You are here

People profiles

Allison Kelly

Allison Kelly, Ph.D., C.Psych.

Lab director
Allison Kelly is the director of the Self-Attitudes Lab. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy from Queen’s University and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from McGill University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Toronto General Hospital’s Eating Disorders Program before joining the University of Waterloo as a faculty member in 2012. Dr. Kelly conducts and supervises research on topics related to self-compassion, self-criticism, shame, disordered eating, and body image, as broadly described on the lab home page and faculty page. She is also interested in the factors that interfere with people being self-compassionate, being compassionate to others, and receiving compassion from others.
Kathryn Miller

Kathryn Miller, M.A.

Graduate student

Kathryn graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick in September 2013. She recently completed her MA in the Clinical Psychology program here at the University of Waterloo under Dr. Allison Kelly. Kathryn has been investigating whether self-compassion is contagious across individuals i.e., whether displays of self-compassion from one person can affect the self-compassion levels of someone witnessing that display. For her doctoral research Kathryn plans to investigate the long-term effects of being exposed to self-compassion, and how this effect might extend to the domain of body image and body self-compassion.  Kathryn hopes to eventually apply this research into self-compassion interventions that she and others can use in clinical practice.

Jessica Dupasquier

Jessica Dupasquier, M.A.

Graduate student

Jessica started the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Waterloo in September 2014 and is currently in her 3rd year of her PhD. She is interested in the roles of self-criticism and shame as vulnerability factors for various forms of psychopathology, including eating, trauma-related, mood and anxiety disorders. In her current research with Dr. Allison Kelly and Dr. David Moscovitch, she is investigating the relationship between self-attitudes and interpersonal emotion regulation behaviours (e.g., disclosure/concealment of emotional experiences, support seeking). Clinically, Jessica is interested in cognitive-behavioural and emotion-focused treatments for psychological difficulties, particularly those related to traumatic or distressing experiences. She is interested in interventions that encourage people to accept compassion from and develop compassion for themselves and others. In addition to her academic interests, Jessica enjoys painting, reading, and playing board games. 

Kiruthiha Vimalakanthan

Kiruthiha Vimalakanthan, M.A.

Graduate student

Kiruthiha received her Honours Psychology (Bachelor of Science Co-op) degree from the University of Waterloo, and started the Clinical Psychology program at UW in September 2014. In her research with Dr. Kelly, she is exploring the roles of compassion, self-compassion and other psychological variables in body image and eating disorder symptomatology.


Sydney Waring, M.A.

Graduate Student

Sydney received her Honours Psychology degree (Bachelor of Arts) from Memorial University of Newfoundland and began the Clinical Psychology program at UWaterloo in September 2016. In her Masters work she investigated how interpersonal factors help or hinder the ability to be self-compassionate during failure situations. In her PhD research, she is looking to extend her interest in interpersonal factors to body image. Her current research is investigating whether an individual's body image may change when they are with different people in their social network, and what specific features of other people may influence the way an individual feels and act towards their bodies when they are with them. 


Aleece Katan, B.Sc.

Graduate Student

Aleece received her Honours Psychology (Bachelor of Science) degree from the University of Guelph, and began the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Waterloo in September 2018. In her current research with Dr. Kelly, she is exploring the extended effects of self-compassion during adverse experiences on eating disorder symptomology. 

Picture of Hannah Lightfoot

Hannah Lightfoot

Honours Thesis Student

Hannah is currently completing her undergraduate degree in the Honours Arts Psychology program at the University of Waterloo with a minor in Philosophy. She is broadly interested in vulnerability, non-attachment, self-esteem and self-criticism. She hopes to develop a deeper understanding of the above concepts and ultimately attend graduate school for clinical psychology in the future.


Linda Sosa Hernandez, B.Sc.

Research Coordinator

Linda graduated from the University of Guelph with a Honours Bachelor of Science in Bio-Medical Sciences and Psychology and is currently the Research Coordinator in the Self-Attitudes lab. Broadly, her research interests include inter-and intrapersonal processes that contribute to youth’s development of self-compassion, emotional regulation skills and (mal)adaptive behaviours. In the fall, Linda will be pursing a Master of Applied Sciece in Developmental Psychology at the University of Waterloo. Ultimately, she hopes to pursue graduate studies in Clinical Psychology. 

Profiles by type