Our Assessment Team provides psychological and psychoeducational assessment services to young people between the ages of 5 and 19 years and their families. This team also assesses university students who are looking to update older reports.
Elise Ditner has over 20 years of experience providing psychoeducational assessments and support to elementary and secondary students who are experiencing difficulties with issues like ADHD, learning disabilities, anxiety, emotional self-regulation, and difficulties with planning, organization and time management.
Using a combination of assessment and consultative skills, Elise looks beyond the diagnosis to help families and schools really understand an individual’s challenges, and works with them to develop strategies to enhance learning and performance at school and in ‘real life.’
Elise has also worked in a number of hospital and treatment settings, and consulted to a variety of independent schools and public agencies. She provides workshops and presentations for parents, educators and other professional groups on topics such as attachment, motivation, working memory and understanding learning disabilities.
Elise is also a licensed Cogmed coach and has been instrumental in making that program available to individuals and to schools. She is also a member of our Assessment Follow-Up Team.
When not working, Elise enjoys spending time with her family, reading and riding her horse.
Dr. Avraham Grunberger, Psy.D., C.Psych.
Avraham Grunberger is a registered psychologist whose work centers on assessing and treating youth who have complex challenges in the areas of learning, behaviour, or social-emotional functioning. Completing his doctoral degree in New York State, Dr. Grunberger has devoted much of his clinical career to exploring how academic challenges can stand in the way of children and their families. His goal is to help families understand their challenges and develop tools to overcome them.
Since returning to Ontario, Avraham has worked in several hospitals and outpatient clinics throughout the GTA, including The Hincks-Dellcrest Centre for Children’s Mental Health, the Tourettes Syndrome Clinic of the Toronto Western Hospital, and the Child and Family Services unit at Credit Valley Hospital. In addition to his work with SHIFT Cognitive Therapy + Assessment, he is also currently a staff psychologist on the outpatient service of McMaster Children’s Hospital.
A member of both our Assessment and Treatment teams, Dr. Kristina Wilder works with clients of all ages and backgrounds, including children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. She brings enthusiasm, an energetic personality and a sense of fun to her work. Kristina believes in working transparently with clients, collaborating to meet their goals. She works with a variety of issues, including anxiety, trauma and abuse, depression, and relationship challenges.
Kristina received her Ph.D. in Psychology from St. John’s University in New York, an experience that helped her to be mindful of diverse client backgrounds. She is skillful in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). She is also experienced in Psychodynamic therapy. With a wide range of tools, Kristina customizes her approach to client needs, helping each person reach their unique aims. She is a member of the Ontario Psychological Association and enjoys camping, Lego and quilting.
Dr. Jo-Ann Reitzel
Jo-Ann Reitzel, Ph.D., is a clinical and school psychologist who has enjoyed working with children and youth, and their families for more than 35 years. She has extensive experience in individual assessments and consultations with families, schools and physicians about children’s strengths and needs, and to make recommendations to improve success and wellbeing. She has a special interest in working with people who have developmental disabilities and has published book chapters and papers on behavioural and mental health problems in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Jo-Ann received her Ph.D. in Child Clinical and School Psychology from the University of Toronto in 2000. She is registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario and is a member of the Ontario Psychological Association and the Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University, where she is involved in teaching, supervision of psychology residents and research in autism with the McMaster Autism Research Team. Jo-Ann uses a flexible and goal-directed approach to treatment, believing that every child and family deserve effective interventions that fit their specific needs.
Dr. Stephen Barker, (Retired)
A registered psychologist for 34 years before retiring in 2015, Dr. Stephen Barker worked primarily with children and adolescents. His work involved providing extensive individual therapy for children, consulting to other providers and assessing learning issues. Dr Barker’s experience was gathered through work across many settings including: a residential children’s mental health setting, a group home, a hospital setting, family court and a major school board. In addition, Dr Barker was a Course Director in Educational Theory at York University.
Dr. Barker worked in private practice for the last 20 years of his career, developing a comprehensive and unique way of understanding how psychological assessments can help children to succeed. His approach focused on evaluating each child’s functioning in three broad areas known to contribute to success. The guiding principle behind his model was that every assessment should help parents know what to do to help their child become successful, and teach parents how to do it. Although Dr. Barker no longer performs assessments himself, we continue to use his model and approach.