University of Calgary

Gina Dimitropoulos

  • Assistant Professor
  • Clinical Practice
  • Disabilities
  • Family Therapy
  • Group Work
  • Mental Health

Currently Teaching

Profile

Gina Dimitropoulos joined the Faculty of Social Work as an Assistant Professor in 2015.  She has over 20 years of clinical experience in both tertiary care and community based settings delivering family based treatments, group therapy and individual counselling for adolescents and adults with mental health issues.  She teaches graduate level clinical and research courses.  Gina also has extensive research experience in various methodologies including randomized controlled trials, mixed methods analyses, health services research and qualitative research. 

She has three broad areas of research that all aim to promote inter-agency collaborations to support young people with mental health issues and their families.  Gina is involved as a principal investigator or co-investigator on leading national and international studies evaluating family based treatments for children and adolescents with eating disorders.  Secondly, Gina works with researchers to develop and evaluate best practices for transitioning young people with complex health needs and mental health issues from adolescent to adult services in Alberta.  Finally, Gina is involved in research to identify the longitudinal impact of child maltreatment and child pornography on the psycho-social development of children and adolescents. 

Research and Scholarly Activity:

  • Studying adolescent and transition-aged youth with mental health issues and complex health needs
  • Development and evaluation of family based treatments for eating disorders 
  • Longitudinal study on the impact of child maltreatment
  • Identifying barriers and facilitators to investigating and supporting children who have been affected by child pornography and child sexual exploitation 
  • Building knowledge of social work practice in the context of the health care setting and interdisciplinary teams

Current Research

Current projects include a clinical trial comparing a navigator service to treatment as usual for young people with complex health needs; clinical trials on family based interventions for adolescents and young adults with eating disorders; and. longitudinal studies on risk and resiliency associated with child maltreatment and exposure to child pornography. 

Education

Doctor of Social Work (PhD), University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

Master of Social Work (MSW), McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario

Professional and Community Associations

Gina is a registered social worker in Alberta. She is also a Clinical Fellow and supervisor with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and a Certified Family Therapist and Supervisor with the Training Institute for Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders.   

Gina is cross appointed with the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Pediatrics.  She also an Associate Member of the Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education and a full member of both the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and Alberta Children’s Research Institute. Gina is also a core member of both the Strategic Clinical Network for Addictions and Mental Health and the Mental Health Neuroteam of UofC.

Grants and Awards

Dr. Dimitropoulos is collaborating with national and international colleagues on the following projects:

Dimitropoulos, G., Arnold, P., Cleverley, K., Elliott, A.S., Exner-Cortens, D., Haines-Saah, R., Jenney, A., MacQueen, G., Madigan, S., McMaster, F., Mackie, A., McLauglin, A.M., McLuckie, A., Nicholas, D., S., Samuel, S., & Wilcox, G., (2017). Enhancing systems collaboration for high risk youth with mental health disorders and addictions: Addiction & Mental Health Strategic Clinical Network. Pathways Innovation and Integration in Addiction and Mental Health. $48,850.

von Ranson, K., Russell-May, S., Dimitropoulos, G., Godley, J., Anderson, H., et al., The Body Project @UCalgary. Campus Mental Health Strategy Grant, ($6, 235).

Samuel, S., Mackie, A., Dimitropoulos, G. (Co-Principal Investigator), Nettel-Aguirre, A., & Klarenbach, A., (Co-Principal Investigator). ($100,000, Bridge Funding) Transition Navigator Trial.  Canadian Institute of Health Research.

Dimitropoulos, G., Madigan, S., & Alaggia, R.  An inquiry into the perceived knowledge, confidence, and capacity of Northern Alberta providers to identify and respond to child sexual abuse imagery online.  ($15,000) University Research Grants Committee.

