Dr. Jeff Chang 

     psychologist   professor  supervisor  speaker   consultant  author

Teaching and Research

Teaching

I came to my position as a professor after a twenty-five year practice career. My real-world experiences as a psychologist and therapist inform my teaching and course development. I have developed and taught graduate courses in child and adolescent therapy, counselling interventions, family therapy, narrative therapy, practicum, psychological assessment, school counselling, and solution-focused therapy.


Research

I also research areas of interest I developed during my practice career, and that I think can improve the lives of families and individuals. In my view, it's important to go beyond professional conferences and academic journals to share findings in a way that is accessible to counsellors and the general public. Therefore, I seek opportunities to share with public audiences and families, and implement the findings of my research to help families -- "where rubber meets the road."

High Conflict Divorce/Parenting Intervention: New Ways for Families


My twenty years of experience working with divorcing parents in high conflict over parenting has led me to be concerned about the effect of high conflict divorce on children. Our adversarial legal system creates barriers to diffusing high conflict parenting situations -- there must be a better way!  In partnership with Medicine Hat Family Services and the legal communities in Medicine Hat and Lethbridge, AB, I lead a study to evaluate a counselling intervention, New Ways for Families, designed to prevent conflictual parenting after separation. We want to learn whether the program leads to improved parenting satisfaction, conflict response style, and psychological symptoms, relative to a comparison sample of people in a similar situation not receiving intervention.


We are excited about this study, funded by the Palix Foundation, as it is one of the first to evaluate an intervention with divorcing parents with a comparison group. The findings have the potential to be directly helpful to relieve the suffering of children whose parents are divorcing. We are seeking to speak with parents who are engaged in high conflict co-parenting situations. 


I am currently developing further research in sites across North America, and preparing to evaluate the on-line version of New Ways for Families.


Work-Related Paternal Absence: The Faraway Fathers Project

In many families in Alberta's "oil patch," one member -- usually the father -- travels away from home for work and stays out of town for a prolonged period. My Athabasca University colleagues, Drs. Simon Nuttgens and Emily Doyle, noticed many of these families in our practices, and became interested how they manage the day to day aspects of family life. We have called our current research the Faraway Fathers Project. We hope that our findings can help counsellors, families, and human resources personnel in the resource industries.