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Sara Ahola Kohut

Title: Paediatric Psychologist, IBD Program
Designations: PhD, CPsych
Phone: 416-813-8106
U of T Positions: Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry; Associate Member, Institute of Medical Science

Research Positions

Associate Scientist
Child Health Evaluative Sciences

U of T Positions

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry
  • Associate Member, Institute of Medical Science


Dr. Ahola Kohut has trained and worked in hospitals, community mental health centres, school boards, and private practice providing psychological consultation, assessment, and treatment to children and families. Since 2014, Dr. Ahola Kohut has been a psychologist with the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases program at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). She provides psychological treatment to support children, adolescents, and their families as they manage physical, emotional and social challenges related to living with chronic health conditions. 

As an Associate Scientist at SickKids Research Institute, Dr. Ahola Kohut’s program of research focuses on building resilience in youth with chronic disease and covers two main foci: Building meaningful peer and social supports, and mindfulness-based approaches to living with chronic disease (exploring both mechanisms and interventions). Her research capitalizes on innovative approaches via the Internet to improve access to resources and treatments. 

Education and experience

  • 2019–2020: Certificate, Foundations of Applied Mindfulness Meditation, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON 
  • 2018–2019: Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Teacher Training, SickKids, Toronto, ON
  • 2012–2016: Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
  • 2008–2012: Doctoral Diploma, Health Psychology, Department of Psychology, York University, Toronto, ON 
  • 2007–2012: Doctor of Philosophy, Clinical Developmental Psychology, Department of Psychology, York University, Toronto, ON 
  • 2005–2007: Master of Arts, Clinical Developmental Psychology, Department of Psychology, York University, Toronto, ON 
  • 2001–2005: Honours Bachelor of Arts, Developmental Psychology and Health Studies, Department of Psychology, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON 


Dr. Ahola Kohut's current research projects include:

  • iACTOnline mindfulness-based training for youth with IBD  
  • iACT-P: Online acceptance and commitment workshops for parents of children with IBD 
  • iPeer2Peer Program: Peer mentoring in paediatric chronic disease 
  • MARS-A: Mindful Awareness and Resilience Skills in youth with chronic disease
  • Psychosocial correlates of paediatric IBD 


  • Trust for the Meditation Process Foundation 
  • Crohn’s and Colitis Canada 
  • Rare Disease Foundation 
  • Cassie and Friends 
  • CIHR 
  • Medical Psychiatry Alliance 
  • Kids Health Links Foundation 
  • Canadian Initiative for Outcomes in Rheumatology cAre 
  • The Arthritis Society 


  1. Murphy LK, de la Vega R, Ahola Kohut S, Kawamura JS, Levy RL, Palermo TM. (2020). Systematic Review: Psychosocial correlates of pain in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, 2020 May 27. [Epub ahead of print].
  2. Piercy J, Stinson J, Walters TD, Church P, Frost K, Ahola Kohut S. (2020). Trait perfectionism and psychosocial outcomes in adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, 70 (3) 318-323. 
  3. Ahola Kohut S, Stinson J, Jelen A, Ruskin D. (2019) Feasibility and acceptability of a mindfulness-based group intervention for adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 1-11.
  4. Ahola Kohut S, LeBlanc C, O’Leary K, McPherson AC, McCarthy E, Nguyen C, Stinson J. (2018). The Internet as a source of support for youth with chronic conditions: A qualitative study. Child: Care, Health & Development, 44(2):212-220. 
  5. Ahola Kohut S, Stinson J, Davies-Chalmers C, Ruskin D, van Wyk M. (2017). Mindfulness-based interventions in clinical samples of adolescents with chronic illness: A systematic review. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 23(8):581-589. 
  6. Ahola Kohut S, Stinson J, Ruskin D, Forgeron P, Harris L, van Wyk M, Luca S, Campbell F. (2016). iPeer2Peer program: A pilot feasibility study in adolescents with chronic pain. Pain, 157(5):1146-1155.

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