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Vancouver | Assistant Professor | Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)

Nicole Dorfan, Ph.D., R.Psych.



I have a strong passion for teaching, mentoring and collaborating with students as they navigate their doctoral training. As a psychologist who believes strongly in evidence-based practice, I ask students to draw on the current literature base and to understand gaps in our knowledge, particularly in relation to treatment for diverse and marginalized clients. My goal is help students develop competence, humility, and self-reflective skills to guide ethical and socially responsible practice.

I strongly believe in experiential, hands-on learning. I teach courses focused on clinical and diagnostic interviewing skills, cognitive behavioural therapy, interventions for trauma, ethical and professional issues, and clinical supervision. My classes include a combination of didactic presentations, lively discussion, role plays, mock interview and therapy sessions, and video demonstrations. I encourage students to actively participate so that all voices and perspectives are heard, and all students have ample opportunities to practice and hone new clinical skills in a supportive learning environment.

In terms of research, I am interested in a variety of cognitive and behavioural factors that influence treatment outcomes for clients with a range of presenting problems including anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. I have conducted research projects investigating prospective predictors of avoidance behaviour, the impact of threatening imagery on habituation of distress, memory distortions, and drop-out rates in a variety of treatments for PTSD. I also contributed to a NIMH funded treatment-outcome study evaluating the efficacy of fluoxetine and CBT for social phobia. I find it highly rewarding to mentor and work alongside students as they develop their own research questions and design their doctoral thesis projects.

I can be reached by email at: [email protected].



  • Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, University of British Columbia
  • M.A., Clinical Psychology, University of British Columbia
  • B.A., Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
Professional Memberships

Professional Memberships

  • Registered Psychologist, College of Psychologists of British Columbia
  • Member of the Canadian Psychological Association
  • Member of the British Columbia Psychological Association
  • Certified Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and Member, Canadian Association of Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies
  • Clinical Faculty Member, University of British Columbia, Department of Psychiatry (2010 – 2015)
Select Publications

Select Publications

  • Dorfan, N.M., & Woody, S.R. (2012). Assessing OCD symptoms and severity. In G. Steketee (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Obsessive Compulsive and Spectrum Disorders (pp. 253-274). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Dorfan, N.M., & Woody, S.R. (2011). Danger appraisals as prospective predictors of disgust and avoidance of contaminants. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 30, 105-132.
  • Dorfan, N.M., & Woody, S.R. (2006). Does threatening imagery sensitize distress during contaminant exposure? Behaviour Research and Therapy, 44, 395-413.
  • Hembree, E.A., Foa, E.B., Dorfan, N.M., Street, G.P., Kowalski, J. & Tu, X. (2003). Do patients drop out prematurely from exposure therapy for PTSD? Journal of Traumatic Stress, 16, 555-562.

Vancouver Campus

Adler University in Vancouver has been, like Canada itself, born and built with an open mind. Located in the midst of one of the world’s most exciting and breathtaking cities, Adler University reflects a true Canadian spirit. It’s smart, inclusive and determined to make a world of difference. By design, our Vancouver campus echoes the Adler values and intent down every hall and in every room. It is built to live, breathe and inspire those with the passion to pursue a more just society. This is where the work gets done.

At Adler Vancouver, you’ll find multiple collaborative areas with the absolute latest technology. Learning areas and windows have literally been situated to stimulate thought. To some, that may sound odd, but these things do matter. If students are given the space, opportunity and technology to achieve their goals, they are more likely to rock the boat of conventional thought.

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