Meet our Researchers

Current Research Team

Sacha Rockliffe

Sacha Rockliffe

Westland Researcher | Masters Student | Spring 2021 - present

Background: Sacha (she/her) is currently a Master of Counselling Psychology student at Adler University. Prior to enrolling at Adler, she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Victoria in Child and Youth Care. Sacha has a passion for working with LGBTQ2S+ individuals and non-traditional families, and aspires to work as a couples and family therapist upon graduation. She also enjoys drawing, writing, cooking, yoga, and paddling with her queer women’s dragon boating team.

Why sexuality research? Sacha believes that sexual health is essential to overall health and wellbeing, yet it is something we rarely address in our discussions about health. There’s still a lot of shame and stigma around sex and sexuality, particularly for LGBTQ2S+ individuals. She recognized the importance of ensuring language and information is inclusive, and resources are accessible for all.

Topics of interest: Sacha is interested in attachment, intimacy, gender and sexual orientation, and the importance of consent.

Parker Garrod

Parker Garrod

Westland Researcher | PsyD Student | Fall 2020 - present

Background: Parker (he/him) first completed his Undergraduate degree at Western University in Psychology, with a minor in Sociology. After working as a residential support worker for two years, he returned to academics to complete his Masters in Counselling Psychology at the University of Toronto. He has since worked as a Registered Psychotherapist at the Church Wellesley Counselling and Psychotherapy Clinic, primarily working with LGBTQ2S+ individuals. He is currently completing is Doctorate in Psychology at Adler University.

Why Sexuality Research? Sexuality is an important aspect of people’s lives that can impact self-esteem, identity, happiness, and meaningful relationships. Any complications within sexuality can therefore be very disruptive to many areas of our lives. Despite its significant impact on the human experience, sexuality remains a largely taboo and unappreciated field of psychology. This is what drives researchers like Parker to focus their time and effort on sexuality research.

Topics of Interest: Parker is particularly interested in research involving marginalized sexual and gender identities, with specific interest in the role that shame plays in sexual satisfaction, interest, and dysfunction.

Dana Holkestad

Dana Holkestad

Westland Researcher | Masters Student | Fall 2020 - present

Background: Dana (she/her) is currently attending Adler University, Vancouver Campus as part of her Masters in Counselling Psychology. She completed an undergraduate degree at Vancouver Island University (Major in English, minor in Biology) and also a three year batch of coursework at Concordia University (Linguistics/Psychology). She enjoys writing, expressionistic painting, engaging in spontaneous conversation, practicing Reiki, and deep self exploration.

Why Sexuality Research? Awareness around issues of sexuality is something Dana believes is a powerful tool in promoting healthier and more enjoyable relationships and, by extension, healthy communities. By challenging taboos and exploring issues related to and manifestations of sexuality she believes we can encourage diversity, creativity and wellness.

Topics of interest: Dana is particularly interested in attachment and intimacy issues, sexual compulsivity/management of impulses, and a combination of creative, analytical as well as somatic approaches to discovery and healing.

Justin Paulsen

Justin Paulsen

Westland Researcher | Masters Student | Fall 2020 - present

Background:  Justin (he/him) studied counselling psychology at Columbia Bible College, graduating in April 2015. Since then he spent his time advising students as they entered into their undergraduate programs and most recently managing private healthcare clinics in the lower mainland. Currently Justin is pursuing his Master of Counselling Psychology at Adler University.

Why Sexuality Research? When growing up in a conservative religious context, Justin was not able to express his sexual identity, causing a deep curiosity in the subject. The importance of this topic became more prevalent as he got older and became aware that many of his peers had experienced sexual confusion, distress, and/or dysfunction at some point in their lives. He aims to bring more awareness to the normalcy of sexual barriers and breakdown any negative stigmas about the subject.

Topics of interest: Sex and intimacy, gender and sexual orientation, erectile dysfunction,
orgasm disorders, sexual anatomy, and the role of pornography.