Samuel, S., Mackie, A., Dimitropoulos, G. (Co-Principal Investigator), Nettel-Aguirre, A., Klarenbach, S., Pacaud, D., Lang, E., Andrew, G., Guilcher, G., Zwaigenbau, L., Pinzon, J. Hamiwka, L., & Scott, S. (Co-Investigators). ($375, 000). The transition navigator trial: Evaluating a patient navigator service to improve transition to adult health services for youth and young adults with chronic health conditions.  Health Outcomes Improvement Fund, Maternal Child and Youth Clinical Network, Alberta Health Services. (2017 - 2020).

Dimitropoulos, G., Arnold, P., Binford, W., McMaster, F., & Kennedy, S. ($34,785.85).  A mixed method study to examine the knowledge, confidence and capacity of service providers to identify and respond to child sexual abuse imagery online (CSAIO). Policy Wise for Children and Families. (2017 – 2018).

Arnold, P., Binford, W., Dimitropoulos, G., McMaster, F., & Pfeffer, G. ($500,000). Impact of child sexual abuse: Identifying biological and psychosocial predictors of risk and resilience. Special Award from Hotchkiss Brain Institute and Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education.

Dimitropoulos, G., Arnold, P., Binford, W., Johnson, B., Kennedy, S., & MacMaster, F. ($9, 920), Building and strengthening academic-community collaborative partnerships to investigate the longitudinal impact of childhood sexual abuse and online child abuse imagery: informing policy and practice. Alberta Centre for Child, Family & Community Research (2016 - 2017).                                            

Arnold, Bulloch, Dimitropoulos, G., & Patten, S., (Co-Principal Investigator), Mental Health Neuro-team, ($247,800). Mental health and school success: a pilot study of an adolescent population, Brain and Mental Health Strategic Research Fund program. (2016 - 2018)

Cleverley, K., Szatmari, P., Henderson, J., & Dimitropoulos, G. ($34,668). Transitions from child to adult mental health services: a qualitative study of youth experiences. Connaught New Researcher Award (2016 - 2018).

Dimitropoulos, G., Ayala, J., Elliot G., McLaughlin A.M., Letkemann, L., Baynton, M., Blaug, C., Judge-Stasiak, A., & Fulton, A. ($40, 000). Optimizing student preparation for field placement: an evaluation of role-play lessons for foundation master of social work students.  University of Calgary, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, 2016.

McGeein, V., Dimitropoulos, G. et al.  ($10,000) Transition age youth: are we getting it right? Clinical Engagement Grant, Addiction and Mental Health Strategic Clinical Network, Alberta Health Services, 2015.

Dimitropoulos, G., Olmsted, M., Schmidt, U., & Williams, C. ($40,000). Comparing web-based vs workshop-based interventions for families of individuals with eating disorders in Ontario. Private Donor, Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation (2015 - 2017).

Dimitropoulos, G., Olmsted, M., Schmidt, U., & Williams, C. ($4,329). Web vs workshop based intervention for families of adults with eating disorders. Collaborative Academic Practice: Research Internal Grant Program (2015 - 2016).

Dimitropoulos, G., & McGillicuddy, P.($5,000).Strengthening social work pathways at the University of Toronto. Bertha Funds, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work(2013 - 2016).

Dimitropoulos, G. (Principal Investigator), Colton, P., Olmsted, M., Kovacs, A., Woodside, B., Steinegger, C., Kaufman, M., & Toulany, A. ($110,000). A novel family based intervention for transition age youth and their families: A two-phase feasibility study. Ontario Mental Health Foundation (2013-2015).

Dimitropoulos, G., Colton, P, Olmsted, M., Kovacs, A., Toulany, A.,Steinegger, C., & Kaufman, M. ($3,000). A qualitative study on the experiences of parents and young adults regarding the process of transitioning from pediatric to adult eating disorder programs. Allied Health Research Grant, University Health Network (2013-2014).

Publications from 2008-Present

Dimitropoulos, G., Freeman, V., Novick, J., & Le Grange D. (in press) Family based treatment for transition age youth. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

McLuckie, A., Matheson, K., Landers, A. L., Landine, J., Novick, J., Barrett, T., & Dimitropoulos, G. (in press). The relationship between psychological distress and perception of emotional support in medical students and residents and implications for educational institutions. Academic Psychiatry.

Ragan, E., & Dimitropoulos, G. (2017). A critical look at food security in social work: Applying the socio-ecological lens.  Journal of Undergraduate Research in Alberta  (JURA), 6, 40-50.

Edwards, K.R., Mendolwitz, S., Jackson, E., Champigny, C., Specht, M., Arnold, P., & Dimitropoulos, G.  (2017). A qualitative exploration of the experience of children and adolescents with Tourette Syndrome.  Journal of Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 26(1), 39-44.

Petruik, C., Freeman, V.E., McGillicuddy, P., & Dimitropoulos, G. (2017). Perceptions of   health care social workers in Ontario: The importance of reflective practice.  Reflective Practice Leader, 1-21

Dimitropoulos, G., McCallum, L., Colasanto, M., Freeman,V. E., & Gadalla, T. (2016). The effects of stigma on recovery attitudes in people with Anorexia Nervosa (AN) in intensive treatment. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disorders, 204(5), 370-380.

Dimitropoulos, G., & Freeman, V.E. (2015). The perceptions of individuals with anorexia nervosa regarding their family’s understanding of their illness, treatment and recovery. Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention, 1-8.

Dimitropoulos, G., Freeman, V. E., Domingo, A., Muskat, S., & McCallum, L. (2015). You don’t have Anorexia, you just want to look like a celebrity: Perceived stigma in individuals with anorexia nervosa. Journal of Mental Health, 25(1), 47–54.

Dimitropoulos, G., Herschman, J., Toulany, A., & Steinegger, C. (2015). Qualitative study on the challenges associated with accepting familial support from the perspective of transition age youth with eating disorders. Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention, 24(3), 255-270.

Dimitropoulos, G., Freeman, V.E., Lock, J., & Le Grange, D. (2015).  Clinician perspectives on parental empowerment in family based treatment for adolescent anorexia nervosa.  Journal of Family Therapy. (In Press)

Dimitropoulos, G., Farquhar, J. C., Freeman, V. E., Colton, P., & Olmsted M. (2015). Pilot study comparing multi-family therapy to single family therapy for adults with anorexia nervosa in an intensive eating disorder program.  European Eating Disorder Review, 23(4), 294-303.

Dimitropoulos, G., Freeman V. E., Allemang, B., Couturier, J., McVey, G., Lock, J., & Le Grange, D. (2015).  Family-based treatment with transition age youth with anorexia  nervosa: A qualitative summary of application in clinical practice.   Journal of Eating Disorders, 3(1), 1-13.

Dimitropoulos, G., Toulany, A., Herschman, J., Kovacs, A., Steinegger, C., Bardsley, J., Sandhu, S., Gregory, G., Colton, P., Anderson, J., & Kaufman, M. (2015). A qualitative study on the experiences of young adults with eating disorders transferring from pediatric to adult care. Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention, 23(2), 144-62.

MacDonald, D. E., Dimitropoulos, G., Royal, S., Polanco, A., & Dionne, M. M. (2015).  The family fat talk questionnaire: Development and psychometric properties of a measure of fat talk behaviours within the family context. Body Image, 12(1), 44-52.

Khabarov, D., Dimitropoulos, G., & McGillicuddy, P. (2015). Qualitative study: Exploring the experiences of family caregivers within an inpatient neurology and neurosurgery hospital setting. Health & Social Work, 40(4), 290-297.

Dimitropoulos, G., Freeman, V. E., Bellai, K., & Olmsted, M. (2013). Inpatients with severe anorexia nervosa and their siblings: Non‐shared experiences and family functioning. European Eating Disorders Review, 21(4), 284-293.

Dimitropoulos, G., Tran, A. F., Agarwal, P., Sheffield, B., & Woodside, D. B. (2013). Challenges in making the transition between pediatric and adult eating disorder programs: A qualitative study from perspective of service providers. Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention 21(1), 1-15.

