Dr. Jennifer Bossio
- Postdoctoral Fellow at UBC in working with UBC Sexual Health Laboratory and Prostate Cancer Supportive Care (PCSC) Program at Vancouver General Hospital
- therapist at the BC Centre for Vulvar Health, including the Multidisciplinary Vulvodynia Program
- PhD in Clinical Psychology from Queen’s University
- Clinical Psychology Residency from Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCHA)
- undergoing registration with the College of Psychologists of BC
- specialized training in sexual health from the Sexual Health Clinic (Kingston, Ontario), BC Centre for Sexual Medicine, UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UBC Department of Urologic Sciences, BC Centre for Vulvar Health, Vancouver Prostate Centre (Vancouver, BC)
- research and academic publications, presentations, and awards focused on various aspects of sex and sexuality
- member of the Canadian Sex Research Forum (CSRF), the International Academy of Sex Research (IASR), The Society of Sex Research and Therapy (SSTAR), the Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA)
Every single person here is evidence that sex happens. Research shows that when our sexual lives are going well, we are happier, healthier, and have better relationships. When our sexual lives are not going well, all of those things can suffer. And unfortunately, a large proportion of people will experience some sort of sexual difficulty during their lifetime.
My passion is using clinical work and research to help people learn and grow from their difficulties. I believe in helping people make changes to improve their lives (both inside and outside of the bedroom) and maintain those changes even after therapy is done.
As an Ontario native, I completed my PhD at Queen’s University in 2016, and came to BC to work with some of the leading sexuality clinical-scientists in the world. My research and clinical work is built on the idea that sexuality is complex, and in order to understand and treat it we need to consider the biological, psychological, and social influences. As a Clinical Resident at VCHA (2015-2017), and now as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the UBC Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Urological Sciences, I use my clinical and research skills to build and test new treatments for men, women, and couples with sexual difficulties.
I am clinical-scientist, meaning that I rely on research to ensure that the treatments that I use work. I also am a firm believer in person-centered care; I believe that my clients are the experts on themselves. I also focus on my client’s strengths as much as their challenges in therapy. In this line, I use a collaborative style to make sure that the approach we use in therapy is tailored to the needs and goals of my client. The theoretical orientations that I use include mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and emotion-focused therapy (EFT).
My clinical specialty focuses on sexuality, including sexual dysfunction (e.g., erectile dysfunction, early ejaculation, genital pain, low arousal/desire), sexual health (e.g., sexual difficulties that arise from health issues, such as cancer, cardiovascular problems, chronic pain conditions), and other issues of sexuality (e.g., gender dysphoria, transitioning, issues related to sexual interests). However, we know that other factors can impact sexual wellbeing. As such, I also treat issues related to depression, anxiety, and sleep problems.
Whether it is clinical work, research, teaching, or speaking with the media, I am grateful to have the opportunity to help others live their very best (sex) life.
- currently completing PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of British Columbia
- trained in the treatment of sexual difficulties through the BC Centre for Sexual Medicine and at the UBC Sexual Health Laboratory
- trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for depression and anxiety
- research areas: sexual pain, sexual desire, alternative sexual interests and behaviours (BDSM), mindfulness, body image, eating disorders
- academic publications on various aspects of sexual function
- guest lecturer for UBC undergraduate courses (Psychology of Human Sexuality and Behavioural Disorders)
My goal as a therapist is to improve the quality of life of the people I work with. I predominantly aid individuals and couples with sexual or relationship difficulties, and individuals who struggle with various anxiety problems or depressed mood. I am open-minded and compassionate, and provide a safe space for clients to express themselves. I believe in evidence-based practice, in that I use treatment strategies that have shown to be effective by research. In terms of clinical orientation, my therapeutic style is integrative, combining elements of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness Based Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, and Psychodynamic therapy. I personalize my practice, pulling from these various treatment modalities to create a treatment plan tailored for each client’s interests and needs.
Currently, I am in the midst of completing my PhD in clinical psychology at the University of British Columbia. My primary areas of research focus on sexual function, disordered eating, body esteem, attachment style, and BDSM. After years of involvement with human sexuality research, I entered the UBC clinical psychology program with the intent of becoming a clinical researcher. Once I began seeing clients in the course of my training, it became clear to me that I gain the most meaning from work through conducting therapy.
I have received specialized training in treating sexual concerns at the BC Center for Sexual Medicine, and through clinical work at the UBC Sexual Health Laboratory. I have also taken an advanced treatment course in couples therapy. My training in treating various forms of anxiety and depression has come from UBC practicum placements with an emphasis on affective disorders.
- in the last stages of my PhD in Clinical Psychology from University of British Columbia
- Masters degree (MA) in Clinical Psychology from University of British Columbia
- experience and training with a range of treatment approaches, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic therapy
- research and academic publications focused on various aspects of sex and sexuality
- clinical psychology training at a broad range of settings, including Burnaby Hospital Outpatient Mental Health, Surrey Memorial Hospital Inpatient Psychiatry, St. Paul’s Hospital Chronic Pain Program, and UBC Psychology Clinic
- member of the Canadian Psychological Association, the Canadian Sex Research Forum, and the International Academy of Sex Research
I am in the latter stages of my PhD in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of British Columbia. I am both a therapist and researcher, and in both roles I bring a passion for helping others overcome their difficulties and find personal growth. I use a range of scientifically-supported therapy treatment approaches. These include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help clients find relief from symptoms and distress, and psychodynamic treatments to help clients gain more self-understanding and achieve long-term goals.
My research has a focus on various aspects of sexuality and sexual problems. I have a particular interest in how culture, family environment, and society intersect with someone’s individual experience to shape their sexuality and any sexual difficulties they might have. I am excited to be using my therapy skills to deliver services specifically for sexual problems and disorders.
My training has taken me to many mental health centres around the Lower Mainland, including Burnaby Hospital Outpatient Mental Health, Surrey Memorial Hospital Inpatient Psychiatry, St. Paul’s Hospital Chronic Pain Program, and UBC Psychology Clinic. I have worked with patients struggling with severe mental illness, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, and cognitive impairment. I also have extensive experience working with high-functioning individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, adjustment difficulties, interpersonal problems, and perfectionism.
I am a member of the Canadian Psychological Association, the Canadian Sex Research Forum, and the International Academy of Sex Research.