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

Macdonald Psychology Group is relaunching for assessments on June 8, 2020!

We are excited to reconnect with new and existing clients and continue our part supporting Calgarians who have challenges with learning, attention, social-emotional functioning, and mental wellness. We’ve made some changes to our office and approach to assessment in light of the COVID-19 landscape. In general, live sessions will only be for assessments; counselling, consultation, and intake/ feedback meetings will continue to be held largely via secure video conferencing.

Brent is a registered psychologist in Alberta, PEI and the Northwest Territories and provides assessment and counselling services, both online and through onsite clinics, in all of these jurisdictions. He has 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 is the past Chair of the Psychologist’s Association of Alberta’s Public Education Committee.

Dr. Brent Macdonald
Registered Psychologist

Monica is a Registered 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
REGISTERED Psychologist

Danae is a provisionally registered psychologist and doctoral student in Counselling Psychology at the University of Calgary. She holds a Master of Science in Counselling Psychology from the
University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in Psychology from the University of Victoria.
Her research during her schooling has focused on child mental health, parenting, family wellness, and youth in transition. She has experience working with children, youth, and their parents in a variety of settings including schools and the health care system. She is dedicated to providing clients with assessments and counselling interventions that will allow them to thrive and capitalize on their strengths.
Danae practices from an evidence-based, multimodal framework incorporating interventions from a number of theories, including cognitive-behavioural therapy, mindfulness, and dialectical behaviour therapy. Her services include psychoeducational and career assessment, as well as counselling to address concerns
such as depression, anxiety, stress, family conflict, behavioural issues, trauma, and academic challenges.
Outside of her professional life Danae loves to travel, hike, bake, and go for walks with her dog.

ProvisionalLY REGISTERED Psychologist

Stephen is a Master’s Level Counselling Practicum Student in the Counselling Psychology program at the University of Calgary and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Mount Royal University. He has over 5 years of experience helping children, young adults, and families to improve their functioning and meet their needs and goals. This includes working in residential programs, counselling in partnership with the Ministry of Children’s Services, and coordinating an alternative school program for high-risk youth.
Stephen utilizes a person-centred, strengths-based approach, in order to help clients to utilize their strengths in order to accomplish their goals and thrive. He is also trained in utilizing motivational interviewing for helping individuals through the process of change. He is skilled at helping individuals develop resiliency and competencies related to emotional regulation and executive functioning. Stephen tailors his approach to each individual that he works with and has worked with a wide range of clients.  

Stephen Sills
Learning Strategist

Born and raised in Calgary, Jodi has 20+ years experience in finance, healthcare, oil and gas, property management, and real estate, with certificates in administrative & business administration and non-profit management. Her passion for administration can be directly tied to her love of Excel spreadsheets and keeping everyone – and everything – organized. Friendly and cheerful, she will be happy to explain our services and walk you through the intricacies that can sometimes come with insurance claims. 

She can personally attest to the benefits of early intervention and assessment of ADHD and the critical role of psychoeducational assessments, in planning for student success. She is enthusiastic in her work supporting Macdonald Psychology Group's clients find their way.

In her off hours, Jodi will be reading, gardening, geocaching, painting, cheering on the Roughnecks/BlueJays/Seahawks, or playing Dungeons and Dragons


David is a senior doctoral student in the University of New Brunswick’s Clinical Psychology PhD program, living and providing supervised practice in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with Honours, and an additional 6 years of experience at the graduate level in applied health services research and clinical psychological practice. David has spent a combined 11 years working with individuals experiencing psychological difficulties, both in front-line mental health and through his research and applied clinical practice. His research interests have centered on access and availability of mental health services across the lifespan in Atlantic Canada, resulting in several peer-reviewed publications and a wealth of knowledge he utilizes in his regular client interaction.

David’s diverse clinical background includes training and applied experience with a range of evidence-based individual and group therapeutic techniques, as well as a breadth of experience in psychoeducational and psychodiagnostic assessment. His client interactions to date have given him the opportunity to become comfortable with a number of evidence-based therapeutic modalities (e.g., Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Mindfulness), and he attempts to approach psychological concerns from a Family Systems perspective whenever possible. As a senior student clinician, he works with individuals across the lifespan, and is particularly interested in working with children, youth, and families to address psychological and learning difficulties. In his off time, David enjoys woodworking and planning outdoor getaways around The Maritimes.



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