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Alex Sanderson, PhD

Associate Professor, Psychology
Phone number
(403) 407-9464
Email Address


I am interested in the use of narrative perspectives for understanding self and development. Specifically, I have focused on how the stories we construct about our lived experiences influence our well-being, considering what variables shape the stories we tell. Previous research explored the impacts of past traumatic events on youth who were exhibiting behavioural and emotional difficulties, and how their views of self and world influenced their behavioural choices.

On a personal note, I am a smitten grandmother of six who enjoys my time seeing the world through the eyes of my grandchildren. I also run a small zoo with the various pets that have appeared in my home over the years.


My current research considers the impacts of strength-based mentorship to scaffold personal, performance, and character strengths within educational contexts in order to promote student’s ability to flourish.


PhD (University of Calgary)
MSc (University of Calgary)
BA (University of Calgary)

Signature Courses

PS 400 Narrative Psychology
PS 285 Abnormal Psychology
BHS 320/420 Field Placement I/II

Select Publications

Sanderson, A., McKeough, A., Malcolm, J., Omstead, D., Davis, L. & Thorne, K (2016) The Life Stories of Troubled and Non-Troubled Youth: Content and Meaning Making North American Journal of Psychology (18) 3, p. 439-464.
Smorti, E.C., McKeough, Ciucci, E., Pyryt, M., Wilson, N., Sanderson, A., & Fung, T. What Shapes Narrative Thought? Effects of Story Type and Culture. Narrative Inquiry 17 (2) (pp. 329-347).