Meet The Team
Director, Lead Facilitator
Doug Allen, CD, SEP, MSW, RSW
Doug is a Trauma Therapist who specializes in the Nervous System. He has developed the Allodynamic Model of Recovery and Nervous System Recalibration©.
His experience in trauma started off during his 20-year career in the Canadian Armed Forces Infantry. He has personal experience with peacetime and combat operations. His formal trauma training background is Somatic Experiencing and Therapeutic Enactment, for which he now takes on a mentorship role. He has developed Nervous System Recalibration, designed to not regulate but to regain agency of our own body's reaction to stress and recalibrate it to more appropriately match the current environment we are in. This is key for people who work in high stress environments but who also want to be able to take the uniform off at the end of the day or after retirement.
Couples and Family Specialist
Karen Cox, MSW, RSW
Karen started her career in Health Education and branched out to the social work field in the 1990s. Her
experience runs the gamut from education in schools, child protection, sexual health, LGBTQ2S issues,
family relationships, chronic illness, grief, peer support, and trauma. She served as one of the first
Family Liaison Officers for ill, injured, and fallen soldiers of the Canadian Forces. She returned to the Annapolis Valley from abroad (i.e. Toronto) in 2017, as a clinical social worker for DND and, continues to do so in private practice.
Karen is certified as a clinical trauma specialist and has training in DBT, SE, EFT, IFS, and EMDR. Her work with couples is informed by Gottman, Emotion-Focused Therapy, and she is continuing advanced training using the developmental model through the Couples Institute. She is a licensed facilitator for Mindfulness-Based Chronic Pain Management and is involved in the development of a nationwide association. Karen ibrings her experience as a facilitator of peer support training with Survivors of Abuse Recovering (SOAR), and She is eager to grow with the AGTTC through continued sharing and learning.
Group Narrative Specialist
Brock Caldwell, MEd, RCT, CCC
Brock specializes in domestic violence and the effects of lifelong trauma. He is also a facilitator for group-based retreats with the Veterans Transition Network, where he works with veterans suffering from operational stress injuries. Brock focuses on balancing the mind / body system through Narrative, Psychodynamic, and body-based Somatic approaches. He practices what he preaches as he continuously strives to enrich his own life through deeper connection to his nervous system, which greater connects him to himself, his family and the world around him.
Shannon MacDonald, BCBA
Shannon has a master’s in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst with more than a decade of experience in effecting positive behaviour changes in her clients. Initially Shannon focused her career on providing early
intervention services to children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and other
developmental and intellectual disabilities. In 2019, Shannon began to explore new and
innovative ways to use her knowledge and experience. Teaming up with a police officer
turned life coach from Maine, USA, Shannon started providing online services to first
responders who were suffering from anxiety, burnout and PTSD.
By taking the principles of ABA, such as determining why a certain behaviour is occurring,
why it continues to occur and what changes are needed to prevent it from occurring in the
future, Shannon gets to the root cause of why we are acting the way we are rather than
simply targeting the symptoms of the behaviour.
Shannon has helped teach first responders how to take back control over their lives by
developing individualised treatment plans and programs for clients who are seeking to
restore their quality of life.
Derreck Lang ( Deek)
Derrick is a Canadian Forces Veteran, and a currently serving Firefighter. He has over 30 years of operational and lived experience that he brings to the table. His experience working as a Firefighter has also led him to work along side Law Enforcement and Paramedics. He is 25 years sober and an active Sober Coach. He is also connected with the LGBTQ community. There is simply no better person more capable to meet any peer where they need to be met
Jennifer comes to us with an extensive background in administrative work, both in the mental health field and at her church.
She strongly believes in approaching mental health with all the best resources which is why she loves working in this clinical setting.
At her valley home, she and her husband are kept busy with 5 children, 2 of whom are still at home. She keeps busy with filling various volunteer positions at church, as well as managing the church office. Jennifer also loves spending quality time with her family and is passionate about self care.
Jordan King Advanced Paramedic (retired)
Jordan is a retired paramedic that served in multiple provinces since 2002. After 10 years of working as an advanced care paramedic in Nova Scotia, a change was required to align with his own mental health. His core values of being present and authentic combined with honesty and integrity have made him a great role model along the path of peer support. As he continues to explore, learn and understand more, the more more he wants to be part of a group that builds resiliency. He wishes to take these recovery skills and repurpose them to help first responders and military personal PREPARE for the events they will encounter as part of their profession. Preparation IS the best prevention.
Developmental Trauma Specialist
Clara Whitman, BSW, SWC
Clara Whitman has been practicing social work in Nova Scotia since 2012. Her professional background includes casework and parent counselling with child welfare, and she currently practices hospital social work in addition to her commitment to AGTTC. While she is set to Graduate with her MSW in April 2024, don’t let this timeline fool you!
Clara has spent over a decade researching trauma-focussed social Work and is currently working on a series of theoretical models of the human biopsychological experience, drawing from existing theories in areas such as developmental science, neuropsychology, and moral and existential philosophy.
Clara views mental distress and disorder as normative outcomes of a mind struggling to reconcile biologically-determined and socio-culturally-shaped needs and goals. she uses narrative approaches, trauma-focused bio psychoeducation, and interoceptive awareness to aid clients in making logical, normalizing sense of distressing and disorienting experiences to identify meaningful, self-actualizing goals.
Mens identity specialist
James Maynard MES, MSW, RSW
James is a registered Social Worker who draws on a lifetime of research and clinical experience
to find safe, viable and effective solutions to domestic violence, James specializes in addressing
the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on current relationships with self and
others. His primary focus is on providing clinical therapy with individuals who have used abuse
or violence within an intimate partnership. He has developed an approach to deepening
responsibility for building awareness of harmful behaviors and perspectives as well as creating
change, growth and healing.
James blends a number of therapeutic modalities to meet the client’s needs but specializes in
trauma-informed approaches to address the impact of early ACEs (Adverse Childhood
Experiences). His primary focus is on how this influences a clients current behavior. He is well
versed in Narrative Therapy, mindfulness and grounding practices, somatic awareness, CBT,
DBT and a psychotherapeutic model of practice wherever relevant and necessary.
James has research interests which include deepening responsibility for the impact of early
trauma, abuse, violence, or neglect on mental, emotional and neurological development as well
as how learned behaviors or ideas and somatic experiences of internalized trauma may influence
later perspectives, actions and responses to stress or conflict.
He has presented his work on Deepening Responsibility to numerous governmental and non-
governmental agencies and organizations nationally.
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Healing happens best through community
We strive to work together as our combined skills means we can provide a fully integrative plan, incorporating all the parts of your life, from personal, to work, to family. Helping you live YOUR life and reclaiming ability
Give Amber a call or send an email to see how we can get you started.
902 365 2238