MDPAC Psychotherapy Training Program

September 11, 2020 - June 20, 2021


The MDPAC psychotherapy training program is a year-long training course for physicians (or nurse practitioners in primary care). wishing to develop a focused practice in psychotherapy or to increase their skills in providing psychotherapy in the context of a comprehensive family practice setting. While there are many models of therapy, it has become more apparent and empirically researched that the most important factor in healing is the therapeutic alliance or relationship.  This program will focus on the basic core skills required to foster, manage ruptures of, and create safety within this relationship, while also learning ways to care for ourselves while caring for others.

Each weekend will consist of both didactic and experiential components with adequate opportunities for feedback and interaction with presenters and colleagues.  Participants are expected to attend each weekend and five online group supervision sessions throughout the year.




More aware of my own responses in therapy and impact of transference both directions

Building community within the participants

It gave me core "soft skills" outside of the specific therapeutic techniques that I need to practice competently, safely, effectively.



The program takes place over five weekends from September 2020 to June 2021 with the following topics:

MODULE 1: September 11-13, 2020 
Topic: Initial Assessment and Intake & the Therapeutic Alliance
Dr. James Whyte & Dr. Alison Arnot

MODULE 2: November 13-15, 2020 
Topic: Therapeutic Presence & Providing Patient Safety
Dr. Robin Beardsley and Dr. Harry Zeit

MODULE 3: February 5-7, 2021 
Topic: Ethics, Record Keeping, Medical/Legal Issues & Psychopharmacology
Dr. Mary Preisman & Dr. James Whyte

MODULE 4: April 16-18, 2021 
Topic: Boundaries, Transference, and Countertransference
Dr. Robin Beardsley & Dr. Elizabeth Parsons

MODULE 5: June 18-20, 2021 
Topic: Trauma, Self Care, and Burnout Prevention
Dr. Harry Zeit & Dr. Amy Alexander


Each weekend will consist of both didactic and experiential components with adequate opportunities for feedback and interaction with presenters and colleagues.

Participants are expected to attend each weekend and attend five online group supervision sessions throughout the year.



(NOTE: Times Indicated are EASTERN TIME ZONE)

Friday Evening

6:00pm – 7:30pm In Session
7:30pm – 7:45pm Break
7:45pm - 9:15pm In Session

Saturday and Sunday 
12:30pm – 2:00pm In Session 
2:00pm – 2:30pm Break 
2:30pm – 4:00pm In Session 
4:00pm – 4:30pm Break 
4:30pm – 6:00 pm In Session



$1500 includes program and supervision fees

A deposit of $500 is required at time of registration.

Balance of $1000 due by August 13, 2020.


Cancellations must be received in writing or via email to the MDPAC Office.

Cancellations received prior to August 13, 2020 are subject to an administration fee of $100

Cancellations received after August 13, 2020, no refunds, however a $500 credit may be used for another MDPAC program within the next 12 months.


This Group Learning program has been certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for up to 28 Mainpro+ credits which includes supervision for Module 1.


Approved for 12 hours of MDPAC Group CE credits per Module and 2 hours of MDPAC CCI credits (the latter automatically calculated when MDPAC member submits Group CE hours).

Also Approved for 2 hours of MDPAC CCI credits for the Supervision after each  Module (these must be submitted directly)

TOTAL:  60 hours of MDPAC Group CE credits per 5 Modules and 10 hours of MDPAC CCI credits (automatically calculated when MDPAC member submits Group CE hours) for the whole 5 Module Course and 10 hours of MDPAC CCI credits for the Supervision (submitted separately).



Dr. Amy Alexander MD, MHSc, CCFP, CD, Capt (Ret'd)

Dr. Alexander is a Family Physician with a Focused Practice in Psychotherapy. She has training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, Trauma Psychiatry and Internal Family Systems. She also undertook Mind-Body Medicine training through the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine, specializing in treatment protocols for both Cancer and Chronic Pain. In addition to being a yoga teacher, she also completed training in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Group Leadership as well as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) Group Facilitation. She has a group psychotherapy practice in Oakville for people with medical illness and chronic pain. An Active Staff member in the Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care Unit at the Southlake Stronach Regional Cancer Centre in Newmarket, she sees patients for individual and group treatment. She holds clinical appointments in both the Departments of Psychiatry and Family & Community Medicine there.   


