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Athabasca University

Dr. Melissa Jay, R. Psych

Assistant Professor, Human Services

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Education

  • Ph.D. (2019, Walden University), School of Psychology
  • M.C. (2011, Athabasca University), Graduate Centre for Applied Psychology
  • B.A. (2007, University of Saskatchewan)

Professional Designations

  • Registered Psychologist: College of Alberta Psychologists.
  • Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500): Yoga Alliance

Memberships

  • Métis Nation of Alberta
  • Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association (CCPA)
  • Psychological Association of Alberta (PAA)
  • Canadian Association of Suicide Prevention (CASP)
  • Yoga Alliance

Biography

Tansi, hello! As a Métis-Cree woman and a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta, I was the first person in my immediate family to obtain a University degree. With my spouse and our rescue dog (turned certified therapy dog), Lulu, we are blessed to live on sacred lands now called Canmore and celebrate all Nations and peoples, who live, work, play, and help care for these lands.

As the current Indigenous Director of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA), and past-chair of the Counsellors for Social Justice Chapter of the CCPA, I am dedicated to reflecting on and educating on our social responsibility as practitioners, students, and Canadians and the role we can play in the reconciliation process in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.

Reconciliation begins in relationship and when we connect with one another through compassion, there is a sense of safety fostering focus, productivity, social justice, and creativity.

My intention as an assistant professor is to innovate the ways in which conciliation is practiced. From a holistic, trauma-informed, and socially just lens, it is important to empower students to care for themselves as they find ways to apply their learning within their communities.

I am interested in experiences of cultural and holistic self-care practices in relation to distance education. Honouring ancient sacred teachings and modern psychology, my intention is to support myself and others in living a life of wellness by infusing spirit into all that we do. I plan to offer regular mindfulness and self-care classes, to the AU community, with the intention of creating a real-time source of connection, regardless of location. Stay tuned!

As a Registered Psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists (CAP #4444), I also believe in the importance of the interplay between theory and practice. I have a private practice which supports me in continually enhancing my own learning and bringing together scholarship and practice. I have also created the Trauma-Informed Yoga Psychology School, accredited by Yoga Alliance and dedicated to supporting helping professions in leaning into ancient teachings through honouring, rather than appropriating, these practices and ways of being. I believe that faculty members who are actively engaged in practice and advocacy can bring learning to life, and provide positive modeling, for students.

As an instructor I have taught a wide variety of psychology courses, in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. My intention as an instructor is to empower students to apply their education both personally and professionally. In 2018 I was nominated for, and awarded, the Athabasca University Graduate Student Association’s Outstanding Distinction Award for Teaching.

Looking forward to learning together!

With goodness,

Melissa

Research Areas and Interests

  • Trauma-Informed Practices
  • Indigenous Worldviews
  • Attachment Theory
  • Mindfulness
  • Mind-Body-Spirit Integration
  • Social Justice
  • Intersectionality
  • Yoga Psychology
  • Supervision and Learning

Publications

Jay, M. (2018). Women’s experiences of mindfulness in romantic relationship (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from https://scholarworks.waldenu.edu

Jay, M. (2020). The art of mindfulness in women’s romantic relationships. (Submitted).

Jay, M. & Brown, J. (2020). How wearing a social justice lens can support you, your clients, and the larger community: Reflections on a workshop. Manuscript in preparation.

Audet, C., Collins, S., Jay, M., Irvine, K., Hill-Lehr, A., & Schmolke, C. (2014). Poverty, mental health, and counsellors for social justice: Reflection on an interactive workshop. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 48, 321-343. https://cjc-rcc.ucalgary.ca

Jay*, M. (2011). Letting go of suicidality: Group therapy for post-crisis suicidal adolescent clients (Final project). Retrieved from http://dtpr.lib.athabascau.ca

Other Academic Contributions

Jay, M. (2018). Practice illustration 4 Uncovering and integrating my Métis heritage. In S. Collins (Ed.). Embracing cultural responsivity and social justice: Re-shaping professional identity in counselling psychology [PDF version] (pp. 94-95). Victoria, BC: Counselling Concepts. Retrieved from https://counsellingconcepts.ca

Jay, M. (2018). Practice illustration 18 Self-care through self-compassion. In S. Collins (Ed.). Embracing cultural responsivity and social justice: Re-shaping professional identity in counselling psychology [PDF version] (pp. 458-460). Victoria, BC: Counselling Concepts. Retrieved from https://counsellingconcepts.ca

Jay, M. (2018). Self-inquiry activity: Enhancing your discernment. In S. Collins (Ed.), Culturally responsive and socially just counselling: Teaching and learning guide [EPUB version]. Athabasca, AB: Faculty of Health Disciplines. Retrieved from https://crsjguide.pressbooks.com

Research Proposals

Brown, J., & Jay, M. (2020). Counselling and social justice: Helpful practices. (Research proposal). The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.

Conference Proceedings

Jay, M. (2019, May). Trauma-sensitive yoga psychology. Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association Annual Conference, Moncton, NB.

Jay, M., Brown, J., Ward, R., Siddique, R., & Kennedy, M. (2019, May). How wearing a social justice lens can support you, your clients, and the larger community. Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association Annual Conference, Moncton, NB.

Jay. M. (2019, May). Counsellors for social justice chapter representation. In J. Warren, J. Hull, & T. Kirkland (Chairs), Together in action: CCPA chapters for reconciliation initiative. Symposium conducted at the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association Annual Conference, Moncton, NB.

Jay, M. (2018, May). Inspiring social change through social justice. Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association Annual Conference, Winnipeg, MB.

Jay, M. (2018, March). Encouraging student connection & confidence through video announcements. City University of Seattle’s Online Faculty Development Conference, Online.

Jay, M. (2018, May). Inspiring social change through social justice. Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association 2018 Annual Conference, Winnipeg, MB.

Jay, M. (2012, May). Group therapy for post-crisis suicidal adolescent clients. Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, Calgary, AB.

Collins, S., Audet, C., Jay, M., Johannsen, K., & Wheeldon, L. (2012, May). Counsellors without borders: Expanding self and practice. Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association Annual Conference, Calgary, AB.

Jay, M. (2011, June). Group therapy for post-crisis suicidal adolescent clients. Canadian Psychological Association Annual Convention, Toronto, ON.

Collins, S., Audet, C., Jay, M., & Irvine, K. (2011, May). Bloom where you are planted: Micro social justice. Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association Conference, Ottawa, ON.

Updated September 01 2020 by Student & Academic Services

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