About David

My background and training in psychology have been diverse, spanning areas of spirituality, stress and coping, and occupational health. I received my PhD in health psychology from the University of British Columbia in 2013. At that time, my research focused on work-related stress and the ways in which couples cope with stress together across settings. Prior to my doctoral training, I completed my Master's degree at Trent University in Ontario, Canada, where I studied the concept of spiritual intelligence. This particular interest grew out of earlier work on the topic of dreams and dreaming. Although varied, these areas of research are linked by an overarching interest in personal meaning, stress, and holistic health. Today, some of my research also examines how individuals cope with stress arising from disease outbreaks, pandemics, and other collective threats to health, such as climate change.

For more information on my research and academic publication history, take a look at my CV here.

In addition to my research, I have been teaching at the university level since 2012, leading upper-level courses on personality and health psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia. This is in addition to my recent development of a second-year course on the psychology of death and dying. To date, I have taught over 5000 students at the undergraduate level, remaining dedicated to my goal of fostering critical thinking and collaborative engagement in the field of psychology. Over the past decade, I have authored multiple papers in peer-reviewed academic journals and co-authored two textbooks..

I have also received multiple awards, including an Early Career Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association and a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Award from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

In 2015, I moved to Bowen Island, British Columbia, a small island community located on Canada's beautiful Sunshine Coast. Bowen is a truly unique place, offering an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city without leaving you feeling stranded. My main motivation for making the move was to escape the chaos and concrete, and finally reconnect with nature. To put it simply, I needed a change.

Today I find myself incredibly grateful for being able to make the move when I did. Although I leave the island regularly for work, my nature-focused mindset plays a major role in my outlook on holistic health amd existential well-being. I truly believe that fostering a deeper connection with nature is a precursor to a complete sense of wellness, a notion that informs all aspects of my work.

Fortunately, I didn't make the move to Bowen Island alone. In that same year, I married my best friend on the island. Together we enjoy our days exploring the nature of this beautiful island, connecting with good friends, and taking care of our little ones - two rescued dogs from Mexico, Hunter and Scout.

Of course life is not without its challenges or losses, but life is good. I believe strongly that life is what you make it, and the last few years have confirmed that belief for me tenfold. Our relationships and connections, even those with our four-legged friends, are an essential part of who we are and how we find happiness in this world. They're an essential part of our health and our sense of meaning and purpose in life.

Aside from the personal and professional, I have been an avid writer for much of my life. My preference has always been for creative writing, and I aspire to one day write and publish a complete novel. I also consider myself an activist for social justice, particularly when it comes to human rights and environmental conservation. Human decency is one of my primary values and I find myself increasingly motivated to protect and nurture it. By extension, I am a dedicated supporter of animal rights. I have a strong collectivistic orientation to the world around me, and this manifests in a sincere appreciation for both human and non-human aspects of my environment. As is illustrated throughout my work, I value authenticity in every act and feeling, including one's perspection of the world. Although identifying a singular notion of truth in this regard can be difficult, it is important to accept that despite all the difficulties and challenges, this world is a pretty special place.

To get a better idea of my philosophy on life, take a look at my blog here. Comments are much appreciated!