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Dr. Dennis C. Wendt

Associate Professor
Academic title(s): 
  • Director, Cultural and Indigenous Research in Counselling Psychology (CIRC) lab
  • Chercheur boursier, Junior 1, Fonds de recherche du Québec: Santé (FRQS)
Dr. Dennis C. Wendt
Contact Information
Email address: 
dennis.wendt [at]
Alternate phone: 

Education Building
3700 rue McTavish
Montréal, Quebec H3A 1Y2

Educational and Counselling Psychology (ECP)
Professional activities: 
  • Associate Member, Department of Psychiatry
Diversity, Identity & Indigenous Topics
Mental Health, Intervention & Psychopathology
Areas of expertise: 
  • Indigenous Peoples and professional psychology
  • Evidence-based practice in psychology
  • Indigenous Peoples and substance use
  • Substance use treatment and recovery
  • Indigenous mental health and well-being
  • Theoretical and philosophical psychology
  • Culture and spirituality
  • Qualitative research methods

Dennis C. Wendt is an Associate Professor with the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology at McGill University, and the Director of the Cultural and Indigenous Research in Counselling Psychology (CIRC) lab. He also is an Associate Member of the Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University, and he holds a fellowship (Chercheur boursier, Junior 1) from the Fonds de recherche du Québec: Santé (FRQS).

For the past 15 years, Dr. Wendt has collaborated with Indigenous communities in Canada and the United States in exploring, developing, and evaluating culturally relevant interventions pertaining to mental health, substance use, and community wellness. The author of over 45 peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Wendt is the recipient of the 2021 Distinguished Early Career Contributions in Qualitative Inquiry Award and the 2016 Distinguished Dissertation Award in Qualitative Inquiry, both from the American Psychological Association (APA) Division of Quantitative and Qualitative Methods. He also is the 2017 Sigmund Koch Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology from the Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology. His current research is funded by the the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). He currently collaborates with researchers from Harvard University, Yale University, University of Washington, University of British Columbia, Université de Montréal, University of Calgary, Dalhousie University, Concordia University, University of New Brunswick, and Lakehead University, as well as with six First Nations and Indigenous organizations in eastern Canada.

Dr. Wendt is affiliated with the Cultural and Mental Health Research Unit at the Jewish General Hospital, the Indigenous Working Group of the Quebec-Atlantic Node of CRISM, the Network for Aboriginal Mental Health Research (NAMHR), the American Indian/Alaska Native Special Interest Group of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network, and the Task Force on Indigenous Psychology of the Society for Humanistic Psychology. He is also the leader and co-founder of the Clinical/Counseling Psychology Special Interest Group for the Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology. He is on the Editorial Board the Canadian Journal of School Psychology, and was formerly on the Editorial Board of The Counseling Psychologist. He has co-edited special issues in the Canadian Journal of School Psychology and the Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology.

Dr. Wendt 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 Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute (ADAI) at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Wendt is originally from southeast Idaho in the USA, near Grand Teton National Park. A dual citizen of Canada and the United States, he lives in the Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood of Montreal with his wife and two French-speaking children.

  • PhD, Psychology (Clinical), University of Michigan, United States
  • MS, Psychology (Clinical), University of Michigan, United States
  • BS, Psychology (Philosophy minor), Brigham Young University, United States
Prizes and Awards: 
FRQS Chercheurs-boursiers / Chercheuses-boursières (Research Scholar)
Awards, honours, and fellowships: 


  • (2021) Distinguished Early Career Contributions in Qualitative Inquiry, Division of Quantitative and Qualitative Methods, American Psychological Association
  • (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 Psychologist, Sage Publications
  • (2016) Distinguished Dissertation in Qualitative Inquiry, Division of Quantitative and Qualitative Methods, American Psychological Association

