416 979 5000, ext. 553007


PhD in Clinical Psychology, University of Calgary

MSc in Clinical Psychology, University of Calgary

BSc (Honours) in Psychology and Animal Physiology, University of Toronto


Dr. Cassin is an Associate Professor and Director of the Healthy Eating and Lifestyle (HEAL) Lab at Ryerson University. In addition, she holds a faculty appointment at the University of Toronto (Department of Psychiatry). She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Calgary, and completed an internship at the University of British Columbia. Following graduation, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship funded by the Ontario Mental Health Foundation at the Mood and Anxiety Treatment and Research Program at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Prior to joining the Department of Psychology at Ryerson University, she held staff clinical psychologist positions in the Mood and Anxiety Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and the Bariatric Surgery Program at Toronto Western Hospital.

Research Interests

Dr. Cassin’s research interests are in the area of disordered eating, obesity, and bariatric (weight loss) surgery. The research she completed during her doctoral training focused on the conceptualization of binge eating as a behavioural addiction, and the potential therapeutic implications that arise from this conceptualization.  She is particularly interested in the impact of readiness for change on treatment outcome, as well as treatment approaches aimed at resolving ambivalence and enhancing readiness for change, such as motivational interviewing.

Her current research interests include psychosocial predictors of bariatric surgery outcome, and psychosocial interventions with the potential to improve outcomes.  She is co-Principal Investigator on a CIHR-funded multisite randomized controlled trial on cognitive behavioural therapy for bariatric surgery patients.  Dr. Cassin received a Dean’s Scholarly, Research, and Creative Activity (SRC) Award from Ryerson University in 2020.

Clinical Interests

 Dr. Cassin is particularly interested in the evidence-based assessment and treatment of eating disorders, anxiety disorders (i.e., social phobia), and obsessive-compulsive disorder. She takes a collaborative, cognitive-behavioural approach to treatment and frequently incorporates motivational interviewing strategies to help prepare individuals for CBT when ambivalence about making changes poses a barrier to treatment.

Teaching Interests

Dr. Cassin teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses related to psychopathology, including Psychological Disorders, Clinical Psychology, Advanced Psychopathology Seminar, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Eating Disorders. In addition, she provides clinical supervision to graduate students completing practicum placements at the Clinical Psychology Training Clinic at St. Michael’s Hospital Department of Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Cassin received a Dean’s Teaching Award from Ryerson University in 2014 and an Award for Excellence in Professional Training from the Canadian Council of Professional Psychology Programs in 2017.

