PAA Workshops & Forum

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Sep 14, 2017
Psychotherapy & Medically Assisted Dying



PAA & CAP Present


Psychotherapy & Medically Assisted Dying


 Dr. Cheryl Nekolaichuk, R.Psych

Lily Nguyen, Associate, Field Law

Dr James Silvius, MD, Alberta Health Services

Dr Richard Spelliscy, College of Alberta Psychologists

Dr Judi L Malone, Psychologists’ Association of Alberta



This workshop will be of interest to Practicing Psychologists and Psychologists-in-Training, who work with people with incurable illnesses in palliative care and at end of life and their families.



June 2016 the Canadian federal legislation on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID, Bill C-14) was passed. The workshop brings together experts from various aspects of practice to discuss key elements & challenges, highlighting ethical & legal concerns surrounding MAID. Specific learning objectives include to:


  • Familiarize yourself with MAID legislation & the AHS approach (Dr James Silvius)
  • Review the legal history, current law, & key legal considerations for psychologists (Lily Nguyen)
  • Evaluate regulatory & professional practice considerations for psychologists (Dr Richard Spelliscy & Dr Judi L Malone)
  • Psychotherapy in Palliative Care and End of Life (Dr Cheryl Nekolaichuk)




8:30           Registration; Light continental breakfast

9:00           Welcome & Overview

9:15           MAID legislation & AHS approach

                        Dr James Silvius

10:15         Nutrition Break

10:30         Regulatory & Professional Practice Considerations

                        CAP Practice Alert     Dr Richard Spelliscy

                        Speciality Registers    Dr Judi L Malone

11:00         Psychotherapy in Palliative Care and End of Life - part 1

                        Dr. Cheryl Nekolaichuk

12:00         Networking Lunch

1:00           Handle with Care: Medical Assistance in Dying & the Provision of Psychological Services

                        Lily Nguyen


2:00           Psychotherapy in Palliative Care and End of Life - part 2

                        Dr Cheryl Nekolaichuk

4:00           Supporting Albertans – Additional Considerations for Psychologists

                        Dr Richard Spelliscy & Dr Judi L Malone


DATE             Thursday 14 September 2017

                       9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

                       Executive Royal Hotel, Calgary, AB - 






Dr. Cheryl Nekolaichuk

Cheryl Nekolaichuk, Ph.D., R. Psych., is a registered psychologist with a special interest in psycho-oncology and palliative care. She is a counselling psychologist on the Tertiary Palliative Care Unit at the Grey Nuns Community Hospital, in Edmonton, and a Professor in the Division of Palliative Care Medicine, Department of Oncology, at the University of Alberta. Her clinical and research interests revolve around supporting patients and families through end of life transitions, including understanding the multidimensional aspects of pain, patient-centered symptom assessment, the use of creative arts and the experience of hope in palliative and end of life care.


Dr James Silvius

Dr. Silvius is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine, University of Calgary. He has held numerous leadership positions over his career including Division Head, Geriatric Medicine, University of Calgary; Executive Medical Director Southwest Community Portfolio, Calgary Health Region; Medical Director, Pharmacy Services at Alberta Health Services; & most recently a combined role of Medical Director, Seniors Health & Senior Medical Director, Seniors Health Strategic Clinical Network. External to AHS he has served as Chair of the Expert Committee on Drug Evaluation & Therapeutics, Alberta Health; & is the current Vice-Chair of the Canadian Drug Expert Committee, CADTH. He maintains a clinical practice in geriatrics at Rockyview General Hospital. Other interests include being a co-founder of the Canadian Deprescribing Network (CaDEN), participation in TREC & the DementiaNet, & distance health care delivery.  He is the Lead for Medical Assistance in Dying Preparedness, Alberta Health Services.




Lily Nguyen, Associate, Field Law

Lily Nguyen has been a member of the Alberta Bar & an associate with Field Law since 2011.  She practices mainly in the area of administrative law with a focus on professional regulatory matters, judicial reviews & appeals. She has appeared before professional regulatory tribunals, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, the Alberta Court of Appeal, the Federal Court & the Federal Court of Appeal. Prior to joining Field Law, she clerked with the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench.


Lily is a member of Field Law’s Professional Regulatory practice group & a regular contributor to Perspectives for the Profession, Field’s newsletter on professional regulation. She has worked on the issue of physician-assisted dying since 2015, & has provided legal assistance to health professional bodies in navigating the post-Carter v Canada era. Prior to practicing law, Lily was a journalist, working as a news reporter & editor for The Globe & MailThe Toronto Star & The Edmonton Journal. She is married to Edmonton Journal writer & blogger David Staples & together they have 5 children (3 his, 2 theirs; 4 boys, 1 girl). In her spare time, she enjoys vegetable gardening, downhill skiing & all thingsJane Austen-related.




Dr Richard Spelliscy, College of Alberta Psychologists

Richard SpelliscyPh.D., R. Psych., is the incoming Registrar of the College of Alberta Psychologists effective 1 February 2017.  Dr. Spelliscy has over two decades of experience as a registered psychologist in a variety of settings including health, education & public protection.  He has maintained a longstanding relationship with the College throughout his career, initially providing expert opinions, conducting investigations & ethics/practice reviews. Dr. Spelliscy previously served on College Council for six years including a term as President. Dr. Spelliscy was the College’s first Director of Professional Guidance.  For the past seven years, he has led the College’s complaints department.  He has been central to the College’s preferred focus on proactive professional education & collaborative complaint resolution processes.

Dr. Spelliscy is currently serving as Chair of the Alberta Federation of Regulated Health Professions.  He is also a member of the University of Alberta Collaborative Health Education Group.  He is an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Education, University of Alberta & a member of the Dean Selection Committee.  Dr. Spelliscy is currently a Director on the Board of Assist – an employee assistance program for members of the Law Society of Alberta.




Dr Judi L Malone, Psychologists’ Association of Alberta

Judi L Malone, PhD, R. Psych (AB/AUS) is the Executive Director of the Psychologists’ Association of Alberta with extensive experience as a PAA volunteer & for three years as the Director of Education & Communications, collaborating to strengthen the role & profile of psychologist in Alberta. Dr Malone has a wealth of scientist-practitioner experience from clinical practice, academic roles, & in research. She has expertise in working with disadvantaged populations & both national & international perspectives from dual registration in Alberta & Australia. Her clinical expertise is in trauma, the neurobiology of addictions, & professional ethics in rural & small communities.




The Psychologists’ Association of Alberta (PAA) is approved by the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) to offer Continuing Education (CE) for psychologists.  This workshop is offered for six (6.0) hours of CE Credit.  Full attendance at the workshop is required to receive Continuing Education Credits.  Partial credit will not be awarded, & late arrivals or early departure will preclude awarding of Continuing Education Credits.  PAA maintains responsibility for the program.



Cancellation and refunds may be applied for by writing to the PAA office.  Cancellations received fourteen (14) days prior to the Continuing Education activity will receive a full refund of the registration fee, less a $25.00 + gst processing fee.  PAA reserves the right to cancel any activity, in which case a full refund of the registration fee will be provided.


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