Psychology Month at Wood’s Homes

By Janet Stewart, Program Manager, Eastside Community Mental Health Services.

Each February the Canadian Psychological Association celebrates Psychology Month focusing on a theme that highlights the contributions of Canadian psychologists.  The field of psychology “works to help – people live healthy and happy lives, their communities flourish, their employers create better workplaces, and their governments develop effective policies”.  

This year’s theme is “Future of Psychology” and – to paraphrase a popular song from the 1980s – students of psychology are our future.    

Wood’s Homes provides student practicum experiences for masters and PhD level psychology students each year across the 40+ programs that make up Therapeutic Campus Case, In-Home and Counselling Services, Learning Centre, and Housing & Hub Services.  

Eastside Community Mental Health Services of Wood’s Homes is a community mental health hub in the NE of Calgary offering system navigation, crisis counselling, and single session therapy to individuals, youth, couples, and families. In this practicum location, students’ learning is supported by a consulting team of psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, and couple and family therapists. Melanie Bowman is a masters student of psychology completing her practicum experience at Eastside Community Mental Health Services in 2023.  Mel was gracious to answer some questions about her experience in the field of psychology.     

Mel, did the field of psychology choose you or did you choose psychology as a profession? 

That is a great question.  I think it was a bit of both. I remember feeling sensitive to the world’s hardships and still remember when I learned about racism in grade 3. This made no sense to me, and I felt that I would try to find something to do about this.  Growing up I thought I was just good at many things but not great at any one thing. But my mom was the one who pointed out that people felt comfortable with me and people liked to talk to me. That made sense and I have run with that since I was 11. So, here we are. Here is an example of a diary entry from “Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul”.  

What are you looking forward to when you complete your Masters program?  

I am really looking forward to getting into the trenches of working in the field of psychology.  I am really looking forward to putting school behind me for a bit and dedicating time to the doing of what I have wanted to do for a very long time.     

What do you see for the future of psychology?  What type of social concerns could the field of psychology be more involved with?  

I think there have been significant shifts in the focus of the profession over the past years.  A lot of our understanding of the mind falls within Western ideologies and based on the thinking of western-influenced, cis, white men.  We are branching out to be more culturally responsive and integrated.  Additionally, as we look to the future, we can think about expanding what therapy has to look like – does it have to be about going every week in an office and talking about feelings – can our ideas of therapy expand with the needs of our clients.  Like another well-known Mel B says – “spice up your life”.  I am going to figure out how to bring a little bit of spice to the field of psychology.   

If you are interested in a practicum experience with psychologists building good mental health and well-being so everyone can thrive in their community into the future, go to