also the publisher of the Association’s quarterly journal, the BC Psychologist. The Executive Director is the primary staff contact and liaises with the committees and the Board.