The intersection of theory, research and direct practice experience is where competent, ethical social work practitioners are born.
As a social work academic, teaching represents a deeply gratifying opportunity to participate in the education of the next generation of social work practitioners. Watching the growth that happens over the course of a term, the integration of concepts into practice, questioning the methods, trying on theoretical frameworks and the process of self-evaluation is incredibly rewarding; I feel honored each and every class session to be a part of students’ development.
My teaching is grounded in the view that social work practice is a blend of art and science and emphasizes student responsibility, an appreciation for diversity and a focus on experiential learning. I nurture students’ curiosity and help them realize their full potential. It is my pleasure to develop a meaningful relationship with each student while recognizing the assets of the class as a collective.
Graduate Clinical Social Work Practice students
Another of my roles as an educator is to co-create (with students) a classroom environment that is safe, if not always comfortable. I promote a free exchange of ideas, situated in anti-oppressive practices that encourage students to take risks in skill development, nurture curiosity and promote innovation. With this as a foundation, the students and I explore their creative ideas and insightful interpretations, making room for all perspectives. It is also my responsibility to provide a stimulating environment that honours the diverse learning styles of my students. I strive to provide assignments that adhere to the core competencies of social work education while allowing for flexibility based on learning needs.
I approach the social work classroom as a laboratory for parallel process exploration and experimentation. My coursework focuses on social work practice with individuals, families and groups. We take an in-depth look at applying critical clinical social work skills to practice with diverse populations in a range of settings. Students express appreciation for the rigor, as well as the supportive environment of my classroom. It’s a place where they have an opportunity to try on their emerging social work identities and practice, getting it wrong and getting it right.
Other areas of instruction have included Health and Mental Health Practice, Mental Health Policy, Social Analysis, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, a three term series on Advanced Clinical Practice, Social Work Perspectives on Mental Health Disorders, a Social Work Practicum Seminar and a one-of-a-kind Graduate Seminar on Hoarding Disorder.
Attitudes for approaching clinical social work practice
My areas of scholarship include hoarding, multi-disciplinary community interventions, empirically supported clinical treatments and CBT. Graduate students wishing to work under my supervision while pursuing a PhD in Social Work should email me their statement of interest and CV.