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Marina Gérard, M.A., Ph.D.(c)
2791 Cote Ste. Catherine Road
Montreal, Quebec, H3T 1B5

Tel: 514.733.4959
email: marina.c.gerard@gmail.com

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.

 

Clinical Experience

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)

  • sexual trauma

  • academic stress and professional burnout 

 

Therapeutic Approach

While I was initially trained in Cognitive Behavioral 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.