Dimitropoulos, G., Tran, A. F., Agarwal, P., Sheffield, B., & Woodside, D. B. (2012). Navigating the transition from pediatric to adult eating disorder programs:  Perspectives of service providers. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 45(6),           759-767.

Dimitropoulos, G., Klopfer, K., Lazar, L., & Schachter, R. (2009). Caring for a sibling with anorexia nervosa: A qualitative study. European Eating Disorders Review, 17(5), 350-365.

Dimitropoulos, G., Carter, J., Schachter R., & Woodside, D. B. (2008). Predictors of family functioning in carers of individuals with anorexia nervosa. International Journal of Eating disorders, 41(8), 739-47.

Refereed Abstracts-Presentations-Workshops from 2015:

Ayala, J., Dimitropoulos, G., McLauglin, A.M., & Elliot, G. (May 2017).  Using role plays to support MSW Foundation Students Preparation for Practice.  CASW, Toronto, Ontario.

 

Henderson, L., Petruik, C., & Dimitropoulos, G. (March, 2017). Enhancing Social Justice through Advancing Professional Status of Social Workers on Interdisciplinary Health Care Teams. Presented at 9th Annual Faculty of Social Work Research Symposium. Calgary, AB. 

Dimitropoulos, G., Ragan, E. & Henderson., L (March, 2017).The role of social worker in food security assessment and intervention with families and communities.  Workshop. Alberta College of Social Work, Calgary, Alberta.

Dimitropoulos, G., Williams E., & Henderson, L. (May 12, 2017).  Exploring stigma towards individuals with BED and MDD. Workshop. Body Image and Self-Esteem Conference, Toronto, Ontario.

Petruik, C., Henderson, L., Dimitropoulos, G., Freeman, V., & Collins, T. (March 2017). Advancing professional status of social workers in hospitals: Interviewing hospital social workers in Ontario, Canada. Poster presented at 9th Annual Faculty of Social Work Research Symposium, Calgary, AB, CA.

Petruik, C., Henderson, L., Dimitropoulos, G., Freeman, V., & Collins, T. (March 2017). Advancing professional status of social workers in hospitals: Interviewing hospital social workers in Ontario, Canada.  Paper presented at 13th Annual Graduate Student Research Symposium. Calgary, AB, CA.

Petruik, C. R., Dimitropoulos, G. & Jerome, L. (September, 2016). Culturally sensitive body image programs: what is missing and how can we address the gap? Workshop presentation at "At the Heart of it All". Eating Disorder Association of Canada Conference. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Dimitropoulos, G., Freeman, V., Greenbaum, E., & Engelberg, M. (September 29-30, 2016). Family based treatment for transition age youth (FBT-TAY) with anorexia nervosa: an interactive workshop for engaging young adults and their carers in a developmentally, age appropriate model. Workshop. 5th Biennial Conference of the Eating Disorders Association of Canada, Winnipeg, MB.

Sesma-Vazquez, M., Russell-Mayhew, S., & Dimitropoulos, G. (September 29-30, 2016). Family therapy interventions with eating disorders: A pinwheel of models applied to a single case vignette. Workshop.5th Biennial Conference of the Eating Disorders Association of Canada, Winnipeg, MB.

Marcoux, G., Bentley, L., & Dimitropoulos, G. (September 29-30, 2016). Preliminary findings of a DBT-informed multi-family therapy group. Poster Presentation. 5th       Biennial Conference of the Eating Disorders Association of Canada, Winnipeg, MB.

Arnold, P. D., MacMaster, F., Binford, W., & Dimitropoulos, G. (September 19, 2016). Research on childhood sexual abuse: Psychosocial, neurobiological and legal. Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions World Congress. Calgary, AB.

Bentley, L., Marcoux, G., & Dimitropoulos, G. (September 19, 2016). A household built on skills: A DBT-informed approach to multi-family group therapy. Oral Presentation. The 22nd International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions World Congress. Calgary, AB.

