416 979 5000, ext. 3007


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. Current projects include a CIHR-funded study on cognitive behavioural therapy for bariatric surgery patients and a study on motivational interviewing for post-operative bariatric surgery patients.

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, 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. In 2014, Dr. Cassin was awarded a Dean’s Teaching Award.

Selected Publications

  • Cassin, S. E. & Geller, J. (in press). Motivational interviewing in the treatment of disordered eating. In H. Arkowitz, W. R. Miller, & S. Rollnick (eds.), Motivational interviewing in the treatment of psychological problems (2nded). New York, NY: Guilford Press
  • Cassin, S. E., & David, L. (in press). Binge eating disorder. In R. Cautin & S. Lilienfeld (eds.), Encyclopedia of clinical psychology. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Sockalingam, S., Wnuk, S., Kantarovich, K., Meaney, C., Okrainec, A., Hawa, R., & Cassin, S. E. (in press). Employment outcomes one year after bariatric surgery: The role of patient and psychosocial factors. Obesity Surgery.
  • Strimas, R., Dionne, M. M, Cassin, S. E., Wnuk, S., Taube-Schiff, M., & Sockalingam, S. (in press). Psychopathology in severely obese women from a Canadian bariatric setting. Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care.
  • Killeen, T. T., Cassin, S. E., & Geller, J. (2014). Motivational interviewing in the treatment of addictions and eating disorders. In T. D. Brewerton & Baker-Dennis, A. (eds.), Eating disorders, addictions, and substance use disorders: Research, clinical, and treatment perspectives (pp.491-507). New York, NY: Springer Publishers.
  • 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, 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, 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, 2026-2032.
  • Nowakowski, M., McFarlane, T., & Cassin, S. E. (2013). Alexithymia and eating disorders: A critical review of the literature. Journal of Eating Disorders, 1, 1-14.
  • Cassin, S. E., Sockalingam, S., Hawa, R., Wnuk, S., Royal, S., Taube-Schiff, M., & Okrainec, A. (2013). Psychometric properties of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) as a depression screening tool for bariatric surgery candidates. Psychosomatics, 54, 352-358.
  • 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, 529-543.
  • Sockalingam, S., Cassin, S. E., Crawford, S., Pitzul, K., Khan, A., Hawa, R., Jackson, T., & Okrainec, A. (2013). Psychosocial predictors of surgery non-completion following suitability assessment for bariatric surgery, Obesity Surgery, 23, 205-211.
  • Rector, N. A., & Cassin, S. E. (2010). Clinical expertise in cognitive behavioural therapy: Definition and acquisition. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 40, 153-161.
  • Geller, J., Srikameswaran, S., & Cassin, S. E. (2010). Eating disorders and self-silencing: A function focused approach to treatment. In D.C. Jack & A. Ali (eds.), Cultural perspectives on women’s depression: Self-silencing, psychological distress, and recovery (pp. 381-398). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Geller, J., Cassin, S. E., Brown, K. E., & Srikameswaran, S. (2009). Factors associated with improvements in readiness for change: Normal vs. low BMI eating disorders. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 42, 40-46.
  • 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., & Whiteford, S. (2008). Cognitive processing of body and appearance words as a function of thin-ideal internalization and schematic activation.   Body Image, 5, 271-278.
  • Cassin, S. E., & von Ranson, K. M. (2007). Is binge eating experienced as an addiction? Appetite, 49, 687-690.
  • von Ranson, K. M., & Cassin, S. E. (2007). Eating disorders and addiction: Theory and evidence. In J.S. Rubin (ed.), Eating disorders and weight loss research (pp.1-37). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.
  • Cassin, S. E., & von Ranson, K. M. (2005). Personality and eating disorders: A decade in review. Clinical Psychology Review, 25, 895-916.