Ratings for Dr. John O'Kelly, Deceased
I had a fantastic experience with Dr. O'Kelly. We had one-on-one therapy sessions and it helped me immeasurably. He let me work through my issues without giving me pat solutions or techniques to "make everything better". Yes he can be abrupt and curt, but it's never rude or demeaning. He took me from 3 years of a depressive period, to giving me my life back. Without medication! I recommend him highly.
Re: O'Kelly/U of A "ETP": The “therapists” (though none are psychologists or psychiatrists), were cold, confrontational, rude and demeaning. The idea seems to be to break people down. After week two, I wondered about this approach, and found out the group is for “difficult to treat personality disorders”. I had not been told this was the reason for my entering the group, nor that I had received this diagnosis. I was anxious, agitated, and overwhelmed. I was diagnosed with a different condition years ago (which I feel is correct) and when I brought it up to O’Kelly, he waved me off. I expressed my distress and asked for help finding a more appropriate program, but was told the ETP was the answer. Despite mental health treatment moving toward patient empowerment/decreasing stigma, I struggle to think this hierarchical, demeaning program exists. Thank God I got out when I did, but I left with a broken spirit, extreme anxiety and trauma, and far more anger than I ever had before I entered.
Dr. O'Kelly is a clinical academic staff at the University of Alberta. Aside from seeing patients, he also teaches and does research. He has been around this clinic for at least 20 years. He appears to be a very busy man. Yet he seems genuine, sincere, and tries to do what he can to help. However, the brand of therapy the people at this clinic practices is not everybody's cup of tea. It is very hardcore group psycotherapy and talk therapy with rules and a lot of structure. And they will ask for your full commitment to your treatment (therapy). You can find this doc on the web elsewhere, other than this site here. He is also an active athlete.
I am a pretty easy going person when it comes to working with doctors and therapists but this guy is AWFUL.First time I've ever walked out on someone. That's being nice. He said to me that if I didn't explain every little detail of my trauma to him at that exact moment, he would not help me. That is quite honestly disturbing in the first place, and not to mention very insulting to me. The sad part is he is completely wrong and clearly doesn't know what he's doing. Following his advice on HIS terms, not mine, would be far more damaging to myself than not dealing with things. He needs to do some research. Stay far far away.
At one point, many years ago, Dr. O'Kelly may have cared about the people who see him for help. These days have long since passed. While he is not always outright ignorant about the medical side of things, he looks at me as if I am a specimen or theory rather than a person. Quite rude at times, asks questions and does not let me finish. Has asked me if I have trouble being truthful about myself (when I'm being nothing but!) and has thrown out-of-context quotes from my file at me to try to prove me wrong. After a year of seeing him, still doesn't recognize me when we pass in the halls. If there's one thing I've learned from seeing him, it's why people will give up on their medication in a state of despair at being lost in the medical system - I'm thankful to have enough support that I can deal with him, but I worry about more vulnerable-minded patients who walk out of his office feeling lower than when they walked in. Like a used car salesperson, only for pills. DO NOT SEE.
Dr. O'Kelley was the most ignorant ass I have met in my life. He seemed cold and not present in the moment. We rarely spoke before he recommended group therapy. I worked full time at that time and he suggested working with my employer to get those days off. I couldn't do the group therapy so he wanted nothing to do with me. I contacted his office again after trying to take my own life and didn't hear back from his secretary until I called and called. I couldn't make the appointment so now his secretary says he won't see me now!
I spent 6 years with Dr.John and wouldn't be where I am today with grandchildren if it weren't for him. He helped me realize that tomorrow is another day and I am only hurting myself when I remember the past. Everyone has bad days. I can recognize the signs now when life is getting too much and I need to take care of myself. Thanks. He was 99% on time and I can remember one time when I was in the ditch with the snow and he saw me on his lunch hour so I wouldn't miss the time. I don't think I every cried so much in my life in my time there and he always let me do that without trying to make it better.
Dr. John O'Kelly, Deceased's Credentials
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