Dr. Danny Gagnon, Licensed Montreal Psychologist: Why I Do What I Do
Thanks for reading my ‘About Me’ page. If you are looking for the best psychologist in Montreal to help you, you’ll find everything you need to know about what makes me different as a mental healthcare professional. I trust that my values and qualifications will help you decide whether I am a good fit for you.
You will find that I have created this page a bit differently compared to other psychologists in Montreal who just provide a list of qualifications and credentials. You’ll definitely see these qualifications and credentials down below, so scroll right down to jump to them if you find these to be most important to you.
I found that my original ‘About Me’ page did not convey to my clients why I decided to be a psychologist, as well as my values as a healthcare professional. In fact, I found that past clients who left testimonials and reviews about their experience with me captured this information more effectively than I did. Besides being a psychologist in the Montreal area specialized in providing psychotherapy to treat problems like anxiety, depression, stress and anger, the reviews captured some important values and traits I had, such as: being non-judgmental, kind, generous and almost like a friend they could speak to. If you would like to read about some of the many success stories I have had, you can read the following top-rated testimonials and reviews.
I value empowering people to make real changes in their lives in the ‘present-moment’ and not the past where unfortunate events happened, nor in the future as you can only plan for tomorrow in the ‘hear-and-now’. The ‘present-moment’ is precious, as each minute or hour that you live passes and is gone. You must choose whether to move towards what you value and what brings you meaning in your life and meaningful or away from them. I do this by using scientifically-validated treatment approaches that are evidence-based.
Below, you can read about my journey, how I developed my expertise in psychology and some important achievements and accomplishments. If you had a chance to read my Welcome page about changing world you may think this sounds cliché. I’ll share a small ‘a-ha’ moment I had below.
What Makes Me Different As A Psychologist
In 2005 I graduated with a PhD in Clinical Psychology from McGill University after completing a B.A. in Psychology with Specialized Honours and being on the
Honour Roll at York University. I passed directly into a doctoral program without having to compete a Master’s degree (MA) in Clinical Psychology. In November 2005, with my clinical training finished, I become a Licensed Psychologist in Montreal as I received my license to practice Psychotherapy (OPQ License# 10569-05) from the Order of Psychologists of Quebec.
I opened my private practice while also working at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, which is affiliated with both McGill University and the World Health Organization. At the Douglas Institute I was involved in some exciting projects. Besides working as a psychologist providing psychotherapy, I was involved in the accreditation of the Douglas Institute with the Canadian Government and Health Canada to ensure that the best care was provided to clients. In addition, I trained a number of psychology students at the graduate and undergraduate level and developed programs to train mental health professionals. My psychological expertise was sought by the judicial system for the Provincial Review Board that decided on the personal liberties of individuals that pose a risk to the public. I also developed an important relationship with the media and was interviewed by popular Quebec magazines and Radio Canada.
Being true to the best-practices of psychotherapy, from day-one I decided to measure the progress my clients make with me in therapy not only for their benefit, but
to evaluate the effectiveness of my psychotherapy services. I asked my clients to compete questions to assess their progress in therapy. I am proud of this achievement and I feel it is an aspect of my practice that makes me different, as I am not aware of any other psychologist with the same commitment. Clients who have worked with me have experienced a greater quality of life. According to their own self-ratings, their presenting problem has:
- DECREASED BY UP TO 75% when the degree of interference is measured;
- DECREASED BY UP TO 88% in terms of the frequency of symptoms and;
- DECREASED BY UP TO 89% in the intensity of their symptoms.
Soon after I start my private practice, I have an ‘a-ha’ moment. I come across research from the British Medical Journal that shows that ‘Happiness is Contagious!’ This research shows that happiness can spread up to three degrees of separation, so to the friends of one’s friends’ friends! I find this exciting as it shows that the science of change can spread, which is one of the reasons I dedicated myself to writing free Self-Help Toolkits and having a Blog, which is another aspect of my practice that is unique.
By 2010, my private practice had increased by 950%, as more clients where referred to my by previous clients, as well as family physicians. I decide to look for a new change and I move on to work for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the Department of National Defence (DND) as a psychologist. I am very proud of this achievement. My hard work and experience paid off in the interview process, as I am one of only a handful of psychologists in Montreal to pass all the interview process and be employed by the CAF/DND. During the next few years, my private practice increases by another 130%.
