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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. She is interested in self-criticism as a vulnerability factor for various forms of psychopathology, including eating, anxiety, and mood disorders. In her future research with Dr. Allison Kelly and Dr. David Moscovitch, she plans to investigate the role that self-criticism may play in the development and maintenance of distressing cognitions, feelings, and behaviours. She also hopes to explore how teaching people to be more self-compassionate through therapeutic intervention can help reduce self-criticism, alleviate distress, and have a positive impact on their psychological well-being.

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 Waring 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 future research with Dr. Kelly she plans to investigate contextual/situational/environmental influences on self-compassion to help better understand what factors influence a person’s capability for self-compassion across different situations and periods of their life. 
Photo of Aleece Katan

Aleece Katan, B.Sc.

Graduate Student

Aleece received her Honours Psychology (Bachelor of Science) degree from the University of Guelph, and will begin the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Waterloo in September 2018. In her future research with Dr. Kelly, she hopes to explore the extended effects of self-compassion during adverse experiences on eating disorder symptomology and body image. 

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.

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