Selected Publications

  • Cassin, S. E., Hawa, R., & Sockalingam, S. (2018). Psychological care in severe obesity: A practical approach.  Cambridge University Press.
  • Cassin, S. E., Leung, S. E., Hawa, R., Wnuk, S., Jackson, T., & Sockalingam, S.  (2020).  Food addiction is associated with binge eating and psychiatric distress among post-operative bariatric surgery patients and may improve in response to cognitive behavioural therapy.  Nutrients, 12, 2905.
  • Sockalingam, S. Leung, S. E., & Cassin, S. E. (2020).  The impact of COVID-19 on bariatric surgery: Redefining psychosocial care.  Obesity, 28(6), 1010-1012.
  • David, L. A., Sijercic, I., & Cassin, S. E. (2020).  Pre- and post-operative psychosocial interventions for bariatric surgery patients: A systematic review.  Obesity Reviews, 21(4), e12926.
  • Cassin, S. E., Sijercic, I., & Montemarano, V. (2020).  Psychosocial interventions for food addiction: A systematic review.  Current Addiction Reports, 7(1), 9-19.
  • Costa-Dookhan, K. A., Leung, S., Cassin, S. E., & Sockalingam, S. (2020).  Predictors of response to telephone-based cognitive behavioural therapy in bariatric surgery patients.  Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 44(3), 236-240.
  • Sockalingam, S., Leung, S., Wnuk, S., Cassin, S. E., Yanofsky, R., & Hawa, R. (2020).  Psychiatric management of bariatric surgery patients: A review of psychopharmacological and psychological treatments and their impact on post-operative mental health and weight outcomes.   Psychosomatics, 61(5), 498-507.
  • Leung, S., Wnuk, S., Jackson, T., Cassin, S. E., Hawa, R., & Sockalingam, S. (2019).  Prospective study of attachment as a predictor of binge eating, emotional eating, and weight loss two years after bariatric surgery.  Nutrients, 11(7), 1625.
  • Sockalingam, S., Leung, S. E., Hawa, R., Wnuk, S., Parikh, S. V., Jackson, T., & Cassin, S. E. (2019).  Telephone-based cognitive behavioural therapy for patients 1-year post bariatric surgery: A pilot study.  Obesity Research and Clinical Practice, 13(5), 499-504.
  • Kantarovich, K., Wnuk, S., Cassin, S. E., Hawa, R., & Sockalingam, S. (2019).  Employment outcomes two years after bariatric surgery: Relationship to quality of life and psychosocial predictors.  Obesity Surgery, 29(9), 2854-2861.
  • Nightingale, B. A., & Cassin, S. E. (2019).  Disordered eating among individuals with excess weight: A review of recent literature.  Current Obesity Reports, 8(2), 112-127.
  • Cassin, S. E., Buchman, D. Z., Leung, S. E., Kantarovich, K., Hawa, A., Carter, A., & Sockalingam, S. (2019).  Ethical, stigma, and policy implications of food addiction: A scoping review. Nutrients, 11(4), 701.
  • Nasirzadeh, Y., Kantarovich, K., Wnuk, S., Okrainec, A., Cassin, S. E., Hawa, R., & Sockalingam, S. (2018).  Postoperative binge eating, loss of control eating, emotional eating, and night eating after bariatric surgery and their impact on weight outcomes: Results from the Toronto Bari-PSYCH cohort study.  Obesity Surgery, 28(7), 2032-2039.
  • Mehak, A., Friedman, A., & Cassin, S. E. (2018).  Body shame and appearance anxiety mediate the relationships between self-objectification, weight bias internalization and binge eating in young women. Body Image24, 111-115.
  • Atwood, M. E., Friedman, A., Meisner, B. A., & Cassin, S. E. (2018). The exchange of social support on bariatric surgery online discussion forums: A mixed-methods content analysis.  Health Communication, 33(5), 628-635.
  • Sockalingam, S., Hawa, R., Wnuk, S., Santiago, V., Kowgier, M., Jackson, T., Okrainec, A., & Cassin, S. E. (2017).  Psychosocial predictors of quality of life and weight loss two years after bariatric surgery: Results from the Toronto Bari-PSYCH study.  General Hospital Psychiatry, 47, 7-13.
  • Sockalingam, S., Cassin, S. E., Wnuk, S., Du, C., Jackson, T., Hawa, R., & Parikh, S. (2017).  A pilot study on telephone cognitive behavioural therapy for patients six months post-bariatric surgery. Obesity Surgery, 27(3), 670-675.
  • MacDonald, D. E., & Cassin, S. E. (2017). Nondieting psychological interventions for individuals who are overweight or obese: A systematic review of the evidence.  Psychopathology Review, 4(3), 290-318.
  • Thiara, G., Yanofsky, R., Abdul-Kader, S., Santiago, V. A., Cassin, S. E., Okrainec, A., Jackson, T., Hawa, R., & Sockalingam, S. (2016).  Toronto Bariatric Interprofessional Psychosocial Assessment Suitability Scale (BIPASS TM): Evaluating a new clinical assessment tool for bariatric surgery candidates.  Psychosomatics, 57(2), 165-173.
  • David, L., Sockalingam, S., Wnuk, S., & Cassin, S. E. (2016).  A pilot randomized controlled trial examining the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of adapted motivational interviewing for post-operative bariatric surgery patients.  Eating Behaviors, 22, 87-92.
  • Cassin, S. E., Sockalingam, S., Du, C., Wnuk, S., Hawa, R., & Parikh, S. (2016).  A pilot randomized controlled trial of telephone-based cognitive behavioural therapy for preoperative bariatric surgery patients.  Behaviour Research and Therapy, 80, 17-22.
  • Sockalingam, S., Wnuk, S., Kantarovich, K., Meaney, C., Okrainec, A., Hawa, R., & Cassin, S. E. (2015).  Employment outcomes one year after bariatric surgery: The role of patient and psychosocial factors.  Obesity Surgery, 25(3), 514 – 522.
  • Azin, A., Zhou, C., Jackson, T., Cassin, S. E., Sockalingam, S., & Hawa, R. (2014).  Body contouring surgery after bariatric surgery:  A study of cost as a barrier and impact on psychological well-being.  Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 133(6), 776e-782e.
  • Lyons, K., Meisner, B. A., Sockalingam, S., & Cassin, S. E. (2014).  Body image after bariatric surgery: A qualitative study.  Bariatric Surgical Practice and Patient Care, 9(1)41-49.
  • Sockalingam, S., Cassin, S. E., Hawa, R., Khan, A., Wnuk, S., & Okrainec, A. (2013).  Predictors of post-bariatric surgery appointment attendance: The role of relationship style.  Obesity Surgery, 23(12)2026-2032.
  • Cassin, S. E., Sockalingam, S., Wnuk, S., Strimas, R., Royal, S., Hawa, R. & Parikh, S. (2013).  Cognitive behavioural therapy for bariatric surgery patients: Preliminary evidence for feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 20(4), 529-543.
  • Sockalingam, S., Cassin, S. E., Crawford, S., Pitzul, K., Khan, A., Hawa, R., Jackson, T., & Okrainec, A. (2013). Psychiatric predictors of surgery non-completion following suitability assessment for bariatric surgery, Obesity Surgery, 23(2), 205-211.
  • Cassin, S. E., von Ranson, K. M., Heng, K., Brar, J., & Wojtowicz, A. E. (2008). Adapted motivational interviewing for women with binge eating disorder: A randomized controlled trial. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 22, 417-425.
  • Cassin, S. E., & von Ranson, K. M. (2007). Is binge eating experienced as an addiction? Appetite, 49, 687-690.
  • Cassin, S. E., & von Ranson, K. M. (2005). Personality and eating disorders: A decade in review. Clinical Psychology Review, 25, 895-916.