Debra Winter

Debra Winter

Westland Researcher | Masters Student | Fall 2020 - Present

Background: Debra (she/her) is currently enrolled in the Master of Counselling Psychology program at Adler University. She is also an Integrative Energy Healing Practitioner and an Instructor in the modality at Langara College, Vancouver. Debra has a background Eastern Philosophy and studies Integral Yoga Psychology.

Why Sexuality Research? Through her practice of Integrative Energy Healing, Debra has worked with clients who have experienced sexual dysfunction, vaginismus, and erectile dysfunction. She would like to learn more about the dynamics of sexual dysfunction to support clients dealing with this complicated issue in a counselling setting. As lifelong learner and educator, Debra has an interest in adult education and the development of continuing studies course material.

Topics of interest: Debra has an interest in the study of trauma and its effect on well-being. She is particularly interested in sexual consent, sexual dysfunction, and relationship dynamics.

Stephanie Koutsoulianos

Stephanie Koutsoulianos

Westland Researcher | Masters Student | Spring 2020 - present

Background: In 2016, Stephanie (she/her) graduated from the University of Guelph with a BA in Psychology with a Minor in Family and Child Studies. After volunteering for an organization that offered undergraduate students drop-in peer support, she became passionate about working with the post-secondary population to address their varying mental health concerns. This led her to pursue a Masters in Counselling Psychology at Adler University. She has also worked in research on child health, specifically on childhood injury prevention in a pedestrian context. 

Why Sexuality Research? There is an irony regarding the overtness of sexuality in media; it seems to be everywhere, and despite this, it is an undereducated topic and often only regarded as a biological process in clinical settings. It is important to encourage current and future practitioners to become aware of the psychological influences of sexuality (and asexuality) by continuing education to be better able to help clients over the long-term.

Topics of interest: Stephanie is particularly interested in factors affecting development throughout late adolescence and early adulthood. Relationships and sexuality play an integral role in healthy functioning and she is interested in how the development of sexual identity across all genders relates to overall wellbeing. She hopes to support those experiencing sexual concerns to overcome them.

Interested in joining our passionate volunteer research team? We have a variety of roles available for enthusiastic students, advocates, and allies looking to lend their research skills and gain additional experience, join team consultations, and increase their knowledge in the field of sex and sexuality. Contact us here for more information.

Research Alumni

Kirti Agarwal

Research Alumni 2019 - 2020

Hazel Hughes

Research Alumni 2019 - 2020

Hasan (Hus) Mawani

Research Alumni 2019

Deema Abu-Hannoud

Research Alumni 2019

Jennifer Parlee

Research Alumni 2018 - 2019

Abisheikh (Abi) Sharma

Research Alumni 2018 - 2019

Elyssa Carroll Goldman

Research Alumni 2018

Aysha Dhala

Research Alumni 2016 - 2018

Alaina Chun

Research Alumni 2016 - 2017

Mason Shell

Research Alumni 2017

Chelsea Cameron

Research Alumni 2016 - 2017

Veronica Li

Research Alumni 2015 - 2016

Emily Hanson

Research Alumni 2015 - 2016

Veronica Chase

Research Alumni 2019 - 2020

Sophia Murray

Research Alumni 2019 - 2020

Mia D.

Research Alumni 2019

Brittany Young Tenn

Research Alumni 2018 - 2019

David Mahadevan

Research Alumni 2018 - 2019

Simone Deahl

Research Alumni 2015 - 2018

Qingsheng Qiu (Ryan)

Research Alumni 2018

Adrianna Xue

Research Alumni 2016-2017

Diana Sadat

Research Alumni 2016 - 2017

Teah Scotten

Research Alumni 2016 - 2017

Jules Ku-Lea

Research Alumni 2014 - 2015

Codie Jordan

Research Alumni 2014 - 2015

Brittany Underhill

Research Alumni 2014 - 2015

Keep up-to-date with the latest programs, book reviews and resources.
Add your name to the notification list HERE