Dr. Molly McCarthy, PhD, CPsych

Dr. Molly McCarthy is a Psychologist at the Toronto Psychology Clinic. She has experience with individual, couple and group therapy using evidence-based approaches that include EFT, DBT and CBT.

Registered psychologist couple therapy, health psychology and DBT for BPD

Education & Training

Dr. Molly McCarthy completed her MA and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at York University in Toronto. Her dissertation research focused on couples’ relational and sexual adjustment to life with an ostomy after colorectal cancer and was awarded the Frederick Banting and Charles Best Doctoral Award by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Her work aimed to address the supportive care needs of an underserved group of patients within oncology and is a reflection of Dr. McCarthy’s professional aspiration to increase access to mental health support within the medical system.

Dr. Molly McCarthy is a Clinical, Counseling and Health Psychologist at the Toronto Psychology Clinic. Prior to joining the clinic, she completed her predoctoral residency at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, with rotations in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Service, Chronic Pain, Borderline Personality Disorder Service, and Neuropsychology. She also previously trained at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and the York University Psychology Clinic and worked as a research consultant for the Ontario Ministry of Labour. In addition to her time at the Toronto Psychology Clinic, Molly works as a staff psychologist at the GoodHope Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Clinic at Toronto General Hospital, where her work focuses on helping individuals to lead meaningful and value-based lives in the face of significant medical challenges.

Theoretical Approach

In her clinical practice, Dr. McCarthy strongly values and prioritizes her relationship with clients. She understands that seeking psychological support can be challenging and works collaboratively with clients to develop goals for therapy. Her style is warm, genuine, and non-judgmental and she aims to create an environment where individuals and couples can feel safe to explore their concerns. She believes that it is within the safety and trust of the therapeutic relationship that clients can come to new insights and understandings, experiment with different ways of thinking and behaving, and create meaning in their experiences. Dr. McCarthy works with individuals from diverse backgrounds; she is committed to delivering culturally sensitive care and her practice is LGBTQ+ affirming.

Dr. McCarthy integrates approaches and techniques from evidence-based therapies including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT), and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) to individualize treatment to the needs, values, strengths, and readiness of the individual or couple. She has also completed additional clinical training in sex therapy through the University of Guelph, Emotion-Focused Therapy for Couples, and Gottman Method Couples Therapy. Whenever possible, she continues to seek out learning opportunities to improve her practice of evidence-based interventions.

Dr. McCarthy provides support to individuals with diverse challenges including:

Personal Background

Dr. McCarthy was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario. She has an extensive family history of cancer and a higher-than-average genetic risk of developing cancer. She believes these personal experiences have provided her with an appreciation for the life-changing experience of illness as well as the challenge we are all presented with accepting uncertainty in life. Motivated by these experiences, she strives to increase access to mental health support within the medicalized healthcare system through her work in research and education.


McCarthy, M., Fergus, K., Isaacs, J, & Miller, D. (2020). Couples’ sexual adjustment to a permanent colostomy after rectal cancer: A grounded theory analysis. [Manuscript in preparation].

McCarthy, M., & Fergus, K. (2020). Why don’t couples participate in psychosexual research after cancer? Perspectives of Health Professionals. [Manuscript in preparation].

McCarthy, M., Fergus, K., & Miller, D. (2016). ‘I-We’ boundary fluctuations in couple adjustment to rectal cancer and life with a permanent colostomy. Health Psychology Open, 3(1), 1-14.

Ahmad, S., Fergus, K., & McCarthy, M. (2015). Psychosocial issues experienced by young women with breast cancer: The minority group with the majority of need. Current Opinions in Supportive Palliative Care, 9(3), 271-278.

McCarthy, M. C, & Lumley, M. N. (2012). Sources of emotional maltreatment and the differential development of unconditional and conditional schemas. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 41(1), 288-297.

Selected conference presentations & guest lectures

McCarthy, M. (2020, June). Grief…Sometimes it gets complicated: Issues in assessment and treatment. Presentation at the Mental Health and Addictions Rounds, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Hamilton, ON.

McCarthy, M. (2019, February). A novel online psychosexual intervention for bladder and colorectal cancer patients with an ostomy and their partners. Invited in-service to the Radiology Department, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON.

McCarthy, M. C., Fergus, K., Turner, A. Chadwick, S., Vanstone, R., & Dunkley, M. (2018, October). Let’s talk about sex… with an ostomy: A formative evaluation of a novel online psychosexual intervention for colorectal cancer patients with an ostomy and their partners. Oral presentation at the International Psycho-Oncology Society World Congress, Hong Kong.

McCarthy, M. (2018, November). Are you concerned about sex and intimacy while living with an ostomy? Invited lecture at the Annual Patient Education Event for Individual with an Ostomy and their Families, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON.

Professional Memberships

Canadian Psychological Association

Ontario Psychological Association

Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology