Kelly Murphy

Assistant Professor, Status Only


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest



    Dr. Kelly Murphy is a co-founder of Toronto Brain Health. She has significant experience providing cognitive rehabilitation and therapy for seniors and adults experiencing psychological issues or cognitive changes related to normal aging, dementia or brain injury. Dr. Murphy has developed successful cognitive intervention programs for older adults along with a web-based app that promotes wellness through participation in enjoyable recreation. She has many publications including an award-winning book on brain health and aging, and regularly engages in academic research, public speaking, teaching, media interviews, and contributes to a blog for Psychology Today.

    Dr. Murphy has been a registered psychologist with the College of Psychologists of Ontario since 1999. Her practice areas are clinical neuropsychology, clinical psychology, and rehabilitation psychology.  She provides psychological services to adults of all ages who are experiencing cognitive changes due to brain injury or disease across all Toronto Brain Health programs; Acquired Brain Injury, Concussion, and Healthy Aging & Dementia. These services include neuropsychological and psychological assessment and intervention focused on optimizing cognitive functioning and mental wellness. Dr. Murphy uses scientifically validated cognitive and behavioural intervention techniques to enable her clients to discover and develop skills to promote their own brain health and well-being.

    She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario and completed a post-doctoral research fellowship in the field of cognitive neuroscience at the Rotman Research Institute of Baycrest Health Sciences. She holds several academic appointments including; Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, and adjunct faculty positions in Psychology at York University and Queen’s University.  

    Dr. Murphy maintains a program of research primarily in the field of cognitive aging and memory intervention.  She has authored and co-authored peer-reviewed research publications, as well as a book for the general public and healthcare professionals called ‘Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A guide to maximizing brain health and reducing risk of dementia’ published by Oxford University Press.  She is the lead creator of an innovative program designed to benefit older adults at risk of developing dementia called Learning the Ropes for Living with MCI™ . This program is aimed at optimizing brain health and well-being in people with MCI (mild cognitive impairment) and those closest to them. She has also written and been interviewed for many articles in news media on the topic of memory and aging including the Globe and Mail and Chatelaine Magazine and contributes to a blog for Psychology Today on the topic of living with MCI.  She is the co-inventor of a web-based app called ArtOnTheBrain, an arts-based recreation activity to promote cognitive health in older adults. In partnership with the Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation she and her colleagues are currently testing whether engagement with ArtOnTheBrain is valued by older adult users and whether it has the potential to affect positive health outcomes.

    Outside of Toronto Brain Health Dr. Murphy has a psychology and clinical research practice at Baycrest Health Sciences that is focused on identifying older adults at risk of dementia and providing early intervention to these individuals and their close family members. It is through her work with this population that she developed a heightened appreciation for treating the “whole person” and began exploring and drawing upon cognitive and behavioural therapy approaches to promote the ability of older adults to make positive behavioural changes to optimize their brain health and to better meet the personal challenges associated with living with cognitive decline. In the past she has provided psychological services to clients at CBT Associates, West Park Healthcare Centre and St. John’s Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto.

    Dr. Murphy is a member of the College of Psychologists of Ontario, the Canadian Psychological Society, and the International Neuropsychological Society. She is also part of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging, a group of Canadian Scientists focused on research that promotes brain health for older adults. She is a registered provider with WSIB under the Community Mental Health Program.