Salary Awards and Fellowships

  • (2022-2026) Chercheurs-boursiers Junior 1, Fonds de recherche du Québec: Santé (FRQS): Culturally-relevant substance use treatment innovations in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: Supporting a community-based Indigenous research network
  • (2015-2017) T-32 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH): Psychology training in alcohol research
  • (2012-2014) T-32 Predoctoral Research Fellowship, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH): Substance use interdisciplinary training program

Active Grants (Principal Applicant)

  • (2022-2028) (Co-PI / Indigenous theme lead) Team Grant: Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM) Phase II: Regional Nodes. Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) (PI: Julie Bruneau, Univ. de Montréal): The CRISM Quebec Node: Building evidence for preventing, treating and reducing drug related harms.
  • (2022-2025) Operating Grant: Addressing the Wider Health Impacts of COVID-19. CIHR (and New Brunswick Health Research Foundation): Identifying effective interventions for addressing social issues and disparities faced by Indigenous individuals with substance use problems in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • (2022-2025) Insight Development Grant. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Supporting post-secondary Indigenous students in post-TRC Canada: Cultural identity, belonging, and diversity
  • (2021-2025) Indigenous Peoples and COVID-19 Knowledge Synthesis Rapid Research Opportunity. CIHR: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth substance use problems and services: Knowledge synthesis with Indigenous Nations and organizations.
  • (2020-2025) Operating Grant: COVID-19 Mental Health & Substance Use Service Needs and Delivery. CIHR (and New Brunswick Health Research Foundation): Substance use disorder treatment transformations due to the COVID-19 pandemic: Impact on Indigenous patients and communities.
Selected publications: 


Bernett, P., Spence, S., Wilson, C., Gurr, E., Zentner, D., & Wendt, D. C. (2023). Canadian school psychology and Indigenous Peoples: Opportunities and recommendations. Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 38(1), 10–29. Open access:

Schroeder, M., Lacerda-Vandenborn, E., Nelson, M., & Wendt, D. C. (Eds.) (2023). School psychology and Indigenous Peoples: Critical perspectives and Indigenous-led approaches [Special issue]. Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 38(1, 3). Open access: ;

Wendt, D. C., Huson, K., Albatnuni, M., & Gone, J. P. (2022). What are the best practices for psychotherapy with Indigenous Peoples in the United States and Canada? A thorny question. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 90(10), 802–814. Open access:

Wendt, D. C., & Gone. J. P. (2016). Integrating professional and Indigenous therapies: An urban American Indian narrative clinical case study. The Counseling Psychologist, 44(5), 695–729. Open access:

Wendt, D. C., & Gone, J. P. (2012). Rethinking cultural competence: Insights from Indigenous community treatment settings. Transcultural Psychiatry, 49(2), 206–222.


Rodriguez-Seijas, C., McClendon, J., Wendt, D. C., Novacek, D. M., Ebalu, T., Hallion, L., Hassan, N. Y., Huson, K., Spielmans, G. I., Folk, J. B., Khazem, J. L., Neblett, E. W., Cunningham, T. J., Hampton-Anderson, J., Steinman, S. A., Hamilton, J. L., & Mekawi, Y. (2023). The next generation of clinical-psychological science: Moving toward antiracism. Clinical Psychological Science. Advance online publication. Open access:

Sakaluk, J. K., De Santis, C., Kilshaw, R., Pittelkow, M.-M., Brandes, C. M., Boness, C. L., Botanov, Y., Williams, A. J., Wendt, D. C., Lorenzo-Luaces, L., Schleider, J. & van Ravenzwaaij, D. (2023). Reconsidering what makes syntheses of psychological intervention studies useful. Nature Reviews Psychology, 2(9), 569–583.

Wendt, D. C., Gone, J. P., & Nagata, D. K. (2015). Potentially harmful therapy and multicultural counseling: Bridging two disciplinary discourses. The Counseling Psychologist, 43(3), 334–358. Open access:

Wendt, D. C., Gone, J. P., & Nagata, D. K. (2015). Potentially harmful therapy and multicultural counseling: Extending the conversation. The Counseling Psychologist, 43(3), 393–403. Open access:

Wendt, D. C., & Slife, B. D. (2007). Is evidence-based practice diverse enough? Philosophy of science considerations. American Psychologist, 62(6), 613–614.


