My name is Brenda Lee. (No, not that Brenda Lee.) I am a clinical psychologist-in-training, a Ph.D. candidate looking at relationship dynamics, a lindy hop dancer and instructor, a supporter of live music and public radio, a staunch intersectional feminist, a choir member, and an amateur cook. I am currently based out of New Brunswick, Canada.

In my clinical training, I have had the challenging pleasure of figuring out the factors helping or hindering my clients’ daily functioning. I have been able to learn more about the individual in my office through the use of test measures, interviewing, and most importantly, hearing their stories! Keeping up to date with research-supported ways of working with clients is important to me. Of course, being empathetic and building good relationships is the foundation, no matter if I am testing a child for learning disorders, talking a teenager through suicidal thoughts, practicing relaxation skills with a college student, or interviewing an injured veteran.

Through my research, I tell in-depth stories about the murky waters of life that we all navigate — how to treat one another well, even when it is difficult. In my research conducted at the University of New Brunswick, I explored how young adults struggle to let go of one another after a break-up in the digital age (spoiler alert: many of us struggle a lot!). In my undergraduate research conducted at the University of British Columbia, I was part of a team that compared prominent public figures to see how values motivated some to become great moral heroes. Currently, I am working on my Ph.D. level dissertation research, looking at how we navigate romantic relationships in the face of temptation.

I am a Lindy Hop instructor, event organizer, and safety coordinator for the UNB/STU Swing Dance Club. I have been fortunate to share my love of music and creative movement with newfound friends all over the world, and right here in Fredericton. I have taught classes of 6 to 100+ how to be gracious partners, to trust their bodies, and to move with flair! I was also part of a committee that spearheaded the drafting up of our safer spaces policy and code of conduct. I am also honoured to be the first safety coordinator in the club’s history.

I was the webmistress, main contributor, and curator of Canadian independent music website Earbuds & Ticket Stubs from 2009 through 2014. Originally a passionate hobby project, E&TS garnered a dedicated readership during my coverage of the 2010 Cultural Olympiad in Vancouver, BC, and was nominated for a CBC award for best Canadian music blog.

Photo courtesy of Kaleigh Stultz