Colette M. Smart

Colette M.  Smart
Associate Professor.
Office: COR A259

Ph.D. 2006 (Loyola University Chicago) joined Department in 2010

Area of expertise

Clinical psychology

My training and expertise are in the areas of clinical neuropsychology, cognitive rehabilitation, and psychotherapy for persons with neurological and chronic medical illnesses. After 10+ years focusing my research and clinical work on cognitive aging, I am now focusing on my other line of research, focused on trauma and resilience within the neuropsychological context.

Specifically, our lab is interested in the following topic areas: 

  1. Understanding how traumatic stress can impact the experience of neurological illness and injury. For example, how does medical post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) impact recovery from brain injury or stroke? What about the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on risk for neurological disorders, as well as subsequent recovery and quality of life?
  2. Understanding the role of trauma-informed practice in the neurorehabilitation context, and how implementing TIP could improve patient outcomes as well as patient/provider satisfaction.
  3. Implementing and evaluating interventions for neurological disorders with co-occurring traumatic stress. Both neurological populations as well as trauma-exposed individuals can have difficulty harnessing their "top-down" cognitive abilities (e.g., executive functions, verbal abilities). As such, we are interested in investigating "bottom-up" approaches to self and co-regulation, such as interoception and embodied mindfulness, as well as other body-based and "whole brain" approaches such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), mindfulness and other forms of contemplative practice, and the expressive arts.

I also have a secondary line of research focused on the scholarship of teaching and learning. We are interested in the influence of ACEs on student success, and how interventions designed to enhance self-regulation can promote resilience and well-being in this group.

Outside of UVic, I maintain a small private practice where I specialize in treating individuals who are adapting to neurological/chronic medical illness, particularly those with co-occurring traumatic stress disorders. I provide cognitive rehabilitation and “neuropsychotherapy”, utilizing existential/humanistic, mindfulness, and attachment-based approaches within an overall trauma-informed framework. I am also a passionate and dedicated teacher and mentor, and in 2019 was the Winner of the UVic Social Sciences Teaching Excellence Award. I am particularly enjoy mentoring "first generation" students (i.e., those who were the first in their family to attend higher education).



  • Clinical neuropsychology
  • Cognitive rehabilitation
  • Emotion and self-regulation
  • Trauma and resilience
  • Interoception and embodied mindfulness

Faces of UVic Research video

In this video, Colette discusses her research on self-regulation, cognitive rehabilitation and contemplative neuroscience.

Representative Publications

Smart, C. M. (2022) Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing for post-stroke post-traumatic stress disorder: Case report using the three-phase approach. Brain Injury, DOI: 10.1080/02699052.2022.2140833.

*York, S. K., Chim, L., Viczko, J., Nicoll, P., Fontanilla, C., Kasian, A., & Smart, C. M. (2022). Examining the relationships between adverse childhood experiences, student generational status, and exam performance in emerging adult undergraduates. Emerging Adulthood,

Smart, C.M., Ali, J.I., Viczko, J., & Silveira, K. (2022). Systematic Review of the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions as a form of neuropsychological rehabilitation. Mindfulness, 13, 301–317.  

Smart, C. M. (2021). Wisdom Mind: A Mindfulness Training Program Tailored to Cognitively Healthy Older Adults and Those With Subjective Cognitive Decline. Oxford University Press: Treatments That Work Series.

*Silveira, K., Garcia-Barrera, M. A., & Smart, C. M. (2020). Neuropsychological impact of trauma-related mental illnesses: A systematic review of clinically meaningful results. Neuropsychological Review30, 310-344. DOI: 10.1007/s11065-020-09444-6.

*Silveira, K., & Smart, C. M. (2019). Cognitive, physical, and psychological benefits of yoga for acquired brain injuries: A systematic review of recent findings. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation30, 1388-1407.

Tuokko, H. A., & Smart, C. M. (2018). The Neuropsychology of Cognitive Decline: A Developmental Approach to Assessment and Intervention. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

 * Denotes student-led publications