Marina Gérard, Ph.D.(c)
2971 Cote St. Catherine Road
Montreal Quebec, H3T 1B5
I am originally from France, where I initially studied in the fields of French and English literature. I am currently in the last year of my doctoral studies in Clinical Psychology at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). Previously, I completed a B.A. in psychology (2013) and a M.A. in French literature (2011) at McGill University.
My doctoral research focuses on the sexual rehabilitation of individuals living with a spinal cord injury (tetraplegia, paraplegia). I am also a published doctoral researcher in the field of sexual medicine.
In parallel to my academic training, I have also been a part-time lecturer at UQAM in the Department of Sexology since 2017, where I teach courses in neuroanatomy and physiology of sexuality, as well as reproductive and perinatal health.
Throughout the years, I have developed a keen interest for the fields of sexual medicine and couple therapy. Prior to starting my PhD in Clinical Psychology, I worked for two years at the Montreal Sexual Assault Center (CVASM). I then trained at the Institut de Réadaptation Gingras-Lindsay of Montreal (IRGLM), where I worked part-time (CIUSSS), and at the Henry Gabrielle Hospital in France, where I worked for a few months in the Perineal and Sexology Unit. I continued my clinical training at the UQAM Community Clinic, where I gained clinical experience working with a broad range of individuals, reflecting the diversity of the Montreal community. I went on to complete my clinical internships at the Sex & Couple Therapy Service of the MUHC (McGill University Health Center). For two years, I followed a diversity of couples and individuals presenting with sexual and/or relational concerns, while benefitting from the input of an interdisciplinary team (psychologists, psychiatrists, urologist, pelvic floor physiotherapist, etc.) and long-time experts in their respective fields.
These various professional experiences led me to develop special clinical competencies to work with adults - individuals and couples - presenting difficulties related to:
physical and reproductive health (endometriosis, menopause, medically assisted fertility, etc.)
neurological conditions (multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, stroke, etc.) leading to physical (bodily) and psychological experiences of loss and grief (identity loss)
sexual difficulties (genito-pelvic pain, orgasm difficulties, erectile and ejaculatory dysfunctions, Peyronie’s disease, desire discrepancy, pornography use, etc.)
relational difficulties (infidelity, insecure attachment, problematic family dynamics, negotiation of parental vs. romantic roles, distressing professional relations)
life transitions (divorce/separation, parenthood)
I also work with adults presenting with:
mood symptoms (anxiety, depression, OCD, post-partum depression)
emotional regulation difficulties (anger outburst, mood fluctuations)
academic stress and professional burnout
While I was initially trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), I developed a strong interest for humanistic-existential psychology, specifically self-psychology and intersubjective psychology. These two schools of psychology particularly influence my practice in so far as they guide me towards developing a deep and empathetic understanding of who you are as individuals/couples and how you came to develop your current sense of self, while keeping in mind that we are all, consciously and unconsciously, influencing one another through our interactions. Finally, I also tend to draw from third-wave CBT, using acceptance and mindfulness-based interventions when pertinent, as well as emotion-focused therapy (EFT) to enhance individuals’ and couples’ levels of emotional awareness.
I integrate these different schools of psychology to provide a tailored therapeutic process to everyone I work with. I find that any motive for consultation, be it sexual, health-related, relational or mood related, can be an opportunity to improve one’s functioning and well-being on a day-to-day basis, yet also to explore the deeper ramifications of what constitutes our selves and our relationship dynamics.
Overall, my approach is collaborative, interactive, and transparent, with a touch of humour when warranted. The therapeutic relationship is a clinically well-known and empirically validated crucial ingredient to facilitate change, thus I strive to offer a warm, authentic, yet challenging and stimulating therapeutic space where individuals and couples can face their struggles in a non-judgemental way and grow at their own pace.