University of Calgary

Sharon Lynn Cairns

  • Associate Professor

Profile

Dr. Cairns started her career as a psychiatric nurse but then went on to complete her MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Manitoba. After working for a number of years in post-secondary counselling, Sharon joined the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary where she teaches graduate courses in counselling psychology and supervises graduate student research. Clinical interests include interpersonal violence, post-traumatic stress, resilience, and eating disorders. In anticipation of retirement in 2019, Sharon is not accepting any new students for supervision.

Research & Scholarly Activity

Dr. Cairns' research focuses on the nature of post-secondary counselling concerns. She has been tracking the trends in counselling concerns since 2005. Another branch of her research is in the area of program evaluation.

Current Projects:

Evaluation of the Wellness Centre Mental health/Addictions Project. University of Calgary Wellness Centre and Government of Alberta.

Tracking Trends in Severity and Complexity of Counselling Issues

Education

PhD Clinical Psychology
University of Manitoba

MA Clinical Psychology
University of Manitoba

BA (Hons) Psychology
University of Winnipeg

Professional & Community Affiliations

Dr. Cairns is active with the provincial College of Psychologists and with national associations including the Canadian Psychological Association. She served as Chair of the CPA Section on Counselling Psychology from 2008 to 2010.

  • College of Alberta Psychologists, Member of the Hearing Tribunal/Complaint Review Committee
  • College of Alberta Psychologists, Panel Chair, Oral Examination Committee

Publications

Beks, T., Cairns, S., Smygwaty, S., Hill, S., & Miranda, A. (in press). Counsellor-in-Residence: Evaluation of a residence-based initiative to promote student mental health. Canadian Journal of Higher Education.

Nutter, S., Lei, D., Woodend, J. D., Ryan, A. R., & Cairns, S. L. (2016). The challenges encountered during a needs assessment of international student partners: Considerations for future research. Canadian Journal of of Program Evaluation, 31, 91-98. doi: 10.3138/cjpe.262

Robinson, A., Jubenville, T., Renny, K., & Cairns, S. L.(2016). Academic and mental health needs of students on a Canadian campus.  Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 50(2), 108-123.

Fitzpatrick, M., Cairns, S., & Overington, L. (2015). Emerging issues and challenges in trainin and supervision. In A. Sinacore & F. Ginsberg (Eds.) Canadian counselling and counselling psychology in the 21st century (pp.230 – 253). Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press.

Lei, D., Woodend, J. D., Nutter, S K., Ryan, A. R., & Cairns, S. L. (2015).  The forgotten half: Understanding the unique needs of international student partners.  Journal of International Students, 5(4), 447-458.

Martin, C. R., & Cairns, S. L. (2015). Why would you get THAT done?!: Stigma experiences of women with piercings and tattoos attending postsecondary schools. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 49(2), 139-162.

Schroeder, M., Drefs, M., Cairns, S. L.. & Donlevy, J. K. (2015). Legal and professional considerations on teaching psychology online in Alberta. Education and Law Journal, 24(2), 79-94.

Haverkanp, Beth, Robertson, S., Cairns, S. L., Bedi, R. (2011). Professional issues in Canadian counselling psychology: Identity, education, and professional practice. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne, Vol 52(4), 256-264. doi: 10.1037/a0025214.

Nordstokke, David W., Zumbo, Bruno D., Cairns, Sharon L., Saklofske, Donald H. (2011). The operating characteristics of the nonparametric Levene test for equal variances with assessment and evaluation data. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 16(5), 1-8. Available online: http://pareonline.net/getvn.asp?v=16&n=5.

Cairns, S. L., Massfeller, H., & Deeth, S. C. (2010). Why do post-secondary students seek counselling? Canadian Journal of Counselling, 44, 34-50.

Nielsen, K., & Cairns, S. (2009). Social anxiety and close relationships: A hermeneutic phenomenological study. Canadian Journal of Counselling, 43, 178 - 197.

Cairns, S. (2006). Why do our students go to counselling? Communique, 7, 19-21.

Awards

  • Cairns, S. L. (PI). (2016). Evaluation of the Wellness Centre Mental health/Addictions Project. University of Calgary Wellness Centre and Government of Alberta.  $31,000/1 year.
  • Cairns, S. L. (PI). (2014). Investments in Graduate Recruitment Tools. Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Calgary. $8,500 (3 months)
  • Cairns, S. L. (PI). (2013). Evaluation of the Wellness Centre Mental health/Addictions Project. University of Calgary Wellness Centre and Government of Alberta.  $93,000/3 years.
  • McCrimmon, A. W. (PI), Cairns, S. L. (Co-PI). (2012). Vocational and Personal Independence Training for Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Effectiveness of the Practical Assessment Exploration System (PAES).  Lynn LaForge-Tieman Foundation Fund for Autism.  $28,605.35/2 years.
  • Canadian Association of College and University Student Services Award of Service
  • Canadian Association of College and University Student Services Life Membership
  • Canadian University and College Association Award of Service
  • Outstanding New Professional Award, Alberta Student Services
  • Morgan W. Wright Clinical Psychology Practicum Prize
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