Karen (Kovitz) Katchen holds a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto and M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Calgary. As a Clinical and Consulting Psychologist as well as an executive coach, she has maintained an independent practice since 1974. She relocated to Toronto from Calgary in the early 1980’s where she coordinated a multidisciplinary child abuse program at the Alberta Children’s Hospital and was an Assistant Professor of Medicine (Part-Time) at the University of Calgary, Community Health Sciences Department. Subsequently she founded one of the first group practices in Psychology in Toronto. Besides actively volunteering with her professional associations, she has chaired a number of innovative community initiatives and consulted at York University Counselling Centre. As a clinical consultant she has not only delivered direct services, but also designed, delivered and evaluated models for service delivery. As a strategy consultant she leveraged stakeholders’ insights and commitment to co-create strategic solutions and community partnerships.
Throughout her career, she has trained police, teachers, child welfare workers, physicians, lawyers and judges, and served as an expert witness in abuse custody and access, as well as domestic violence cases. Besides being a dedicated clinician, Karen is often asked to consult on a wide range of policy and strategic issues, e.g. developing protocols for new program and services; peer review and adjudication; commentary and guidelines for reviewing contentious agency and institutional practices; spearheading innovative community partnerships and projects.
Karen’s interest and practice in couples and families has been reflected in her research as well as her clinical practice activities throughout her career. From designing and evaluating a program for marital functioning, Marital Assessment Resource Project, to collaborative family law, a natural extension of that interest with a desire to assist couples and families in transition, optimize mutual satisfaction, and provide closure and resolution.
Karen has always been interested in mental health promotion through research, policy, education and service delivery. For example, she developed and chaired one of the first studies in Canada to explore community needs and resources in the area of childhood sexual abuse. She worked with the community of Peel to draft their Child Welfare investigation and intervention Protocol for Child Sexual Abuse. She consulted with the Toronto Special Committee on Child Sexual Abuse in providing groups both for female child victims and their mothers. Karen developed and chaired the Public Education portfolio for the Board of the Ontario Psychological Association and as representative of the American Psychological Association (Ontario), she launched the first Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award. She also created and chaired Mental Health Tune Up, the large joint public education initiatives of the Ontario Psychological Association and the Canadian Mental Health Association, (Ontario Division).
Karen has participated on a variety of Boards of Directors some of which include The Psychology Foundation of Canada, The Koffler Centre of the Arts, and Pine River Institute.
Karen really enjoys family activities, with her husband, children and grandchildren and in her spare time attends visual and performing art events, golf, travel. She is a committed oil painter and stone sculptor and recently has become a children’s book author and illustrator.