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Published On: Tue, Jan 2nd, 2024

How Dr Jason Ediger Stays Up to Date With Continuous Learning in the Psychology Space

For Canadian psychologist Dr. Jason Ediger, learning and growing within his field is a never-ending process. His love for psychology, as well as his desire to deliver excellent care while training the next generation of psychologists, motivated him to constantly seek new information. That drive remains with him to this day. Ediger stays up to date on the latest developments within the field, and works to integrate applicable developments into his everyday practice.

As he’s grown  in his field, Jason Ediger has honed his learning skills, molding his thirst for knowledge with the experience of knowing how to distill what’s most pertinent to his skill set.

“Reading [journals] would be the biggest way to keep learning,” he shares, “but I’m not sitting down with 12 journals every month anymore and reading at that granular level of research. But I do keep up to date on various research associations.”

Ediger says, “Teaching also helps with that because if you’re teaching it to other people, you want to keep reading and checking on what the latest is,” noting that there are continuing education requirements for registration in his profession.  This can be as formal as attending workshops and as informal as setting up a lunch and cross pollinating between colleagues with different specialties.”

Dr. Jason Ediger: Student Peer Counselor

Long before he earned the title of doctor, Jason Ediger fell in love with the idea of helping people. He says, “In high school, I was going to be an English or history teacher at one point in time. Then I got asked to do a peer counseling program.” And that changed the trajectory of his life.

After two years in the program, Ediger received some surprising advice: ”The coordinator of that program asked me, ’What about psychology?’ I went, ’Huh, I’m curious.’” 

After that, he says, “I took intro psych and never stopped. I did two, four-year degrees in five years with some overlaps — a Bachelor of Christian Studies and an Honors B.A. in psychology in five years — and then went and did my master’s in clinical psychology at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. I came back to Winnipeg [Canada] and did my Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Manitoba.” Ediger completed his formal degree program,  with a residency at a state mental hospital in Norfolk, Nebraska, before returning to Winnipeg to do postdoctoral work at the university or the University of Manitoba Medical School Department of Gastroenterology. 

There, he notes, his focus took a very different turn from his early days as a peer counselor. In this new setting, he spent time “looking at the psychological impacts and influences in inflammatory bowel disease and doing health psychology, chronic pain, that kind of stuff.”

Ediger worked as the psychology provider in a work hardening program, a specialized rehabilitation process that combines physical therapy with work-related tasks to help individuals recover from an injury and safely return to their jobs. It focuses on improving strength, endurance, and flexibility, specifically tailored to the demands of the patient’s workplace.

Ediger explains, “It’s kind of the last chronic pain, trying to help people get as functional as they can when you can’t fix the problem itself.” In this way, by combining research and clinical care, his postdoctoral training set Dr. Ediger up for a career that would embrace the intersection of psychology and physical health, while also motivating him to impart that knowledge to psychologists in training. 

Dr. Jason Ediger and CBT

Dr. Jason Ediger has been involved with CBT for 23 years and when it comes to providing patient care using this therapeutic approach, he notes: “I went to schools that had a strong CBT background and a research focus. That work is designed to shape you and provides a lens with which to understand the world.

Today, Dr. Jason Ediger still places a lot of focus on cognitive behavioral therapy, both within his personal practice and as a member of CBT Manitoba, an organization co-founded by Ediger’s mentors, Dr. John Walker and Dr. Vivienne Rowan, with the mission of providing good, scientifically supported, and affordable care to the residents of the province, while also providing education for graduate students and contributing to the community. 

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