Keywords: eating disorders, obesity, bariatric surgery, addictive behaviours, readiness for change, motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioural therapy
I received my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Calgary, following an Honours B.Sc. undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto. My doctoral dissertation examined the efficacy of motivational interviewing for binge eating disorder. During the final year of my doctoral training, I completed a CPA/APA-approved internship at the University of British Columbia, which included a clinical and research rotation at St. Paul’s Hospital Eating Disorders Program. Following graduation, I was staff psychologist in the Mood and Anxiety Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. I subsequently completed a 3-year OMHF funded postdoctoral fellowship at the Mood and Anxiety Treatment and Research Program at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Following my postdoctoral fellowship, I returned to the field of eating disorders and began a staff psychologist position at the Bariatric Surgery Program at Toronto Western Hospital. I joined the Department of Psychology at Ryerson as an Assistant Professor in 2011. I feel extremely fortunate to be part of such a collegial department situated within an innovative urban campus.
The research I completed during my doctoral training focused on the conceptualization of eating disorders as behavioural addictions, and the potential therapeutic implications that arise from this conceptualization. I am particularly interested in the impact of readiness for change on treatment outcome, as well as treatment approaches aimed at resolving ambivalence and enhancing readiness for change, such as motivational interviewing. Recently, my research interests in eating disorders have expanded to include obesity and bariatric surgery.
Currently, some the research questions that pique my interest include:
- What are the psychosocial predictors of bariatric surgery outcome?
- Can readiness for change and bariatric surgery outcome be enhanced with motivational interviewing?
- Can bariatric surgery outcome be enhanced if comorbid conditions (such as binge eating disorder, depression, and anxiety) are treated with cognitive behavioural therapy?
- Is motivational interviewing efficacious in obese individuals with significant medical problems who do not necessarily have an interest in losing weight?
I look forward to many rewarding collaborations with students, researchers, and community organizations. If any of my research areas piques your interest, please feel free to contact me by email or phone.
Cassin, S. E., Sockalingam, S., Hawa, R., Wnuk, S., Royal, S., Taube-Schiff, M., & Okrainec, A. (in press). Psychometric properties of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) as a depression screening tool for bariatric surgery candidates, Psychosomatics.
Sockalingam, S., Cassin, S. E., Crawford, S., Pitzul, K., Khan, A., Hawa, R., Jackson, T., & Okrainec, A. (in press). Psychosocial predictors of surgery non-completion following suitability assessment for bariatric surgery, Obesity Surgery.
Rector, N. A., & Cassin, S. E. (2010). Clinical expertise in cognitive behavioural therapy: Definition and acquisition. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 40, 153-161.
Geller, J., Cassin, S. E., Brown, K. E., & Srikameswaran, S. (2009). Factors associated with improvements in readiness for change: Normal vs. low BMI eating disorders. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 42, 40-46.
Cassin, S. E., von Ranson, K. M., Heng, K., Brar, J., & Wojtowicz, A. E. (2008). Adapted motivational interviewing for women with binge eating disorder: A randomized controlled trial. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 22, 417-425.
Cassin, S. E., & von Ranson, K. M. (2007). Is binge eating experienced as an addiction? Appetite, 49, 687-690.
von Ranson, K. M., & Cassin, S. E. (2007). Eating disorders and addiction: Theory and evidence. In J.S. Rubin (ed.), Eating disorders and weight loss research (pp.1-37). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.
Cassin, S. E., & von Ranson, K. M. (2005). Personality and eating disorders: A decade in review. Clinical Psychology Review, 25, 895-916.