Understanding Complex Learners

We are all built to learn – about the world around us and about ourselves. At Macdonald Psychological Group, we aim to help our clients understand their own complex learning abilities. We take a strength-based approach to understanding complex learners, working in collaboration with you to overcome challenges and pursue your goals to the best your abilities.


 Suite 320, 1167 Kensington Crescent NW, Calgary, AB     |    403.229.3455    | info@complexlearners.com

Brent is a registered psychologist and certified teacher with over 20 years experience working with individuals with a variety of complex learning differences. He has taught at the junior and senior high level and was the assistant principal at an independent school for students with learning disabilities. He is a sessional instructor in the departments of psychology and education at Mount Royal University.  He is also an adjunct assistant professor with the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary.  Brent holds a B.A. from UPEI, along with a B. Ed. from Saint Mary’s University, a M. A. in School Psychology from Mount Saint Vincent University and a Ph.D. in Applied Psychology (Counselling) from the University of Calgary. He has presented at local, national, and international conferences and is a frequent guest on Global Morning and Global Newshour, Breakfast Television, CBC Radio and CTV2’s Alberta Primetime. Dr. Macdonald has also served as a director of the Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta – Calgary Chapter and was the Canadian Representative to the State and Provincial Leadership Committee with the American Psychological Association. He was also the Alberta Representative to the Public Education Committee, also with the American Psychological Association, and currently sits on the Psychologist’s Association of Alberta’s Public Education Committee.

Dr. Brent Macdonald
Registered Psychologist

Silvia is a registered psychologist with over 18 years of experience working with a variety of individuals in the areas of counselling, assessment, human resources and career development and bullying and harassment prevention. She holds a Master of Counselling degree and a BA in Psychology from the University of Calgary.
Silvia is committed to providing assessment and counselling services that allow clients to enhance their health and well-being, to acquire self-awareness of both strengths and concerns in order to achieve their goals and to reach their full potential. Professional services include psychoeducational and career assessments, counselling to address personal concerns such as depression, anxiety, stress management, bullying, and relationship issues, and academic and career consultation for adolescents and adults. Silvia uses a multi-modal approach in her assessments and has expertise in using evidence based treatment approaches in counselling including cognitive behavioural, mindfulness and solution –focused strategies.
Outside of work, Silvia has a growing family, loves being active, and is also an active community volunteer working with organizations such as Wellspring Calgary, Calgary Catholic School Board, and Calgary West Soccer.

Silvia Henning
registered psychologist

Michelle possess a broad base of educational credentials including a Masters Degree in Education and a Masters Degree in Counselling Psychology.  She is a Registered Psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists and is also a member of the Psychologists Association of Alberta. Her psychological and educational experience encompass assessment, intervention, and counselling across the lifespan. As a Registered Psychologist, she works with individuals, families, and with special populations including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder.

Michelle Springman
Registered Psychologist

Monica is a Registered Provisional Psychologist with the College of Alberta Psychologists and a certified teacher. Monica holds a BA from Cape Breton University, a B.Ed from St. F.X University, and a Master of Counselling degree from Gonzaga University. She has 15 years experience supporting youth and their families in a variety of educational and community contexts. Her experience in public education is diverse: she has filled the roles of classroom teacher, learning strategist, guidance counsellor, and administrator, working with students in grades 5 through 12.

Her psychology experience includes counselling, formal assessment, and intervention. In her practice, she utilizes a holistic & integrative approach to ensure that the unique needs of each client are met. When Monica is not at school or in the office, she is a volunteer community therapist with Wood’s Homes, a local non-profit children’s mental health organization. She has also presented to educators and other youth-focused professionals with the Calgary Regional Consortium, the CCTCA, and parent council groups on building adolescent resiliency, supporting anxious learners, and advancing trauma-informed educational practice.  

Monica Crane-Spracklin
Provisional Psychologist

Dr. Macdonald and his team enjoy opportunities to meet with parent and school groups, along with others who may be interested in learning more about complex learning profiles and how best to work with others. Some of the areas we have provided workshops for include:

*Strategies for supporting students with Learning Disabilities, ADHD, Behavioural Challenges, and Social-Emotional Issues

*Working effectively with adolescents

*Meeting the needs of twice-exceptional learners in a gifted program

* Bullying and harassment in schools:

* Anxiety (Students, parents, and teachers)

* Psychological assessment, interventions, and classroom implications

* Transitions to post-secondary for high school students

* Transitions to Post-Secondary for students with Learning Disabilities

* Non-suicidal self injury