Who is the man behind the CBT Clinic?
Dr. Michael Spevack obtained a B.Sc. Honours in Psychology from McGill University, a M.Sc. in Psychology from Dalhousie University, and a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology from McGill University.
He was a longstanding member of the Order of Psychologists in Quebec and Ontario, and a member of the Canadian and American Psychological Associations. In 1972, when Cognitive Behavior Therapy was still in its infancy, he founded the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Clinic at the Montreal General Hospital. As clinical director, Dr. Spevack specialized in treating individuals suffering from anxiety and depression by implementing cutting edge tools in clinical psychology.
Dr. Spevack held an adjunct professorship in both the Psychology Department and the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University. In addition to the lectures he gave within these departments, he was a guest speaker at numerous national and international conferences, continuing education programs for physicians and hospital grand rounds.
As a dedicated teacher, Dr. Spevack mentored interns in clinical psychology, psychiatry, and counseling, from Canadian and American Universities. Under his wing, these students gained supervised clinical hours and practical experience by discussing and debating the latest cognitive behavior techniques in weekly rounds and monthly journal clubs.
Dr. Spevack was involved in diverse cross-disciplinary research projects and extensively published in a variety of peer reviewed scientific journals.
As a frequent expert guest on radio and television shows and through his presence in newspapers, locally and nationally, Dr. Spevack shared his clinical gift with the public by breaking down the basic concepts that he found so effective in clinical work into helpful simple tips.
With his staff, Dr. Spevack developed the Fall Lecture Series at the Montreal General Hospital. For over 20 years, each fall over eight weeks, a cognitive behavior therapist on staff at the clinic delivered a free presentation to the public, with topics ranging from stress management to fear of flying. In anticipation of the lecture’s topics, CBC radio, with Bernard St Laurent, would present Mental Health 101, to summarize the information to be presented that week.
Dr Michael Spevack died in March 2009. As his legacy, the clinic continues to provide quality psychotherapy and mental health education to the Montreal community, as well as training to interns, and continues to advance research. In his honour, the Fall Lecture Series have been renamed The Dr. Michael Spevack Lecture Series, and the Dr. Michael Spevack Research Foundation was established which funds research at the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Clinic.
Dr. Spevack appointed Dr. Luisa Cameli as Clinic Director. He was her mentor for many years.