Dr. Heather B. MacIntosh is a Clinical Psychologist and Associate Professor in the MScA in Couple and Family Therapy programme within the School of Social Work at McGill University. Dr. MacIntosh runs the Trauma and Interpersonal Relationships Laboratory and her research work has focused on gaining better understanding of the impacts of childhood trauma on the development and maintenance of couple relationships in adulthood as well as the impact of trauma on the process and outcome of couple therapy. Childhood trauma survivors often experience high levels of conflict and dissatisfaction in their couple relationships and therapists often struggle to know how to intervene where high levels of emotion dysregulation, dissociation and difficulties with perspective taking can overwhelm the therapeutic process. Dr. MacIntosh is focusing her current research on the ongoing evaluation of a new model of couple therapy that she developed that targets the specific developmental capacities relevant to healthy interpersonal and conjugal relationships with which childhood trauma survivors often struggle, Developmental Couple Therapy for Complex Trauma. The overall goal of her research is to improve the odds for couples dealing with the impacts of childhood trauma to have healthy loving relationships and strong, effective, clinical resources and supports that can really help them address the specific issues they face as a result of their early developmental experiences. Heather’s research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council as well as the Fonds de Recherche du Quebec Société et Culture.
Dr. MacIntosh is recipient of the Early Researcher Award from the Traumatic Stress Section of the Canadian Psychological Association, The Early Career Scholar Award from Division 39, Section 8 (Couple and Family) of the American Psychological Association, as well as the H. Noel Fieldhouse Distinguished Teaching Award from the Faculty of Arts, McGill University.