Pride, T., Lam, A., Swansburg, J., Seno, M., Lowe, M. B., Bomfim, E., Toombs, E., Marsan, S., LoRusso, J., Roy, J., Gurr, E., LaFontaine, J., Paul, J., Burack, J. A., Mushquash, C., Stewart, S. H., & Wendt, D. C. (2021). Trauma-informed approaches to substance use interventions with Indigenous Peoples: A scoping review. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 53(5), 460–473. Open access:

Wendt, D. C., Marsan, S., Parker, D., Lizzy, K. E., Roper, J., Mushquash, C., Venner, K. L., Lam, A., Swansburg, J., Worth, N., *Sorlagas, N., Quach, T., Manoukian, K., Bernett, P., & Radin, S. M. (2021). Commentary on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on opioid use disorder treatment among Indigenous communities in the United States and Canada. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 121, 108165. Open access:

Wendt, D. C. (2019, December). “Careful the tale you tell”: Indigenous Peoples and alcohol use problems. Psynopsis (Magazine of the Canadian Psychological Association), 41(3), pp. 11, 13. Open access (English) Open acccess (Français):

Wendt, D. C., Hartmann, W. E., Allen, J. A., Burack, J. A., Charles, B., D’Amico, E., Dell, C. A., Dickerson, D. L., Donovan, D. M., Gone, J. P., O’Connor, R. M., Radin, S. M., Rasmus, S. R., Venner, K. L., & Walls, M. L. (2019). Substance use research with Indigenous communities: Exploring and extending foundational principles of community psychology. American Journal of Community Psychology, 64(1–2), 146–158. Open access:

Venner, K. L., Donovan, D. M., Campbell, A. N. C., Wendt, D. C., Rieckmann, T., Radin, S., Momper, S. L., & Rosa, C. L. (2018). Future directions for medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorder with American Indians/Alaska Natives. Addictive Behaviors, 86, 111–117. Open access:

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. Open access:


Gurr, E., Namdari, R., Lai, J., Parker, D., Wendt, D. C., & Burack, J. A. (2020). Perspective on shyness as adaptive from Indigenous Peoples of North America. In L. A. Schmidt & K. L. Poole (Eds.), Adaptive shyness: Multiple perspectives on behavior and development (pp. 239-249)Springer.

Gone, J. P., Hartmann, W. E., Pomerville, A., Wendt, D. C., Klem, S. H., & Burrage, R. L. (2019). The impact of historical trauma on health outcomes for Indigenous populations in the USA and Canada: A systematic review. American Psychologist, 74(1), 20–35. Open access:

Hartmann, W. E., Wendt, D. C., Burrage, R. L., Pomerville, A., & Gone, J. P. (2019). American Indian historical trauma: Anticolonial prescriptions for healing, resilience, and survivance. American Psychologist, 74(1), 6–19. Open access:

Wendt, D. C. (2016, November 23). Standing for Native American health care equity [Invited blog post]. Public Health Post (Boston University School of Public Health). Open access:

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(5), 1025–1033.


Parker, D. G., Zentner, D., Burack, J. A., & Wendt, D. C. (2023). The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on medications for opioid use disorder services in the U.S. and Canada: A scoping review. Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy, 30(6), 529–542. Open access:

Zolopa, C., Burack, J. A., O’Connor, R. M., Corran, C., Lai, J., Bomfim, E., DeGrace, S., Dumont, J., Larney, S., & Wendt, D. C. (2022). Changes in youth mental health, psychological wellbeing, and substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic: A rapid review. Adolescent Research Review, 7, 161–177. Open access:

Corace, K., Weinrib, A., Abbott, P., Craig, K., Eaton, E., Fulton, H., McKee, S., McWilliams, L., Mushquash, C., Rush, B., Stewart, S., Taylor, S., Wendt, D. C., & Wilson, K. (2019). Recommendations for addressing the opioid crisis in Canada. Canadian Psychological Association. Open access:

