Sophie C Yohani

Sophie C. Yohani

Associate Professor

Educational Psychology

Research and Interests

Dr. Sophie Yohani is a psychologist with background in counselling psychology, global mental health, elementary education and experience in community psychology, program development, and community-based research.  Dr. Yohani maintains a special interest in childhood and adult trauma and the experiences of hope and resiliency.  She is interested in the mental health outcomes of refugee and immigrants based on pre- and post-migration experiences and program/policy implications in educational and community settings.  She is also interested in the perceptions of trauma, loss, and adaptation from the perspective of survivors and helping professionals who work with diverse and underrepresented populations. 

Dr. Yohani’s focus on trauma and adaptation stems from practice that has involved work in private practice, at a Centre for Survivors of Torture and Trauma and a community-based War Rape Initiative. She has explored the use of hope-focused counselling applications to understand resources that individuals and helping professionals utilize to cope and adapt in light of traumatic experiences. Dr. Yohani is currently exploring the role of cultural brokers in facilitating the adaptation and delivery of mental health services for refugee children and families in school/community settings and the mental health of refugee women and child survivors of war-related violence. Her work is guided by a number of theoretical orientations including ecological systems theory, theory of multicultural counselling and therapy (MCT) and multicultural feminist theories.

Professional Affiliations

Dr. Sophie Yohani is a Registered Psychologist in Alberta.  Her professional affiliations include the College of Alberta Psychologists (CAP), Canadian Counselling Association (CCA), Psychology Association of Alberta (PAA), Alberta Play Therapy Association, Association of Women Psychologists (AWP), and The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS)

Representative Publications and Presentations

Higginbottom, G. M. A., Safipour, J., Yohani, S., O’Brien, B., Mumtaz, Z., Patton, P., Chiu, Y., & Barolia, R. (2016). An ethnographic investigation of the maternity healthcare experience of immigrants in rural and urban Alberta, Canada. BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth. Jan 26, 2016, doi: 10.1186/s12884-015-0773-z.

Yohani, S. C. (2015). Applying the ADAPT psychosocial model to war affected children and adolescents. SAGE Open July-September, 1–18, DOI: 10.1177/2158244015604189

Yohani, S. C. (2014). Considering gender relations and culture in the psychosocial adaptation of individuals and communities affected by sexualized violence in African conflicts. In. D. Buss J. Lebert, & J. Rutherford (Eds,), Sexual Violence in Conflict & Post-Conflict Societies: International Agendas & African Contexts. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis/Routledge.

Brar, N. & Yohani, S. C. (2014). A framework for counsellor-cultural broker collaboration. Canadian Journal of Counselling & Psychotherapy, 48(2), 81-99.

Higginbottom, G. M. A., Hadziabdic, Yohani, S., & Patton, P. (2014) Immigrant women’s experiences of maternity service in Canada: A meta-ethnography. Midwifery, 30(5), 544-559.

Yohani, S. C. (2013). Educational cultural brokers facilitating the school adaptation of refugee children and families: Challenges and opportunities. Journal of International Migration and Integration14(1), 61-79

Yohani, S. C., Poirier, K., & Brar, N. (2013). The Adaptation and Development after Trauma Model (ADAPT): Application towards refugee youths’ post-settlement relationship experiences. The Alberta Counsellor, 32(2), 21-32.

Yohani, S., & Larsen, D. (2012). The cultivation of hope in trauma-focused counselling. In R.A. McMackin, T.M. Keane, E. Newman, & J.M. Fogler (Eds.).Toward an Integrated Approach to Trauma Focused Therapy: Placing Evidence-Based Interventions in an Expanded Psychological Context. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Yohani, S. C. & Hagen, K. (2010). Refugee women survivors of war-related sexualized violence: A multicultural framework for service provision in resettlement countries. Intervention : International Journal of Mental Health, Psychosocial Work and Counselling in Areas of Armed Conflict, 8(3), 207-222.

Yohani, S. C. (2010). Nurturing hope in refugee children during early years of post-war adjustment. Child & Adolescent Services Review 32, 865-873.

Yohani, S. C. (2009). Diversity Issues: Psychologists working with refugees and immigrants. CAP Monitor (Publication of College of Alberta Psychologists), 44, Fall 2009

Yohani, S. C. (2008). Creating an Ecology of Hope: Arts-based Interventions with Refugee Children. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal. 25(4), 309-323.


Yohani, S., Kreitzer, L., Bayingana, S. & Khalema, E. (2016, June). Community-based research with survivors of the Rwandan genocide: Reflections from the field. Round table discussion at the 77th Annual Canadian Psychology Association Convention, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Yohani, S., Linschoten, K. & Khalema, N.E. (2015, July). Cultural brokering in mental health practice with African refugee families in Canada. Paper presentation at the 8th Annual Pan-African PCAF Psychotrauma Conference, Nairobi, Kenya

Kreitzer L. & Yohani, S. (2014, July). Post 1994 Genocide Survivors in Edmonton: A Rwandese Community-Based Planning Project Exploring Mental Health Challenges, Strengths and Pathways to Healing. Paper presented at the World Conference on Social Work, Education, and Social Development. Melbourne, Australia. 

Yohani, S. C(2013, July). The role of cultural brokers in mental health service delivery of refugee children and adolescents. Paper presented at the 8th International Conference on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology. Roehampton University, London, United Kingdom.

Khalema, N. E., & Yohani, S. (2013, June). Compassionate witnessing of post- conflict trauma in Canada: Engaging African Diaspora communities in healing and reconciliation. Paper presentation at the 5th International Conference on Conflict Management Peace Economics and Peace Science. University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Yohani, S. C, & Okeke, P. (2012, March). Gender, identity, and post-conflict rehabilitation: Addressing the mental healthcare needs of African refugee women in Alberta - Preliminary Results. Paper presented at the 14th National Metropolis Conference, Toronto, Canada.

Yohani, S. & Brar, N. (May, 2011) The mental health of refugee youth: Perspectives from counselors and cultural brokers. Poster presentation at the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) Annual Conference, Ottawa, ON.

Yohani, S., Brar, N., Joshee, R., Higginbottom, G., Richter, S., J., Vallianatos, H. & Greenidge, J. (2011, March). Social integration of Canadian immigrants through health literacy and active living. Roundtable presentation at the 13thNational Metropolis Conference, Vancouver, BC. 

Yohani, S. C. & Simcisin, S. (2009, May). Adaptation and development of war-affected children after persecution and trauma: Clinical-community perspectives. Paper presented at Canadian Counselling Association Conference, Saskatoon, SK.

Yohani, S. C. (2007, May). An Eco-social Model for Understanding Mental Health Impact of Armed Conflict on Child Soldiers.  Paper presented at Canadian Council of Refugees Spring Consultation Meeting.  Edmonton, Alberta.

Courses Taught

  • EDPY 402: Child Development for Educators
  • EDPY 442: Introduction to Counselling
  • EDPY 533: Basic Issues, Skills and Attitudes in Counselling I
  • EDPY 534: Basic Issues, Skills and Attitudes in Counselling II
  • EDPY 542: Cross Cultural Counselling
  • EDPY 545: Individual Psychological Assessment
  • EDPY 597: Introduction to Play Therapy
  • EDPY 597: Basic Issues, Skills and Attitudes in School Counselling
  • EDPY 635: Advanced Multicultural Practice: Clinical Practice in Community Settings