Cullen, O. M., Gunn, E. J., Dimitropoulos, G., Binford, W., Arnold, P. D., & MacMaster, F. (September 21, 2016). Child sexual abuse images online: A scoping review. Poster presentation. The 22nd International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions World Congress. Calgary, AB.

Dimitropoulos, G., Christie, R., Arnold, P., Knaak, S., Stubbs, M., MacMaster, F., & McLuckie, A. (September 19, 2016). Combating stigma in child and youth mental health: From neurons to neighbourhoods. Oral Presentation. The 22nd International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions World Congress. Calgary, AB.

Russell-Mayhew, S., Dimitropoulos, G., Sesma-Vazquez, M., Alberga, A. S. & von Ranson, K. M. (September 19, 2016). Embodied stigma: Addressing weight bias       across the weight spectrum. Workshop. The 22nd International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions World Congress. Calgary, AB.

Schwartz, K., Dimitropoulos, G., Goldade, R., Letourneau, N. (September 20, 2016). What's Right with Kids These Days? Three Perspectives on How Youth Are Thriving and What We Should Do about it.  Oral PresentationThe 22nd International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions World Congress. Calgary, AB

Sesma-Vazquez, M., Dimitropoulos, G., & Russell-Mayhew, S. (June 22, 2016). Cross-cultural applications of family therapy modalities for adolescents with eating disorders. American Family Therapy Association, Denver, CO.

Lock, J., Le Grange, D., & Dimitropoulos, G.  (May 4, 2016). FBT in college aged and young adults.  Clinical Teaching Day: International Conference on Eating Disorders, San Francisco, CA.

Dimitropoulos, G., Nicholas, D., & McMorris, C. (April 1, 2016). Social workers at the cutting edge of delivering best practices for transition age youth.  Alberta College of Social Workers Annual Conference, Edmonton, AB.

Dimitropoulos, G., Fitzpatrick, K. K., Darcy A., Anderson A., Le Grange, D., & Lock, J. (April 26, 2015). Launching individuals with eating disorders to college and university: A multi-modal approach for working with individuals, parents and clinicians. International Conference on Eating Disorders, United States, Boston, MA.

Book Chapters

Schlein, J., Dimitropoulos, G., Schlein, J., Loeb, K. & Le Grange, D., (2017).  Evidence-based treatments and the atypical/complex conundrum. In L. Anderson, S. Murray, & W. Kaye (Eds.), Handbook of complex and atypical eating disorders. New York, NY: Oxford University Press

Dimitropoulos, G., Herschman, J., Toulany, A., & Steinegger, C. (2016).  A qualitative study on the challenges associated with accepting familial support from the                 perspective of transition-age youth with eating disorders. In S. Murray, L. Anderson, & L. Cohn (Eds.), Innovations in family therapy for eating disorders: Novel treatment developments, patient insights, and the role of carers. New York, NY: Routledge.

Dimitropoulos, G., Anderson, K., Lock, J., & Le Grange, D. (2014). Family-based treatments with transition age youth with eating disorders. In K. Loeb, J. Lock, & D. Le Grange (Eds.), Family therapy for adolescent eating and weight disorder: New applications, (pp. 230-255). New York, NY: Routledge.

Woodside, D. B., Halpert, B. & Dimitropoulos, G., (2014).  Implementing behavioral family therapy in complex setting. In K. Loeb, J. Lock, & D. Le Grange (Eds.), Family therapy for adolescent eating and weight disorder: New applications, (pp. 361-371). New York, NY: Routledge.

Olmsted, M., McFarlane, T., Carter, J., Trottier, K., Woodside, B. & Dimitropoulos G. (2010).  Inpatient and day hospital treatment for anorexia nervosa. In C. M. Grilo & J. E. Mitchell (Eds.), The treatment of eating disorders: A clinical handbook (pp. 198-211). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

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