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Dr Boaz Saffer

Please Note: Dr Saffer is not accepting new clients at this time.

My Areas of Expertise

I treat individuals experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), difficulties regulating emotions, and urges to self-harm. I primarily use a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) framework, and incorporate other evidence-based treatments (e.g., cognitive processing therapy [CPT], dialectical behaviour therapy [DBT], and motivational interviewing [MI]) to address clients’ individual needs.

Approach to Therapy

I approach therapy with genuine compassion, curiosity, and respect. I’ve been told I have a warm, attentive, and easy-going manner that creates a calm atmosphere and puts clients at ease. My clinical work uses a strength-based approach that focuses on working collaboratively with clients to gain insight into their difficulties, inspire hope, and make changes that reduce psychological suffering and facilitate living a more connected and meaningful life.


I completed my undergraduate (B.A.) and graduate training (M.A. and, very shortly, Ph.D.) in clinical psychology at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Prior to joining Changeways Clinic, I completed my pre-doctoral residency at Vancouver Coastal Health in the Adult Mental Health Track where I received specialized training in the assessment and treatment of trauma-related disorders (e.g., PTSD) with active and veteran members of the Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP. I also completed rotations at the Provincial Adult Tertiary Eating Disorders Program at St. Paul’s Hospital, on the Neurmusculoskeletal Unit at GF Strong, and with the Solid Organ Transplant Team at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH).

My graduate clinical training has also included placements on several psychiatric inpatient units, including the Concurrent Disorders and Brief Intervention Units at VGH and the BC Psychosis and Mood Disorders Programs at UBC Hospital (UBCH), intensive day treatment and outpatient programs, a private healthcare centre, several private practices, including the DBT Centre of Vancouver, and the UBC Psychology Clinic.

In addition to my clinical training, I have also conducted extensive research examining the development of suicidal thoughts, and the progression from suicidal thoughts to suicidal acts. I am fortunate to have been awarded the Killam Graduate Scholarship, the most prestigious award available to UBC graduate students, and to have my research supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, The Institute of Mental Health, UBC, and the US Department of Defence. My research has been published in several peer-reviewed journals, including in the Journal of Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviours and Archives of Suicide Research (the two flagship journals of suicide research), and presented at national and international conferences.

As a recent graduate, I am not presently a registrant of the College of Psychologists of British Columbia. I work under the direct supervision of Dr Randy Paterson, Clinic Director.

To make an appointment with Boaz Saffer, please call Changeways Clinic at 604 871 0490 during office hours, or email us at