Community Psychology Takes to the Air

Dr. Paola Lake, registered psychologist, established her practice in 2004 after moving from Ottawa, Ontario. Shortly after settling into west coast living, she received a call from CHLY programmer Pam Edgar; host of Living for the Health of It, who invited Lake to become a monthly guest on her show. Lake eventually decided to produce and host her own talk show, The Dr. Lake show. Her show is motivated by a desire to help people build resources and community support to enhance personal resilience and people’s ability to deal with life’s challenges. The Dr. Lake Show has been on the air for three years.

Photo of Dr. Paola Lake by Denisa Krausova

Originally from Italy, Lake came to live on the Lower Mainland when she was 5 years old. She studied at the Universities of Victoria and Saskatchewan before moving to Ottawa. In addition to her private practice and teaching experience in Ottawa, she also co-hosted a radio show that focused on de-stigmatizing mental illness. She relocated to Nanaimo where her parents had retired and is now firmly established in the harbour city.

In addition to having her PhD in Psychology, Lake is completing her certification as a life and executive coach. She enjoys the positive and action-oriented nature of coaching and its focus on building on people’s strength, instead of the traditional focus on pathology. She uses a multitude of tools to build on people’s strengths and resiliency.

The Dr. Lake Show is a vehicle to ‘help people help themselves’ and represents Lake’s philosophy that together, we can build strength and support to manage the tough times. Because everyone experiences some degree of adversity in their lives, her focus is on building resilience. Like community radio, she sees her program as a vehicle to give voice to both community members and experts and to create an accessible avenue to discuss mental health and wellness.

Although Lake is influenced by a variety of clinicians and authors in her work, such as Martin Seligman, Lee Pulos, Carl Rogers, and Gabor Mate, she draws inspiration from examples of everyday people who face adversity and achieve the unexpected while facing challenging circumstances. She stresses the importance of taking time to reflect on personal beliefs and examining whether they are enhancing or limiting our potential and quality of life. She also believes that most people can benefit from developing tools and skills to manage everyday challenges. Examples include mindfulness practice, the development of effective communication skills and strategies for achieving personal goals.

If you are interested in enhancing your resiliency and improving your well-being, tune in to 101.7fm every Monday evening from 7:00-8:00pm. Or, check out Dr. Lake’s podcasts at  Topics include creating positive change, hypnosis, self esteem and developing a mindfulness practice.

Alison Roberts is the author of Clutter’s Dirty Secret and a volunteer writer with CHLY radio.