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Marie Kessaris

Marie (MA Counselling Psychology) is a qualifying Registered Psychotherapist under the supervision of Dr. Mike Best. Utilizing the structure, theory, and techniques of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), Marie maintains curiousity and respect for the wisdom of the participants with whom she collaborates. Marie is passionate about obstacle-free mental health services, person-centered treatment, facilitating a compassionate perspective of mental health issues, and recognizing strengths in people.

Marie's research interests include the relationships between psychosis and adverse childhood experiences (ACE), attachment, systemic/intergenerational trauma, and emotional expression. 

In moments of spare time, Marie enjoys watching movies and documentaries, stop-motion animation, playing board and videogames, and searching for new music.

Supervised Study Students:
Mei Timpson

Mei is a third-year student completing her BSc at the University of Toronto, Scarborough. She is double majoring in Mental Health Studies and Health Policy and is minoring in Music and Culture.


Mei is taking a Supervised Study in Psychology course under the instruction of Dr. Best during the 2023-2024 school year to research the cognitive mechanisms associated with conspiracy theories. Mei’s overall research goal is to contribute to culturally competent research aiding the development of environments, skills, and services that prevent the manifestation of and alleviate the current psychopathological symptoms in individuals who are part of underserved or vulnerable groups.


Mei enjoys exercising, drinking tea, and talking with her sister when not studying or working.

Shahtaj Dheda

Shahtaj is a fourth-year student at the University of Toronto Scarborough. She is obtaining a degree within the BSc Psychological and Health Sciences Specialist Co-op program. 

Shahtaj is completing a Thesis in Psychology under the joint supervision of Dr. Best and Dr. Cory Gerritsen at CAMH within the Forensic Early Intervention Service during the 2023-2024 school year. Her project hopes to understand the intersection of severe mental illness and differential forms of aggression exhibited by incarcerated



Shahtaj’s research interests aim to explore the diagnosis and clinical presentation of psychopathology to better applications of treatment. 

In her free time, you can find Shahtaj studying, napping, or thrift-store hopping!

Research Coordinator Assistant:
Elena Chauhan

Elena is a second-year student completing her HBSc with a specialization in Psychology at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include clinical disorders, the neurological basis for symptoms, and the impact of therapy on everyday functioning. Her aim is to contribute to the advancement of treatments including but not limited to CBT, Cognitive Remediation, and Humanistic therapy. She prioritizes unconditional positive regard for those with mental illness.


During her free time, Elena is either watching Grey’s Anatomy or listening to a podcast and drinking an ice-cold Diet Pepsi.

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