Assistant Professor, Research Co-Coordinator
Phone
+1 (604) 513-2034

Department(s) or Program(s)

Biography

  • 2009-Present: Assistant Professor, M.A. Counselling Psychology Trinity Western University
  • 2005-2008: Research Assistant in Culture, Mental Health and Spirituality Research Lab, University of British Columbia
  • 1999-2005: Assistant Director, M.A. in Counselling Psychology Trinity Western University
  • 2001-2005: Executive Director, International Network on Personal Meaning
  • 2000-2005: Sessional Instructor, Psychology Department Trinity Western University
  • 2009-Present: Associate Counsellor, Chuck Jung Associates
  • 2003-2006: Counsellor, Professional Psychological Assessments
  • 1999-2004: Workshop Facilitator, Couples Communication Consortium

Clinical Interests

  • Existential Analysis (Logotherapy);
  • Spiritual and existential issues in a variety of clinical disorders and problems (e.g., career decision making, depression, etc.);
  • grief and loss;
  • Counselling university students (both traditional and non-traditional);
  • Counselling supervision and clinical training.
  • While my approach to counselling and clinical work in general has been influenced by a variety of theoretical orientations and approaches (e.g., family therapy, CBT, etc.), my primary way of conceptualizing and working with clients draws on Existential Analysis. Existential Analysis is a person-centred and phenomenologically oriented psychotherapy which aims to assist people (clients and others) to live with inner consent (i.e., finding an inner, felt "yes" to life). Further training and information on Existential Analysis is available at www.existentialanalysis.ca (not affiliated with TWU).

Research & Scholarship

Education

  • 2011 - Doctor of Philosophy in Counselling Psychology; University of British Columbia
  • 2011 - Diploma in Existential-Analytical Psychotherapy; International Society for Logotherapy and Existential Analysis
  • 1999 - Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology; Trinity Western University
  • 1997 - Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology; Trinity Western University

Awards & Honors

Presentations

Klaassen, D. W., Young, R. A., & James, S. (2011). Das geistliche Leben trauernder Eltern (The spiritual lives of bereaved parents). In S. Pointner (chair), Klinische Psychotherapy (clinical psychotherapy). Invited lecture at International Conference of the International Society for Logotherapy and Existential Analysis. Lindau, Germany, May 7.

Klaassen, D. W., & McDonald, M. J. (2012). Personhood in context: Reflections on implicit existential and spiritual dimensions in Counselling Psychology. Keynote lecture at the 2nd Annual Counselling Psychology Research Conference, Langley, BC, May 30.

Klaassen, D. W., Young, R. A., & James, S. (2011). “Filtered faith”: The spiritual and religious lives of bereaved parents. Paper presented at the UBC Counselling Psychology Research Conference, April 9.

Dueck, A., & Klaassen, D. W. (2011). Bereaved university students making vocational commitments: The impact of losing a loved one on career decision. Poster presented at the UBC Counselling Psychology Research Conference, April 9.

Davies, G., & Klaassen, D. W. (2011). Ambiguous loss: A primer for counsellors. Poster presented at the UBC Counselling Psychology Research Conference, April 9.

Klaassen, D. W., Young, R. A., & James, S. (2010). Spiritual and relational dimensions of parental grieving. In J. Daniluk (chair), Health, wellness and prevention in Counselling Psychology. Paper presented at the Inaugural Canadian Counselling Psychology Conference, Montreal, QC, November 20.

Klaassen, D. W., Graham, M. D., Young, R. I., & James, S. (2008). Spirituality and grieving after the loss of a child: An action-theoretical perspective. In R. Young (chair), Problem conceptualization in Counselling Psychology. Paper presented at the 116th Convention of the American Psychological Association, Boston, MA, August 16.

Klaassen, D. W. (2006). Exploring Spiritual Coping with Portuguese Immigrants to Canada. 4th International Multidisciplinary Conference on Spirituality & Health: Interweaving Science, Wisdom, and Compassion, Vancouver, BC, November 10.

Klaassen, D. W. (2005). Trauma in Kanada: Ein Kurzbericht über die „Residential Schools“. Paper presented at the Conference of the International Society for Logotherapy and Existential Analysis, Vienna, Austria, April 30.

