Dr. Kimberley Cullen, PhD, CPsych

Dr. Kimberley Cullen is a Psychologist with competencies in Clinical, Counseling, and Health Psychology for Adults with the College of Psychologists of Ontario. She has experience with individual, couple and group therapy using evidence-based approaches.

Education and Training

Dr. Cullen completed her Masters and Doctoral training in Clinical Psychology at York University. She completed her predoctoral residency in the Women’s Program and the Integrated Day Treatment Service at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), where she provided group and individual psychotherapy to those with mood and anxiety disorders, as well as individuals with a history of trauma. She has also trained/worked at the Mental Health Program at North York General Hospital, Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Center, CAMH’s Adult Gender Identity Clinic, York University Psychology Clinic (YUPC), and private practice settings. Dr. Cullen is a member of the Ontario Psychological Association (OPA), Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO), and Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health (CPATH). 

Theoretical Approach

Dr. Kimberley Cullen utilizes an integrative approach to therapy, drawing upon a variety of evidence-based treatments including Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Emotion-Focused Therapy (CBT), Dialectical-Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Compassion Focused Therapy, and Mindfulness.  She also trained in the Gottman Method for couples therapy and Emotion Focused Therapy for couples.  

Dr. Cullen works from an anti-oppression and trauma-informed framework that is collaborative, empathic, non-judgmental, creative, and holistic. She endeavours to provide a safe and supportive space that allows client to partake in a transformative experience of change and personal growth. Dr. Cullen works with individuals from all walks of life – varied cultural, religious and economic backgrounds, gender identities and sexual orientations. Her practice is LGBTQ+, poly, kink, and sex-affirming.

Dr. Cullen has extensive experience working with individuals facing a variety of challenges including:

Complex trauma/PTSD
Self esteem
Life transitions
Stress and coping
Relationship distress
Difficulties with sex and physical intimacy
Difficulties adjusting to and coping with physical illness
Sexuality and gender identity issues

Research and Community Engagement

Dr. Cullen’s research interests include health psychology, gender and sexuality, sexual health and functioning, and women’s health, as well as difficulties adjusting to and coping with physical illness, particularly with cancer patients and survivors. Her graduate research focused on understanding and addressing sexual health issues related to cancer and associated treatments. Her Masters research led to the development of clinical care guidelines for supporting rehabilitative treatment in women recovering from cervical cancer. For her Doctoral research, Kim developed a novel, online intervention for couples experiencing sexual difficulties as a result of breast cancer. This research further fueled her passion for supporting individuals who are experiencing difficulties with sexual functioning and physical intimacy as a result of illness, chronic pain, and altered mobility/ability. Kim recognizes that multiple factors and life events can impact sex and intimacy, and is committed to supporting all individuals wishing to enhance and rediscover their sexual relationship.

During her studies, Kim has been awarded several competitive scholarships that include funding from Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) and Ontario Graduate Scholarship, as well as a prestigious graduate fellowship from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF). Her work has also been recognized with various awards including two Health Professional Student Research Awards from CIHR and a Certificate of Academic Excellence from the Canadian Psychological Association.  

She is frequently invited as an expert guest speaker, and has delivered several workshops for cancer survivors struggling with body image issues and sexual difficulties. She also collaborated with a national breast cancer organization to develop an educational video series on this topic.  Kim has served on various sexual health and education committees, and was an expert reviewer for the Canadian Cancer Society’s section on sex, intimacy, and cancer.

Personal Background

Dr. Cullen is originally from Ottawa, where she completed her undergraduate degree in psychology from Carleton University. Prior to this, she completed an undergraduate degree in Biopharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Ottawa. With an initial plan to pursue a medical degree, she realized that her true passion was in the field of psychology, which would allow her to adopt a more holistic approach to health and well-being. As a result of these experiences, Kim has acquired an appreciation, understanding, and passion for supporting individuals to live their lives authentically and in line with their personal values.