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. Open access:

Wendt, D. C., & Gone. J. P. (2018). Group psychotherapy in specialty clinics for substance use disorder treatment: The challenge of ethnoracially diverse clients. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 68(4), 608–628. Open access:

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(4), 243–259. Open access:

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(2), 287–295. Open access:

Wendt, D. C. (2015). A mixed-methods exploration of group therapy for substance use disorders: Prospects for evidence-based treatment (Doctoral dissertation). University of Michigan. Open access:


Teo, T., & Wendt, D. C. (2022). Subjectivity and the critical imagination in neoliberal capitalism: Conversation with Thomas Teo. In H. Macdonald, S. Carabbio-Thopsey, & D. M. Goodman (Eds.), Neoliberalism, ethics, and the social responsibility of psychology: Dialogues at the edge (pp. 44–83). Routledge.

Teo, T., & Wendt, D. C. (2020). Some clarifications on critical and Indigenous psychologies. Theory and Psychology, 30(3), 371–376.

Christopher, J. C., Wendt, D. C., Marecek, J., & Goodman, D. M. (2014). Critical cultural awareness: Contributions to a globalizing psychology. American Psychologist, 69(7), 645–655. Open access:

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(1–2), 72–80. Open access:

Wendt, D. C. (2014). Operationism. In T. Teo (Ed.), Encyclopedia of critical psychology (pp. 1283–1289). Springer Reference. Open access:

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.

Wiggins, B. J., Ostenson, J. A., & Wendt, D. C. (2012). The relational foundations of conservation psychology. Ecopsychology, 4(3), 209–215.

Slife, B. D., & Wendt, D. C. (Eds.) (2009). The modern legacy of William James’s “A Pluralistic Universe” [Special issue]. Journal of Mind and Behavior, 30(3).

Wendt, D. C., & Slife, B. D. (2009). Recent calls for Jamesian pluralism in the natural and social sciences: Will psychology heed the call? Journal of Mind and Behavior, 30(3), 185–204.


Counselling Psychology

Graduate supervision: 

2025-2026 admissions (Counselling Psychology MA and PhD): I may potentially supervise new MA/PhD students in Counselling Psychology.

General considerations for applicants interested in working under my supervision:

  • Many strong applicants are not considered because they are not the best fit in terms of their research experiences and interests.
  • In addition to academic achievements and general research experience, applicants who are strong in one or more of the following factors are typically prioritized in my recommendations for admission under my supervision: (a) having substantive experience living in or partnering with Indigenous Nations or communities (beyond mere interest), (b) having experience in substance use research with racialized and marginalized communities, and (c) having a unique and compelling research interest pertaining to substance use, harm reduction, or recovery connected to one's lived experience. It is conceivable that an outstanding applicant would be an excellent fit with a different research topic that is broadly within my research expertise, so all interested applicants are encouraged to apply. 
  • I am not able to meet with prospective applicants in advance of their application, although I try to be available to meet with potential Indigenous applicants (at any stage in their training) who reach out to me.
  • Those who are interested in working with me should list me as a potential supervisor in their application (I recommend listing 1-2 additional faculty members as well). Please clearly indicate in your application letter any pending funding applications, as well as any funding that has been committed to you (including funding from Indigenous Nations).
  • Indigenous applicants are strongly encouraged to apply, especially Inuit, Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk), L'nu (Mi'kmaq), Innu, and Montreal-dwelling applicants (given my lab's research collaborations). Applicants who fluently speak French or an Indigenous language (especially from within Quebec or Atlantic Canada) are especially encouraged to apply, as are those with a strong interest in an academic research career after they graduate. 
  • Because I am unable to guarantee funding for students, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for Tri-Council and FRQ fellowships. This requires submitting fellowship applications well in advance of the Program application deadline. See  (Note that students in the MA Counselling Psychology program are currently not eligible for FRQ fellowships.)
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