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Dr. Iris Torchalla, R.Psych.

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Dr. Iris Torchalla is a Registered Psychologist in the Province of British Columbia (Reg. # 2069). She provides assessment and treatment for adults suffering from anxiety, mood and trauma-related difficulties. She also provides skills training for a range of other concerns and emotional issues such as stress management, problem-solving, assertiveness training, managing substance use, and dealing with life transitions, grief and loss. She has a special interest in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and has extensive training in various evidence-based PTSD therapy protocols including therapies involving exposure and emotional processing.

Dr. Torchalla works collaboratively with clients to explore their personal goals and the changes they would like to make in their lives, support them in better understanding the feelings, thoughts and motivations underlying their problems, and acquire new skills to achieve their goals. She uses a Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approach, which has been shown to be highly effective in the treatment of anxiety, mood and trauma-related problems, and she incorporates strategies from Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).  

With respect to background and training, Dr. Torchalla obtained her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Eberhard Karls University in Tuebingen, Germany. She completed her residency at the Tuebingen University Hospital for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy which included major rotations at a unit for emergency inpatient psychiatric care, a psychiatric day clinic, and an outpatient psychotherapy clinic.

In previous years, Dr. Torchalla worked at the Vancouver Pain Clinic where she launched and led a multidisciplinary treatment program for individuals with work-related PTSD to help them recover from their trauma-related difficulties and return to work. She was also a clinician scientist at the department for addiction therapy and addiction medicine at the Tuebingen University Hospital for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, where she provided group and individual addiction counseling and motivational interviewing, was the clinical coordinator of the hospital’s smoking cessation treatment clinic, and was involved in various treatment outcome studies. Furthermore, Dr. Torchalla developed and implemented a social skills training group program for prison inmates in Germany.

Dr. Torchalla also held research affiliations with the Tuebingen University Hospital for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health and (currently) the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences (CHÉOS), a research centre with the University of British Columbia. As a scientist, she has published over 40 articles and book chapters on trauma, PTSD, mental health and addiction. She has presented her research at national and international conferences and held seminars and lectures on trauma and substance use.

Dr. Torchalla believes in her clients’ resilience and ability to overcome challenging life conditions, and finds her work as a psychologist meaningful and gratifying. Outside of her work, she loves travelling, hiking, kayaking, camping, and spending time with her family and friends.

Services offered in English and German.