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 clinical work in private practice, at a Centre for Survivors of Torture and Trauma and extensive community-based work with refugee and immigrant groups. Her work is guided by a number of theoretical orientations including ecological systems theory, theory (critical) of multicultural counselling and therapy (MCT), and feminist theories. Her current projects include a study exploring the mental health and adaptation of survivors of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi of Rwanda; two projects examining the psychosocial adaptation of Syrian families with young children and community-based mental health promotion within the Syrian community; and an examination of counselling practices and community-based cultural supports with refugees and immigrants. She is also part of a team of researchers examining parenting and mental health promotion practices amongst African families in Alberta. Dr. Yohani is also an adjunct visiting professor in the Clinical Psychology Program, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) in Tanzania.  

Professional Affiliations

Dr. Sophie Yohani is a Registered Psychologist in Alberta (RPsych) and Canadian Registered Health Service Provider (CRHSP).  Her professional affiliations include the College of Alberta Psychologists (CAP), Canadian Psychologists Association (CAP), Psychology Association of Alberta (PAA) and The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS.)

Representative Publications and Presentations

Wong, A. H. & Yohani, S. (2016). An exploratory study of resilience in postsecondary refugee students living in Canada. Canadian Journal of Counselling & Psychotherapy.

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

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.

Higginbottom, G., Richter, S., Vallianatos, H. Yohani, S. & Ghimn, Y. (2011). Optimizing health literacy and community engagement in relation to active living with Edmonton’s newcomer young people and their families. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 10(4), 479.

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., Kreitzer, L., McMenemy, C. & Bayingana, S. (2017, March). Post 1994 genocide survivors in Edmonton: Rwandan Community-based research project exploring mental health challenges, strengths and pathways to healing. Workshop presented at the National Metropolis Conference, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Kirova, A., Yohani, S., Giorgis, R., & Gokiert, R. (2017, March). Cultural brokering with Syrian refugee families with young children: An exploration of challenges and best practices in psychosocial adaptation. Invited presentation at National Metropolis Conference, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Yohani, S. C. (2017, February). Mental health considerations for collaborative practice with immigrants and refugees from conflict and post-conflict countries. Invited workshop presentation at Building Bridges: A Multi-stakeholder Forum on Newcomer Mental Health and Wellness. Fredrickton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Yohani, S.  (2017, February). Creating communities of care: Trauma and resilience-informed care and practice with families. Invited keynote presentation at Building Bridges: A Multi-stakeholder Forum on Newcomer Mental Health and Wellness. Fredrickton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Yohani, S. C. (2017, February). Clinical practice with immigrants and refugees: Considerations for culture, context and migration. Invited presentation at Annual Psychology Education & Clinical Practice Day, Alberta Health Services. Edmonton, Alberta

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 532: Systems of 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 597: Counselling Children and Adolescents: Theory and Practice in Clinical and School Settings
  • EDPY 635: Advanced Multicultural Practice: Clinical Practice in Community Setting