By 2012, my private practice had increased again by almost 30% over the past few years and I decide to commit to my private practice full-time while remaining as an external consultant for the CAF/DND.
So that is my brief story and why I do what I do.
You can continue to read below to find out all about my more about my more scientific qualifications and accomplishments.
If you would like to learn more, feel free to Contact Me for a free phone consultation.
Qualifications, Licenses, Achievements, Publications, Presentations, Awards and Scholarships
If you are interested knowing about my technical credentials and qualifications as a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, well here is a list of them!
Education: University-level training in Clinical Psychology. I hold a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from McGill University and a B.A. in Psychology, with Specialized Honours, from York University. I was able to successfully transfer from a Bachelor of Arts directly into a Doctoral program without having to complete a Master’s of Arts in Psychology.
Professional Licenses: I have a permit to practice psychotherapy from l’Ordre des psychologues du Québec. OPQ License # 10569-05.
Academic Awards and Honours:
Douglas Utting Fellowship for Studies in Depression, Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital, declined for position at the Douglas Hospital. 2005-2007.
McGill Graduate Studies Fellowship. 2003-2004.
Fonds pour la Formation de Chercheurs et l’Aide à la Recherche (FCAR), Doctoral Research Scholarship. 2003 - 2004.
Alma Mater Student Research Travel Grant, McGill University. 2003.
Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Postgraduate Scholarship. 2002 - 2003.
FCAR Doctoral Research Scholarship, declined for NSERC Award. 2002 - 2003.
NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship. 2001 - 2002.
FCAR Doctoral Research Scholarship, declined for NSERC Award. 2001 - 2002.
Alma Mater Student Research Travel Grant, McGill University. 2000.
NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship. 2000 - 2001.
NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship. 1999 - 2000.
Ontario-Quebec Exchange Fellowship, declined for NSERC Award. 1999 – 2000.
Ontario-Quebec Exchange Fellowship. 1998 – 1999.
Graduated, Bachelor of Arts, Specialized Honours, Dean's Honour Roll. 1997.
York University: Faculty of Arts Sessional Academic Achievement List. 1994 – 1997.
Publications: I have published a number of journal articles in peer-reviewed journals. I am particularly proud of my two first-author papers as they were published in journals that were rated in the top-ten in terms of impact factor in the field of neuroscience.
Crocker AC, Braithwaite E, Lafferière D, Gagnon D, Venegas C & Jenkins T. START Changing Practice: Implementing a Risk Assessment and Management Tool In a Civil Psychiatric Setting. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 2011; 10: 1-16.
Neuropsychopharmacology, 2007; 33: 2033-2041., , , , , & . Stress-Induced Dopamine Release in Humans at Risk of Psychosis: A [(11)C]Raclopride PET Study.
Gagnon D, Paus T, Grosbras M-H, Pike GB & O’Driscoll GA. TMS of frontal oculomotor structures. Journal of Neuroscience, 2006; 26: 458-466.
Gagnon D, O'Driscoll GA, Petrides M, & Pike GB. The effect of spatial and temporal information on saccades and neural activity in oculomotor structures. Brain, 2002; 125: 123-139.
O'Driscoll GA, Florencio PS, Gagnon D, Wolff AV, Benkelfat C, Mikula L, Lal S, & Evans AC. Hippocampal volume and verbal memory in first-degree relatives of schizophrenic patients. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 2001; 107: 75-85.
International Conference Presentations and Abstracts:
Soliman A, O’Driscoll GA, Pruessner J, Holahan AL, Gagnon D, Dagher A. Stress induced dopamine release in the striatum of psychometric schizotypes. Schizophrenia Bull, 31(2) 2005, 445-446.
Soliman A, O’Driscoll GA, Pruessner J, Wolff AL, Boileau I, Gagnon D, Dagher A. Stress-induced DA release in the striatum of humans at risk for schizophrenia: a 11-C raclopride study. Human Brain Mapping, Budapest, June 14, 2004.
