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Contacting Gary

Gary A. Bernfeld, Ph.D.

About Gary


My life purpose is to make a significant difference in the lives of families. I believe in the inherent good and strengths of all individuals. Over the years, I have developed the belief that the role of a professor, consultant, evaluator and manager is to empower others, have a long-range vision, and appreciate, respect and reconcile the differing points of view of those at all levels of the organizations we serve.



I am a Professor in Canada's only
Bachelor's Degree Program in Behavioural Psychology, at St. Lawrence College, in Kingston. This program is the acknowledged leader in the field of applied behaviour analysis and behavioural counselling at the undergraduate level. I was Coordinator from its inception in Fall 2004 to Fall 2010. I have also had extensive experience in children's services as a consultant, evaluator and manager.

This four-year degree offers both classroom instruction, as well as 1,100 hours of supervised field placements in three different community agencies. Students will acquire the knowledge and skills in behavioural psychology to be employed in a variety of social service settings (e.g., addictions, acquired brain injury, correctional services, developmental disabilities, autism) or to pursue additional post-secondary education (e.g. graduate school in this area, teaching, social work, etc). See the detailed web site for much more information, but be sure to scroll to the bottom of the hyperlinked page in order to download two handouts on the program. I am particularly excited that my work in the Bachelor's Degree program enables me to influence the next generation of front-line staff and managers in the Human Services field.

I am also a program evaluation consultant, with experience evaluating local and province-wide (multi-site) services for children and youth. I was an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Queen's University, in Psychology, where I taught a course in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology (PSYC439) from 1989 to 2009, as well as a variety of other graduate-level and undergraduate courses. Finally, I have made over 130 presentations to professional and community groups in the areas of program evaluation and children's services. As well, along with Dr. Alan Leschied, I have editted a book on the challenge of implementing effective correctional programs in the "real world".


For 4 years prior to assuming my current position, I was a Professor in the Behavioural Science Technology program in St. Lawrence College, in Kingston. This program offers two 'tracks':

  • a 3-year College Diploma, which includes 16 semester-length courses in Applied Behaviour Analysis & Cognitive Behavioural Therapy & several in Psychology. Students complete 4 field placements, totalling over 1000 hours.

  • a 10-month 'fast track' option, for those who already have a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, which also provides over 700 hours of field placement experiences.
For general information on the BST program, see Full Time Studies; search for these programs under Community Services.

For much more detailed information on the BST Program, see the program's Supplemental Pages.

For 3 years prior to teaching at St. Lawrence College, I was a Psychologist at Bath Institution, a medium security Canadian federal penitentiary in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. I conducted offender risk / needs and cognitive functioning screening assessments for the National Parole Board. I also provided counselling and crisis interventions services to offenders. I also consulted to staff and management. Finally, I collected offender data to validate risk assessment instruments and establish local norms and supervised students in these activities.

Over 7 years with St. Lawrence Youth Association, in Kingston, I nurtured the development and evolution of the Community Support Services program to its current status as one of the 10 best programs for young offenders in Ontario. The program provides intensive, behavioural and crisis services to high risk young offenders and their families in their homes and communities. Throughout this time, I continually re-engineered the service to adapt to changing demands while maintaining program integrity. I spearheaded the effort to have CSS certified as a site in the Teaching-Family Association, which has internationally recognized standards of behavioural service and consumer involvement.

I have offered several workshops with Safeguards Training on teen violence, including one entitled High Risk Youth Living at Home: What Works?

Special Attributes

People say I am outgoing, persistent, motivated, optimistic, organized, energetic, and have excellent problem-solving and communication skills. I integrate the roles of administrator, consultant, trainer, evaluator, and clinician. I have active professional contacts locally, provincially and nationally, and teach at Queen’s University. I have strong clinical and analytical skills in the area of behavioural assessment and treatment, and, via the Teaching Family Model’s proven behavioural technology, the means to train and supervise such skills in others. I have had experience as a manager integrating children’s services (child welfare, mental health, young offenders and developmentally handicapped) in both residential and community settings. I am not only current in the field of program development and evaluation, but also have a holistic perspective on policy and service delivery.

Other Interests and Activities

I am married to Carol Kavanaugh, a statistician - I am also a parent of 2 lively girls. I enjoy swimming, weight training, reading, humour, and of course good food.

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