I.B.M. Member Profile

Dr. Bruce Ballon

Exploring Reality through Illusion

About Bruce Ballon

 Dr. Bruce Ballon is a psychiatrist and illusionist who has presented at Stratford, Canadian Stage, and other illustrious venues across the globe, using psychological illusions, mind magic and mentalism to educate on issues regarding perception, cognition, philosophy, imagination, arts, humanities, mental health and addiction – all aimed at exploring the human condition. He has worked with professional magicians and performers, mentoring, developing acts, sharing routines, and building theatrical devices for the field.


An award-winning psychiatrist, Dr. Bruce Ballon brings over two decades of experience in providing innovative experiential education, creative clinical  program development for complex populations, and evidence  based  clinical care.  Dr. Ballon is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Public Health for the University of Toronto, as well as an Adjunct Professor for the Ontario Tech (formerly the University of Ontario Institute of Technology) Faculty of Health Sciences.  He has fellowships in Addiction Psychiatry and Youth & Family Psychiatry,  with specializations in psychological trauma treatment and psychotherapy.


He currently serves as the  Medical Director, Complex Mental Health, for the Partners in Canadian Veterans Rehabilitation Services (PCVRS).  He is also the Medical Director for both the Nurses’ Health and Pharmacists’ Health Programs of Ontario. He has also acted as a consultant for many healthcare professional organizations in regard to addiction and mental-health issues, such as the OMA, MOHLTC, and the CNO. His specializations include Youth and Family Psychiatry, Addictions and Concurrent Disorders, and Psychological Trauma. He has provided ongoing direct clinical psychiatric care delivery since 1993, with no ceasing of practice. Through clinical activities, he has developed unique and specialized clinical programs for special populations. These programs include the youth addiction program, youth concurrent disorders program, ACES program, the problem gambling, gaming and internet use program, and the day program for psychological trauma, addictions and mental health. In addition to other education activities, Dr. Ballon also directly supervises and helps train healthcare providers in the field of mental health, for delivery of care to patients.  Dr. Ballon is a Senior Education Consultant for Baycrest, where he is involved in developing simulation & innovative experiential trainings.  He also participates in the Arts and Humanities activities offered through Mount Sinai Hospital. As the Director of Education for SIM-one, he embraced a collaborative approach, developing numerous programs and helping foster the next generation of simulationists.  


Dr. Ballon works with industries involved in technology & games for understanding its impact on people’s lives. He is also an illusionist who performs to help educate the public of mental health issues,  having performed at locations such as Stratford and  Canada Stage, as well as collaborates with professional illusionists around the world. He has written books for children, parents, and the general public that help illuminate issues on mental health. He has been a media consultant to create accurate portrayals of psychiatric elements. He has also created games dealing with mental-health issues that have garnered him awards from the Games Manufacturers Association and international literary & academic associations.   He has launched a small boardgame company, Hounds & Jackals, to develop  games  “off-screen” that involve understanding the human condition and raising awareness of mental health issues.