Gagnon D, O'Driscoll GA, Paus T, & Grosbras M-H. (2003). Frontal oculomotor areas in the control of smooth pursuit: an fMRI and TMS study. Neural Control of Movement, April 22-27, Santa Barbara, California, USA.
Soliman A, O'Driscoll G, Pruessner J, Wolff A, Gagnon D, Dagher A. (2003). Stress-induced dopamine release in the striatum of humans at risk for schizophrenia: a [11C]-raclopride PET study. Soc.Neurosci Abs.
Gagnon D, O'Driscoll GA, Petrides M, Pike GB. (2001). The effect of spatial and temporal information on saccades and neural activity in oculomotor structures. Society for Psychophysiology Research, Vol. 38 (Suppl 1): S43.
Gagnon D, O'Driscoll GA, Petrides M, Pike GB. (2001). The effect of spatial and temporal information on saccades and neural activity in oculomotor structures. Department of Psychology, McGill University, Annual D.O. Hebb Showcase, September 2, Montreal, Quebec, CANADA.
Gagnon D, O'Driscoll GA, Petrides M, Pike GB. (2001). The contribution of the “where” and “when” systems to saccade characteristics and neural activity in oculomotor structures. Neuropsychology Day, Montreal Neurological Institute, May 1, Montreal QC, CANADA.
O'Driscoll GA, Florencio PS, Gagnon D, Wolff ALV, Benkelfat C, Mikula L, Lal S, Evans AC. Hippocampal volume and verbal memory in first-degree relatives of schizophrenic patients. Schizophrenia Research, 2001; 49, 163.
Gagnon D, O'Driscoll GA, Pike GB. (2000). Neural activity in FEFs and SEFs related to the predictive control of eye movements. Society For Neuroscience, November 4-9, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
Gagnon D, O'Driscoll GA. (2000). Components Of Oculomotor Prediction Investigated With fMRI. Department of Psychology, McGill University, Annual D.O. Hebb Showcase, September 8, Montreal, Quebec, CANADA.
Gagnon D, O'Driscoll GA. (2000). Components Of Oculomotor Prediction Investigated With fMRI. Neural Control of Movement, April 9-14, Key West, Florida, USA.
Invited Talks and Symposiums:
Symposium: Implementation and Evaluation of START in Civil and Forensic Psychiatric Services. D Gagnon & C Venegas. Implementation of the Short-Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability on an acute civil psychiatric unit. International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services. Edinburgh, Scotland. June 24-26, 2009.
Symposium: Implementation and Evaluation of START in Civil and Forensic Psychiatric Services. E Braithwaite, A Crocker, Y Charette & D Gagnon. Exploring the predictive ability of the Short-Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability on a civil psychiatric unit. International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services. Edinburgh, Scotland. June 24-26, 2009.
D Gagnon, membre du panel d’experts. Formation croisée: Gestion des risques de comportement violent de personnes atteintes de troubles de santé mentale et de toxicomanie. Institut universitaire en santé mental Douglas. 27 mai, 2008.
D Gagnon & A Crocker. Le START: un guide pour l’évaluation et la gestion des comportements problématiques. Établissement Archambault Service Correctional Canada. 24 avril, 2008.
A Crocker, D Gagnon, & Y Hindle. Évaluation et gestion du risque de violence en santé mentale. Quatrième colloque interétablissements en psychiatrie et en santé mentale. 5 octobre, 2007.
Y Hindle, D Bloom, C Venegas, D Gagnon & A Crocker. The Metamorphisis Of Perry2A: An integrated clinical, research and training unit. Douglas Mental Health University Institute. Grand Grounds, May 10, 2007.
D Gagnon. The contribution of the FEF and SEF to smooth pursuit: an fMRI and TMS Study. Brain, Behaviour and Cognition Seminar Series, Department of Psychology, McGill University. February 25, Montreal, Quebec, CANADA.
Non-Refereed Training Manuals and Technical Reports:
AG Crocker, A Garcia, M Israël, Y Hindle, D Gagnon, C Venegas, E Braithwaite, M-E Roy. 2008. Implementing and using a systematic risk assessment scheme to increase patient safety on a risk management unit for individuals with severe mental illness: A demonstration project.
AT Jenkins, A Crocker, C Venegas, & D Gagnon. 2006. Training Protocol for the Short Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability (START).