Dr. Kimberly Harris

London Family Court Clinic

242 Pall Mall Street, Suite 200
London, ON  N6A 5P6
Telephone: (519)  494-6572
Email: kim.harris@lfcc.on.ca

Clinical interests: I conduct court-ordered assessments of parenting capacity, custody and access, youth mental health, and capacity to testify. I have been declared an expert witness in Family Court for parenting capacity, mental health, and psychological assessment. The last five years, I have been actively involved in building diagnostic capacity for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders in the London area, an initiative that has received funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation twice. I view mental health from a developmental psychopathology perspective wherein maladaptive functioning is understood in terms of normal developoment recognizing that developoment is a dynamic process and there are a range of different outcomes depending on the individual's personal characteristics, developmental timing, and the risk and protective factors to which they are exposed. I have found a systematic approach to be a useful scaffold for considering each of these issues in the practice of assessment, case conceptualization, and intervention. When psychosocial intervention is warranted, I consult the research for treatments with empirical support and employ individualized strategies to promote generalization and maintenance of treatment effects. Ideally, treatment is conducted in naturalistic settings, drawing upon the individual's strengths and tapping into resources already existing within each system. It is often beneficial to elicit participation from individuals in each system (e.g., parents, teacher consultation, spouses, cultural/community elders). Engagement in the treatment process is facilitated when families experience success and I have found that a graduated approach with proper prioritization of treatment goals (e.g., for a family living in poverty, linking them to resources for food and shelter before implementing a home-based intervention for their child with autism) and eventual fading of treatment procedures promotes personal competence and self-esteem. Finally, because development is a dynamic process, continuous evaluation of treatment gains is essential to meet the changing needs of the child and the systems with which they interact.

Topics for workshops, seminars: Parenting capacity; Custody and access; Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder; Cognitive behavour therapy; Various forensic issues in assessment

Type of clinical practica: Advanced Assessment

Types of clients: Adult; Child; Adolescent

Modality: Individual; Group; Family

Theoretical orientation: Cognitive behaviour; Behavioural; Applied Behavioural Anal.; Family Systems; Cognitive; ACT/Mindfulness

Types of client problems: Intellectual Disability; ADHD; Communication Disorders; Learning Disorders; Impulse Control, PTSD; Adjustment Disorder; Reactive Attachment Disorder; Depressive Disorders; Anxiety Disorders; Disruptive Impulse & Conduct Disorders; Personality Disorders.

Type of supervision you can provide: Student describes case to you; Co-therapy-Co-interview; You observe student live

Recent students: C. Hahn (2015); A. Vesely (2015); K. Schraeder (2016)

Current students: S. Montgombery-Graham (2017)

Clinical contact:

Research interests: Although the Clinic involves primarily leadership and clinical work, I have undertaken both formal and informal program evaluations within the various programs at the Clinic and at other agencies. These evaluations are essential to ensure the delivery of high quality empirically supported services. In addition, within the contest of the various grants I co-lead, literature reviews, program monitoring and evaluation are required. While much of my research has focused on the proximal environmental factors that influence the development of disruptive behaviour, I am also interested in other factors within the individual, familial, social, and cultural systems that place individuals at risk and serve to protect them from risk. As an adjunct faculty at Brock University, I have had the pleasure of supervising the Masters theses of two students working from my own data sets. I have also remained involved in projects conceptualized and carried out during my internship and graduate school years, assisting with manuscripts through to journal submission. At the Clinic I co-authored a book chapter on the bi-directional effects of family violence and involvment in the justice system. Most recently, I am updating several of our publications on Domestic Violence and Children Exposed for the Department of Justice, which will be available to the community in the coming months.

Available to supervise: No


Last updated: May 21, 2019