Dennis Wendt

Academic title(s): 

Assistant Professor

Contact Information

Education Building, Room 548


Email address: 
dennis.wendt [at]
Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology

Dr. Dennis C. Wendt is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology at McGill University. He completed his PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Michigan in 2015, including an APA-accredited internship at the Southwest Consortium in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This was followed by a postdoctoral research fellowship with the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Dr. Wendt's research focuses on partnering with Indigenous communities in exploring, developing, and evaluating culturally relevant interventions pertaining to mental health, substance use, and community wellness. He is also interested in evidence-based practice considerations for substance use disorders, as well as philosophical aspects of clinical psychology and research methods. Clinically, Dr. Wendt has an integrative theoretical orientation -combining the best available research with a humanistic interpersonal style and a sociocultural lens. He has received specialized training and experience in motivational interviewing, group psychotherapy, and prolonged exposure therapy.

Dr. Wendt is from southeast Idaho in the USA, near Yellowstone National Park. A newcomer to Canada, he lives in the Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood of Montreal with his wife and two French-learning children. 


PhD, University of Michigan: Clinical Psychology

MS, University of Michigan: Clinical Psychology

BS, Brigham Young University: Psychology (Philosophy minor)

Area of expertise: 
  • Participatory research with Indigenous communities to develop, implement, and evaluate culturally-relevant mental health and substance-use interventions
  • Substance use disorder treatment
  • Evidence-based practice implementation
  • Group psychotherapy
  • Culture and spirituality
  • Qualitative research methods
548 Education Building
Awards, honours, and fellowships: 


(2018-2023) Co-applicant, Project Grant (PI: Roisin O'Connor & Christopher Mushquash), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR): Developing a culture-specific model of resilience against substance use among Canada's on-reserve Indigenous youth.

(2018-2019) PI, Social Sciences and Humanities Developmental Grant, Office of Sponsored Research, McGill University: Indigenous postsecondary students' social inclusion and belonging.

(2017-2019) Co-investigator, Concept Grant, CTN-0078-Ot (PI: Sandra Radin), National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, USA: Knowledge of and attitudes about medication assisted treatment within American Indian communities


(2015-2017) Postdoctoral Fellowship, Psychology Training in Alcohol Research (U.S. National Institutes of Health T32 AA007455), Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine

(2012-2014) Predoctoral Fellowship, Substance Abuse Interdisciplinary Training Program (U.S. National Institutes of Health T32 DA007267), University of Michigan


(2017) Sigmund Koch Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology, Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, American Psychological Association

(2016) Outstanding Paper Award, The Counseling PsychologistSage Publications

(2016) Distinguished Dissertation in Qualitative Inquiry, Division of Quantitative and Qualitative Methods, American Psychological Association

Graduate supervision: 

Counselling Psychology; can also supervise students from other areas who are interested in conducting research with Indigenous communities.

Dr. Wendt welcomes inquiries from prospective students interested in his areas of research. Please contact via email.

Selected publications: 

Wendt, D. C., & Gone. J. P. (in press). Group psychotherapy in specialty clinics for substance use disorder treatment: The challenge of ethnoracially diverse clients. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy. doi:10.1080/00207284.2018.1442225

Serafini, K., Stewart, D. G., Wendt, D. C., & Donovan, D. M. (2018). Perceived parental support and adolescent motivation for substance use change: A preliminary investigation. Addiction Research and Theory, 26, 187-192. doi:10.1080/16066359.2017.1342819

Wendt, D. C., & Gone. J. P. (2018). Complexities with group therapy facilitation in substance use disorder specialty treatment settings. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 88, 9-17. doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2018.02.002

Serafini, K., Donovan, D. M., Wendt, D. C., Matsumiya, B., & McCarty, C. A. (in press). A comparison of early adolescent behavioral health risks among urban American Indians/Alaska Natives and their peers. American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research, 24.

Wendt, D. C., Collins, S. E., Nelson, L. A., Serafini, K., Clifasefi, S. L., & Donovan, D. M. (2017). Religious and spiritual practices among homeless urban American Indians and Alaska Natives with severe alcohol problems. American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research, 24(3), 39-62. doi:10.5820/aian.2403.2017.39

Wendt, D. C., & Gone. J. P. (2017). Group therapy for substance use disorders: A survey of clinician practices. Journal of Groups in Addiction and Recovery, 12, 243-259. doi:10.1080/1556035X.2017.1348280

Wendt, D. C., Hallgren, K. A., Daley, D. C., & Donovan, D. M. (2017). Predictors and outcomes of twelve-step sponsorship of stimulant users: Secondary analyses of a multisite randomized clinical trial. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 78, 287-295. 

Wendt, D. C., & Gone. J. P. (2016). Integrating professional and Indigenous therapies: An urban American Indian narrative clinical case study. The Counseling Psychologist, 44, 695-729. 

Wendt, D. C., Gone, J. P., & Nagata, D. K. (2015). Potentially harmful therapy and multicultural counseling: Bridging two disciplinary discourses. The Counseling Psychologist, 43, 334-358.  

Wendt, D. C., Gone, J. P., & Nagata, D. K. (2015). Potentially harmful therapy and multicultural counseling: Extending the conversation. The Counseling Psychologist, 43, 393-403. 

Christopher, J. C., Wendt, D. C., Marecek, J., & Goodman, D. M. (2014). Critical cultural awareness: Contributions to a globalizing psychology. American Psychologist, 69, 645-655. 

Hartmann, W. E., Wendt, D. C., Saftner, M. A., Marcus, J., & Momper, S. L. (2014). Advancing community-based research with urban American Indian populations: Multidisciplinary perspectives. American Journal of Community Psychology, 54, 72-80. 

Hartmann, W. E., Kim, E. S., Kim, J. H. J., Nguyen, T. U., Wendt, D. C., Nagata, D. K., & Gone, J. P. (2013). In search of cultural diversity, revisited: Recent publication trends in cross-cultural and ethnic minority psychology. Review of General Psychology, 17, 243-254. 

Wendt, D. C., & Gone, J. P. (2012). Decolonizing psychological inquiry in American Indian communities: The promise of qualitative methods. In D. K. Nagata, L. Kohn-Wood, & L. Suzuki (Eds.), Qualitative strategies for ethnocultural research (pp. 161-178). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Wendt, D. C., & Gone, J. P. (2012). Rethinking cultural competence: Insights from indigenous community treatment settings. Transcultural Psychiatry, 49, 206-222. 

Wendt, D. C., & Gone, J. P. (2012). Urban-indigenous therapeutic landscapes: A case study of an urban American Indian health organization. Health and Place, 18, 1025-1033.