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Ms. Sharon Hou, Therapist

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Sharon Hou is a therapist at NSSAC who specializes in the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents presenting with developmental, psychological, and medical challenges. Sharon’s clinical specialties include anxiety and mood disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, trauma and stress-related disorders, as well as difficulties related to school, family relationships, peers, coping, and adjustment. Sharon is also experienced in working with youths with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disabilities, and those with chronic health conditions. Sharon has a special interest and is experienced in working with diverse family constellations, such as immigrant families, refugee families, and adoptive families.

Sharon values authenticity, openness, and has a deep appreciation for human diversity. In line with these guiding principles, Sharon’s clinical approach is collaborative, family-centred, and culturally responsive. Specifically, she gets to know youths and their families and develops treatment plans with consideration of their developmental, social, and cultural context. Sharon uses interventions that are supported by scientific research, including cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). She also incorporates strategies from motivational interviewing, emotion-focused family therapy, and self-compassion when appropriate. Beyond her therapeutic work, Sharon provides comprehensive psychological assessments for children and adolescents. The goal of the assessment is to help youths and their family better understand their strengths and needs and offer tailored supports and resources to best address their presenting concerns. Sharon offers psychological services in English and Mandarin.

Sharon immigrated with her family from Taiwan to Canada at an early age and grew up on the North Shore. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and French (Honours) from the University of California, Los Angeles. She earned her Master’s degree and is currently a PhD candidate in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, at the University of Guelph. Sharon completed her pre-doctoral residency at Alberta Children’s Hospital, where she received focused training in pediatric oncology and the child and adolescent addiction and mental health specialized services, including adolescent mental health inpatient units and a mood, anxiety, and psychosis outpatient clinic. Sharon also previously trained at the Hospital for Sick Children (a tertiary care pediatric hospital), the Toronto District School Board (an inner-city program at the school board), Surrey Place Centre (a developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorders community clinic), and the University of Guelph’s Centre for Psychological Services (a university training clinic).

In addition to her role at the NSSAC, Sharon is a post-doctoral fellow at BC Children’s Hospital providing long-term follow-up care to survivors of childhood cancer. She also has an active research program focused on understanding the parent-child relationships and acculturation experiences of immigrant families. Outside of her work, Sharon appreciates a balance of quality time with her beloved family and friends with personal downtime. She particularly treasures her early morning solitude, enjoys practicing yoga, and loves nurturing her ever-growing indoor jungle of houseplants.