Dr. Robin Beardsley, MD CCFP, has a focused practice in Psychotherapy, in Ottawa. She obtained her medical Degree from the University of Toronto and completed her Family Medicine Residency at the University of Ottawa, (1989) and is now on Faculty with the Department of Family Medicine.  Dr. Beardsley is a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, the Canadian College of Family Physicians, The Satir Institute of the Pacific, the Medical Psychotherapy Association Canada, and is a trained teacher in Mindful Self Compassion (2015). She has had extensive training in the Satir Model and more recently has taken training in Internal Family Systems (Level 1).   She has had over twenty years’ experience in a Balint Group, which provides peer support for physicians regarding the doctor- patient relationship issues. She has always been interested in caregiver well-being.


Dr. Alison Arnot BSc, MD. CCFP, FCFP, Psychotherapist with a focused practice in substance use and concurrent disorders

Dr. Alison Arnot is an MD Psychotherapist with a focused practice in substance use and concurrent disorders. Dr. Arnot graduated from medical school at the University of Ottawa in 1981. She completed her family medicine residency at the University of Toronto in 1983, followed a year of emergency medicine. She was a partner at Credit Valley Family Practice Associatesfrom1988-2009 where she provided comprehensive care including emergency medicine and obstetrics. She joined the treatment team at the Addiction & Concurrent Disorders Centre at the Credit Valley Hospital in 1997. She also worked part-time at the Health & Counselling Centre at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus from 2000-2015.She opened a solo practice in the community when the Addiction Treatment Program at the hospital ended in order to provide continuity of care to her patients. She is a Certificant and Fellow of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and a lecturer in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Arnot is a member of the Board of the MD Psychotherapy Association of Canada and a mentor in the Medical Mentoring in Addictions and Pain program organized by the Ontario College of Family Physicians.


Dr. Elizabeth Parsons, MD CCFP MDPAC(C) completed her Family Medicine residency in Northeastern Ontario in 1999 and has had a focused practice in psychotherapy since 2007. She has training in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (level 2) and Internal Family Systems Therapy (level 1) and continues to engage in learning. In 2020 she is taking courses in Psychodrama and Ecopsychology as well deepening her work in SP with Advanced Training in Complex Trauma and Dissociation and a level 2 training in IFS for couples. She has experience running short-term DBT-style groups and is in the process of developing IFS-based groups in her practice in Ottawa. Since 2017, Elizabeth has been on the Board of Directors for MDPAC and has been the Chair since 2018.


Dr. Mary Preisman MD FRCPC, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto Department of Psychiatry

Dr. Preisman is a consultation liaison psychiatrist at Mount Sinai Hospital. Her areas of clinical focus and expertise include critical care psychiatry and inpatient perinatal psychiatry. She is very involved in medical education as the PGY1 Coordinator for the Department of Psychiatry, the course director of the University of Toronto Psychiatry Refresher Course and as an inter-specialty educator in collaboration with family medicine, internal medicine, critical care and obstetrics. She is passionate about work-life integration and runs a wellness series for ICU fellow as well as a busy household with two young children.


Dr James Whyte BScN, MD, CCFP is a Family Physician with a focused practice in psychotherapy.  He sits on the Executive committee of the PCMH section of OMA and On the BOD for MDPAC.  He is formerly a professor at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and Tyndale University.  He has an interest in Supportive Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy and Biofeedback. 


Dr. Harry Zeit MD, MDPAC(C) Certified in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy currently works full-time practicing trauma therapy and psychotherapy. He is certified in sensorimotor psychotherapy. Dr. Zeit previously worked as an American board-certified emergency physician in Cambridge and Toronto, Ontario, between 1983 and 2005.

Dr. Zeit is an advocate for trauma-informed and humane medical and mental health care. He is passionate about teaching and about cultivating the healing potential of traditional modalities integrated with newer somatic and neuroscience informed models.

Dr. Zeit recently began running trauma-informed groups based on creating a felt sense of safety and connection, combining sensorimotor psychotherapy, internal family systems, yoga and relational models.  In both the Caring for Self while Caring for Others series and in his short- and long-term groups, he is assisted by his partner, Irina Dumitrache, a certified yoga teacher and health coach. You can find out more about their work on his website:



Event Date
MDPAC Psychotherapy Training Program September 11 - 13, 2020
MDPAC Psychotherapy Training Program November 14 - 16, 2020
MDPAC Psychotherapy Training Program February 5 - 7, 2021
MDPAC Psychotherapy Training Program April 16 - 18, 2021
MDPAC Psychotherapy Training Program June 18 - 20, 2021


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balance ($1000) due by August 13, 2020
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