Heather Prime

November 6, 2020
Heather Prime
Doctor of Philosophy in School and Clinical Child Psychology (SCCP), Class of 2017

Current place of work:
York University, Department of Psychology 

What is your current role?
Assistant Professor 

What led you to this program?
For many years, I was drawn to connecting with others, I valued listening to others, and I was naturally compassionate to the pain of others. In work and volunteer experiences following my undergraduate degree, I became interested in how relationships can support children who have experienced adversity. I became fascinated in the vulnerability and resilience of young children. OISE’s SCCP program was one of the programs in Canada that offered a developmental focus in training to be a psychologist. Also, I was drawn to the work of my (future) supervisor, who examined risk and resilience in early childhood.  

What was your biggest take-away/learning from the program?
Studying children and families, and working with them clinically, requires a great appreciation for the complexities of human development. If we focus solely on single causes or simplistic formulations for why a client is the way they are, we do them a disservice. I think we all, as educators, clinicians, students, family members, friends, and strangers can stand to be more understanding of the complexity and nuanced nature of human development, behaviour, personality, and emotions. 

What did you enjoy about the program?
The SCCP program is where I cultivated my passion for my work, learned how to be a researcher and clinician, and became the professional I am today. Most of all, I met some of my closest friends in the program, through shared interests, experiences, and passion for child mental health and well-being.

How has this program/ your profession impacted you? 
My training as a clinical psychologist has shaped who I am as a person. I bring my knowledge, training, and experiences to all of the work I do as a educator, researcher, and clinician, but also to my personal relationships.

What would you say to a current student?
The road is long and hard, but incredibly fulfilling. Care for the part of yourself that needs to be heard.

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