McDonald, M.J., Socholotiuk, K., Schmaltz, M., Klaassen, D.W., & Najafi A. (2004). Building sciences of virtue through the tacit evocation of everyday humility: A discussion session. Session at the 3rd Biennial Conference on Personal Meaning, Vancouver, BC, July 24.

Klaassen, D. W. & McDonald, M.J., Graham, M. (2002). Constructivist stances for promoting justice in spirituality research. Paper presented at the 10th Biennial Conference of the North American Personal Construct Network, Vancouver, BC, July 12.

McDonald, M. J., Graham, M., Klaassen, D. W., & Gallant, C. (2002). Beyond bracketing: Proactive engagement of ideological debates in spirituality research. Paper presented as part of a panel on “Honing Critical Edges in Human Science Research: Engaging Worldviews and Ideology in Research on Spirituality,” M. McDonald, chair, International Human Science Research Conference, University of Victoria, British Columbia, June 19-22.

McDonald, M.J., Klaassen, D.W., Gallant, C.M. & Graham, M.D. (2002). Existential distinctives among Quest, Intrinsic and Extrinsic religious orientations. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Psychological Association, Vancouver, BC, May 31, 2002.

Klaassen, D.W. (2001). Positive Psychology: Building meaningful bridges among opposing ideologies. In R. Jorna (moderator), Positive psychology. Paper presented at the Biennial conference of the International Society for Theoretical Psychology, Calgary, Alberta, June 8.

Klaassen, D.W., Klawe, P., & McDonald, M. J. (1998). Core construing and the empty self: Evaluation and dialogue in light of an empirical pilot study. In B. Kelly (moderator), Self and postmodernism. Symposium presented at the annual meetings of the Canadian Psychological Association, Edmonton, Alberta, June 5.

Recent Publications

Klaassen, D. W., Gadermann, A., James, S., & Zumbo, B. (under review). Toward a Culture-Centred Understanding of Spirituality and Healing: The Case of Portuguese Immigrants to North America. Columbia

Christu, M., James, S., Caglayan, A., Gadermann, A., Klaassen, D., and Slocum, S. (submitted). Exploring How Contemplative Practices Can Inform Counseling Psychology and counsellor Training.

Klaassen, D. W., Young, R., & James, S. (submitted). Das geistliche Leben trauernder Eltern (The spiritual lives of bereaved parents). Existenzanalyse.

Davies, G., Klaassen, D. W., & Längle, A. (expected publication in 2012). Purpose in Life test. Encyclopedia of Quality of Life Research (A. Michalos, Ed.). http://referencelive.springer.com/

Klaassen, D. W.,Graham, M. D., & Young, R. (2009). Spiritual/religious coping as intentional activity: An action theoretical perspective. Archiv für Religionspsychologie / Archive for the Psychology of Religion, 31, 3-33.

Graham, M., McDonald, M. J., & Klaassen, D. W. (2008). A Phenomenological Analysis of Spiritual Seeking: Listening to Quester Voices. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 18, 146-163.

Klaassen, D. W. & McDonald, M.J. (2002). Quest & identity development: Re-examining pathways for existential search. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 12, 189-200.

Klaassen, D.W., McDonald, M. J. & James, S. (2006). Advances in the study of religious and spiritual coping. In P.T.P. Wong & L.C.J. Wong, Handbook of multicultural perspectives on stress and coping (pp. 105-132). New York: Springer.

Klaassen. D. W., McDonald, M. J., & Graham, M. D. (2004). Constructivist stances for promoting justice in spirituality research. In J. D. Raskin & S. K. Bridges (Eds.). Studies in meaning 2: Exploring constructivist psychology (pp. 239-263). New York: Pace University Press.

Wong, P. T. P., Wong, L. C. J., McDonald, M. J. M., & Klaassen, D. W. (Eds.) (2007). The positive psychology of meaning & spirituality: Selected papers from Meaning Conferences. Abbotsford, BC: International Network on Personal Meaning Press.

Klaassen, D. W. (2006). Trauma im System Kanada: Ein Kurzbericht über die „Residential Schools“. Existenzanalyse, 23, 55.

Klaassen. D. W. (2003). A common hero: The resilience of a political prisoner in East Germany. Available online at http://www.meaning.ca/articles/resilience_klaassen..., August 12, 2006.

Klaassen, D. W. (2002). A call to meaningful community. Available online at http://www.meaning.ca/meaningful_living/meaning_of..., August 12, 2006.